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Property FAQ

Q. As a non-Cypriot what I am allowed to buy?

A. Compared to many countries buying property in Cyprus is very easy. As a non-Cypriot and a non-EU national you are entitled to buy a freehold property for your personal use either:

a) An apartment or a house or

b) A villa on a building site not exceeding 4000 sq.m or

c) A piece of land not exceeding 4000 sq.m for the purpose of erecting a house within a reasonable time frame.

(Non-EU Nationals must first apply to the Ministry of Councils for a permit)

 

Q. What are the prices and terms of payment?

Prices depend on size, location and specifications.

Banks can offer mortgage facilities in connection with the purchase of the property. The maximum amount that can be borrowed is the equivalent of 70% of the purchase price.

A first mortgage will be required, and the mortgage will be granted for 10 to 15 years maximum period. Normally the interest rate is Libor* + up to 2.25%-2.50%. There is also an additional arrangement fee of 1% payable on the amount of the advance, and documentation fees of minimum €250

 

Q. Freehold or Leasehold?

A. It is freehold. The system of leasehold is almost unknown in Cyprus.


Q. How do I get transfer of the property purchased and what are the costs involved?

A. Transfer of ownership takes place by a simple process of registration at the Land Registry Office and the issuing of a title deed after completion and delivery. This can be done either by you personally or by a Power of Attorney to your Solicitor.

A prerequisite for registration, in the case of non-Cypriots, is evidence that the property has been paid for with foreign exchange and approval by the Council of Ministers of Purchaser's application to buy property in Cyprus.

However, before the registration of the completed property the purchaser should pay the transfer fees, which are payable to the Land Registry office.


Q. After sales service?

A. These vary from company to company, but generally include the following:

Car leasing or purchase

Furniture & Appliance purchase.

Interior decorating.

Cleaning, Gardening and Pool maintenance services.

Home Owners Insurance.

Life and Medical Insurance.

Car Insurance.

Your move to Cyprus.

There are many other ways in which the developer has and is prepared to help purchasers. These requests are considered on an individual case, by case basis.


Q. Are there any hidden costs or charges for things such as legal/agency work?

A. This depends to a very large extent on you the purchaser. If you wish to have your legal work carried out by a independent lawyer of your choice, then you pay the costs involved. However, some developers offer this service free of charge to their clients.


Q. If I purchase a flat, what expenses would I have to pay?

A. In Cyprus, there are no rates as known in most countries in Europe. If a person has properties registered on his name where the market value exceeds a certain amount, there is a property tax on the excess value.

The annual immovable property ownership tax imposed by the government is levied on the market value of the property as of 1st January 1980 at the following rate

Value of Property

(as of 1/1/1980)

Up to €40.000 0,6%

€ 40.001 – €120.000 = 0,8%

€120.001 – €170.000 = 0,9%

€170.001 – €300.000 = 1,1%

€300.001 – €500.000 = 1,3%

€500.001 – €800.000 = 1,5%

€800.001 – €3.000.000 = 1,7%

Over €3.000.000 Rate =1,9%

The owner apart from the expenses of telephone, water and electricity for which there are separate meters, must meet a proportion of the common expenses e.g. for the lightening and cleaning of the common facilities and the maintenance of the lift (and of course the upkeep of a garden and a swimming pool where there is one). Common expenses are comparatively insignificant, and they depend from the facilities offered. Common expenses administration can be arranged by a client’s committee.

Also:

Local Authority:  depending on the size of your property rates vary from €85 – €500 per annum

Municipality Tax:  Rates vary from 1‰ - 2‰

Sewerage Tax: Rates vary from 3‰ – 7‰.

 

Q. Do I have any Duty Free Privileges?

A. These differ, and the level of duty-free privileges will depend, on your circumstances. As a guide, Personal effects, household goods and furniture can be imported free of any taxes by immigrant retirees, provided they are for personal use and have been used for a reasonable amount of time - approximately one year. There are no import duties on cars and for retired couples, there is an additional concession of two duty-free cars.


Q. Are there any Health Insurance schemes in Cyprus?

A. Yes, there are several companies who operate schemes here. The level of cost depends to a very large extent on the following factors:

Your age and medical condition

Level of cover required.

 

Q. Can I take out Insurance on my Property?

A. Yes. There are companies who will issue cover for fire and earthquake damage.


Q. Are there reputable International Schools in Cyprus?

A. Yes, all major towns have reputable international schools. These schools offer diplomas equivalent to GCE's for entry into British universities and achieve high academic standards.

 

Q. Is there a double taxation relief-agreement between Cyprus and my country?

A. Agreements exist with most countries of the European Union, as well as other countries throughout the world. These are listed below.

Cyprus Double Taxation Treaties exist with;

Austria, Greece, Romania

Bulgaria, Hungary, Russia*

Canada, India, Slovakia

China, Ireland, Sweden

Czech Republic, Italy, Syria

Denmark, Kuwait, United Kingdom

Egypt, Malta, United States

France, Norway, Yugoslavia**

Germany, Poland

N.B. Out of the 26 treaties concluded by Cyprus, only 4 countries (Canada, France, UK and USA) have exclusions regarding Cyprus offshore entities. However, even these treaties can be used advantageously with some creative and careful tax planning. Further information can be obtained upon request.

* The treaty applicable is between Cyprus and the USSR, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

** This treaty applies to the Republics of Serbia and Montenegro. Slovenia and Croatia have also adopted the double taxation conventions.


Q. What is the procedure for obtaining temporary residence in Cyprus?

A. Temporary residence is easily obtained after the fulfillment of certain investment and immigration requirements. Applications forms are available from any of the local immigration offices. On completion of these forms, they should be returned to the immigration office with the following supporting documentation:

A certificate from a local bank confirming that the applicant holds an external account with that bank. This document should also indicate the current account balance.

Passport

Three passport photographs

Application processing fee

A copy of a sales contract, or a rental agreement.

Letter of guarantee obtained from your Bank in Cyprus


Q. Is my pension subject to taxation?

A. Yes. According to our tax system, you are obliged to declare your income from pensions to the tax authorities. There are two methods of choosing how your pension will be taxed. These are outlined below:

1st Method:

The income of any individual from a foreign pension which exceeds Euro 3.420 is taxed in

Cyprus at the flat rate of 5%. Irrespectively of the amount of the pension, the first Euro 3.420

are tax-free.

2nd Method:

To be taxed at the normal tax rates as identified below.

Taxable Income Tax Rate

Euro

Up to 19.500     0%

19.501 – 28.000     20%

28.001 – 36.300     25%

36.300 - 60.000  30%

Over 60.000  35%


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