I’m really pleased that lots of British citizens are investing like this throughout the EU – making the most of how easy it is to travel, live and work in different countries – but it’s clear that buying property in other EU states is not always without risk.
Legal systems in other countries are different to those in the UK, and language difficulties can be a cause of confusion. Prospective buyers should ensure that they take all the steps needed to avoid disappointment and sometimes serious financial consequences.
Two of the most popular destinations for UK house buyers are Cyprus and Spain. The FCO’s travel advice pages for those countries warn potential purchasers of the risks involved with purchasing property in these countries and we strongly recommend that people seek qualified legal advice from a source independent from the seller before committing to a purchase.
There have been – and still are – cases where dishonest estate agents and lawyers have knowingly taken advantage of the unwary. But I must emphasise that the FCO cannot become involved with private property disputes and it is important that independent legal advice is sought.
The travel advice for Cyprus contains a link to a document of frequently asked questions on property in Cyprus, containing information useful to anyone considering purchasing a property. The travel advice for Spain also has links to the British Embassy in Spain’s website, which holds further details.