CYPRUS is a popular destination for British nationals wishing to retire overseas or to purchase a holiday home. Despite many British nationals purchasing property without much difficulty, the process of buying land or a property in the Republic of Cyprus controlled areas or in the north of Cyprus has many potential pitfalls.
You should be aware that if you purchase a property in the Republic of Cyprus and the title deeds are not readily available your property could be at risk. The issues most frequently raised by British nationals include:
- Land or property may, before or after contract, have new mortgages, loans or claims placed upon it by the developer or land owner. Please be particularly careful when dealing with this type of purchase.
- Being unable to obtain permission to purchase (north)
- Lawyers also acting for vendors or builders therefore not independent
- Building taking place without the correct planning permissions/building permits (e.g. electricity or water)
- Fluctuations in currency and interest rates affecting mortgages
- Payment plans/fees not being included in the initial contract
- Difficulty in obtaining certificates of final completion
- Difficulty in obtaining title deeds
- Difficulty in obtaining redress after problems are identified
With all property purchases, we strongly recommend that you seek independent legal advice. Check lists/golden rules are available via the following website, but these are not however a substitute for taking independent, qualified legal advice.
- Republic of Cyprus – Property Purchase Check List
If you have purchased a property/land and are encountering difficulties, you should seek qualified independent legal advice on your rights and methods of redress. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British High Commission are not able to offer legal advice nor become involved with disputes between private parties. We can, however, direct British nationals to organisations who may be able to help and we can raise systemic issues with local authorities.
The High Commission publishes answers to Frequently Asked Questions about buying property.
You may also wish to check on the AIPP – Association of International Property Professionals website to see if the company/legal advisor you are wishing to deal with are members.
Crown Copyright 2011