Independent legal advice is essential!

Independent legal advice is essentialTHE MOST COMMON MISTAKE people make when buying property in Cyprus is to use a lawyer who has been introduced or recommended to them by a property developer. Others fall into the trap of using the 'free' legal services provided by some the developers.

Property buyers are generally unaware of the different business culture in Cyprus and the fact that many lawyers work for the developers interests rather than those of the buyers.

Others appear oblivious of the fact that companies marketing overseas property in Cyprus have financial & business interests with property developers and lawyers in Cyprus. One of these lawyers, allegedly the girlfriend of a well-known property developer in Paphos,  was granted a Presidential pardon after receiving a 30-day prison sentence from the Court for repeated motoring offences.

Perhaps the above information will help you understand how different the business ethics are in Cyprus compared to those in the UK - and how important it is to get honest, independent legal advice.

To help avoid legal problems and the very real risk of losing your money, it is vital that you take advice from an independent Cyprus property lawyer - and it is essential that you do not sign any papers or hand over any money until you have done so.

Finding an independent property lawyer

The British High Commission in Nicosia publishes a list of lawyers who are able to give advice in English to British nationals. They have kindly allowed me to publish the list on my website, and you may download it from "List of Local Lawyers". (There are also three other documents in my download area from the British High Commission that you may also find useful).

After your lawyer has drawn up your contract, make sure the top 10 property contract clauses are included.

My most important advice

NEVER hand over money or sign any papers until you have spoken with a competent independent Cyprus property lawyer.

NEVER use a law firm or take legal advice from a lawyer who has been introduced to you by a property developer or any other vendor.

NEVER use the so-called 'free' legal services offered by property developers.

NEVER use use a lawyer who has been introduced to you by a company marketing overseas property in Cyprus.

NEVER use a law firm that does not carry an adequate level of Professional Indemnity Insurance.

I cannot emphasise too strongly that anyone buying property in Cyprus must take expert, independent legal advice from a conveyancing lawyer experienced in Cyprus property law.