How long does North Cyprus property buying process takes?


North Cyprus property buying process  – how long does it take?

Property sales can be accomplished in a short period of time. Expect a two-stage (exchange and completion) process similar to that in the United Kingdom. Property acquisition is a one-step procedure. The money is released to the seller the same day you sign the contract. Buying a secondhand house takes only two or three weeks if you pay cash.

Many international buyers purchase brand-new properties. In this case, the time it takes to complete the sale is determined by whether the property was purchased ‘off plan,’ in which case you will have to wait until it is completed before conclucluding the purchase, or whether you are purchasing a newly built property that is finished and ready to occupy right away. You can read our previous post to find out more about the steps to buying the right North Cyprus property!


Many new homes now come with 5-year structural guarantees, obviating the need for a property survey. A cash transaction or a purchase where the developer is paid in installments is simple to set up. The keys can be handed over once the money has been transferred (either the wholesale price or an agreed-upon deposit), and the contract has been signed and registered at the land registry.

The completion of sales involving bank mortgages takes a little longer…

Banks are now willing to lend 50% to foreign buyers who can demonstrate their ability to make the needed repayments. For international buyers, not all homes are suitable for bank mortgages. However, homes in North Cyprus with individual title deeds (ready to transfer) are often eligible. Mortgages for homes with shared title deeds are typically not available from banks. Although shared title deed properties were once prevalent, most new properties (including apartments) now have individual title deeds.

If you acquire an older secondhand home, make sure to examine what type of title deed it has. If the title deeds are shared, you may find it more difficult to sell your property in the future because it can only be bought with cash. Even though they are still excellent assets, brand new properties that are awaiting their deeds or older properties with an interim shared deed are not bank mortgageable.

Risks associated with purchasing property

Purchasing a property in North Cyprus used to be something most people felt skeptical about in the past, but there have been significant legislative changes to the Construction Business rules, making it a safe area to buy now. You can also read our previous blog post to see why Forbes Magazine rated North Cyprus among the world’s greatest investment spots. The new “Estate Agents Bill” protects the buyer by requiring that the contract of sale be registered with the North Cyprus land registry within 21 days after signing.

If you want to have extensive information about the risks associated with buying North Cyprus property please click here!

Buying off-plan

Foreigners buying property in North Cyprus have historically been the subject of a variety of purchase scams. People struggled to comprehend the requirements and procedures because most foreigners do not speak Turkish. Property building standards have been highly improved as a result of previous issues, making it far more difficult for a builder/developer/property agent to sell the false property or resell the property to many persons.

Before construction begins, construction companies must demonstrate that they have sufficient cash to complete the project, and building plans are scrutinized more extensively, with regulations to provide acceptable amenities such as parking spaces, access, and so on.
Purchasing from a plan is no longer a danger if you buy from a reputable builder and use an independent (not the builder’s) architect.
If you are not in the country, we recommend that you keep an eye on the status of your property through the selling agency or friends.
If the builder has not included penalty terms in their typical contract, ask your solicitor to introduce them.

Title Deeds

Following the island’s separation in 1974, North Cyprus adopted its own rules and regulations, and the Turkish Cypriots established a separate legal system in connection to the conveyancing procedure. There are various different types of deeds in North Cyprus, which are as follows:

Pre-1974 Turkish Cypriot or other foreign ownership: these types of title deeds are regarded as completely safe. Turkish or British/Foreign Ownership prior to 1974 deed properties are constructed on land that was formerly owned by Turkish Cypriots or British nationals before 1974, and the rights to the title deeds predate the island’s division in 1974. There can be no claim or property loss resulting from the construction of structures on this land. Many people still regard “Pre 74 Turkish Title” as the gold standard, and properties with this sort of Title command a little premium.

TRNC Freehold, commonly known as Esdeger or Exchange Land, was owned by Greek Cypriots prior to 1974. This is territory that the North Cyprus government gave to Turkish Cypriots in exchange for land that they lost on the island’s south side when it was partitioned. All deeds are rectified and renamed as TRNC deeds under the 1983 TRNC Constitution, and they are freely transferable to foreigners. TRNC TMD Land is land that was given to mainland Turks in return for their military service in North Cyprus.

Leasehold — Properties owned by the North Cyprus government and available for 49-year leases. Properties in Karaman (Karmi) are leasehold because they were formerly Greek-owned and could be returned to their original owners in the case of reunification. When you buy a home in Karaman, the purchase price includes the cost of transferring the lease into your name.

