• Using an overseas company to offer and buy UK residential property.

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

    Info on laws and taxes for British nationals who wish to buy property in Cyprus.

    Introduction

    Buying property in Cyprus has a variety of potential pitfalls. The British High Commission advises potential buyers to exercise extreme care when buying a property if the title deeds are not easily offered, as it indicates your property could be at risk.

    Mortgage liability

    It prevails practice for developers to get home mortgages on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a designer and there is currently a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to end up being accountable for that mortgage must the home builder, developer or landowner declare insolvency.

    You must ask your legal representative to check for home loans placed on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is gotten from the Land Pc registry. It must be kept in mind that in order to obtain a Land Search Certificate one requires a relevant authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are made aware of a home loan prior to signing a contract it is unlikely that you will obtain the deeds in your name up until the home mortgage is settled.

    Legal representatives are not required to look for mortgages automatically, although excellent attorneys should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Government presented a Particular Efficiency Law to provide an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan however we still highly advise that you inspect no mortgages have been placed on the land prior to acquire to guarantee you do not encounter potential difficulties at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most regularly raised by British nationals include:

    • legal representatives acting for both suppliers or contractors therefore not independent
    • developing works occurring without the right preparation approval or building license (eg electrical energy or water).
    • changes in currency and interest rates impacting home loans.
    • payment plans or fees not being consisted of in the preliminary agreement.
    • difficulty in getting certificates of last completion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • difficulty in obtaining title deeds.
    • problem in acquiring redress after problems are identified.
      With all property purchases, we strongly recommend that you seek your own independent legal advice.

    If you have actually acquired a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you need to look for certified independent legal advice on your rights and approaches of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Workplace (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to offer legal recommendations or end up being involved with conflicts between personal celebrations. We direct British nationals to organisations who might be able to help and we can raise systemic concerns, issues which affect a number of customers, with regional authorities.

    You can examine the Association of International Property Professionals website to see if a company or legal advisor are members.

    Buying property in the north of Cyprus.

    The ownership of many homes is challenged in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes could have severe financial and legal implications. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in a variety of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus prior to 1974 continue to be considered the legal owners of that property.

    Purchasers could deal with legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, in addition to attempts to enforce judgments from these courts somewhere else in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has actually been at least one successful case to implement judgments in the UK, putting at risk property owned in the UK.

    One key issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible buyers ought to also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern could have severe consequences for property they acquire, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to compensation payments.

    • in the north of Cyprus that was owned by a Greek Cypriot nationwide prior to 1974 * ^ that was subsequently classified as exchange or ‘gift’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Buyers ought to guarantee they are fully familiar with the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of immigrants acquiring property, including the requirement to get consent to the transfer of property. Even when acquiring pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be declined consent to buy the land/property and no reason for the refusal might be given.

    On 20 October 2006, a modification to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code associating with property came into result. Under the modification, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the permission of the owner (the individual whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offence. The optimum jail sentence is 7 years.

    The modification to the law also specifies that any attempt to undertake such a transaction is a criminal offence and might lead to a jail sentence of approximately 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that took place before 20 October 2006.

    Likewise files connecting to the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to relate to the illegal transfer of Greek Cypriot property and may go through confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone discovered in ownership of these documents may be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and might face criminal procedures under the 20 October change.

    Any enquiries relating to the scope of this law need to be made to the Republic of Cyprus High Commission in London or to the Ministry of Foreign affairs for the Republic of Cyprus:.

    RoC High Commission London.
    13, St James’s Square.
    London SW1Y 4LB.

    Telephone: +44 (0) 207 3214 100.

    Email: cyprusinuk@mfa.gov.uk.

    RoC Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    Presidential Palace Avenue.
    1447 Nicosia.

    Telephone: +357 22651000.

    Fax: +357 22661881.

    Responsibility Officer: +357 99 660129 (for emergency assistance and strictly after workplace hours: 07:30– 16:00 (Monday – Friday).

    Email: info@mfa.gov.cy.

    Property owned before 1974.

    If you are a British nationwide and owned a property in the north of Cyprus prior to 1974 (or the heir of somebody meeting those requirements), please call the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you want to attempt to reclaim your property, they will be able to examine your file and advise on what steps to take.

    The British High Commission is unable to help double nationals in the country of their other nationality. If you are a dual British/Cypriot nationwide you must approach your local authorities in respect of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

    Buying property or land in the Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs).

    Persons considering the purchase of stationary property (such as land) in the SBAs need to be conscious that the permission of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations is required under area 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Regulation 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to buy stationary property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for consent exists whether or not property is currently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has actually previously acquired permission. Failure to acquire the permission of the Administrator implies that the acquisition and registration of the unmovable property in question is null and void. The Administrator will provide consent only in the most remarkable situations.

