When buying a resale property in Cyprus (or anywhere else for that matter) you need to consider a number of aspects. As well as inspecting properties to ensure they are satisfactory and meet your requirements, it is important to look at:
This seems obvious, but some people buy more than they can afford and run into financial difficulties. As well as the actual sales price, you need to consider the running costs such as electricity, water, telephone, taxes, repairs and maintenance, etc.
The resale property you’re looking to buy may need some renovation. Get firm, written quotations for any renovation and remedial work needed.
You would also do well to speak with the estate agent who is marketing the property, see my top 8 questions to ask estate agents. The answers to these questions and the cost of any repairs and refurbishments (see using professionals below) will put you in a better position to negotiate the price.
If you’re looking to buy an apartment or any type of resale property on a complex with shared facilities, such as a swimming pool, you’ll need to pay communal fees towards the upkeep, repair, insurance and management of what is known as the ‘jointly-owned-building’. (The jointly-owned building includes everything within the boundary walls of the development – including the individual dwellings.)
In its present form, the jointly-owned building law is effectively unworkable and is in dire need of fundamental change. All too often problems arise as owners refuse to pay their communal fees, which means that those who do pay have to cover the shortfall. This causes resentment and often leads to a domino effect as more owners refuse to pay and the development falls into disrepair and decay. Although the building’s Management Committee can sue the non-payers to recover what they owe plus legal and court fees: (a) it’s expensive (b) the case can take years to be heard (c) even if the case is won, enforcing the court judgement can prove ‘difficult’. (d) if the debtor can prove they’re in financial difficulties, the court may rule that the they repay the money owed over a number of years.
You should speak with the buildings management committee and inspect the accounts to ensure everything is in order.
(The problem of non-payers has been exacerbated by COVID-19 pandemic, which has reduced the ability to pay for many who have lost their jobs and/or are living on a reduced income.)
I always advise those looking to buy a resale property to have it checked out professionally before they make an offer. In the previous article I listed many of the aspects of the property that should be inspected by a suitably qualified professional. The list of RICS surveyors in Cyprus is a good starting point.
Title Deeds and other documents
Last, but no means least, is to check the documents associated with the resale property. These include its Title Deed, approved architectural plans, building and planning permits. If the Title Deed has not been issued, you should find out (a) what’s causing the delay and whether the local planning authority has issued a ‘certificate of approval’ confirming the property’s been built according to the permits and plans authorised for its construction.
You need to check that the approved architectural plans correspond to what’s actually been built. Some people add swimming pools, garages and other fixed structures or have extended the property without authorisation. Unauthorised changes to will cause problems if you wish to make changes to the property yourself and/or wish to sell the property at a later date.
Resale property inspection checklist
Finally, I have drawn up a 3-page property inspection checklist to record details of each resale property you view. I hope you find it useful.