It is recommended to conduct the purchase process of a private or a commercial immovable property in Northern Cyprus via registered lawyer. The lawyer is to ensure that the legal process is applied to the best interest of the buyer and is there to guide the buyer step-by-step.
It's advisable to select an independent, experienced and trusted lawyer, who serves your specific legal needs.
According to the Law of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus by the Ministry of Interior Affairs, foreign citizens are entitled to obtain title deed of one property with a maximum land plot of 5 donums (providing that the property consists of one dwelling).
The purchase process starts from meeting the lawyer to exchange the information regarding the property that is being bought. This information typically includes the price, payment schedule, any informal agreement (discount, bonuses) that were reach with the vendor/seller. If the buyer is living outside TRNC, then the lawyer will ask for a power of attorney to act on behalf of the buyer. This power of attorney should only be valid for the purchase of the immovable property in Northern Cyprus.
The purpose of this article
The Contract of Sales is prepared to ensure that everything is there to secure the buyer's best interests. Once all the parties (the Seller and the Buyer) approve the draft of the contract, it will then be signed and exchanged. Every page (including the appendixes) should be initialed and the Contract of Sale should be witnessed. Each party should have one original copy. The buyer should ensure that they check the contact and that it includes all aspects of the commercial agreement.
Under law - clause "38/07" contracts must be registered with the Land Registry Office within 21 days from the date the original contract was signed. It is compulsory to pay the stamp duty of 0.5% at the time of registration. Once the contract of sale is registered, the property is protected from being sold to any other third party and the Contract will take priority over any subsequent encumbrance.
All purchases of any immovable property by non-TRNC citizens must be sanctioned by the Council of the Ministers in accordance to the law - clause "52/2008", the application (Permission To Purchase) to the Ministry should be made. Title deed, site plan copy, completed purchase permit application form, Police Clearance Certificate obtained from the local police station relevant to the country of their residence. Title transfer is dependent upon successful a Permission To Purchase application being granted. Whilst processing the Permission To Purchase permit, the Council of Ministers will inquire to the Land Registry, the Military and the Immigration Authorities checks. Provided that these checks are satisfactory, the permission will be granted. The permissions are granted in the majority of the applications. The rare cases of the refusal are due to the location and proximity to a strategic military installation or criminal history of the purchaser at the Interpol level. The permission process can take around 4-6 months to complete. However, this does prevent the new owner from moving into the property or leasing the property or possibly even selling the Property (as a standard practice the lawyer should make sure that the contract is assignable).
Once Permission To Purchase has been granted, all the necessary valuation forms will be filled out for the valuation of the property. The taxes due on the transfer of title will be paid and the title deeds will be registered on the name of the new owner. These taxes are typically 3% for the personal buyers and 6% if the property is purchased by a company. If Power of Attorney was given to a lawyer to act on behalf of the buyer, then the lawyer will do the Registration and the Title Transfer on the buyer's behalf.