    You need to also know that it is an offense for persons other than “recognised residents” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, other than in accordance with a license issued under that Ordinance. Once again, you may make an application for a certificate of identified residence or a license, but the Administration only rarely consents to giving these.

    More details.

    Some of the problems that property buyers experience are really similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get associated with individual property issues or legal disputes, however supports neighborhood associations that are devoted to fixing the issues of property purchasers.

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal advisor, you have actually worked with is a member of AIPP and you are dissatisfied with the services supplied, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary procedure.

    Legal advice.

    British people affected by property problems ought to take independent legal recommendations from local attorneys.

    Regional police.

    You must make a declaration to the regional cops if you believe that you have been subject to a property criminal offense. Keep in mind to acquire a copy of the statement and request the incident number. Please note, there may be a time constraint in between the time of the supposed criminal offense and the time within which you make your grievance.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (also known as Commissioner of Administration and Defense of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of people, consisting of foreign nationals, in order to protect their rights and freedom against actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some constraints) and authorities of the central federal government and regional administrations in addition to anybody serving as representatives or partners of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public objectives or services. Contact details are on their website.

    It is important to note that the Ombudsman might not intervene under the following scenarios:.

    • whenever the general public administration has actually not been involved.
    • in case of disputes or disagreements in between people.
    • after one year from the minute when the resident knew the occasions of his complaint.
    • in case of confidential complaints, without particular claims providing bad faith or any claims that might damage legitimate rights of 3rd parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial judgment.
    • complaints against legal representatives.

    Grievances against lawyers practicing in the Republic of Cyprus need to be dealt with to:.

    The Cyprus Bar Association.
    Florinis 11, off.101, 1st Flooring,.
    1065, Nicosia P.O.Box. 21446,.
    1508, Nicosia– Cyprus.

    Telephone: +357 22873300 Fax: +35722873013.

    Email: cybar3@cytanet.com.cy.

    Site: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Complaints versus attorneys practising in the north of Cyprus may be made in writing to the pertinent regional ‘Bar Association’. There is a separate ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Initial investigations into problems happen within the pertinent district however they are then passed onto the total organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact information of regional ‘bar associations’:.

    • Nicosia: contact individual: Arzu İzveren, email: barolarbirligi@hotmail.com phone: 0090392227 73 39.
    • Kyrenia: contact individual: Gürcan Bayramoğlu, email: gurcanbayramoglu@hotmail.com phone: 0090392816 06 22.
    • Famagusta: contact person: Mine Vehit, email: mine-vehit@hotmail.com phone: 0090392366 16 88.
    • Morphou: contact individual: Mehtun Muslu, e-mail: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Problems against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Complaints versus the legal system must be made to the Attorney General’s Office:.

    Mr George L. Savvides.
    Attorney General.
    Law Office of the Republic of Cyprus.
    1403 Nicosia.
    Cyprus

    European Commissioner.

    There is a European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. Their address is:.

    Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers.
    European Commission.
    1049 Brussels.
    Belgium.

    You can learn more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Help in the UK.

    We have published recommendations(Link) on which UK authorities to contact if you believe you have actually been a victim of property scams.

    If you were living in the UK when you made your purchase you might want to get in touch with the UK European Consumer Centre. This is part of the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has been established by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to assist customers with cross-border conflicts. The UK European Consumer Centre gives info and suggestions on issues with buying across borders and can arbitrate when problems develop if they think it might help.

    Address:.

    UK European Consumer Centre.
    Chartered Trading Standards Institute.
    1 Sylvan Court.
    Sylvan Way.
    Southfields Business Park.
    Basildon.
    Essex SS15 6TH.

    Telephone: +44 (0) 1268 886 690.

    Fax: +44( 0 )1268 582 225.

    Email address: eccnet-uk@ec.europa.eu.

    Disclaimer.

    While we hope that this information works, please be aware that it is not intended to be the only guidance for potential purchasers to follow when considering buying. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or accuracy of the details which is readily available at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any duty for the material that is hosted on them. We highly recommend that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial guidance at all phases of their purchase.

    The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in a number of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus before 1974 continue to be regarded as the legal owners of that property.

    One essential issue is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible purchasers ought to also consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem might have serious consequences for property they purchase, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to compensation payments. Under the amendment, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the consent of the owner (the person whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. We highly advise that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial guidance at all phases of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

    • Caution regarding property purchases in the occupied area of Cyprus(link)
    • Living in Cyprus(link)