Different types of land
It is important to recognize that there are two types of land that you can
buy: 'building land' (in Greek οικόπεδο - pronounced ikόpedo) and what I call
Building land is usually easy to identify:
Most importantly, the word οικόπεδο appears on the
The utility services (water, electricity and telephone)
will be provided to the edge of the plot.
There will be a right of way giving vehicular access to
Although you may be tempted to buy other land on which to build your property,
doing so can be extremely risky unless you've done
your homework properly:
You may be denied planning permission for your property.
It may prove prohibitively expensive to get electricity
and the telephone to your property and/or you may have to wait many years.
You may be unable to get water piped to your property and
have to rely on tanker deliveries or a borehole.
You may have to give up part of the land for roads,
pavements and amenity areas.
There may be no right-of-way to access the land or the
right-of-way may be insufficient (it needs to have a minimum width of 12
feet) to make full use of your property. In this
situation you may claim a right-of-way from adjoining properties on payment
of reasonable compensation to their owners.
The geological conditions may make the land unsuitable
for building or there could be a seasonal water course running
through it; a geological survey is a must.
If the land is more than 600 feet from a public road,
permission to build a dwelling on it will almost certainly be refused.
Advice when looking at land for sale in Cyprus
Follow the advice in my 'Legal Advice' and 'Property
When viewing land, make absolutely sure that the land
you are being shown is the land that is being sold. Ask the vendor for a
copy of the Title Deed and the Lands’ Office Site Plan and then:
Check that the sheet/plan/plot/references written on the land's
agree with those on the Site Plan.
Look at the Site Plan; from its boundaries, shape and location, look around
you and identify roads, buildings, and other features shown on the Site
Establish that you can build a house on the land. (As planning applications can only be submitted by the legal registered owner of the land, all that can be expected is an informal, non-binding, off-the-record comment from one of the planning officers).
Obtain a survey of the land to ensure that it's suitable
for building a property.
Check to see whether any Town Planning Zones affect the
land. There are a number of aspects to be considered:
Build(ing) Factor: The maximum number of square metres that you are
allowed to build expressed as a percentage of the land area.
Site Coverage: The maximum area of the site that can be occupied by a
building’s ground floor expressed as a percentage of the land area.
Height and number of floors allowed.
Usage: What type of structures can be built on the site - can you
build a property?
Several family members often share ownership of land and
it is vital to ensure that all of them are prepared to sell.
The seashore protection zone usually prevents building
on any land within 100 metres of the sea.
Avoid buying a share in a plot of land unless it
can be sub-divided into smaller plots and a Title Deed issued for
each of them.