Cyprus laws concerning the acquisition of property

Law book

On its accession to the EU, Cyprus revised many of its laws that placed restrictions on property investment by citizens of other EU member states.

But to protect its sensitive property market, it agreed a five-year transitional period with the European Union preventing EU citizens who are not permanent residents of the island from owning secondary residences.

That transition period has now come to end and EU citizens are now allowed to own as much property as they wish. 

The acquisition of immovable property by EU citizens

A national of an EU member country is permitted to own as much ‘immovable property’ (a term that includes both land and property) as they wish.

Once the Title Deeds for the property they are buying become available, they are required to provide proof of their citizenship by taking their passport to the District Lands office when they pay the Property Transfer Fees.

The acquisition of immovable property by non-EU citizens

A national of a non-European Union country must seek the approval of the 'Council of Ministers' before they can own any type of immovable property. Furthermore, unless there are exceptional circumstances, their ownership will be limited to:

(In exceptional circumstances, the Council of Ministers will grant permission to own more than one building. For example, if you're property developer and wish to take over a hotel).

Obtaining Council of Ministers approval

To get Council of Ministers approval to own property in Cyprus your lawyer will complete an application form and submit it, together with information about yourself and details of the property you want to buy, to the local District Office.

The District Officer makes further enquiries and prepares a report that he submits to the Council of Ministers for their consideration. In the meantime, any contract you have signed and deposited at the Land Registry for Specific Performance to purchase a property remains valid and you may take possession of the property while your case is being considered.

The Council of Ministers advises the District Officer of its decision. In turn, the District Officer sends you a letter of approval (a permit) or refusal.

It is unusual for the Council of Ministers to refuse permission to bona fide foreign nationals.

When applying to the Council of Ministers, the following documents & information must be submitted: