LEGAL INFORMATION

The acquisition of immovable property in Cyprus

 

A national of an EU member country resident in Cyprus is permitted to own as much ‘immovable property’ (a term that includes both land and property) as they wish. You need to have applied (in person) for a residency permit using one of the MEU Forms appropriate to your circumstances. These may be obtained online, by clicking on the link above, and from the Civil Registry and Migration Department of the Ministry of Interior; the 'Aliens Department'. Having concluded a successful interview with the officers at the Department, you will be issued with a 'Yellow Slip'.

 

A national of an European Union member country not resident in Cyprus may own as much land as they wish. However, if you wish to buy any other sort of ’immovable property’ your ownership is restricted to one house or one apartment for which approval from the ‘Council of Ministers’ is needed.

 

A national of a non-European Union country must seek the approval of the Council of Ministers before they can own any type of immovable property. Furthermore, unless there are exceptional circumstances, your ownership will be limited to:

  1. An apartment.

  2. A house.

  3. A building plot or land up to approximately three donums (4,014 sq.m.).

 

On its accession to the EU, Cyprus revised many of its laws that placed restrictions on property investment by citizens of other EU member states. But to protect its sensitive property market, it agreed a five-year transitional period with the European Union preventing EU citizens who are not permanent residents of the island from owning secondary residences.

 

(In exceptional circumstances, the Council of Ministers will grant permission to own more than one building. For example, if you're property developer and wish to take over a hotel).

 

Obtaining Council of Ministers approval

 

To get Council of Ministers approval to own property in Cyprus your lawyer will complete an application form and submit it, together with information about yourself and details of the property you want to buy, to the local District Office.

 

The District Officer makes further enquiries and prepares a report that he submits to the Council of Ministers for their consideration. In the meantime, any contract you have signed and deposited at the Land Registry forSpecific Performance to purchase a property remains valid and you may take possession of the property while your case is being considered.

 

The Council of Ministers advises the District Officer of its decision. In turn, the District Officer sends you a letter of approval (a permit) or refusal.

 

It is unusual for the Council of Ministers to refuse permission to bona fide EU citizens and other foreign nationals.

 

When applying to the Council of Ministers, the following documents & information must be submitted:

 

  1. Survey plan

  2. Copy of the title of ownership

  3. Copy of the building permit for the erection of the house/block of flats or for the residential development of estates. If separate titles of ownership have been issued for the flats of the block or if the house is mentioned on the title of ownership, applicants need not submit a copy of the building permit. For plots under division, applicants must submit a copy of the division permit.

  4. Copy of the deed of sale.

  5. Sectional view of the building or the flat. Very old houses mentioned on the title of ownership are exempted. A division plan must be submitted in the case of division of plots. In areas of residential development, the plan must be submitted showing the position of the house on the entire holding.

  6. Area in square metres of the plot which is to be acquired.

  7. Documents proving the financial situation of the applicants.

  8. Copies of the pages of the applicants’ passports and those of their spouses (the pages containing the data and the photo of the holders and stamps of arrival to and departure from Cyprus).

  9. Certificate of marriage of the applicants or relevant attestation of their Embassy and in cases where the spouses do not have the same surname and when the name of the husband is not written on the wife’s passport.

  10. Copy of residence permit and work permit of the applicants in Cyprus.

  11. Application COMM 145, completed clearly and in full.

  12. If the applicant is a company or a shareholder in an offshore company, it is necessary to submit the certificates of registration, of shareholders and of the registered offices of the Company.

  13. If the applicant is a Company, a copy of the company’s Articles of Association must be submitted and written information must be furnished on the company’s activities in Cyprus and the staff it employs, both Cypriots and foreigners with the social insurance numbers.

 

Anticipated changes to the Cyprus property ownership laws

 

It is widely anticipated that the Cyprus laws concerning property ownership applicable to non-resident EU citizens will be relaxed by the time Cyprus' five year European Union transitional period ends in 2009.

 

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