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5
Buying a Home in Cyprus
A Practical Guide to Successful Real Estate Purchase - Top Tips Supplement

For example:
g374 Some estate agents and property developers will introduce you to a
lawyer. However, the information and advice these lawyers provide
may not be as accurate, objective and unbiased as you may wish;
they may not be working in your best interests.
g374 Virtually anyone can set themselves up in business as a property
developer. There is no qualification-based licensing system - neither is
there a proper authority empowered to regulate the industry. In one
reported case, it transpired that the ‘property developer’ was actually
a barman employed at an army camp. Needless to say when he went
bankrupt, the buyers lost their money.
g374 Property developers mortgage the land on which their building to help
finance their projects. However, as there is no requirement for them to
pay off their mortgages when they sell properties built on that land, it
is very easy to fall into the trap of buying a property that is effectively
owned by the bank. It’s been estimated that developers mortgages
amount to some €4 billion and those unfortunate people who have
been conned into buying a property that is already mortgaged face
the very real danger of losing everything if the developer does
bankrupt and/or the bank forecloses on the loan.
But providing you take some sensible steps to protect your interests, buying
a property in Cyprus can be a relatively risk-free and trouble-free
experience.
The Cyprus problem
This guide is to assist those wishing to acquire property in that part of the
island under the control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.
There are legal, financial and moral issues associated with buying Greek-
Cypriot owned property in the ‘north’ of Cyprus. Read the British High
Commission’s advice on the subject.
© Nigel Howarth
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