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Legal information

Property acquisition:
Cyprus is the most popular overseas destination for real estate purchases in the Mediterranean. The legalities for property purchases are relatively simple. A governmental approval for buying property is required for foreigners, which is granted as a matter of routine to all bona fide purchasers, if the following are met:

  • No criminal record
  • Annual income of Ј12 000
  • One house or one apartment
  • Building plot not exceeding 4,000m2
non Europeans are permitted to buy for personal use:
  • An apartment or
  • A house or
  • A plot of land,

Each kind of property must not exceed 3 donums (4, 000 m2)

A written application must be submitted by the non European purchaser to the Council of Ministers to grant permission for acquiring immovable property in Cyprus. The application should be submitted after signing the contract of sale. The approval is granted to all bona fide purchasers as a routine procedure.

Nominal application fee is Ј150, payable when permission is granted.

Acquiring the title deed:
Transfer of ownership from vendor to purchaser is accomplished through the Cyprus Land Registry Office by a simple procedure, either by the purchaser in person, or by appointing a third party with a Power of Attorney.

For a non Cypriot purchaser, the prerequisite for registration is to provide evidence of payment for the property with foreign exchange, as well as the signed contract of sale.

Upon the issuance, the title deed will be registered in the name of the purchaser, and will be recorded in the Government archives, which are confidential and inaccessible.

Transfer Fees based on property’s value:

Up to Ј50 000 3% fees
Ј50 001 - Ј100 00 5% fees
Over Ј100 000 8% fees.
For example:

Purchase price: Ј85 000

Fees: First Ј50 000 × 3% = Ј1 500

Next Ј35 000 × 5% = Ј1 750

Total Fees: = Ј3 250 (3.82%)

Stamp Duty:
Stamp duty is due upon signing the contract.

Stamp duty rate:
Up to the 100 000 1.5‰
Over 100 000 2 ‰
For example:

Purchase price: Ј150 000

Stamp Duty; First Ј100 000 x 1.5‰ = Ј150

Next Ј 50 000 x 2 ‰ = Ј100 Total Fees: = Ј250

Immovable Property Tax: per annum, pounds per thousand

Up to Ј100 000 exempt
Ј100 001 - Ј250 000 2.5 %
Ј250 001 - Ј500 000 3.0 %
Over Ј500 000 3.5 %

Municipal Authority Taxes:

This levy is an annual property tax at the rate of about Ј20 -Ј40 per year for refuse collection, street lighting, sewerage etc.

Capital Gains Tax:
According to Cypriot Law, should the purchaser decide to resell the property at a later stage, the full amount paid in foreign exchange may be transferred abroad, as well as the equivalent of the full purchase price and any increase in value of the property. In addition to this allowance, the seller is entitled to a further allowance regarding the transfer fees paid, inflation rate per year and the cost of any additions made to the house. Property sales are subject to Capital Gains Tax at the rate of 20% on the gain, however, the first Ј10 000 are tax exempt.

Gains from a disposal of a dwelling house are exempt up to Ј50,000, if the owner resides in it continuously for five years prior to disposal.

Tax Privileges:
Personal effects, household goods and furniture can be free of import duty, provided that they are for personal use. There is also an allowance for a duty free car, and retired couples enjoy the additional concession of two duty free cars.

Retirees who become residents in Cyprus are taxed on their pension from abroad at the rate of 5% for amounts exceeding Ј2,000 annually. There is 0% on investment income (i.e. dividends and interest) brought into Cyprus. In special circumstances exemptions totalling up to Ј4 000 per person or Ј8 000 per couple may apply. Consequently, the total tax burden on alien residents is in practice often only 3%. Their total annual income up to Ј10 000 is tax exempt, as for all Cypriots.

Additionally, Cyprus has Double Taxation Treaties with many European and other countries. The main purpose of these treaties is the avoidance of double taxation of income earned in any of these countries.

Cyprus has double taxation treaties with: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, Malta, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, UK, USA and Yugoslavia.