Many individuals feel that because the island was divided in 1974, a pre-existing deed would appear to substitute your TRNC title deed if the island was reunited. This is a myth, as properties in North Cyprus built on Pre-74 and Exchange Title Deed land are safe. The deeds issued for new homes erected since 1974 on land that was not developed previous to the island’s separation are referred to as “TRNC Title Deeds.” The government of North Cyprus is backing these deeds.

The issue of compensation for ‘lost’ land by former Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot landowners is a major sticking point in the unification talks. However, it is quite doubtful that any agreed-upon solution will involve individual present landowners paying compensation. In compliance with the European Court of Human Rights judgments, the Immovable Property Commission was established in 2005 under the Immovable Property Law (No 67/2005). The goal of this organization is to create a viable domestic remedy for claims involving abandoned properties in North Cyprus. This body has been in operation since 2006, and the European Court of Human Rights formally recognized and endorsed it in 2010.

According to the provisions of Law No. 67/2005, the Immovable Property Commission reviews requests for restitution, compensation, and exchange. Its conclusion is founded on the principles of bi-zonality and commonality, which have been agreed upon as the foundation for any reunion deal. As of August 20, 2020, the Commission had received 6,694 applications, 1,213 of which had been resolved through peaceful settlements and 33 through formal hearings. Over £312 million has been paid out in compensation, yet the Commission has only ordered restitution in five cases.

Note that foreigners will not be granted a Permission to Purchase if the property is located near a military installation. When you request a copy of the title deeds, the type of title deeds will become apparent.

Checks prior to purchase

When you identify a home that you want to buy, it is a good idea to consider the following:

Make a physical inspection of the property, taking a note of any issues you see and asking if they will be addressed before the sale is finalized.

Check the property’s location, access, and borders – have the vendor show you the property’s boundaries and ask if there are any concerns. If this is not possible, inquire about the property’s access arrangements.

Inquire about a copy of the title deed.

Examine the sheet plan, plot references, and site plan that are attached to the title deed.

Examine the site plan for its shape and bounds, and see if they correspond to the information you have been given.

Inquire whether the vendor double-checked the plans after the 2019 boundary review and whether the new borders are in line with the kocan plans.

Inquire whether building permits have been obtained (from the State Planning Office) – especially if the property has been extensively altered or extended.

Inquire about service delivery and whether there are any issues.

Inquire about whether the property has a septic tank and, if not, what the sewage arrangements are.

If there is a well on the property, find out if it is serviceable and if the water quality has been checked recently.

If your developer has agreed to add extras in the purchase price, compile a list of them and confirm that they are included so that you know exactly what is included.

Make sure your conveyancing solicitor is aware of any issues or worries when you meet with them, and ask them to double-check any potential issues. If your solicitor is aware of any potential concerns ahead of time, they can double-check them before moving through with the deal, or ensure that remedies are clearly included in the Contract of Sale. Notify your solicitor of any extras you have agreed to include in the sale price so they can be included in the Sales Contract.

Conveyancing process with a Solicitor

Typically, you would plan an initial meeting with your solicitor to go over the details of the property you want to buy and any informal agreements you have made with the vendor about the purchase price, payment arrangement, and any other items included in the sale.

They should go over the steps you will need to take, as well as the taxes and fees you will have to pay. They will conduct preliminary investigations on your behalf in order to ensure that the transactions are completed safely and efficiently.

Solicitors will usually present you with a document that details the legal services they will conduct on your behalf. You will usually be asked to sign a contract authorizing them to operate on your behalf, as well as pay a portion of the conveyancing fees up ahead. If you do not intend to stay in North Cyprus, they may require you to sign a power of attorney so that they can act and sign documents on your behalf if you are unable to do so in person.

are there risks associated with buying north cyprus property?

​Services provided by a conveyancing solicitor:

⦁ Your lawyer should do a land registry search at the appropriate Land Registry Office to ensure that the seller is the registered freehold owner of the immovable property and that it is free of liens, charges, and encumbrances. They will go over the documentation to make sure they have all of the necessary building licenses, construction clearances, and approvals.

​⦁ Your lawyer will design a Contract of Transaction for you or evaluate the Vendor’s draft Contract of Sale and modify it to your unique needs, outlining the terms of the sale, the completion dates, the parties’ responsibilities, and default penalties and compensation clauses. The contract will be given to you and the seller to review before being signed if both parties are pleased with the contents.

