Lawyers holding buyer's payment

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Lawyers holding buyer's payment

Post by Cathie » 20 Aug 2013 09:19

Dear Mr. Howarth,
I cannot again thank you enough for your help and advice-it has been a God send recently and in the past.
The owner of Law Firm I bought my house through has been honourable, and is himself paying off the developer's outstanding mortgage on my house (that his colleague had not revealed to me 7 years ago) so that my sale can proceed.The owner/senior partner is now acting as my lawyer instead of the colleague.
However, now that the sale is going ahead, I have one more concern.
The buyer is not a EU citizen, so needs to get a permit to purchase (which takes a few weeks, but I believe is automatic), and understandably he wants to get the Title Deeds-which are ready-before the sale is finalised. I am selling to him on the basis of an Assignment.
I am told that this should all be completed by mid September at the latest.
The buyer will this week transfer the purchase funds to my lawyer's firm, to hold the funds, and the lawyer has said he will then send the funds directly to my UK bank account as soon as the permit and Title Deeds are completed.
My contract of sale says that I must vacate the house by end of August-the buyer has been very patient while the rigmarole of the unknown outstanding mortgage has been dealt with, and end of August was the originally agreed deadline.
It seems that I am to hand over the keys then if the lawyer has received full payment, but I will not personally receive the funds until mid September-ish. I am told this is totally secure, and have no need to worry.....but I am worried.

Nigel Howarth
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Location: Erimi, Limassol, Cyprus

Re: Lawyers holding buyer's payment

Post by Nigel Howarth » 20 Aug 2013 22:52

Dear Cathie

At the end of the day, you have to put your trust in someone - and it seems that your lawyer is making amends for his junior colleague's past misdemeanours.

Although a non-EU citizen can buy property, they do need permission from the Council of Ministers to own the property (i.e. to get its Title Deed registered in their name). This can take a good deal longer than a few weeks. But in the meantime the buyer can live in the property and their assignment contract lodged at the land registry remains valid.

As you may be aware, there are restrictions in place limiting the amount of money that can be taken out of Cyprus - but this does not apply to 'new' money entering the country from overseas. Your lawyer will have to make an application to transfer the proceeds of the sale to your UK account - and he will also have to sort out and Capital Gains Tax that may be due on the sale and this will take some time.

If you could 'PM' me the name of your lawyer, I may have some background information on him.


Nigel Howarth
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