Buying process

Cyprus – process of purchase

Strategic location of Cyprus at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa together with the fact that Cyprus is a member of EU, its safe and protective legal system, infrastructure, banking and accounting services provided, the continuing development of island, the extensive use of English language, the excelent climate, hospitality and friendliness of the locals are some of the reasons that make Cyprus an ideal place for both business, investments and relax.

Acquirement of Property

Legal system in Cyprus is generally based on UK legislation. However, in the field of immovable property Cyprus legislation and the legal system is different to the one applied in the UK. The protection of ownership is safeguarded by the provisions of the Constitution, the ultimate Law of Cyprus which established the equality of all persons and respects human rights.

• The first step is the signature of the contract for property reservation. This step will ensure that the real estate will be withdrawn from the market for a certain period, usually one month. During the period of reservation, an authorized lawyer examines the required information, whether the seller is registered at Land Registry as the owner of the real estate in order  the buyer could acquire a legal title without the difficulties. In  Cyprus  a reservation fee is mostly 1% of the price of real estate. Reservation deposit is a part of the purchase contract, it is non-refundable, but it can be returned under the condition where a review at Land Registry will not be successful (that means e.g. if the lawyer discovers that the seller is not the owner of the property or property cannot be a subject to the transfer of ownership rights to the buyer for other reasons).The findings before signing the purchase contract /prior to the transfer of real estate/.

• The next step is investigation of Planning department which detects whether there is a planning permission that the developer can lawfully built and transfer the real estate to beneficiaries and company analysis – detailed analysis of the company shows that the developer has the authority to sign contracts on transfer of real estate and the company is not in liquidation.

• Signing the contract on the transfer of real estate – after the review procedure was successful and all findings, the next step is the signing of the Contract on transfer of real estate by both parties /seller and buyer/. After signing the contract the buyer has 6 weeks to pay the first instalment to the seller. If the buyer does not do it in specified period, contract on transfer is annulled and is void.

• After transferring the property to the buyer comes to the Possession of real estate. At this stage, the buyer pays provisional costs on management of the property and public charges and acquires all his rights in the country – residence, location, tax status, exemption from customs duty, domicile.

• When the property is finished and really exists the following step is the transfer of acquired legal title, then the both parties proceed to a transfer of the acquiring legal title /document establishing the acquisition of property ) and pay the outstanding balance. If  the property is new, it takes about three years, when Land Registry issues the acquiring legal title to the new owner. In this case the outstanding balance is paid buyer when transferring the property /acquisition seisin/. However, legal protection of the owner will start from the moment when the valid contract is signed, stamped and registered at Land Registry.
Tax and real estate transfer fees are paid in one single payment to Land Registry and are necessary for the purpose of transferring ownership to the buyer. For the payment of the tax is responsible a transferor.