LAND & PROPERTY PURCHASE
With regards to the purchase of land or buildings, we will look at the different types of property, and the Title Deeds which one is likely to be offered.
Foreigners are limited to one property on a donum (husband and wife count as one person unless they have different surnames). Alternatively you can buy up to 5 donums of land, but only build 1 dwelling on it.
1. CLEAN FREEHOLD TITLE: BRITISH OR OTHER FOREIGN OWNERSHIP PRE-1974, WITH TITLE DEED (KOCAN), CLEARLY STATING THAT THIS IS THE CASE.
Internationally recognised deeds. Permission to buy is still necessary
2. CLEAN FREEHOLD TITLE – TURKISH CYPRIOT OWNED PRE-1974.
These deeds are 100% safe but before the property can be registered in your name, an application must be made to the Council of Ministers for approval. The procedure to obtain approval will take some time.
3. TRNC – KESIN TASARRUF – ABSOLUTE POSSESSION DOCUMENT – TITLE DEED
This is property or land that was in Greek Cypriot ownership pre-1974. When the Turkish Cypriot refugees came to the safety of the north after July 1974, they left all their possessions behind in the south.
Accordingly, the Government then assessed on a points basis, the value of the refugee’s forsaken assets in the south.
With these points, the Turkish Cypriot refugee could take a relinquished Greek Cypriot house or land in compensation for his lost properties in the south to the TRNC Government, who would then hold them pending a negotiated settlement between the North and South Governments. The refugee would then be issued with a Title Deed for his newly recompensed property. Until he received this Title, he would not be in a position to sell.
Our feeling is that as the island is heading, albeit slowly, for some sort of solution, whether it will be a negotiated settlement or annexation to the Mother land, then the TRNC title deed properties can be considered safe to purchase.
4. LAND OR PROPERTY - GREEK CYPRIOT PRE 1974 - NO TITLE DEEDS - NOT YET ISSUED.
Some people offer for sale, for relatively nominal sums, these properties without deeds. They are sold for "air money" or "goodwill" usually, these need the purchase of additional points before the Title Deeds will be issued. It is our opinion that agreements should not be entered into for property that does not have a Title Deed issued by the relevant authority.
5. CONTRACTUAL OR "CASES PENDING" LAND OR PROPERTY.
When one looks back to pre 1974, there were over two thousand British in the Girne area, and property was experiencing something of a boom. In the period up to the Peace operation in July 1974, there were several hundred Title Deed applications pending and subsequently not processed, owing to the lethargy of the Greek Cypriot administration, and the political instability.
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; 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. There are some seven or eight hundred cases to be heard, so unavoidably, the process will take some time.
A foreigner coming here to live and/or work must apply for the following permits: firstly, a Temporary Visitors Permit from the Police Station/Immigration Department that requires the completion of several forms, provision of four passport photos, medical test etc., (please ask for more details). A full Permanent Residency Permit is not usually issued until the applicant has been in resident in the TRNC for five years.
One does not require a Residence Permit to purchase property in North Cyprus.
OPERATING A BUSINESS IN THE TRNC
There are opportunities to enter into long-term, loose or joint venture projects with an organisation here that owns many seashore and inland tracts of land and properties. Any interested companies or individuals who are looking for investment opportunities in the tourism sector for hotels, holiday villages, and villa or apartment projects in superb locations should contact Ian Smith Estate Agency.