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

    Guidance

    Cyprus: buying property

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

    Introduction

    Getting property in Cyprus has a variety of prospective mistakes. The British High Commission encourages prospective purchasers to work out severe caution when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily available, as it implies your property could be at risk.

    Mortgage liability

    It is common practice for developers to secure mortgages on land or property. If you sign an agreement with a designer and there is currently a home mortgage, loan or claim on the property, then you are likely to end up being liable for that home mortgage must the contractor, developer or landowner state insolvency.

    You should ask your lawyer to check for mortgages put on the land through a Land Browse Certificate which is obtained from the Land Registry. It needs to be kept in mind that in order to acquire a Land Browse Certificate one requires an appropriate authorisation from the Property’s owner. If you are warned of a mortgage prior to signing a contract it is not likely that you will get the deeds in your name till the home mortgage is settled.

    Attorneys are not needed to check for home loans immediately, although great legal representatives should do this as a matter of course. In 2011 the Republic of Cyprus Federal government presented a Specific Performance Law to offer a contract of sale precedence over any pre-existing home loan nevertheless we still highly suggest that you inspect no home loans have actually been placed on the land prior to purchase to ensure 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:

    • attorneys acting for both builders or suppliers therefore not independent
    • building works occurring without the right preparation consent or building authorization (eg electrical energy or water).
    • changes in currency and rates of interest impacting home mortgages.
    • payment plans or costs not being included in the initial agreement.
    • problem in getting certificates of last conclusion (deeds can not be provided without this).
    • trouble in obtaining title deeds.
    • trouble in getting redress after problems are determined.
      With all property purchases, we highly recommend that you seek your own independent legal advice.

    You should seek qualified independent legal guidance on your rights and techniques of redress if you have actually bought a property or land and are encountering troubles.

    The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission are unable to provide legal recommendations or become involved with conflicts in between personal parties. Nevertheless, we direct British nationals to organisations who may be able to help and we can raise systemic concerns, issues which impact a number of clients, 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 numerous properties is challenged in the north of Cyprus, with countless claims to ownership from individuals displaced in 1974. Purchase of these properties might have serious financial and legal ramifications. 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 as the legal owners of that property.

    Buyers might deal with legal procedures in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, in addition to attempts to impose judgments from these courts somewhere else in the EU, including the UK. There has been at least one successful case to impose judgments in the UK, endangering property owned in the UK.

    The leaders of both neighborhoods are presently in settlements to try to fix the Cyprus problem. One essential concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers ought to likewise think about that a future settlement of the Cyprus issue might have major effects for property they buy, including the possible restitution of the property to its original owner, in addition to payment payments. In particular, prospective purchasers must think about the ramifications of any future settlement on land/property:.

    • 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”.

    Purchasers must ensure they are completely aware of the rules in the north of Cyprus in regard of immigrants purchasing property, consisting of the requirement to acquire grant the transfer of property. Even when buying pre-1974 Turkish title land, you might still be refused approval to acquire the land/property and no factor for the rejection might be offered.

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

    The change to the law likewise mentions that any attempt to undertake such a transaction is a criminal offense and might lead to a prison sentence of as much as 5 years. This law is not retrospective, so will not criminalise transactions that took place prior to 20 October 2006.

    Documents relating to the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus will be presumed by the Cypriot authorities to relate to the unlawful transfer of Greek Cypriot property and might be subject to confiscation when crossing the Green Line. Anybody discovered in belongings of these documents might be asked to make a statement to the Cypriot authorities and could face criminal proceedings under the 20 October modification.

    Any enquiries concerning the scope of this law should 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 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 somebody meeting those requirements), please get in touch with the British High Commission by e-mail, marking your message to the attention of the Property Officer. If you want to try to reclaim your property, they will be able to inspect your file and recommend on what actions to take.

    The British High Commission is not able to assist double nationals in the country of their other citizenship. , if you are a double 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 Locations (SBAs).

    Individuals thinking about the purchase of immovable property (such as land) in the SBAs require to be aware that the permission of the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas is needed under area 3 of the Immovable Property Acquisition (Control) Regulation 1972 for a non-Cypriot or for a non-Cypriot corporation to purchase stationary 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 gotten permission. 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 provide permission just in the most remarkable situations.

    You ought to also know that it is an offence for persons other than “recognised residents” to reside in the SBAs for more than 28 days in any period of 12 months, except in accordance with a license released under that Regulation. Again, you may look for a certificate of acknowledged residence or a permit, but the Administration only hardly ever consents to granting these.

    More information.

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

    Associations.

    If the business, or legal advisor, you have actually 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 problems should take independent legal suggestions from regional lawyers.

    Local authorities.

    If you think that you have been subject to a property crime, you ought to make a declaration to the local police. Keep in mind to get a copy of the declaration and request for the occurrence number. Please note, there may be a time restriction between the time of the supposed criminal activity and the time within which you make your complaint.

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

    The Cyprus Ombudsman acts in the service of residents, including foreign nationals, in order to defend their rights and liberty versus 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 as well as anyone acting as agents or collaborators of any of these administrations in the fulfilment or execution of public goals or services. Contact information are on their website.

    It is necessary to keep in mind that the Ombudsman may not step in under the following circumstances:.

    • whenever the general public administration has not been included.
    • in the event of conflicts or disputes between individuals.
    • after one year from the moment when the person understood the occasions of his problem.
    • in the event of anonymous problems, without particular claims providing bad faith or any claims that may harm genuine rights of third parties.
    • in case of non-conformity with the contents of the judicial ruling.
    • grievances against lawyers.

    Problems versus lawyers practising in the Republic of Cyprus need to be addressed 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.

    Website: www.cyprusbarassociation.org.

    Complaints against legal representatives practicing in the north of Cyprus might be made in writing to the pertinent local ‘Bar Association’. There is a different ‘Bar Association’ for each district.

    Preliminary examinations into grievances happen within the relevant district but they are then passed onto the total organisation, the ‘Cyprus Turkish Bar Association’.

    Contact information of local ‘bar associations’:.

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

    Complaints versus the legal system in the Republic of Cyprus

    Complaints 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 find out more about EU consumer rights on their website.

    Assist in the UK.

    We have released suggestions(Link) on which UK authorities to get in touch with if you believe you have actually been a victim of property fraud.

    When you made your purchase you may want to contact the UK European Consumer Centre, if you were living in the UK. This becomes part of the European Customer Centres Network (ECC-Net) that has been set up by the European Commission in co-operation with member states to help consumers with cross-border disagreements. When problems develop if they think it may assist, the UK European Consumer Centre provides details and advice on issues 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 meant to be the only guidance for potential purchasers to follow when considering purchasing. In addition, we make no representation regarding 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 material that is hosted on them. We highly suggest that potential purchasers of property in Cyprus look for independent legal and monetary suggestions at all stages of their purchase.

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

    One essential concern is property and the handling of pre-1974 Greek Cypriot title-owned property. Property owners and potential buyers need to likewise consider that a future settlement of the Cyprus concern might have serious effects for property they buy, consisting of the possible restitution of the property to its initial owner, in addition to payment payments. Under the change, buying, selling, renting, promoting or mortgaging a property without the consent of the owner (the individual whose ownership is signed up with the Republic of Cyprus Land Computer registry, including Greek Cypriots displaced from northern Cyprus in 1974) is a criminal offense. We highly suggest that prospective purchasers of property in Cyprus seek independent legal and monetary 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)