There are a number of essential checks to be made before you buy a home in Cyprus. These should all be made by your lawyer, but you should be aware of them so that you can ask your lawyer the right questions at the right time.
- Make sure that the vendor is the legal owner of the property and that there are no outstanding debts relating to it, such as a mortgage. This is done via the Lands Office.
- If you’re buying a new property or one that’s under construction, make sure that the vendor has obtained the agreed Town Planning and Building Permits. If he hasn’t, ensure that your lawyer makes this a condition of the sale contract. This will ensure that the vendor is legally authorised to carry out the construction of your property.
- Make sure that your sale contract is deposited with the local Lands Office, especially if the property is part of a new development. A developer may tell you that there are no separate title deeds for your apartment or house. This means that the title deeds cannot be transferred to your name until the whole development is finished, which may be some time. To protect your rights, the sale contract must be worded in such a way that the vendor is legally committed and your property protected until such time as a separate title deed can be issued to you.
- Make sure any co-owners sign the sale contract. There are often co-owners of property and land in Cyprus and they must all sign your sale contract to avoid any future disputes.
- Make sure that your sale contract is stamped and registered by the Lands Office.
Problems can be avoided if you use an experienced local lawyer to draft your sale contract.