• Utilizing an offshore business to sell and purchase UK house.

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Intro

    Purchasing property in Cyprus has a variety of possible mistakes. The British High Commission recommends potential purchasers to exercise severe care when buying a property if the title deeds are not easily offered, as it means your property could be at risk.

    Mortgage liability

    It is common practice for designers to secure home loans on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a developer and there is already a home loan, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to become liable for that mortgage must the home builder, developer or landowner state bankruptcy.

    You must ask your lawyer to look for home mortgages placed on the land through a Land Search Certificate which is obtained from the Land Windows registry. It should be noted 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 mortgage before signing a contract it is unlikely that you will acquire the deeds in your name till the mortgage is paid off.

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    Attorneys are not needed to look for home loans immediately, although great legal representatives ought to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government introduced a Specific Performance Law to provide an agreement of sale precedence over any pre-existing mortgage however we still highly suggest that you examine no mortgages have been put on the land prior to buy to guarantee you do not face possible problems at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most regularly raised by British nationals include:

    • attorneys acting for both suppliers or builders therefore not independent
    • constructing works taking place without the appropriate preparation permission or structure license (eg electricity or water).
    • fluctuations in currency and rates of interest impacting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or charges not being consisted of in the initial contract.
    • problem in getting certificates of final conclusion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • difficulty in acquiring title deeds.
    • problem in getting redress after issues are identified.
      With all property purchases, we strongly suggest that you seek your own independent legal guidance.

    If you have purchased a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you must look for competent independent legal advice on your rights and approaches of redress.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Advancement Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to use legal advice or become included with disputes in between personal celebrations. However, we direct British nationals to organisations who may be able to assist and we can raise systemic problems, issues which impact a variety of customers, with regional authorities.

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

    Buying property in the north of Cyprus.

    The ownership of many properties is contested in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these homes might have severe financial and legal implications. The European Court of Human Rights has actually ruled in a variety of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus before 1974 continue to be considered the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers could face legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as efforts to enforce judgments from these courts in other places in the EU, consisting of the UK. There has actually been at least one effective case to implement rulings in the UK, threatening property owned in the UK.

    One crucial concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible purchasers should likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem could have major effects 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 national prior to 1974 * ^ that was consequently classified as exchange or ‘present’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Buyers need to guarantee they are completely aware of the rules in the north of Cyprus in respect of immigrants purchasing property, consisting of the requirement to obtain consent to the transfer of property. Even when purchasing pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be refused approval to acquire the land/property and no factor for the refusal might be provided.

    On 20 October 2006, a modification to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code associating with property entered effect. Under the amendment, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the permission of the owner (the person whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. The optimum prison sentence is 7 years.

    The change to the law also mentions that any effort to carry out such a transaction is a criminal offense and could result in a jail sentence of as much as 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that occurred prior to 20 October 2006.

    Also files associating with the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to connect to the prohibited transfer of Greek Cypriot property and may be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone discovered in ownership of these files might be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and might face criminal procedures under the 20 October change.

    Any enquiries concerning the scope of this law must 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.

    Task 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 before 1974 (or the heir of someone meeting those criteria), please contact the British High Commission by email, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you wish to try to recover your property, they will be able to check your file and encourage on what actions to take.

    The British High Commission is unable to assist dual nationals in the country of their other citizenship. , if you are a dual British/Cypriot nationwide you should approach your local authorities in regard of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

    Individuals considering the purchase of stationary property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be conscious that the consent of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas is required under area 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Regulation 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to acquire immovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for approval 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 approval. Failure to obtain the consent of the Administrator implies that the acquisition and registration of the stationary property in question is null and void. The Administrator will give consent just in the most extraordinary scenarios.

    You should also understand that it is an offence for individuals besides “acknowledged homeowners” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, except in accordance with a permit released under that Regulation. Again, you might request a certificate of acknowledged home or a permit, however the Administration just seldom grant granting these.

    Further details.

    A few of the problems that property buyers experience are extremely similar throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is not able to get associated with individual property issues or legal conflicts, but supports community associations that are committed to fixing the issues of property buyers.

    Associations.

    If the company, or legal consultant, you have worked with belongs to AIPP and you are dissatisfied with the services offered, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary procedure.

    Legal advice.

    British people affected by property issues ought to take independent legal advice from regional legal representatives.

    Local authorities.

    If you think that you have actually gone through a property criminal offense, you ought to make a statement to the local police. Keep in mind to obtain a copy of the statement and request for the occurrence number. Please note, there may be a time constraint in between the time of the supposed crime and the time within which you make your grievance.

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

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of residents, consisting of foreign nationals, in order to protect their rights and liberty versus actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some limitations) and authorities of the main federal government and regional administrations as well as anyone 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 necessary to note that the Ombudsman may not intervene under the following scenarios:.

    • whenever the public administration has not been involved.
    • in the event of conflicts or conflicts in between individuals.
    • When the person had knowledge of the occasions of his grievance, after one year from the minute.
    • in case of confidential complaints, without particular claims providing bad faith or any claims that may damage legitimate rights of 3rd parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • problems versus lawyers.

    Problems against legal representatives practising in the Republic of Cyprus must be resolved to:.

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

    Telephone: +357 22873300 Fax: +35722873013.

    Email: cybar3@cytanet.com.cy.

    Site: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

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

    Preliminary investigations into problems take place within the appropriate district but they are then passed onto the total organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact details of local ‘bar associations’:.

    • Nicosia: contact person: Arzu İzveren, e-mail: 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, email: mmehtun@yahoo.com phone: 0090392714 69 93.

    Complaints versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Grievances against 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 find out more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Help in the UK.

    If you think you have been a victim of property fraud, we have actually published suggestions on which UK authorities to contact.

    When you made your purchase you might want to contact the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. This becomes part of the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has actually been established by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to assist consumers with cross-border disagreements. When problems occur if they believe it may assist, the UK European Consumer Centre provides information and advice on problems with buying across borders and can arbitrate.

    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 is useful, please know that it is not planned to be the only guidance for prospective buyers to follow when thinking about purchasing. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or precision of the details which is offered at the web addresses noted in this guide, nor can we accept any duty for the content that is hosted on them. We strongly recommend that potential buyers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and monetary recommendations at all stages of their purchase.

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

    One key concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and prospective buyers need to also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem could 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 individual whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Windows registry, consisting of Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. We highly suggest that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial advice at all stages of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

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