If you are buying property in Cyprus you need a trustworthy Cyprus lawyer.
Since moving to the island 4 years ago, we have been amazed at some of the horror stories we have heard about buying property in Cyprus. Many of these bad experiences were exasperated by the quality of Cyprus solicitor used.
I'm pleased to say that our own experience has been almost trouble free, largely due to having both a good property agentAND a good Cyprus lawyer.
Many Cyprus property buyers find their lawyer through their Cyprus property advisors.This is common practice, especially when you are pressed for time and have no idea who to choose in the first place.
You do have to be careful, however, that your chosen lawyer does not work too closely with your Cyprus developer in property. This will soon become clear if your Cyprus lawyer is not keen to follow your instructions!
A good Cyprus property lawyer will be a specialist in property law in Cyprus and will know the answer to any questions you may have. It is surprising how many do not!
Check out the credentials of your Cyprus solicitor and ask for references or recommendations if you are at all unsure about whether to proceed.
Our lawyer was recommended to us by our currency broker as well as our property agent in Cyprus.
It sounds obvious but make sure your lawyer speaks your own language fluently. Most Cypriot lawyers have been trained in the UK as the law in Cyprus is based on the British system.
Large developers will have a set contract whereas a small property developer in Cyprus may not (your solicitor will draw up a contract for you).
Either way, your contract should be amended according to your wishes by your lawyer, especially if you are buying a Cyprus off plan property or you have opted for a unique build.
Make sure your lawyer talks you through the various planning permits required and what they all mean eg. you need TWO permits, both a building permit AND a planning permit. The (town) planning permit is the most important one.
Lawyers in Cyprus
Ask your lawyer about the various fees/taxes associated with your Cyprus investment property and where you can make any savings. For example, if you are buying an individual plot, you should be able to reduce your tax burden by doing separate contracts for the land and the actual build.
A good Cypriot solicitor will be able to save you money! Don't forget to ask him/her about their own fees. Again, a decent lawyer will have a set fee rather than charging you according to a percentage of the purchase price.
Make sure your contract includes staged payments. Each payment is only made when you are happy that the work is completed satisfactorily.
You would be surprised how many people have paid the ENTIRE amount UP FRONT for their property purchase in Cyprus, sometimes even before ANY work has commenced! Good Cyprus lawyers will never allow that to happen.
Other things a good Cyprus lawyer should include in your contract include a withholding payment for snagging at the end of the project and a clause to ensure all extras are agreed IN WRITING.