​If the search results are satisfactory and both parties sign the Contract of Sale, the contract will be registered at the District Land Registry office. All contracts of sale for the purchase of immovable property must be registered at the District Land Registry office within 21 days of signing the contract, and stamp duty of 0.5 percent of the property value must be paid before registration may take place. By registering the contract, you ensure that you are protected from the property being sold or transferred to a third party, as well as any subsequent liens.

​⦁ Non-TRNC citizens are authorized to take title to just one property up to a maximum area of 5 donums per household under TRNC legislation, as long as the property only has one home (unless you form a company or constitute a trust with a local person). The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNCImmovable )’s Property Acquisition and Long-Term Lease (Aliens) Law (52-2008) mandates that every non-TRNC citizen get Permission to Purchase from the TRNC Council of Ministers before the title to the property can be registered in their name. On your behalf, your lawyer should submit an application for purchase permission. Note: Currently, a husband and wife are only allowed to own one property apiece.

Permission to Purchase (PTP) – The Council of Ministers will conduct appropriate searches, including land searches, military searches, and immigration searches. The Council of Ministers will also want to know if you are a good person with no criminal history. Permission to purchase will be granted if these are satisfactory. Once your permit has been granted, your lawyer will notify you and complete the necessary land registry valuation forms. Your lawyer will then initiate the transfer of the title deeds into your name after the taxes owing on completion are paid.

​In any property sale or buy process, there are four key taxes to consider:

Stamp duty

Capital gains tax


Transfer fee

The Vendor is normally responsible for paying Capital Gains Tax (Stopaj) to the Tax Office, though this can be changed by the parties through an express clause in the Contract of Sale.

Prior to the transfer of title, the Tax Office requires a copy of the Contract of Sale to be given to it. The Capital Gains Tax will then be calculated based on either the Assessed Value or the Contract Value of the property, whichever is higher and is currently 4%.

​Prior to the transfer of title, the Tax Office requires a copy of the Contract of Sale to be produced. The V.A.T will then be calculated using either the Assessed Value or the Contract Value, whichever is higher. V.A.T. is presently set at 5%. Whether or whether a transaction is subject to V.A.T determines whether or not V.A.T must be paid.

This is dependent on whether the Vendor (the individual who holds title to the property, not just contractual ownership or possession) is considered a ‘Professional Vendor’ by the Tax Office (i.e. whether the transaction is of a commercial nature or for profit). The transaction will be liable to V.A.T if the Vendor is assessed to be a Professional Vendor.

The transaction will not be liable to V.A.T if the Vendor is a private individual rather than a Professional Vendor. If the transaction is subject to V.A.T, the buyer is usually responsible for paying the V.A.T, which is determined by the conditions of the Contract of Sale.

The purchaser normally pays the transfer fee, which is now 6% of the property assessed value or the contract price, whichever is higher, to the Land Registry Office right before the transfer of title. When you buy a property in the TRNC for the first time, you can get a 3 percent tax break.

Before transferring the title, the Land Registry will examine the Contract of Sale to determine the property’s value, and the Transfer Fee will be based on the higher the assessed value or the Contract price. The Purchaser is usually responsible for the Transfer fee, though the parties can always agree to a different amount through an express stipulation in the Contract of Sale.

Stamp Duty is a tax that is paid to the government and is based on the property’s contract value. In most cases, the Purchaser is responsible for paying Stamp Duty, which is determined by the conditions of the Contract of Sale.

All contracts of sale must be registered at the District Lands Office within 21 days of signing, and the Stamp Duty (0.5%) must be paid before the contract can be registered.


Permission to purchase

To get the Title Deeds for a property, all foreigners must apply for Permission to Purchase. After you’ve signed the contract of sale, this process begins. It is a simple procedure that is usually handled on your behalf by your lawyer. Permission to Purchase may take many months to be granted; however, if you pass a police check in your country of origin, there is no reason to suppose Permission to Purchase will be denied.

Concerns that PTP may not be awarded are unjustified if you are purchasing a new house from a reputable developer with a track record of producing deeds and the legalities of the property have been reviewed by a respected lawyer. Because foreigners are only allowed to hold one title deed per person if you wish to buy more than one property as a couple, you should place one in one person’s name and the other in the other’s name.

There are a few instances where injunctions or barriers prevent the buyer from receiving the title deed. When the deed is shared with another property, this can happen. Before you make an offer on a home or before your reservation deposit money is released to the seller, make sure your solicitor checks for a legitimate title deed.

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