Q: Is there a way to tell if a property developer is true to his word?
· Do your research.
· Make sure the developer has been around for a fair length of time (e.g. over 5 years)
· Request to see past developments and look at the quality of the build
· Request testimonials from past clients
· Talk to past clients and ask them about the quality of the build, time scales, client services etc.
· PropertyLink only deals with reputable and trustworthy developers with a good track record
Q: Are developers open to price negotiation on new properties already completed or nearing completion?
· This depends on whether it is a buyers market or a sellers market. It is always good to negotiate. Certain developers may include things like air conditioning units within the price and/or white goods. PropertyLink will endeavour to obtain the best possible value for you.
Q: How long does it take to get your title deeds and what guarantees are there that you will get them?
· In Cyprus is takes around 2 – 5 years and sometimes longer to get your titled deeds. The deeds will not be released until the last property on the development is finished and if someone happens to make a change to their house (i.e. adds a conservatory before getting deeds), it can hold up the entire development from getting the deeds.
· It is not the developer that gives you the deeds. Title deeds are issued by the Land Registry department which is a government body under the Ministry of Interior. There is a procedure to be followed after the developer has successfully completed the subject project. It is always in the best interest of the developer to speed up the process of issuance of the deeds in order to safeguard their reputation and keep their clients happy.
· The developers usually keep record as to what stage the title deeds issuance is and property buyers can find out by contacting the developer they have bought from in order to be informed.
· Once you decide to buy a property your lawyer will register your name to the Land Registry (specific performance) and you will have the rights to the title deeds once the land is paid off (by the developer), you pay for the property and the authorities verify that the property was built exactly to the specification that gained approval in the first place.
· The Cyprus government is in consultation at the moment with various bodies trying to streamline the process of getting the title deeds in order to speed up their issuance.
Q: Do I need to hire a lawyer in the UK or is it best to find a recommended local lawyer in Cyprus?
· There are several very good lawyers in Cyprus that can be recommended. The downside of hiring a lawyer from the UK would be that they would not know the local information well enough.
· PropertyLink recommends you appoint a local solicitor who is familiar with the local property law. We will be delighted to provide you with contact details of reputable solicitors to help you through the buying process.
Q: What is a ‘greenbelt’?
· When buying a property in Cyprus, many developers and agents will tell you that the land near the property is greenbelt (allocated for agricultural uses only hence can not be built upon). A greenbelt area is protected land and buildings cannot be built on it. If you have a sea view, you want to ensure that it will not be later obstructed by a block of flats! Greenbelt areas are reviewed every 5 years when the Development Plan of the particular area is reviewed. It is always recommended to check if an adjoining piece of land is greenbelt or not – your solicitor can check that with the local town planning department.
Q: What companies offer Building & Contents insurance and what does it cost?
· You can also get insurance from an insurance broker and they are located all over the island. PropertyLink can help you with finding an insurance broker.
Q: What are the laws about bringing pets into Cyprus?
· Under new European Union laws, household pets can now enter most EU member countries providing they possess a valid EU pet passport. The passport will replace the previous documents required to show the animal had received the necessary vaccinations for travel, such as anti-rabies. The passport covers cats, dogs and ferrets only. If you are planning to relocate to Cyprus on a permanent basis and would like further information on this subject please contact us and we will be happy to advise you.
Q: Is there a good Medical Service in Cyprus?
· Medical needs in Cyprus are met through both Government General Hospitals and Private Clinics/Hospitals located in urbanized areas throughout Cyprus. Rural areas are catered for with health centres, sub centres and dispensaries that provide a network to meet the needs of those who do not live in urban areas. Accident & Emergency Departments are present at all General Hospitals as well as some Private Hospitals. Medical treatment is offered free of charge to international tourists in cases of health emergencies. Pharmacy opening times vary island wide, local newspapers will list information on evening and weekend opening times, as well as doctors on call.
Q: Is it necessary for me to make out a Will once I own property in Cyprus?
· We always advise our clients to make a will which can be worded to only relate to immovable property owned in Cyprus. There are several very good lawyers in Cyprus that we can recommend for this purpose.
Q: What is the Banking System like in Cyprus?
· The banking systems in Cyprus are well developed with many of the banks having branches around the world. Non Cypriots can now open an account without restrictions. Banks also offer loans for housing purposes, their terms and conditions vary so this has to be checked by the applicant.
· Please see below some of the main banks in Cyprus:
i. The Laiki Bank
ii. The Cooperative
iii. The Bank of Cyprus
iv. Hellenic Bank
v. Alpha Bank
vi. Emporiki Bank
Q: How easy is it for me to buy a property in Cyprus?
· Compared to many countries buying property in Cyprus is very easy. If you are of Cypriot origin or you are an EU citizen, there are no restrictions regarding the amount of property you can purchase.
· A non-EU citizen is entitled to FREEHOLD ownership of a villa, apartment, or a piece of land of up to 4,000 sqm. Offshore entities may also acquire premises for their business or for residence of their foreign employees. PropertyLink will guide you through the whole process.
Q: What about resident permits?
· A resident’s permit is obtained easily for persons living in Cyprus and who have purchased property. The granting of the permit is also based upon the level of foreign income available to support oneself and this refers to pensions and income from investments. We will assist you with all these formalities. EU citizens enjoy their full rights as Europeans in Cyprus and do not need to acquire a residence permit.
Q: Do you have any resale properties available?
· Yes PropertyLink has a choice of resale or ready properties for sale for you to choose from. You can check on our website under the “Resales” section. Should you have a specific enquiry please contact us for further information. We will be delighted to assist you.
Q: Do I need a special licence to drive in Cyprus?
· Visitors can drive using a valid international driving licence, or national driving licence, provided it is valid for the class of vehicle they wish to drive.
Q: Is it easy to hire a car in Cyprus and is it expensive?
· Yes this is very easily done and we can help you through this process. Prices do vary depending on the season. Cars can be booked in advance and can be collected at the airport on your arrival.