Over the past few years, there has been a drastic development of commercial and residential properties in Cyprus. Our firm, PropertyLink, prides itself on being one of Cyprus’s leading real estate companies and property developers.
Through our legal partners and extensive knowledge, we have guided safely our clients over the past years to secure and enjoy their investment without any headaches. Understanding our clients needs and objectives we will recommend always the best possible way and support them throughout the purchasing process, by identifying for each individual case and unique situation and advise them accordingly.
PropertyLink has dealt with several property matters and has represented clients in private and public tenders and contracts. Being a Licensed and Registered Estate Agency we are obliged to advise people proper and conduct all our dealings according to the regulations. Our legal partners, have been chosen based on their experience and proven knowledge, their ethics, service cost and easy approach and communication.
Types of Immovable Property Ownership
While buying property in Cyprus, you are more likely to come across with various property ownership statuses.
Immovable Property Owner
Once a buyer has signed a purchasing agreement and has paid the 30 % of the amount of the selling price, the contract is Taxed with a small Stamp Duty payment and is deposited at the Land District Office. The purchased property is automatically secured under his/her name while the agreement itself indicates he/she has become already the property owner.
In other words, the contract deposition determines the status of the ownership of that specific property. This agreement can also serve as a bank guarantee to obtain financing and mortgage.
Beneficial Immovable Property Owner
After the full amount of the property is paid off and a possession/key of the property is taken by the buyer – the purchaser becomes the beneficial owner.
Registered Immovable Property Owner
Buyer is becoming a registered immovable property owner after the issuance of the separate Title Deed by the government on his name. Cyprus Title Deeds ensure your ownership and right to the immovable property, and no one can interfere under any circumstances.
Receiving or transferring a property Title Deed on your name, a permit from the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus is required. This permit is a simple formality, and your application can only be approved if your name has a clean record. Generally, this application for a permit from the Council of Ministers is submitted only after you have signed and deposited a property sales agreement.
Process For Obtaining Title Deed
When you buy a new immovable property there is not yet a Title Deed. To obtain it, is usually a lengthy bureaucratic process that lasts between 2 to 3 years after the property delivery and possession. It is a long process that goes through validation of governmental inspections in order to make sure that final Title Deed guarantees your ownership rights.
This process is long also, either because the developer might circulate important documents at a lower speed but also is due to the amount of the property sales and applications that are currently processed. Whichever the reason is, the Cyprus government is taking various actions in order to reduce this lengthy waiting period. Additionally, the government has made amendments to the legislation to ensure that the rights of diligent property buyers without Title Deeds are in the mean-time securely protected.
Permit to Acquire property in Cyprus by foreigners
EU citizens are entitled to acquire immovable property in Cyprus without any restrictions. Non-EU citizens can purchase immovable property, nevertheless, permission must be sought from the Council of Ministers by written application, which must be submitted by the non-EU citizen purchaser after the contract of sale is signed. Permission is given more or less as a matter of course to all bona fide purchasers.
The authority of the Council of Ministers to grant permits under the Immovable Property Acquisition (Aliens) Law Cap.109, was vested to the District Officers to whom the relevant applications are submitted.
“Foreigner” is defined as a non-Cypriot or as any person not being a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus or a foreign Company or a trust in favor of a foreign person.
A ‘foreigner’ can purchase immovable property in Cyprus with some limitations as below:
Purchase of one Apartment, or one House, or a Building Plot / Land up to 4014 sqm.
- A survey plans.
- Copy of the Title deed and Land Registry Plans accompanying the Title Deed of the property to be acquired.
- Copy of the building permit.
- A stamped copy of the purchase agreement.
- Plans of the house/apartment.
- The total area in sqms of the property to be acquired.
- Evidence of the financial status of the applicant.
- Copy of the passport of the applicant and the passport of the husband/wife.
- Copy of the certificate of marriage of the applicant which must be officially translated into Greek or English.
- Copy of the residence or work permit in Cyprus.
- The appropriate application forms completed.
Contract of Sale
A property sale contract is a very important document and is drafted during the property purchase process in Cyprus. It is a legally binding document containing the terms and conditions that are agreed upon between the seller and the buyer. It will list all the relevant information related to the property, such as names and addresses, the conditions of sale, delivery period and the selling price.
An assignment of purchase and sale agreement is a contract that defines the parties and terms of a real estate purchase. This agreement allows the initial purchaser of a property to transfer or assign his rights to a third party. This agreement allows the first purchaser to take their rights and obligations under a purchase agreement and reassign them to a third party or a new buyer who will take on those responsibilities. Some assignment contracts may have certain additional clauses under specific circumstances always laid out in the agreement.
