Updated: November 17, 2023
Our law firm has extensive experience in handling all aspects of real estate, including commercial and residential property purchase transactions and disputes. Cyprus’ real estate market is rapidly evolving and expanding, and the opportunities for property investment are at their peak. Engaging property lawyers with sufficient experience and knowledge of Cyprus real estate law and procedure is essential and highly recommended.
Also, our expert team led by Marios Konstantinou can help with property taxation and estate planning:
The Cyprus legal system is based on British requirements, as Cyprus was a British colony until 1960. Further, with EU membership, Cyprus' property law, real estate laws, and regulations were harmonised in line with the European Union laws and regulations.
Cyprus immovable property law was enacted in 1946. It is regarded as the cornerstone of immovable property in Cyprus, dealing with all matters concerning the tenure, registration, disposition and valuation of immovable property within the framework of the Cyprus land registration system, in which immovable property is defined, drawn, recognised, and valued.
The Land Registry Department of Cyprus was established in 1858. It is considered one of the most advanced, reliable, and trustworthy worldwide. It was founded and is based on the British model.
Every interest or right over or affecting the immovable property (land, buildings, trees, plantations, rivers, wells, and all rights relating to estate and buildings) is registered and can be traced in the Registries of the Department.
Purchasers of Cyprus property will be very secure as any information related to their potential purchase can be traced from Land Registry records before the completion of the transaction. Also, after the purchase, their contract of sale or title deed transfer is registered or occurs at the Registry.
Depositing the contract of sale to the Land Registry gives the purchaser the right to seek specific performance of the terms and conditions of the contract. Thus, register the property and title deed into the purchaser’s name once the title deed is issued.
As per Cyprus property law, EU citizens do not require any permission to buy Cyprus real estate property. EU citizens are treated equally to Cypriot Citizens and can purchase real estate without any limits. They can register as many properties as they want in their name.
Non-EU citizens are entitled to purchase Cyprus properties but should apply for permission to register them in their names. This application is submitted at the District Office of the city where the property is situated after the contract of sale is signed. The permission is given to all purchasers, and this procedure currently is just a formality. The required time for obtaining permission is about 2-4 weeks.
Permission is allowed with some limits which apply to each family (husband and wife). The limit is two units from the below:
After selecting a property to buy, it is imperative that the lawyer performs a due diligence check for the property, which mainly involves the following:
Each Sale Agreement for property in Cyprus must be stamped as follows:
From €5.001 - to €170.000
The Land Registry Department required fees to be paid by the Purchaser for transfers of immovable property. The Department calculates them based on the market value as estimated by them on the day of the transfer of the title deed and not based on the sales price.
The current rate of 50%
From €85.001 to €170.000
i. The above transfer fees do not apply if the transaction is subject to VAT.
ii. Currently Reduced by 50%.
VAT at the rate of 19% is payable on the sale of new real estate projects.
Resale properties are exempted from VAT.
Any person buying the first permanent residence in Cyprus can apply for a reduced VAT rate of 5%.
The reduced rate of 5% VAT applies on the first 200 m2, whereas the standard VAT rate is imposed for the remaining square meters, as determined based on the buildable area.
The square meters for VAT purposes include only the internal covered areas (do not include covered verandas or others).
It is required that the property is to be used as the primary place of residence in Cyprus for the next ten years. Rental of it is not allowed.
VAT at the standard rate of 19% for the supply of undeveloped building land. The VAT is imposed in cases where the supply is intended for the erection of one or more constructions and the supply falls within the course of a person's economic or business activities.
It is noted that the supply of land is not subject to VAT in cases where the supply is an occasional transaction.
Cyprus Capital Gains Tax is imposed (when the disposal is not subject to income tax) at the rate of 20% on gains from the disposal of immovable property in Cyprus, including gains from the disposal of shares in companies that own immovable property directly.
The following are not subject to Capital Gains Tax:
The costs that are deducted from gross proceeds on the disposal of immovable property are the cost of purchase, adjusted for inflation up to the date of disposal based on the CPI in Cyprus.
Also, construction works and improvement costs of the property are deducted.
Other expenses related to acquiring and selling real estate are also deducted, e.g., estate agency fees, transfer fees, and legal fees.
Individuals can deduct from the capital gain the following:
N.B: The above exemptions are lifetime exemptions with a total lifetime limit of €85.430.
There is no Cyprus Inheritance Tax as it has been abolished from the 1st of January 2000.
Our law firm can assist through all the purchase procedures to ensure it is done smoothly and with maximum protection for the client’s interests. We are ready to approach each new client with extra care and attention to personal/financial needs and demands. We are Limassol property lawyers, but we offer services that cover all the other cities of Cyprus, including Nicosia, Paphos, Larnaka, Protaras, and Ayia Napa.
If you need a lawyer for a home purchase, don't hesitate to contact us to receive a free personal consultation.
Do you need a lawyer to buy a house in Cyprus?
While it's not mandatory to have a lawyer when buying a house in Cyprus, it is strongly recommended. Lawyers provide crucial assistance in navigating complex paperwork, clarifying contract details, conducting due diligence on property titles, and facilitating filings at the Lands District Office for title deeds.
How much do estate agents charge in Cyprus?
In Cyprus, estate agents charge the seller a commission upon successful sale, agreed upon in advance. The buyer does not pay any commission to the estate agent.
How much is the conveyancing fee in Cyprus?
Conveyancing fees in Cyprus depend on the property's value and are paid by the buyer. Rates are: 0% for properties up to €5,000; €1.50 per €1,000 for properties between €5,001 and €170,000; and €2 per €1,000 for properties over €170,000, with a maximum fee of €20,000.
What is the immovable property law in Cyprus?
Cyprus's immovable property law includes various laws like The Immovable Property (Tenure, Registration and Valuation) Law, Cap. 224, The Immovable Property (Transfer and Mortgage) Law, No 9/65, and others. It covers ownership rights, transfer of these rights, and taxes on property income. All land transactions are registered and processed through the Department of Lands and Surveys.
Can you sell a property in Cyprus without title deeds?
Yes, it is possible to sell property in Cyprus without title deeds, especially if the property is mortgaged or the deeds haven't been issued yet. The Sale of Immovable Property (Specific Performance) Law of 2011 protects buyers in such cases, allowing registration of the sale contract at the Department of Lands and Surveys and court-ordered specific performance against the seller if necessary.
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