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Immovable Property Regulations in Cyprus

Cyprus is an attractive location for immovable property investments for many reasons.  On the one hand, the considerable law taxation schemes, the reliable legal framework and the straightforward bureaucratic procedures motivate business people to invest in immovable property in the Republic of Cyprus. On the other hand, the warm climate and the quality of life attract individuals, pensioners and families looking for a holiday house or a new working environment, to buy immovable property on the island.

In addition, Cyprus has a well-developed legal system which regulates the purchase of immovable property and it is harmonised with the European legislation. All the matters related to immovable property are regulated through a set of legislations, often amended based on social and economic conditions.

The Immovable Property Law, Cap.224 regulates all the matters related to tenure, registration and valuation of immovable property following the principles of the Cyprus Land Registry, in which immovable property is defined, recognised and valued.

Our legal team will point out the main aspects that you should take into consideration in case you are planning to buy or sell immovable property in Cyprus. The Cyprus Constitution safeguards the protection of ownership for everybody, regardless of nationality. That is to say, Cypriots and foreigners have equal rights related to ownership of their property without any interference from the government or any other individual.

ACQUISITION OF IMMOVABLE PROPERTY IN CYPRUS
As it has been mentioned, Cypriot and non-Cypriot citizens, permanent residents of the Republic of Cyprus have the right to acquire any property without restrictions. The residential status is accredited by district offices. An individual is considered as a permanent resident of the Republic of Cyprus if he or she resides on the island for at least 185 days per year. In this point, it should be highlighted that foreigners and EU citizens who are not permanent residents of the Republic of Cyprus and they would like to acquire immovable property in the Republic of Cyprus, they are obliged to follow some specific formalities. However, foreign purchasers should take into account some restrictions as well.

In this point, it should be clarified that non-Cypriot citizens living or working on the island for many years may acquire a second house in the Republic of Cyprus. Once, foreign buyers obtained the necessary permission and the property has been registered in the name of the buyer, there are no further restrictions. Therefore, the foreign buyer is the owner of the immovable property located in the Republic  and he or she may sell or dispose it as he or she wishes. Michael Chambers would like to emphasise that the heirs of the foreign owner are not obliged to get a permit from the Council of Ministers in order to proceed with the transfer of property on to their name.

SALE OF IMMOVABLE PROPERTY IN CYPRUS:
The Sale of Immovable Property (Specific Performance) Law of 2011, (N. 81(I)/2011), provides the necessary protection to buyers regarding the purchase of immovable property in Cyprus. Specifically, the provisions of this particular legislation impede the developer from transferring the property elsewhere or charging it for the time period that the contract is valid and legally effective. In case the vendor does not transfer the property to the buyer then the buyer may apply to the Court.

Regarding title deeds and the issue emerged due to developers’ failure to provide buyers with title deeds, Michael Chambers explains how the amendment of the ‘hidden mortgage’ law may resolve this particular issue in his recent article Title Deeds: Amendment of Transfers and Mortgaging Property Law.

TRANSFER FEES:
The following table shows fees for the transfer of immovable property:

VALUE OF THE IMMOVABLE PROPERTY IN EURO FEE (%)
Less than 85.430 Euro 3%
85.431-170.860 5%
More than 170.861 8%

Regarding immovable property taxation, read the article CYPRUS: Capital Gains and Immovable Property Taxation or contact one of our Cyprus lawyers.

OUR SERVICES:
The legal team of Michael Chambers & Co. LLC may provide you with an adequate legal and administrative support on all the matters related to immovable property and real estate. Apart from, sale, purchase, registration and transfer of immovable property, our lawyers may guide you on all the matters related to immovable property taxation and real estate management. If you wish to speak to one of our lawyers, then please contact us: info@chambers.law