Dimitris Michail & Associates LLC deals with all matters relating to freehold and leasehold property, including transactions and disputes involving commercial and residential property. Our law office advises both individual and corporate clients.
Areas of work include:
- Sale & lease agreements
- Acquisition of property by foreigners
- Property management for non-residents
- Wills, probate and estate administration
The detailed legislation that governs the acquisition of immovable property in Cyprus, makes it imperative to receive professional legal advice before entering into an agreement.
In brief, when the property (i.e. new house) does not have title deeds, the transaction related to the acquisition of property requires the approval and signing of a contract of sale, which shall be subsequently registered at the District Land Registry for the purpose of safeguarding the purchaser’s interest to the certain piece of immovable property. A separate title deed shall be issued within certain time limit after the completion and delivery of the construction works, as stipulated in the contract of sale. Title deeds are made available through the District Land Registry and upon application by the construction developer.
Permission for third country nationals:
In almost all countries it is common for the state to regulate and control the acquisition and ownership of immovable property by third country nationals. Under Cypriot law, third country nationals are regarded as the non Cypriot passport holders, the citizens of states who are not members of the EU, companies controlled by aliens/ third country nationals, foreign non EU companies and trusts in which any third country national is a beneficiary. If a third country national, however, wishes to purchase property in Cyprus then special permission must be obtained by the Council of Ministers.
Although the proceedings for the obtaining of the permission might need a considerable amount of time to be fulfilled, purchasers are entitled to occupy their properties until then.
In addition to that, any contract for the purchase or lease of property is valid even if the authority rejects the foreigner’s request for a permit. As such, when purchasing a property it is advisable for the relevant contract to include provisions for such an event so as to secure a refund of any money paid or any other remedy. However, nowadays it is very rare for the authorities to reject such an application.
The application to the relevant authority requires information about the personal details and financial standing of the applicant and particulars of the property and its present owner. Also it must be accompanied by a number of legal documents.
Generally acquisition of real estate property includes:
- Transfer of title deed;
- Long lease for periods of more than 33 years;
- The acquisition of shares in a company that owns immovable property, if such an acquisition results in the company becoming controlled by foreigners;
- The establishment of a trust or any type of set-up which is connected with the ownership of the real estate, for the benefit of a foreigner, including tax benefits;
The transfer fees are calculated according to the property market’s value:
Market value (EURO)
|1. Up to EUR 85.430||3%|
|2. From EUR 85.431 to EUR 170.860||5%|
|3. Over EUR 170.861||8%|
When the property has title deeds the procedure for acquisition it is more simple and straight forward.