No matter what option you opt for purchasing property in Cyprus, it is crucial to choose the right lawyer and get your contract ready. Your selected lawyer will conduct a due diligence on the property, prepare, negotiate and supervise the agreements terms with other entity while making sure all applicable laws are engaged. Will protect all your rights are fully at the beginning, and in the future, making sure that your property investment will be free from any liabilities, restrictions and problems.
As Independent Estate Agent we only work with few experienced, trustworthy and independent legal advisors. Below you can find some services you can expect to have from a lawyer during your property selection venture in Cyprus.
- Drafting a contract of sale for a property that complies with legal regulations in the Republic of Cyprus.
- Verifying the availability of necessary permits for construction.
- Confirming the seller’s ownership rights.
- Securing a waiver for the purchased property from a developer’s creditor.
- Acquiring a license from the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus for property acquisition.
- Submitting the contract of sale and paying stamp duty.
- Qualifying for a reduced VAT rate.
- Resolving immigration-related issues
Cyprus VAT Regulation – Reduced Rate 5%
The VAT (Value Added Tax) rate in Cyprus is 19%, and is usually charged and added, when purchasing a real estate property in Cyprus. This VAT rate however could be reduced; depending on the status of the property itself; and/or whether is a new/under construction or a resale home. Finally, if the purchased property has a planning permit that was issued before May 1st, 2004, the VAT rate is zero (0). Please, have in mind that buying a resale or older property is not always the most advantageous decision for a buyer from a financial point of view since this will depend on each individual’s buyer objectives and budget.
The Republic of Cyprus with the Law No. 73(1)/2012 and the revised Law No. 119(I)/2016, has modified the regulation and tax code to attract more buyers and help local/foreign people to invest.
As from the 1st of October 2011, a reduced rate of 5% can be imposed on purchasing or construction of a dwelling in Cyprus, as long as the dwelling is used as the principal and permanent residence in the Republic by the beneficiary. The reduced VAT rate of 5% applies on the first 200 square meters of the buildable area of the dwelling. In cases of large families (minimum of four children) the total area of the dwelling is enhanced by 15 square meters per each additional child (over three children). On the approval of the relevant application submitted to the Tax Department an appropriate certificate is issued.
Beneficiaries are individuals who:
a) Have completed their 18th year of age on the date of applying for the reduced rate;
b) Acquire the property for use as their principal and permanent place of residence in Cyprus;
a) The application for a planning permit (or a building permit where no planning permission is required) must be submitted to the competent authority after 01/05/2004.
b) The application must be submitted before the applicants have moved in the dwelling.
c) If the beneficiary has received a grant under the Special Grant (Purchase or building of a Home) Law, he or she is not entitled to apply for a reduced VAT rate before the expiration of 10 years from the time he/she received the sponsorship, unless he/she attaches a certificate from the Grant Agency that he/she has reimbursed the grant or part there of it, accordingly.
a) Application (Greek Language)
b) A copy of civil identity card /passport for foreigners
c) A copy of a marriage certificate.
d) A copy of a spouse’s identity card / passport for foreigners.
e) Contractor’s annual license for the construction period.
f) A copy of planning permit (if no, building permit).
g) A copy of the application for the acquisition of a planning/building permit.
h) Stamped Sale Contract by the Stamp Duty Tax Commissioner.
i) Contractor’s offer
j) Area plot.
k) Evidence proving the purchase/constructing of a dwelling.
l) Copy of land title dead.
m) Copy of the application for a building permit. (VAT number of the consultants involved must be listed)
n) Copy of building permit.
o) Copy of the MU1 registration in the case of European citizens or MU2 residence permit in the case of non-European Citizens.
Deadline for submitting the application
If the property is under construction (off-plan) the reduced VAT rate application can be submitted at any time during the construction of the dwelling. In cases of purchasing new-build properties the application must be submitted before the first occupation of the dwelling by the buyer.
It is essential to underline that in cases where the reduced VAT rate is granted, the residential property must be used as the applicant’s principal and permanent residence in the Republic for a period of 10 years.
If the beneficiary person ceases to use the dwelling as a place of residence earlier than 10 years he shall, within 30 days from the date he ceases to use it as a place of residence, notify the Commissioner and pay the difference between the amount of tax resulting from the application of the reduced rate (5%) and the standard rate as applicable on the date of supply or construction of the dwelling (now 19%), which accounts for the period he has not used the dwelling for the purposes of residency, except in case of death of the beneficiary person or in case of a transfer by the person entitled to any adult child, as long as the child is not a beneficiary person at the time of the transfer.