Acquisition of Real Estate in Cyprus

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The geographical location of Cyprus between Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa together with the well-established legal, banking and accounting infrastructures urge local and foreign business people to invest in immovable property.  A considerable advantage of the Cyprus legal system is the protection of ownership without discriminations. That is to say, according to Cyprus Law, Cypriot citizens and foreigners may enjoy all rights associated with ownership of their property without any intervention from the State or individuals. Furthermore, Cyprus is an EU member-state since 2004 and adopted the euro in 2008. As a result, the acquisition of immovable property in Cyprus became easier.

Cypriots and EU citizens:
According to the Cyprus Law, Cypriots and EU citizens Cyprus may acquire any property without restrictions.

Non-EU citizens:
For non-EU citizens there are restrictions on type and size of real estate they are allowed to buy. Precisely, non-EU citizens may purchase a house/a flat/ a building plot/land up to 4.014m2. It should be underlined that non-EU citizens may also buy a shop under the condition that the shop will be used only for business purposes. Additionally, it should be highlighted that Cyprus Companies whose shareholders are non-EU citizens may obtain business offices and residence for their foreign employees given that they maintain a fully-fledged office.

According to the provisions of the Acquisition of Immovable Property (Aliens) Law (Cap.109), non-EU citizens wishing to buy immovable property in Cyprus must submit an Application to the District Office of the District where the property is located.

The Applicant should submit together with the Application the following documents/details:

  • Form Comm 145 completed and signed; 
  • Contract of sale; 
  • Financial standing (i.e. a bank statement); 
  • Particulars of the property  and of the current owner; 
  • The terms of payment and the way of acquisition; 
  • A copy of the Applicant’s and the spouse’s passport. In case the spouse does not have the same surname as the Applicant then a marriage certificate needs to be submitted;
  • Copies of the governmental survey plans;

 The letter of approval/refusal by the District Office may take approximately up to six months. Nevertheless, the Applicant may in the meantime take procession of the immovable property he/she bought.

Transfer of Ownership:
The transfer of ownership of real estate property is conducted at the Department of Lands and Surveys. The following documents need to be submitted:

  • Application Form N207; 
  • The registration deed of the real estate property; 
  • Copy of the District Office approval;
  • Proofs that all property taxes have been paid;

Fees and Charges:
When a buyer registers the immovable property under his/her name at the District Land Office, he/she will have to pay the corresponding transfer fee which is calculated based on property’s market value at the time of the signing of the contracts. For more information, see Table 1.

Property’s Value in Euros

Transfer Fee (%)

Less than €85.430, 10

3

 €85.430,10- €170.860,14

5

More than €170.860,14

8

 

 

 

Table 1

 

Immovable Property Tax:
According to Section 3 of Law 24/1980 the owner of a property is obliged to pay an annual immovable property tax as illustrated in Table 2[1].

 

Value (€)

Annual Tax (%)

Less than 40.000

0.6

40.001-120.000

0.8

120.001-170.000

0.9

170.001-300.000

1.1

300.001-500.000

1.3

500.001-800.000

1.5

800.001-3.000.000

1.7

More than 3.000.000

1.9

 

 

 

 

  

Table 2

 

Stamp Duty:  
Usually, the buyer is obliged to pay a stamp duty of  0.15% of the value of the property up to €170.860,14 and 0.20% for more than €170.860,14. The contract should be stamped within a period of 30 days from signing. It should be taken into consideration that if you do not pay the stamp duty on time, then you will have to pay the stamp duty plus a fine.

 

[1] Article 3, Law 24/1980: http://www.cylaw.org/nomoi/enop/non-ind/1980_1_24/full.html, Retrieved on 29 March 2016.