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Buying property in Cyprus

Cyprus is considered one of the safest European countries to invest in since its market is growing at a stable rate and its prices are competitive. If every perspective purchaser bears in mind the following points then a safe and prosperous investment will be carried out.

An official search must be conducted at the Lands Registry which will provide the purchaser with information found on the title deed such as charges, mortgages e.t.c. If the title deed is clear of any such encumbrances then the purchaser can proceed with the purchase. A contract of sale must be drafted and signed by both parties (the vendor and the purchaser). This contract must provide for the transfer of ownership of the property to the purchaser.

To ensure added protection to the rights of purchasers, the government has introduced a new law replacing the Sale of Land (Specific Performance Law) Cap. 232, entitled: ‘The Sale of Immovable Property (Specific Performance)’ Law of 2011 (Law 81(I)/2011). This law basically prevents a purchaser from being burdened and exposed by the mortgage or bad debt of the vendor who sold him the property in question. The Chairman of the House Legal Affairs Committee, Ionas Nicolaou, quoted on this: “The new law will allow the purchaser to have Title Deeds, independent of whether the vendor owes money on that property.”

The main provisions of the above law include:

● “the contract of sale must be registered with the Lands Registry within six months from the date of signing of the contract.”

● “where the contract has not been registered within the specified time or in the case where it was not made in writing the purchaser has still the right to ask for a Court order of Specific Performance.”

● “any term in the contract which prevents the contract to be filed with the Lands Registry will be void ab intio (from the beginning).”

● “where the immovable property which is the subject of the sale comprises a part of the immovable property which is registered in the name of the purchaser, the created encumbrance burdens the whole immovable property.”

● “the contract of sale must be registered with the Lands Registry before the property is burdened with any encumbrance such as a mortgage.”

Lastly, it should be noted, that each case or each contract may raise different points of law and as such it is highly recommended that a lawyer be appointed by the purchaser to guide the purchaser accordingly.
Michael Chambers & Co. LLC