What are the applicable rules for purchasing properties in North Cyprus?
If you are unfamiliar with the regulations and legal procedures, you may encounter some difficulties in acquiring your dream home. Acquiring an immovable property in North Cyprus can be a puzzling and long process. Historical factors contribute to the difficulty of acquiring immovable properties in North Cyprus.
It is recommended that before purchasing immovable property in North Cyprus, you do a search at the District Lands Office to determine who the legal owner is and whether the property is subject to any mortgages or other impediments. When purchasing a property ‘off-plan,’ it is important to ensure that the developer has the necessary permission to build.
We recommend that you consult with your lawyer throughout the process of acquiring immovable property. You must ensure that your lawyer is independent and is a member of the Cyprus Turkish Bar Association.
What are the applicable rules for purchasing properties in North Cyprus?
Your lawyer will search the relevant District Lands Office for any encumbrances that may impede or cause complications with your investment, as well as to guarantee that the property is registered in the name of the party from whom you are purchasing. If you do not plan to stay in North Cyprus for the duration of the purchase process or just do not want to be involved in the paperwork, you can give your lawyer a “Power of Attorney” (POA) allowing them to sign documents on your behalf.
The contract of sale is one of the most important safeguards for your interests when acquiring property and you must ensure that it is well-drafted. A contract of sale is a legally binding agreement between a vendor and a buyer that details the conditions of the purchase or transfer of immovable property in North Cyprus. In the event of a dispute over which you decide to go to court, the Contract of Sale will serve as your legal basis.
Hence, the contract should include any conditions to which the parties have agreed, such as a detailed description of the property, the rights and obligations of both parties, warranties, terms of termination, payment details, and so on. It is important to note that only a qualified and independent lawyer can assist you in drafting the contract and ensuring that it covers all of the terms agreed upon by the parties.
The registration of the contract with the District Lands Office is another important aspect of acquiring a property in North Cyprus. After the contract has been signed, the registration process begins. The buyer will be protected by the Registered Contract of Sale if the vendor engages in any unscrupulous behavior, such as selling the property to a third party or mortgaging it without the buyer’s knowledge or consent.
It is strongly advised that you do not sign any documents or pay for any property without first consulting with your lawyer.
According to the relevant laws, foreigners who want to buy a property in North Cyprus must apply for Permission to Purchase (PTP) from the Ministry of Interior. The PTP enables the buyer to become the legal owner of the property. The Ministry of Interior will consult the land registry, the army, and immigration authorities throughout the process.
This process usually takes 6 to 12 months after the application is submitted. This, however, will not prevent you from taking control of or even selling the property. The process of transferring the title will commence after the purchaser gets Permission to Purchase. At this point, your lawyer completes the relevant paperwork and pays the taxes associated with the transfer of the title deed. The title deed will then be transferred and registered in the purchaser’s name.
The purchaser must pay the following four taxes: The first is stamp duty. Unless the parties agree otherwise in the Contract of Sale, stamp duty is usually paid by the purchaser. Prior to the registration of the Contract of Sale at the District Land Office, a stamp duty of 0.5 percent of the sale price is payable to the Tax Office. ”What are the applicable rules for purchasing properties in North Cyprus?” The subject is very important to you.
The second is capital gains (Stopaj tax). Unless the parties agree otherwise in the Contract of Sale, the vendor is responsible for this tax. The tax rate differs depending on whether the vendor is a Professional Vendor (a company or individuals who have sold more than three properties) or an individual. The tax rate is 4 percent if the vendor is a professional, and 2.8 percent if the vendor is a private individual.
Thirdly, the VAT (KDV) is payable by the buyer unless the parties agree otherwise in the Contract of Sale. The VAT is only charged if the vendor is a professional. This tax is paid to the Tax Office. The rate is 5% of the contract amount, payable when the property is taken possession of. The parties can, however, agree to defer payment of the VAT until the title document is registered and transferred.
Lastly, the buyer is responsible for paying the transfer tax. The buyer has the option of paying the transfer fee at a rate of 3% using the once-in-a-lifetime option. Once this option is used, the transfer cost will be 6% on all subsequent purchases. After receiving Permission to Purchase and prior to the transfer of the title deed, the Transfer Fee must be paid to the Land District Office. A small local municipality tax of 1% of the Transfer Fee amount is also charged (0.03 percent).
The transfer tax payable for the transfer of title documents of immovable properties has been reduced significantly as of 3rd June 2021. This discount is obtainable to both Citizens of North Cyprus and foreigners. In the case of a first-time property purchase in North Cyprus, the purchaser will be required to pay a 1% transfer tax rather than the usual 3%. This lower transfer tax rate will only be in effect until the end of the year (31 December 2021). ”What are the applicable rules for purchasing properties in North Cyprus?” You must know and understand the rules well.
It should be emphasized that such rules have been implemented to safeguard and secure the purchaser’s rights. It is important to note that attempting to reach an agreement and register the title deed without the aid of an experienced lawyer is a risk. It is therefore strongly recommended that you get legal assistance to put your mind at ease while your lawyer handles all of the paperwork and legal documentation.
Finally, the necessity of making a Will in North Cyprus should not be overlooked. There have been problematic encounters with Wills made outside of North Cyprus that referenced properties in North Cyprus.
According to the laws of North Cyprus, only British citizens have the right to dispose the entirety of their assets through a Will, whereas other nationals, including Turkish Cypriots, have only the right to dispose of a portion of their property through a Will (the ‘disposable portion’), with the rest (the ‘statutory portion’) being distributed in accordance with the provisions of the law. To guarantee that your assets go to the people you choose, get the advice and assistance of your lawyer while drafting a Will.
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