Click one of the frequently asked questions below to learn more about Cyprus in general and property in particular. We will be adding more questions and hope to build this in to an invaluable resource for those thinking of purchasing a property in Cyprus.
Questions about Cyprus
What is the cost of living in Cyprus?
The cost of living in Cyprus is low compared to many other European destinations. Especially now with the annexation of the island to the EU, Cyprus enjoys a wide spectrum of goods with no taxes applied.
How does the medical care system operate?
Another enjoyable part of the low cost of living is the medical care system in Cyprus. It is very inexpensive. A doctor’s visit costs about €20 and X-rays about €26. Inexpensive Private Medical Insurance is also available. Cyprus residents, whether Cypriots or not, can have a private medical insurance starting from €225 pa. The health care is of a very high standard. The majority of the doctors have been trained in the U.K. and U.S.A.
Is the crime rate high?
Another key element in attracting foreigners is the remarkably low crime rate, which is only 1/6 of the European average. Comfort and security are the dominating feelings on the island. Visitors are invariably surprised and reassured by this relaxed aspect of life on the island, where crime is virtually unheard of and theft not commonplace.
Do I need to make a will in Cyprus?
It is advisable to make a will in any country where you have immovable assets that you would like to pass on in a certain way. Inheritance tax has been abolished in Cyprus.
What other tax advantages are there?
Compared with other international financial centers, Cyprus offers a distinct benefit in the form of double taxation treaties. Agreements with an increasing number of countries eliminate the double taxation of income earned in any one of these countries. In practice, the tax levied by one country is credited against the tax levied in the taxpayer’s country of residence. Where different tax rates apply, the tax payer will ultimately not pay more than the higher of the two rates of the respectively countries. Immigrant retirees may import personal effects, household goods and furniture duty free. This is provided that they are for personal use and have been in use for at least one year. There is no duty on one car and retired couples benefit from the additional concession of two duty free cars. The fact that Cyprus is not considered a tax haven, but rather a country offering tempting tax incentives, expels the distrust that international tax havens often arouse. To date double taxation treaties exist between Cyprus and the following countries: Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, Malta, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Syria, United Kingdom, South Africa, United States and Yugoslavia.
What are the driving regulations in Cyprus?
Visitors in Cyprus may drive using a valid International Driving License or their National Driving License, provided it is valid for the class of vehicle they want to drive. If they wish to get a Cyprus driving license, then they must convert their national license to a Cypriot one or take the driving test. In any event, the Cyprus license will cost €60 for a lifetime.
What media is available in Cyprus?
There are six Cypriot/Greek TV stations available at the moment free of charge. Approximately 30% of the programs are broadcast in English and all foreign films are broadcast in their original language, with Greek subtitles. Residents can also subscribe to the Cypriot cable service LTV to watch US and UK sports and programs.
There are also numerous radio stations, which are broadcast in Greek and English. In addition to these is the British Forces Radio that broadcasts on a 24 hour basis in English. The island offers two independent English newspapers and UK national papers are available on the island, usually with a delay of only one day from their date of issue.
What is the Cypriot telecommunication system like?
“Cyta” The Cyprus Telecommunication authorities is one of the most advanced (rated third in the world!) and cheapest telecommunication systems available. ISDN, DSL and standard dial-up PC networking are very cheap to purchase also easily accessible.
Who supplies water, power & gas?
Cyprus Electricity Authority supplies power. The Water Board supplies the water. Gas is not centrally supplied in Cyprus. The charges for water and electricity are payable to the respective authorities at regular intervals throughout the year. The water every three months and the electricity every two months, they are based on the consumption of each unit therefore the cost will vary.
Can I apply for permanent residency?
By law a non-Cypriot who owns property in Cyprus is entitled to a residence permit, but is not required to hold a permanent residence permit. For E.U citizens there are no restrictions. They just have to complete an application form at the immigration office for formality purposes, and automatically they receive their residence permit. For non-EU citizens there is a straight forward procedure that needs to be followed. However, permanent residency is easy to obtain. The applicant needs to submit an application and provide proof that he and his family are self-supported. The following documents must accompany the application:
- A copy of the sale/rental agreement.
- Copies of pension/retirement income.
- Any other document relevant to income.
- Three photos & passport.
The application for permanent residence may be submitted to the local immigration office in the area of residence.
Are there any international schools in Larnaca?
Yes, there are a couple of reputable international schools in Larnaca. The most popular, established school with a long history is the American Academy of Larnaca where students study under the English System with O’ Levels and A’ Levels for entry at British Universities.
Questions about Cyprus property
When do I receive the Title deed?
Transfer of ownership from vendor to purchaser is accomplished by a simple procedure through the land registry office. The contract of sale must be in writing, and it is advisable that such contracts be registered at the District Land Registry Office within 60 days from the contract date. When issued, the title deed will be registered in the name of the buyer and will be recorded in the confidential government archives. The Land Registry Department in Cyprus is one of the most advanced and reliable systems in the world. At this stage the Transfer fees become payable by the new owner and any other outstanding taxes on the property.
What are the terms of payment for the property?
Terms of payment vary depending if you are buying pre- construction unit (buying before the unit is fully built) or if you are buying an already built unit. An initial symbolic down payment ranging from €3000 to €4000 is required followed by another payment to complete a 30% on the total purchase price. The a suitable payment schedule is agreed with the developer.
How much is VAT, and is it included in the sale price?
The decision of 15% VAT on new built property has been passed, with the exception of projects or buildings which have applied for planning permit prior to 1st May 2004. The decision affects all new projects coming onto the market, but the price increase to clients will be closer to 10% due to some of the tax being applied to materials used. There is no VAT applied to the purchase of land up till 2007. VAT is also exempt for re-sale properties.
After I receive the keys of my property what expenses do I have?
Telephone, water and electricity are of course the responsibility of the tenant. Minor expenses for maintenance may be applicable.
Are the property prices increasing?
Cyprus is a small island with a limited supply of land and properties. With Cyprus’ accession to the E.U. demand has increased substantially and as a result property prices are increasing on almost daily basis generally. Of course, at a time of recession or financial crisis, this needs to be taken into account. However, properties that are well built and well maintained benefit from the highest increases.
Are there tax implications if I buy a unit in my Limited Company name?
All companies tax resident of Cyprus are taxed on all their income accrued or derived from all sources in Cyprus and abroad. The standard rate of tax for a corporation is 10%.
Which is better a resale property or a new property?
This is really just a matter of preference, but both new and older homes offer distinct advantages, depending upon your unique taste and lifestyle.
Some people are charmed by the style and character of an older home but shy away because they’re concerned about potential maintenance costs.
In a new property, you can pick your own color schemes, flooring, kitchen cabinets, appliances, custom wiring for TV’s, electrical equipment etc as well as a variety of upgrade options. In a resale property, you rely largely on the previous owners tastes and style.
As you can see there are advantages and disadvantages to each, but it really comes down to what fits you and what you are looking for in a home.
As a non-national can I buy a business in Cyprus?
E.U citizens can buy a business in Cyprus. Non- E.U citizens may also do so but require a permit.