Property Purchase Procedure
The dynamic Cyprus property market is a promising place for investment in residential and commercial properties. How to buy property in Cyprus? Where to begin?
Step 1 – Select
Like in any other case, the purchase procedure begins with choosing, namely choosing suitable objects. To narrow the search among a huge number of different proposals, you should determine the basic parameters:
- budget corridor for a future purchase – the limits of the price you are ready to work within;
- location – priority cities and location areas of real estate (in descending order, if there are several such areas);
- landmarks: an active urban center, a quiet outskirt, a suburb (within minutes from the city center), a completely isolated hideaway in the countryside;
- if sea or mountain view matters;
- type of property: apartments (with or without garden), villa, penthouse, townhouse, duplex, studio, bungalow, commercial property;
- all information related to the suggested project plan of the object – the number of rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms, the desired area: the total and of individual rooms, etc.;
- availability and proximity of the necessary infrastructure: shops, cafes, restaurants, schools, kindergartens, major roads, airports;
- stage: new building, secondary market, design state.
Step 2 – Familiarization Tour
To examine all possible purchase options in greater detail, you can go on a familiarization tour. You need to approve the preliminary visit program and agree on other key points (booking a hotel or contracting a short-term lease of a place for temporary residence, settling issues regarding the documentation necessary for the trip).
Citizens of Russia can enter Cyprus with e-visa. Conditions for obtaining it:
- A one-time e-visa is issued for 90 days, so you can visit the country once in 6 months.
- Requirements for international passport: valid for more than 6 months, a separate international passport for a child.
- For Russians, you can fill in the application form via the link: http://www.mfa.gov.cy/mfa/Embassies/embassy_moscow.nsf; fill in, send by email.
- You must print e-visa for presentation at the airport.
The advantages of obtaining a visa of this type:
- free of charge;
- terms from 1 to 3 working days to e-mail, without obligatory visit to the consulate;
- no need to collect information, book accommodation, tickets, take photos;
- you can visit Cyprus, using a Schengen visa, but there is a certain condition – citizens of Russia must already visit at least one country with this visa. Citizens of other countries have to obtain a guest or tourist visa.
Upon arrival we discuss real estate requirements, clarify the details and exchange the views in the process of communication.
Next, the clients are shown those properties that were discussed in the previous stages or that particular house or apartment, which they had long dreamed of and had already chosen before coming to Cyprus. In this case you can limit the inspection to this property only.
In any case, when the client finally chooses one or another object, we proceed to processing the transaction.
Step 3 – Making a Preliminary Contract
After the final choice has been made, a preliminary contract is concluded that allows the buyer to reserve the selected option (usually for a period of up to 1-1.5 months), and to make a reservation deposit, which is 2-5% of the value of the object. At this stage, the clean title of the transaction is also checked and its final terms are agreed.
A licensed lawyer can be entrusted with the verification of documents, the property itself, the preparation and negotiation of the contract.
Step 4 – Opening an Account in a Cyprus Bank
You will need it to make payment to the seller of the object.
Step 5 – Drawing Up a Sales Contract
After the preparatory stage is completed, you can proceed to the final stage of the transaction. When signing the sales contract, after paying the stamp duty, paying half of the cost of housing, the lawyer must submit an application to the Council of Ministers of Cyprus and obtain permission. As a rule, this process is a simple formality, if this is the first property bought in Cyprus and your name does not appear on Interpol lists due to problems with the law.
Step 6 – Registration of Documents
The purchase must be registered in the district land department. The lawyer collects and submits the package of documents. After registration, information about the purchased property is entered in the land registry. This serves as a proof of ownership before obtaining the title of owner.
Step 7 – Completion of Settlement
After obtaining approval for a VAT exemption when purchasing an object of a primary real estate market, payment can be made directly to the seller’s account. At this stage, the client, who has taken possession of the property, receives the keys from his own finished real estate object. If the object has not yet been delivered, it is recommended to use the ESCROW system, which is offered by most lawyers in Cyprus. In this case, the payment amount will be transferred to the seller gradually, as construction progresses.
Step 8 – Obtaining the Title of the Owner
If the object is purchased in the secondary market, it can be done immediately. Sellers of new and under-construction real estate usually do not have titles, so the buyer will need to wait. At this time, the right to property will be confirmed by the sales contract registered in the land department. An application for a title on behalf of a client is filed by a lawyer.
Step 9 – Establishing a New Life
After paying the tax on the transfer of ownership, the purchase procedure is completed, and the next stage begins – the settlement stage. On this step, the client can also count on the experience and knowledge of our company.
OWNER’S STATUS IN CYPRUS
There are 3 statuses of the property owner In Cyprus:
After signing the contract for the sale of real estate and payment of at least 30% of its value, the contract is deposited with a government agency – the Land District Office. As a result, the buyer becomes the Owner of the property.
The essence of the deposit agreement is that the state registrar draws up and fixes the current status of the property. From this point on, only a buyer can get a loan from a bank on the security of this property, and the seller cannot do it anymore, since the first right of claim now belongs to the buyer.
A small Stamp Duty is paid at the same time.
Actual Property Owner
After full payment for the property and signing of the Transfer and Acceptance Act, the buyer receives the keys to the property and becomes the actual owner, who physically owns this property and can live in it.
Registered Property Owner
After the state issues a Title Deed for the purchased property and transfers it to the buyer’s name, you become the registered owner of the property.
Cyprus Title Deed provides unconditional ownership of real estate. No one can ever challenge it under any circumstances.
In order for the Title Deed to be transferred to the name of the buyer, the buyer must obtain authorization to purchase from the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus. In general, this authorization is just a formality. The buyer can be refused only if he is found in Interpol’s lists or if he doesn’t observe the restrictions when buying property. Usually, an application for a permit from the Council of Ministers is filed immediately after the conclusion and deposit of the sales contract.