Welcome to the guide on purchasing immovable property in Northern Cyprus.
We do understand that the conveyancing process and legal requirements can feel overwhelming, especially for non-citizens purchasers who is not used to the legal system in North Cyprus.
This guide aims to provide you with a simple overview of the procedure and the key stages involved in the conveyancing process. Please bear in mind the below this article should be construed solely as a broad set of guidelines.
- Appoint an independent lawyer and registered Estate Agent
The legal system in Northern Cyprus is quite distinct from what you might find in other countries. It can get a bit tricky to navigate, so it’s really a good idea to make sure your rights are well-protected by having a lawyer by your side. We strongly advise all Purchaser(s) to appoint an independent qualified lawyer for the conveyancing process and to appoint reputable registered estate agent when engaging in property purchases within the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
It is vital to conduct search on the immovable property at the relevant Land District Offices. Once you have identified a property you are interested in, you lawyer will conduct search. It is essential to check the property’s legal status, to check if the immovable property is free from mortgages, charges or any other impediments. If intended immovable property is `off plan` it is necessary to investigate if the Builder/Developer obtained building permit and if the all other legal documents are in place.
- Contract of Sale
Drafting contract is the essential part of the purchasing. We will carefully review the title deeds, site plan, specifications, and any other related documents or attachments connected to the sale. Before signing any agreements, it is essential to review the terms of the contract and negotiate any necessary changes to protect your interests. This step ensures that both parties are clear on the terms of the transaction.
- Stamping and Registration of the Contract of Sale
Registration of Contract of Sale must be completed at the District Lands Office within 21 days following the signing date. Prior to registration, it is mandatory to settle the stamp duty tax. Another crucial aspect of acquiring property in Northern Cyprus involves registering the contract at the relevant District Lands Office. This registration occurs subsequent to the signing of the contracts. The Registered Contract of Sale serves as a safeguard for the buyer interest against any improper actions by the Vendor, including unauthorized property transfers to any third parties or the imposition of mortgages without the buyer’s awareness and agreement.
- Permission to purchase application (PTP)
According to the TRNC Law, purchasers who are non-citizen and desiring to acquire property in the North Cyprus are required to make an application to the Ministry of Interior. This process is called Permission to Purchase (PTP). In other words, foreigner purchaser must obtain permission from the government in order to owe a title deed. The Ministry of Interior conducts comprehensive assessments primarily involving the military, police, immigration authorities, the District Lands Office and reviews applicant’s criminal background. Permission to Purchase process can take between 12 to 15 months to finalise. However, this does not prevent you from taking possession of the property or if you intend to sell it. It is important to check if the property is close to any proximate to military territories or military bases and it is advised to avoid property close to any military bases to reduce of any refusal by the government due to national security reasons. Hence, we recommend our clients to investigate the location of the property they plan to buy before committing to any contract.
Our lawyers can assist you through this process on your behalf.
- Transfer of title
Once your permission to purchase is granted and we’re ready to proceed with the final step – transferring the title. We will deal with the completion and submission of all necessary valuation forms to the District Lands Office for property valuation. Taxes will be calculated based on the valuation provided by the District Lands Office during the title transfer. The District Lands Offices valuates according to the contract price and market values of comparable properties in the same area. Once valuations are completed, we will calculate the applicable taxes for the title transfer and communicate the amount to you.
Please bear in mind, the conveyancing process can vary based on specific circumstances and changes in local regulations and laws in North Cyprus. It’s crucial to work closely with a qualified lawyer in Cyprus Turkish Bar Association who is experienced regarding North Cyprus property transactions. This will help ensure that your property purchase proceeds smoothly and in compliance with all legal requirements.
If you have any further questions or concerns regarding purchasing property in North Cyprus, don’t hesitate to consult with our legal team who can guide you through each step.