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Article by: Lewis Estates admin@lewis-estates.com Published: 09/02/2007


The timescale for purchase will to a large degree depend upon the type of title that exists.

Buying a Turkish or TRNC title property will require a number of checks to be carried out by the Ministry of Interior, and therefore this type of purchase will take approximately 4-8 months to complete.

There are a number of types of title deed in North Cyprus:

a) Foreign ownership pre-1974: For example British, with title deed. Property in this category provides the quickest route to purchase as there is no requirement for Council of Ministers approval.

b) Turkish Cypriot owned pre-1974: Before the property can be registered in your name, an application must be made to the Council of Ministers for approval. The procedure for obtaining approval can take up to 6 months.

c) TRNC: Absolute possession document - title deed. Land or property, originally owned by a Greek Cypriot prior to 1974, with title deeds issued by the TRNC Government on a points basis in compensation for land given up in the South. The owner of such a title deed is allowed to sell to foreigners. It seems unlikely in any settlement of the dispute between the North and South, that anyone who has been so compensated through Government issue of such a title deed, or indeed any subsequent purchaser of such title, will loose the value of such issue or purchase. We consider almost all such purchases very safe and we can advise you further on the purchase of this type of title.

d) Greek Cypriot pre-1974: Land or property, where there are no title deeds. Some people offer for sale, such properties without registered deeds for relatively small amounts of money. We advise against such purchases.

e) Contractual or "cases pending" land or property: These are properties where title deeds were never issued, due to delays at the time of the division of the island in 1974. Following the formation of a Turkish Cypriot Government, a statement was issued that all foreign land and property ownership, once registered, would be respected. This has been done and the first cases have been to court, and as long as the owner can substantiate his original payment for the property, then deeds are issued and are safe to purchase. Purchase before formal issue of deeds needs should be cautioned and subject to legal advice.

f) Lease from Government: It is also possible to lease land or property from the Government. These are usually derelict houses, which the Government will lease out for periods up to 49 years to foreigners who renovate the property at their own expense, and who pay a nominal ground rent for the lease period.

The process for buying a freehold property is as follows:

1. Decide the best property for you and agree price.

2. Contract drawn up by solicitor, setting down the terms of sale, i.e. price, timescale, vendor, purchaser, and any special conditions.

3. All relevant paperwork to be signed by vendor and purchaser.

4. Purchaser provides deposit.

5. Solicitor applies for a Purchase Permit from the Council of Ministers, (takes 6 to 8 months).

6. As soon as purchase permit is received, final balance due from purchaser.

7. Purchaser pays balance and Vendor signs title deed into name of purchaser.

8. Sale completed.

Buying from a foreigner (i.e. English, German etc.)

As some of the checks have already been carried out by ministry the process can be a lot simpler and quicker.

1. Decide the best property for you and agree price.

2. Solicitor prepares contract as before and sets timescale.

3. Vendor and purchaser sign contract.

4. Purchaser pays full amount, unless a delayed completion is agreed in which case purchaser pays a deposit and remaining balance on completion.

5. Title transferred to purchaser’s name.

6. Sale completed.

Process for buying a leasehold property is as follows:

The process to purchase is much the same as freehold purchases, however, instead of an application going to the Ministry of Interior, you must apply either directly or via a solicitor to the Ministry of Tourism, who will grant the leases.

At the time of application a deposit of 10% must be paid and held on behalf of the Vendor. Once the application is accepted, the sale can proceed to completion at a convenient time for both vendor and purchaser. At this stage the lease will be transferred into name of the buyer.

1. Decide the best property for you and agree price.

2. Contract drawn up by solicitor agreeing terms & conditions.

3. Vendor & purchaser sign.

4. Vendor applies to Tourism Office to transfer lease.

5. Purchaser applies to take over lease. (May include personal interview).

6. Once Purchaser application is approved, 10% deposit transferred.

7. On completion, remaining balance paid over to vendor and lease transferred.

8. Sale completed.

The typical costs of buying property:

1. Legal Costs including purchase permit application, e.g. TRNC or original Turkish title = £1250.

2. Property Tax = 6% of valuation levied by Land Registry plus 5% VAT (However, you can elect to reduce the 6% down to 3% once in your lifetime).

3. 1.5% Stamp duty + 5% VAT.


1. When buying Turkish Title or TRNC Title foreigners are restricted to 1 Dönüm of land.

2. Deposits can be higher than 10% dependant on stage of build and developers payment schedule.


External Article Link: http://www.property-partnership.com/overseas-property-guides/overseas-property-guide.cfm?id=21

Article Link: http://www.property-partnership.com/overseas-property-guides/overseas-property-guide.cfm?id=21

Please contact the author at admin@lewis-estates.com for more information.


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