Mistakes to avoid when buying a property in Cyprus - Part 6
NOT USING A LAWYER OR USING AN UNRELIABLE LAWYER
It might be a costly mistake avoiding the fee of a lawyer. Your lawyer will be responsible to take the following steps to make sure that the property you are buying is free of any mortgages or any other form of encumbrances and can be transferred in your name as soon as possible.
Your lawyer should:
- Make sure that the vendor is the legal owner of the property and that there are no outstanding debts relating to it, such as a mortgage. This is done via the Lands Office.
- If you’re buying a new property or one that’s under construction, make sure that the vendor has obtained the agreed Town Planning and Building Permits. If they haven’t, ensure that your lawyer makes this a condition of the sale contract. This will ensure that the vendor is legally authorized to carry out the construction of your property.
- Make sure that your sale contract is deposited with the local Lands Office, especially if the property is part of a new development. A developer may tell you that there are no separate title deeds for your apartment or house. This means that the title deeds cannot be transferred to your name until the whole development is finished, which may take some time. To protect your rights, the sale contract must be worded in such a way that the vendor is legally committed and your property protected until such a time that a separate title deed can be issued to you.
- Make sure any co-owners sign the sale contract. There are often co-owners of a property and/or land in Cyprus and they must all sign your sale contract to avoid any future disputes.
- Make sure that your sale contract is stamped and registered by the Lands Office.
Problems can be avoided if you use an experienced local lawyer to draft your sale contract; do not be afraid to ask for recommendations from your agent. Usually, we work with a plethora of lawyers and have a clear understanding of the lawyers that are fast and reliable.