• Utilizing an overseas business to buy and sell UK home.

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

    Buying property in Cyprus has a number of potential pitfalls. The British High Commission recommends prospective purchasers to work out extreme caution when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily offered, as it indicates your property could be at risk.

    Home loan liability

    It prevails practice for designers to get home loans on land or property. If you sign a contract with a designer and there is already a home mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are most likely to become accountable for that home loan must the builder, developer or landowner state insolvency.

    You should ask your legal representative to check for home mortgages placed on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is acquired from the Land Computer system registry. It should be noted that in order to get a Land Browse Certificate one requires an appropriate authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are made aware of a home mortgage prior to signing an agreement it is unlikely that you will get the deeds in your name up until the home mortgage is settled.

    Lawyers are not needed to check for mortgages automatically, although great lawyers need to do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government presented a Specific Performance Law to provide a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home mortgage nevertheless we still strongly advise that you examine no mortgages have actually been put on the land prior to purchase to guarantee you do not encounter potential problems at a later date.

    See Property For Sale in Cyprus Now

    Other concerns most regularly raised by British nationals consist of:

    • lawyers acting for both builders or suppliers for that reason not independent
    • constructing works happening without the right preparation approval or structure permit (eg electrical power or water).
    • changes in currency and rate of interest impacting mortgages.
    • payment plans or fees not being included in the initial contract.
    • difficulty in acquiring certificates of last conclusion (deeds can not be released without this).
    • problem in obtaining title deeds.
    • problem in obtaining redress after problems are determined.
      With all property purchases, we highly advise that you seek your own independent legal recommendations.

    If you have actually acquired a property or land and are encountering difficulties, you must seek certified independent legal advice on your rights and techniques of redress.

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

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

    Buying property in the north of Cyprus.

    The ownership of lots of homes is contested in the north of Cyprus, with thousands of claims to ownership from people displaced in 1974. Purchase of these residential or commercial properties might have severe financial and legal implications. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in a number of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus prior to 1974 continue to be considered as the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers could face legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, along with efforts to impose judgments from these courts in other places in the EU, including the UK. There has been at least one effective case to enforce judgments in the UK, putting at risk property owned in the UK.

    One essential problem is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and possible buyers ought to also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem could have serious repercussions for property they purchase, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial 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 categorized as exchange or ‘gift’ land/property by the Turkish Cypriot “authorities”.

    Buyers should guarantee they are totally familiar with the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of immigrants purchasing property, consisting of the requirement to obtain grant the transfer of property. Even when acquiring pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be declined approval to purchase the land/property and no factor for the rejection may be given.

    On 20 October 2006, a change to the Republic of Cyprus criminal code associating with property entered impact. Under the amendment, buying, selling, leasing, mortgaging a property or promoting without the approval of the owner (the individual whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer system registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. The maximum jail sentence is 7 years.

    The change to the law likewise states that any effort to carry out such a transaction is a criminal offense and could result in a prison sentence of approximately 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise deals that happened before 20 October 2006.

    Likewise documents relating 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 might go through confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anyone found in possession of these documents might be asked to make a declaration to the Cypriot authorities and could deal with criminal proceedings under the 20 October amendment.

    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.

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

    Email: info@mfa.gov.cy.

    Property owned prior to 1974.

    If you are a British national and owned a property in the north of Cyprus before 1974 (or the successor of someone conference those requirements), please call the British High Commission by email, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you wish to attempt to recover your property, they will be able to examine your file and recommend on what steps 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 respect of claims for pre-1974 title deeds.

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

    Persons thinking about the purchase of stationary property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be mindful that the permission of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Locations is required under area 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Ordinance 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to purchase immovable property in the SBAs.

    The requirement for permission exists whether property is presently owned by a Cypriot or a Cypriot corporation or by a non-Cypriot who has formerly gotten consent. Failure to get the approval of the Administrator means that the acquisition and registration of the stationary property in question is null and void. The Administrator will give consent just in the most remarkable scenarios.

    You ought to also know that it is an offense for individuals besides “acknowledged residents” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, except in accordance with an authorization provided under that Regulation. Once again, you might look for a certificate of identified home or an authorization, but the Administration just seldom consents to granting these.

    Further information.

    A few of the problems that property purchasers experience are really comparable throughout Cyprus. The British High Commission is unable to get involved in specific property issues or legal disputes, but supports neighborhood associations that are dedicated to resolving the problems of property buyers.

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal advisor, you have actually dealt with belongs to AIPP and you are unhappy with the services supplied, you can write to the AIPP who have a disciplinary procedure.

    Legal suggestions.

    British people impacted by property problems should take independent legal recommendations from local attorneys.

    Regional cops.

    You need to make a declaration to the local police if you believe that you have actually been subject to a property crime. Remember to get a copy of the statement and ask for the incident number. Please note, there may be a time limitation in between the time of the alleged crime and the time within which you make your problem.

    Cyprus Ombudsman (likewise referred to as Commissioner of Administration and Security of Human Rights).

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of residents, consisting of foreign nationals, in order to protect their rights and freedom versus actions from any Cypriot administration. The Ombudsman has the power to challenge all bodies (subject to some constraints) and authorities of the main government and regional administrations along with anybody functioning as representatives or partners of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public goals or services. Contact information are on their site.

    It is essential to keep in mind that the Ombudsman may not intervene under the following scenarios:.

    • whenever the general public administration has actually not been included.
    • in case of disputes or conflicts in between individuals.
    • When the citizen had understanding of the events of his problem, after one year from the moment.
    • in the event of anonymous problems, without particular claims providing bad faith or any claims that might damage genuine rights of 3rd parties.
    • in the event of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • grievances versus attorneys.

    Grievances versus lawyers practising in the Republic of Cyprus must be addressed 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 legal representatives practising in the north of Cyprus may be made in writing to the relevant local ‘Bar Association’. There is a different ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Preliminary investigations into complaints happen within the appropriate district but they are then passed onto the overall organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact information of regional ‘bar associations’:.

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

    Grievances against the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Problems versus the legal system should be made to the Attorney General’s Workplace:.

    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.

    Assist in the UK.

    If you believe you have been a victim of property fraud, we have actually released advice on which UK authorities to contact.

    When you made your purchase you might want to get in touch with the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. This is part of the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has actually been set up by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to assist consumers with cross-border disagreements. The UK European Consumer Centre offers details and advice on issues with buying across borders and can arbitrate when issues occur if they think it may assist.

    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 info works, please understand that it is not meant to be the only assistance for potential purchasers to follow when considering buying. In addition, we make no representation as to the quality or precision of the information which is readily available at the web addresses listed in this guide, nor can we accept any responsibility for the content that is hosted on them. We strongly recommend that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and financial guidance at all stages of their purchase.

    The European Court of Human Rights has actually 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 crucial concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and prospective buyers should also think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus problem could have major consequences for property they buy, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to compensation payments. Under the change, buying, selling, renting, mortgaging a property or promoting without the authorization of the owner (the person whose ownership is registered with the Republic of Cyprus Land Registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. We strongly suggest that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary suggestions at all stages of their purchase.

    Related Links:

    Useful Links:

    • Land and Property(link)
    • Housing Schemes(link)