Lordos Properties
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Issues Regarding Property Purchase

1. Are the foreigners allowed to buy one property per person or per family?

 According to the Acquisition of Real Estate Law in Cyprus:

  • No restrictions are imposed on EU nationals and EU registered companies for the acquisition of real estate linked to primary residence and Foreign Direct Investment, or the aquisition of real estate by EU real estate agents and land developers.
  • The acquisition of residence for secondary use is prohibited without prior authorization by the Council of Ministers to EU nationals not permanently residing in Cyprus and EU registered companies not having an office in Cyprus, central administration or principal place of business in Cyprus.
  • As regards non EU nationals, legal entities registered in non EU countries, and legal entities registered in Cyprus with share capital controlled by non EU nationals, real estate may be aquired subject to the aproval of the Council of Ministers. In case the real estate concerned exceeds 2 donums, approval may be granted only for the purposes of primary or secondary residence not exceeding an area of 3 donums, professional or commercial premises, and industrial sectors if deemed beneficial for the Cypriot economy.


This restriction applies per individual or per company, subject to the decision of the Council of Ministers to issue the permit.

The restrictions applied for EU citizens not residing in Cyprus will cease after 2009 and all citizens of the EU will have the same rights in acquiring property as Cypriot citizens, regardless of their residential status.


2. What if a foreigner already ownes a property in Cyprus and wants to buy another one? As far as we know, he should purchase a company here and register the property on this company's name. What is the procedure in connection with this?

As to an EU or non-EU citizen's right to own property please see paragraph C1 above. As to the registration of the company and the acquisition of property in the name of a company, please see paragraph A3 above.


3. What is the procedure of getting title deeds? If the Contract of Sale is not submitted to the Land registry from the very beginning, does it have any influence on getting title deeds and wish to sell my Cyprus property?

(a) The registered owner of the property, after all terms and conditions of the contract of sale have been fulfilled, has the obligation of presenting himself at the District Land Registry in order to transfer the title deeds from his name to the name of the purchaser.

This obligation can be executed if seperate title deeds of the property have been issued by the Land Registry office and the property is free from any encumbrances. This issue is very delicate and each case may be different and indipendent legal advice may be necessary.

On completion of the formalities of the transfer, and payment of all the taxes related to the property the title deeds are issued either on the same day or shortly, whithin two or three days.


(b) By depositing the contract of sale at the Land Registry within two months the purchaser is protected and the owner cannot transfer the property to anyone other than the purchaser and cannot alter the contract without the purchaser's consent.

By filling the contract of sale the purchaser can claim specific performance of the contract under the Specific Performance Law, obliging the owner to transfer the property (issue title deeds) onto the purchaser's name, in the case that the owner fails to do this.


4. What happens if I don't have title deeds and wish to sell my Cyprus property?

A purchaser, who has a valid contract of sale of the property, may sell the property but can only sell with the consent of the original owner in whose name the property is registered, and the registered owner must also consent to the signing of the new contract of sale.


5. What is the process of purchasing commercial property (shop, office etc), if it is different from the purchasing a house?

As regards the process of purchasing commercial property please see paragraph A4 above.


6. According to the law, a foreigner is not allowed to let out his property in order to get income, but many do it in spite of the law and get away with it. What legal explanation can we present to our client in connection with this? How can we assure them that it is safe and no legal actions will be taken against them if they will be letting out their property?

Any legal owner of immovable property in Cyprus can let out their property.

If the owner is a tax resident of Cyprus then the income received will be subject to income tax and special defence contribution.

If the owner is not a tax resident of Cyprus then the income received will be subject only to income tax.

(please see paragraph A5 above regarding the taxation of the income from the property)


7. Calculations of Immovable Property Tax. When is it due?

For the calculations of annual immovable property tax please see paragraph A2 above.


8. If the property is registered only on the name of one spouse, can another one claim his/her share? (for example, in case of death) What is the procedure of transferring the inheritance rights of the property on his/her spouse or children? (in case of death, for example) Is it done automatically or these should be a will from the deceased stating what should be done with this property? What is the procedure for making a will? Does it have to be done and certified in Cyprus or any other country?

Property can be claimed by a surviving joint owner through the Court. An administrator must be appointed as the share of the immovable property owned by the deceased does not pass automatically to the surviving joint owner or spouse, it must be administrated and passed in accordance with the terms of the will ot the local intestacy provisions.

Inheritance rights in Cyprus can be regulated either by law or by will, or by both, so a will is not always essential.

If the deceased did not have Cyprus as his country of domicile at the time of his/her death then the laws of inheritance of his/her country of domicile apply, and his/her will also.

If the deceased's domicile at the time of his/her death was Cyprus then his/her property may be distributed by will to any person, all or any portion that is available for inheritance. The will must be drafted, signed before two witnesses and executed in accordance with the relevant laws of Cyprus in order to be valid (local legal advice should be sought on the drafting of a valid will).

For a detailed analysis of the distribution rights for any particular family please seek legal advice.


9. What are a lawyer's fees in connection with property purchase?

Lawyer's fees in connection with property purchase vary depending on the law firm but the Lawyer's Fees Regulations of 2000-2006 give the minimum fee chargeable for the drafting of contracts of sale and are as follows:

  • For contracts between the ammounts of CYP 20,001 and CYP 50,000 the following ammount:    248 + [(X-20000)x6/1000]
  • For contracts between the ammounts of CYP 50,001 and CYP 100,000 the following ammount:    410 + [(X-50000)x5/1000]
  • For contracts over the ammount of CYP 100,000 the following ammount:                                      613 + [(X-100000)x3/1000]

For other related services, the lawyer's fees depend on the complication of the particular case and the expirience of the lawyer giving the advice.


10. Where can we get from a Code of Laws on Immovable property in Cyprus in English (possibly, Russian)?

For a translation of the immovable property laws of Cyprus in Russian, please seek legal advice as there is no such official translation. For a translation of the immovable property laws in Cyprus in English, some of the laws have been translated by the official authorities in Cyprus and can be obtained from the Cyprus Goverment Printing Office.



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