Property Acquisition

We assist in the acquisition of immovable property and other assets.

 

Property law

The Immovable Property (Tenure, Registration and Valuation) Law Chapter 224 was enacted in Cyprus in 1946 to replace the Ottoman Land Law that had prevailed until then. According to section 40 of the Law, immovable property or rights to immovable property can only be transferred through registration at the Land Registry by the registered owner.  Property rights of foreigners were already regulated by the Acquisition of Immovable Property (Aliens) Law Chapter 109 enacted in 1936.

 

EU nationals

The most recent amendments to Chapter 109 were in 2003 and 2011 (L.54(I)/2003 and L.161(I)/2011), which brought about significant changes regarding the acquisition of property by foreigners, marking the island’s accession to the EU. Now not only it allows EU nationals, but also EEA (European Economic Area) nationals and companies to own property in Cyprus.  This category of persons is permitted to own immovable property as they wish, in that all previous restrictions regarding the size, the type and the use of the immovable property are abolished. Therefore, once the Title Deeds for the property they are buying become available, they are only required to provide proof of their citizenship to the local District Office upon payment of the Property Transfer Fees.

 

Non-EU nationals

The Law remained unchanged for non-EU nationals and they must obtain the approval of the Council of Ministers before they can own any type of immovable property. In certain cases, the Council of Ministers may grant the approval for the acquisition of property for commercial purposes if the particular project is considered beneficial for the economy of Cyprus (i.e. tourism or employment).

To get Council of Ministers approval to own property in Cyprus an application form must be submitted to the local District Office, together with information about the applicant and the concerned property, such as:
-    Survey plan
-    Copy of the title of ownership
-    Copy of the building or division permit for the development of estates
-    Copy of the deed of sale
-    Sectional view of the building or the flat
-    Area in square metres of the plot which is to be acquired
-    Documents proving the financial situation of the applicant
-    Copies of the applicants’ and their spouses’ passports and marriage certificate if they do not share the same surname
-    Copy of residence permit and work permit of the applicants in Cyprus
-    If the applicant is a company, all its registration documents and certificates as well as information about its shareholders and employees.

The District Officer will prepare a report submitted to the Council of Ministers for their consideration. In the meantime, any signed and deposited at the Land Registry contracts to purchase property remain valid and the applicant may take possession of the property while the case is being considered.  The Council of Ministers advises the District Officer of its decision, and in turn the District Officer sends a letter of approval (a permit) or refusal.

 

Taxes and Fees

 

Transfer fees & Stamp duty

Transfer fees on acquired property must be paid at the Land Registry by the new owner and they are set at 3% for property up to €85,000, at 5% for up to €170,000, and at 8% for property beyond €170,000.  It is important to note that a contract transferring property will not be allowed for registration at the Land Registry unless it is stamped.  According to the Stamp Duty Law 19/1963, contracts of a value up to €170,000 bear a stamp duty of 0.15% and those beyond €170,000 a duty of 0.2%.

Immovable property tax

According to the Immovable Property Tax Law 24/1980, tax is imposed each year on immovable property as follows: 6% for property up to €40,000, 8% for up to €120,000, 9% for up to €170,000, 11% for up to €300,000, 13% for up to €500,000, 15% for up to €800,000, 17% for up to €3,000,000 and 19% for property beyond €3,000,000.