There is much talk and doubt amongst many purchasers regarding land titles in Northern Cyprus. The information below clarifies the land title situation and will reassure you through a better understanding of the system. The most crucial factor in buying property in Northern Cyprus, whether land or buildings, is to use a qualified lawyer for the preparation of all contracts and government applications. As part of our service we can recommend several reputable firms of independent solicitors, who specialise in this area of expertise.
Foreigners are limited to owning one dönüm (approx 1/3 acre) per person (husband and wife count as one person). The Council of Ministers carry out a number of checks following an application to purchase and these can take approx 12-18 months to complete.
The Land Registry maintains records of all land transfers in the same way as in the UK. The TRNC government issues the titles in the form of either freehold our leasehold Title Deeds ("Kocan" in Turkish)
This is land owned by a Greek Cypriot prior to 1974 and abandoned when the owner relocated. It is normally now owned by a Turkish Cypriot who fled from the south, and who has lodged the title deed to his former land with the Land Registry in exchange thereby waiving his/her ownership rights to his land in the south. The land in the south is generally now far greater in value due to the rise in prices.
Absolute Possession Document (Kesin Tasarruf Belgesi)
This is land owned by a Greek Cypriot prior to 1974 and abandoned by its owner. The land was re-possessed by the TRNC government and has been granted to Turks or Turkish Cypriots normally in recognition for services and on a points basis.
The TRNC Government owns the freehold for this land. Long-term leases can be granted for 49 years with an option for a second 49-year term. This type of title deed is used mainly for tourism investments. Leases can be transferred directly or via a solicitor upon application to the Ministry of Interior. For example, all the houses in the picturesque village of Karmi are leased to foreigners.
Land or buildings belonging to a Greek Cypriot prior to 1974, for which no title deeds have been issued are sometimes offered for relatively nominal "goodwill" sums.
It is our opinion that agreements should not be entered into for any property that does not have a recognised and authenticated title deed issued by the relevant authority.
All our North Cyprus properties are sold freehold with clear title, depending on the original title of the development. Each development, when complete, is divided into individual title deeds for each plot and is then transferred to the buyer automatically by us.
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