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Finding, Buying and Renting for Expats in Cyprus

Author: Jim Newham
Submitted: August 2017

Finding Property

It is easy to find good quality rented accommodation in Cyprus, both furnished and unfurnished. There are also bargains to be found on the property market. Air conditioning generally comes as a standard.

The internet is an invaluable tool for searching for property while still in your home country and after you have emigrated. Some popular property websites for both rental and purchase are given below:

Once you have arrived in Cyprus, you have more options to find property. If you can read Greek (or find an amenable local), you will be able to look in local newspapers and read bulletin boards on the streets and in supermarkets. In addition, you can ask around and look for available properties in prospective areas of the city.

If you are not familiar with the language, you will need to rely more on bilingual estate agents. They will help you by looking for properties, arranging viewings and negotiating with the landlord or owner on your behalf. Naturally, they will charge you for their services.

 

Renting

It is usual for newly arrived expats to rent property in Cyprus. What with Cyprus being a major holiday destination, there is plenty of short-term accommodation available, though it tends to be pricey. Longer-terms rentals are also available, though not so many. With a lot of competition, prices can be quite reasonable. Utility bills are not normally included.

 

Buying Property

The Cypriot economy suffered a crash in 2012-13, and house prices have only recently shown signs of recovery. Prices are reasonable compared to other Western countries. However, it is extremely important to ensure that legal checks are thoroughly carried out, as there are many disputed title deeds and properties with existing mortgages on the island. These mostly arise from Greek Cypriots who fled Northern Cyprus in 1974.

In North Cyprus, you may be refused purchase of property without any reason being given. Beware also that taking property purchase documents to the government-controlled area may lead to arrest.

Non-residents may only buy property in Cyprus if they have a permit to do so issued by the government. Before you start looking for a property, it is usually wise to arrange a mortgage in principle. Doing this now will save a lot of time and stress later on. For more information, see Mortgages.

Once you have found a suitable property, you can make an offer to the vendor. Following further negotiations if necessary, the vendor may accept your offer. By the time you have made an offer, it is advisable to hire a bilingual lawyer.  They will perform the conveyancing parts of the property sale and give you legal advice as necessary. Note that your mortgage lender may insist on your using one of their lawyers as a condition of the loan.

First, your lawyer will perform checks to ensure that there are no outstanding legal problems with the property. Unless you are buying a new property, you will now need to hire a surveyor to do a building survey. This is because property sales are normally completed caveat emptor. Theses checks can take several weeks.

Once the checks are complete and satisfactory, you can ask your lawyer to draw up contracts of sale. With the lawyer present, you can now exchange contracts on the property with the vendor. Next you need to pay a deposit; this is typically around €20,000. Your lawyer will transfer the money from your account to the vendor’s.

Next, you need to complete your mortgage application with your lender. Your lawyer will then transfer the money to the vendor and submit documents that establish that the buyer and vendor are legitimate. Once they have done so, the sale is complete.

 

 

 




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