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Northern Cyprus Property Woes

WITHOUT PREJUDICE By Pauline Read

North Cyprus Property | TRNC Property Tax

The following letter was submitted to me with a promise of anonymity:

‘I am obliged to pay property tax on the pre ’74 Turkish Title property, which I paid for in full and registered with the Tapu by paying the stamp duty, but for which, after 8 years residency and 2 ‘PTP’ applications, the TRNC government still refuse to give me the ‘Permission to Purchase’ and/or Title Deed for, on the flimsy excuse that the property is ‘situated too near to a military site’. I should note that it is quite impossible to view, even with binoculars, any military site, or activity, from any point on my property. As an aside: why should someone be forced to pay 25% tax on an empty, unused swimming pool – just because one exists on the property? Conversely, if a pool is functional, fair enough.

As the ownership, by virtue of the Title Deed (Kochan), is still in the name of the Vendor, and despite the registered Contract of Sale, the fact remains that I do not own the property, yet the obligation is on me to pay the Property Tax – how can this be justifiably legal? Surely, the onus should be on the Vendor to pay the Property Tax until, I, the legal buyer, assume full and freehold title? Would this anomaly be legally allowable under EU legislation, or indeed, in any civilised country? Further, does this not, in fact, constitute a gross violation of Human Rights? Dismissing this travesty by glibly repeating ‘This is TRNC!’ simply serves to concur with the Council of Ministers’ secret agenda of denying foreigners legal ownership of the pre 1974 Turkish Title property in proximity to ‘military areas’ that they were mis-sold, yet bought in good faith, due to the outright lies told to them by estate agents and advocates. The word for such a devious practice is: reprehensible!”

I received this from a friend who clearly has the same problem suffered by so many purchasers of property close to military installations. Of course all the time it remains in the Vendor’s name, regardless of the promises made when we were all allowed to register our Contracts back in 2008, the purchaser remains vulnerable.

I was in court recently with a purchaser who is now having to legally challenge the fact that, on the instigation of the landowner, the Tapu have de-registered her legally registered Contract of Sale. Now, who would believe that would happen? Stop shouting please, I know we all knew it was just a matter of time before it happened.

There have also been reports of courts allowing Memorandums in behind registered Contracts.

So what security did the registering of Contracts really give?

The message also reminded me of the promise of Dr Celebi, made publicly in April 2012 in Cyprus Today. I bring back the hype for your information and amusement.

My friend is right of course, why the hell should he pay property tax until ownership is transferred. As usual this Government wants all the benefits monetarily but will give nothing in return. Same old, same old…

Never give in never give up

Pauline Read

Courtesy of North Cyprus free press

A Major court ruling came from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and it’s a huge blow to English expats living in the northern part of Cyprus.

The ECJ ruling has ordered British expat couple David and Linda Orams to demolish a house they had built on the Lapithos property of Greek Cypriot refugee Meletis Apostolides.

Anyone that owns a property in the North that was originally owned by a Greek Cypriot (prior to the war) may be facing a similar fate. This case will also have huge ramifications on the peace talks.

We have always stressed the huge risks involved buying in the North…

This ruling may eventually lead to the right for all Greek Cypriots to take back their illegally occupied homes. It’s important to note that this whole issue applies to anyone that buys land too. We cannot stress this more highly, we know that buying in the North is cheap…but there is a huge risk.

We think it’s important to mention that buying a property in the Republic of Cyprus (South) does not have the same issues. All property & land that was owned by Turkish Cypriots before the war has been maintained by the government and has never been sold onto a third party.

Buying in the Republic of Cyprus is safe and your title is registered at the land registry.

Should you want to find out more, most of the UK newspapers are covering the story as Cherie Blair is the solicitor for the Orams which is news.

The Foreign Office warns anyone planning to buy property in the Turkish-Cypriot state, which is recognised only by Turkey, that they could face legal action in Cyprus and elsewhere in the EU, including Britain.

Its website says: 'The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in a number of cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus

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