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North Cyprus Property

North Cyprus Property provides unrivalled value for money. It is the only sunshine location in the Mediterranean where you can buy a detached villa and swimming pool for less than £100,000.

There is a variety of options with respect to North Cyprus Property -

Firstly, as the property market for British Buyers is expanding, most of the property opportunities are 'New Build'. In addition, most of these properties are being marketed 'Off Plan'. This means that once a customer has exchanged contracts and paid a deposit, the property will begin to be built. Most North Cyprus Property sales to expatriates take place on this basis. While this is attractive as it allows a purchaser to select a range of options for any 'off the shelf' property style, it does mean that the buyer will have to wait some 9 to 12 months before moving into the property.

Secondly, there is a limited market in modern, completed properties. As most overseas buyers tend to stay long term in North Cyprus, there is a shortage of modern, completed properties coming onto the market. This means that these properties are sold at premium prices. However, if a buyer urgently wants to purchase and move in, this remains an option. Wellington has a policy of constructing a Show House on each site, and this property is available for purchase.

Thirdly, there is a considerable number of old properties in need of modernization. These have been occupied by Turkish Cypriots rather than overseas buyers. The major towns of Nicosia, Famagusta and Kyrenia all have 'old town' areas containing large numbers of terraced properties. These 'old town' areas are presently often dilapidated, but investor interest is quickening and a walk round will provide ample evidence of how dramatic improvements can be made. The Ottoman Courtyard Style is a noticeable characteristic of North Cyprus Property. These courtyards provide an open, sunny area of peace and privacy, yet the property itself can be round the corner from the main shopping and restaurant area of the old town. We have completed several major refurbishments of such properties, and they have been snapped up by overseas buyers.

   

 

 
Avalon of Arthurian Legend
 

If you are waiting for a North Cyprus Property to be built, then you may wish to consider a long let of a modest property so that you can be on the spot in North Cyprus and oversee the construction of a new build. There is an expanding property rental market. The winter is the best time to negotiate a rent, for say 6 or 12 months. Short term lets during the summer tourist season can be expensive.

North Cyprus Property Law

The status of North Cyprus property is a topic of perennial interest and concern for British investors. The Greek Republic of Cyprus continues to wage a 'war of words' on this sensitive issue and, since their entry into the EU in 2005, have tried to utilize EU law to promote their cause.

It would be useful to review the various types of North Cyprus Title Deeds, before considering the importance of recent events.

The Greek side first resorted to the use of International Law in the matter of Titina Loizidou. Ms Loizidou is a Greek Cypriot who left her property in Kyrenia after the occupation of North Cyprus by the Turkish army. In 1989, she crossed the UN monitored buffer zone from the south to the north, accompanied by some 8,000 other Greek Cypriot women. Ms Loizidou was arrested by the Turkish army, and after some 12 hours, released to a UN representative.

In 1996 the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), to which Turkey is a signatory, ruled that the actions of Turkey violated her human rights. In 1998, the ECHR further ruled that Turkey should pay her 1.2 million euros in compensation for preventing her lawful access to her property in Kyrenia. Turkey made payment of this account in November 2003.

The Greek side were elated by this victory, and it is understood there are some 1,500 claims pending at the ECHR

   
   
On cloud 9 with the Nebula
 

This was considered a serious threat by both Turkey and the TRNC. Their response was to create a TRNC Properties Commission which would consider Greek claims for land in the TRNC. The Properties Commission was based on the proposal of the Annan Plan that a Properties Board, with international recognition, would adjudicate all outstanding land claims.

The first test of the TRNC Properties Commission was the Arestis Case which was heard by the ECHR in April 2005. The case is similar to that of Ms Loizidou. Ms Myra Xenides-Arestis had been prevented from enjoying her property in Famagusta due to the division of the island and the presence of the Turkish army. Despite the efforts of TRNC, the ECHR did not consider the TRNC Properties Commission an appropriate local body to deal with this case. This was due to several factors, firstly, several members of the Commission were living in house built on 'Greek' land, and secondly, there was no possibility of restitution.

The response of the TRNC authorities was to propose an amendment to article 159 of the Constitution, and allow for the possibility of restitution of land to former Greek owners. This was a most controversial bill which aroused serious opposition in North Cyprus as it could be construed as an attack on the probity of TRNC title deeds. However, the bill became law in December 2005.

Meanwhile, the Arestis case was being reviewed at the ECHR. Due to the efforts of the TRNC to make the Properties Commission an effective local adjudicator, it was ruled that the Arestis case should be referred to this agency and that the Properties Commission would have some 6 months to consider the matter and provide a remedy. The ECHR ruling also stated that all the other Greek claims which are pending at the ECHR should be transferred to the Properties Commission.

Please see the news article of 16 February 2006 - Turkish Cypriot Returns to Property in South

This is a significant development -

1. Turkey was not ordered to pay compensation to Ms Arestis, and moreover, the compensation previously paid to Ms Loizidou could be reclaimed.

2. The fact that the TRNC Properties Commission has gained ECHR recognition is a step in normalizing relations between North Cyprus and the international community.

3. The ECHR has effectively endorsed the proposals of the Annan Plan whereby a Cyprus agency would be established to resolve property matters. The difference is that this is a TRNC appointed Properties Commission without Greek membership.

 

 

 


   
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4. The Greek Republic of Cyprus can no longer seek redress for alleged loss of properties in North Cyprus from the ECHR.

This ruling could be a landmark in the long history of the Cyprus problem. It is also a serious setback to the politicians in the South who campaigned vigorously for a 'no' vote to the Annan Plan in April 2004. The dispossessed Greek owners of land in North Cyprus would have received better financial compensation, the possibility of actual restitution, and exchange of land with lost Turkish land in the South, if the Greeks had accepted the Annan Plan. Under the current arrangements, compensation will be limited and esdeger or 'exchange' land will be immune from restitution. In addition, the 'one third' rule for restitution, proposed by Annan will not be implemented.

The newly constituted Property Commission came into being on 31 March 2006.

There is another legal avenue that the Greek Republic of Cyprus has been pursuing. Greek Cypriot Courts have made rulings that several UK property owners of houses built on 'Greek' land in North Cyprus should be demolished and compensation paid to Greek 'owners'. One such unfortunate couple is Linda and David Orams. The Greek authorities are attempting to enforce their adverse judgments in the UK Courts. An application to set aside the Greek judgment was lodged in the UK during Christmas week 2005 and Ms Cherie Booth, also known as Blair, appeared for the Orams. The Greek Republic of Cyprus complained about the 'politicizing' of the issue, and Downing Street replied that Mrs Blair was acting in a purely personal capacity. The hearing was originally scheduled for March 2006, but was delayed until the end of July. Please read our report. Observers generally take the view that the ruling of a Greek Republic of Cyprus court on a North Cyprus Property matter will not be deemed enforceable in the UK.

 

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