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Title Deeds













North Cyprus Title Deeds

The task of finding a Property Developer, Estate Agent or Builder in North Cyprus, or indeed any overseas location, is a daunting task.

The situation is made worse by the confusion concerning North Cyprus Property Title Deeds.

North Cyprus Title Deeds

When buying property, particularly when buying property abroad, remember the motto - Buyer Beware!

Make sure you know what you are buying, that you have the legal right to buy and that your legal interests are properly represented.

It is 100% safe to buy property in North Cyprus...if you have the right title deed.  You must know what you're doing though!

It is essential to appoint a well respected, fully qualified lawyer to look out for your best interests when buying property in North Cyprus.  There are plenty of lawyers available – please see our solicitors page




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Foreign ownership pre-1974: -
This would relate to property with a title deed (kocan) that has been owned since before 1974 by a non-Cypriot.

Property in this category is rare but can provide the quickest route to purchase as there is no requirement for the approval of the Council of Ministers. These properties are in short supply and command premium prices

Turkish Cypriot owned pre-1974: -
Property in this category can be registered in your name after approval has been sought by the Council of Ministers.

Foreign buyers are limited to the purchase of one donum of land per person - a married couple count as one person. However, it is possible to register the first of a series of purchases in one name, eg Mr Smith, and the next in the other, eg Mrs Smith.

The whole procedure for obtaining this approval can take from 6 months to several years. However, you can take legal occupation of the property during this time. Since 2010 the TRNC authorities have exhibited reluctance to register this type of deed in the name on a non TRNC national.

Again, properties and land with this type of North Cyprus Title Deeds are rare, expensive and often in grade B locations.

Please see the delusion of pre 1974 Turkish Title Deeds  
On cloud 9 with the Nebula

TRNC Absolute Possession Document - Or Kesin tasarruf
You will find this type of title deed with land or property originally owned by a Greek Cypriot before 1974.

It comprises several sub categories -

1. Exchange Deeds - Or Esdeger:-
The North Cyprus Title Deeds in this case were given by the TRNC Government to the Turkish Cypriot refugees who escaped to the safety of the north after the 1974 war and who left all their possessions behind in the south.

The Government assessed the value of the refugee's forsaken assets in the south on a points basis. With the points granted the refugees could take a relinquished Greek Cypriot house or land valued at the sum of the points awarded - this was in compensation for the lost properties on the south.

The Turkish Cypriot then signed over his property in the south to the TRNC government to be held by them pending a negotiated resolution and settlement between the north and south Governments.

The owner of such a title deed is allowed to sell the property it relates to.

You will find that many Turkish Cypriots you speak to gave up considerable amounts of land in the South of the island in ‘exchange' for land in the North following the troubles pre-1974 and the 1974 dispute.

Under the Annan Plan for the reunification of Cyprus, it is proposed that current owners of exchange land have their ownership declared internationally binding.

2. Exchange Title Deeds – with no previously registered Greek owner:-
Not all the agricultural land was registered prior to 1974 and a significant amount was not cultivated but used as pasture for goats, cows etc. This land tended to be used by communities rather than claimed by one person or his family.

Tracts of this agricultural land have been registered post 1974 and have been awarded exchange North Cyprus Title Deeds status.

3. TMD or Points Based Allocated Land:-
This is mainly agricultural land which the TRNC government has allocated to Turkish Cypriots or mainland Turkish immigrants. Provided the land has been 'improved' then the Annan Plan confirmed that ownership will reside with the current owner regardless of any possible Greek claim to the land.



Avalon of Arthurian Legend

Note - All the above species of North Cyprus Title Deeds are considered safe, with or without a resolution of the Cyprus problem or a reunification of the island.

Land allocated for military service:-
This refers to Greek land which the TRNC allocated to military servicemen or their widows and children subsequent to the troubles of 1974. In more recent times, land was granted to Turkish Cypriots who completed at least two years military service. This type of deed is generally considered less safe then those above and may carry a risk of financial payment to a dispossessed Greek owner or his heirs. The financial mechanism was laid out in the Annan Plan, and for a property standing in grounds of half a donum, or 670 sq metres, an estimate of some £5,000 is a guide. Again, if the land has been 'improved' it is immune from restitution, regardless of the strength of any Greek claim.

Land designated in the Annan Plan for Greek Administration:-
Under the Annan Plan for the solution of the Cyprus problem, there are several areas which are under consideration for being handed over to Greek Cypriot administration in the event of a resolution of the on-going dispute.

Property developers tend not to build in these areas. However, if you are in doubt instruct your lawyer in TRNC to examine the history of the North Cyprus Title Deeds and the area where the property you are interested in is located and to advise you further.

Greek Cypriot pre-1974: -
This type of title deed is assigned to land or property where there is a clear Greek title pre 1974.

Occasionally property comes on the market at a fairly low cost with this title deed - such properties are not considered safe to buy.

Contractual or “cases pending” land or property: -
These are properties where North Cyprus title deeds were never issued simply because of delays at the time of the division of the island in 1974.

At the time the situation was chaotic and so a statement was issued by the Turkish Cypriot Government stating that all foreign land and property ownership, once registered, would be absolutely respected.

This is the case, and the first cases have already been through court.  If the owner can prove the original payment for the property was made then the deeds are issued and this means they are safe to purchase.

Purchase before the formal legal issue of the deeds is advised against - just in case - and again, if in doubt seek legal advice.

Lease from Government: -
In TRNC sometimes Government land and property comes available for lease.

Usually the properties are derelict and the Government will lease them out for periods of up to 49 years for a minimal ground rent for the lease period.

They are leased to foreigners who are prepared to renovate them at their own expense.

Remember that your dream home could be at risk if you go ahead and complete a purchase without obtaining satisfactory confirmation of the title deeds and right to sell by a solicitor.

In conclusion, the matter requires advice from a qualified local solicitor. The solicitor will also make a buyer's application to the Council of Ministers.

Other Pages of Interest

Cherie Blair and the Orams Case

North Cyprus Property Law

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