Answers to frequently asked questions about Northern Cyprus related to the purchase of real estate and moving to the island

Nordzypern wird ein Paradies genannt, das von den warmen Gewässern des Mittelmeers gewaschen wird. Visafreies Reisen ist in der Türkischen Republik Nordzypern in Kraft, was einer der wichtigen Faktoren für die Loyalität des Landes zu den ausländischen Besuchern der Insel ist, die einfach nur entspannen oder ihr Leben mit diesem wahrhaft magischen Ort im östlichen Mittelmeer verbinden wollen.

Harmonische Kombination eines milden Meeresklimas mit einem recht hohen Lebensstandard für vernünftiges Geld im Vergleich zu europäischen Preisen macht dieses erstaunliche Land besonders attraktiv für profitable Investitionen in Gewerbeimmobilien und Wohnraum im Ausland.

Can a foreign national purchase real estate in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), and what opportunities does the purchase of housing on the island offer?

Yes, he can. The purchase and sale transaction takes place in accordance with applicable law. After purchasing a property in TRNC, a residence permit is issued within 21 days. By law, citizenship can be obtained by living on the island for 10 years. But, often in practice this period is half as long

When does the buyer receive permission to take possession of a property in TRNC, provided that the money has already been paid to the seller?

Within 2-3 weeks from the date of signing the contract, the buyer becomes the full owner of the purchased property. Sales transactions are registered with the Land Committee. To date, permission to purchase and transfer titles is almost a formality that does not limit the rights of the buyer. In addition, given the economic downturn during the isolation of the island due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the government has approved temporary preferential conditions for paying state fees for transferring a title (title deed) to the new owner, lowering the tax rate from 3% to 1% of the value of the acquired property until the end of 2020. An important nuance for transferring the title to the name of the buyer is a certified criminal record check of the property owner, with a notarized translation into English or Turkish.

If you purchase a plot of land in Northern Cyprus and build a house, how will construction be legalized in this case, and will titles be issued for ownership of the land?

The land cadastre writes out titles to land plots. Details of the new home are registered by this organization in the legal title, in order to make it clear that the territory is occupied.

I am planning to move to Northern Cyprus and purchase a flat in the area around Kyrenia. What are the important factors to consider for the successful implementation of this plan?

If you prefer to live away from the bustle of the city, we recommend that you consider housing options in the Lapta or Alsancak districts. In these locations there is less heavy traffic, nearby sandy beaches, developed infrastructure. In Kyrenia, real estate is a bit more expensive than in suburban settlements, and here city life is in full swing

How much does the maintenance of real estate in TRNC cost?

It all depends on the kind of property in question. If you have a flat in a residential complex, you will need to pay utility bills («aidat» in Turkish) which cover:

gardening services;
pool cleaning;
communal lighting;
waste removal.
Each month, the total amount of utility bills is approximately £30-45, depending on the complex. The simpler the infrastructure of the residential complex, the lower the amount of aidat. If we are talking about the contents of a villa, then everything is based on personal wishes.

There are many service companies in the TRNC, therefore, with the conclusion of an agreement on the hiring of service personnel, you should not have any problems.

Is it possible for a foreign national to register and conduct private business in Northern Cyprus?

Local authorities are developing various programmes to attract foreign capital and entrepreneurs. This is done for the intensive development of the state in an economically viable direction.

If you plan to invest capital in Northern Cyprus, you can be absolutely sure of the reliability of investments and, moreover, complete confidentiality outside Northern Cyprus, due to its status as a semi-recognized state. This is one of the important priorities for large foreign investors who objectively assess the specific status of country, which gives ample opportunities to fully protect their business projects from monitoring by international financial institutions, turning the island into more than just an offshore jurisdiction. On the territory of the state there are no conflicts between the local population and citizens from other countries. Accordingly, the state institutions and services of the TRNC, show maximum loyalty and goodwill to all foreigners without exception in solving any administrative issues and problems.

How safe is Northern Cyprus for living and holidaying?

Due to its diplomatic status of a state partially recognized by the international community, Northern Cyprus is a relatively closed country, which miraculously bypasses all sorts of international programmes for the reception of refugees for social security and similar international humanitarian measures, which destroy the usual rhythm of life in many states, including the Mediterranean countries of the European Union famous for popular resorts. This is confirmed even by the fact that the neighbouring Republic of Cyprus on the southern part of the island, which before entering the EU lived a calm and measured life with wide open doors in houses for friends and neighbours, as the TRNC continues to do today, is bursting at the seams from the influx refugees who periodically riot, as well as suffering from rampant crime and other “delights” due to the influx into the country of seekers of easy money and certain ways of earning. On the Turkish part of the island, you can often see unlocked cars in supermarket carparks, and if you accidentally leave a purse or phone on the parapet of the waterfront, don’t worry – if it has not been handed in to the police, it will remain in place until you return and of course with all the contents inside. In northern Cyprus, there really is no crime at all, of course, excluding petty hooliganism, usually committed by foreigners who did not calculate their strength in the process of drinking alcohol. In the entire history of the state, since 1974, the TRNC has never recorded an offence against children, but a full discussion of the reverent attitude of residents and the government of the TRNC towards the younger generation would take up a separate article.

How to choose a reliable developer in TRNC for the purchase of real estate at the construction stage at special prices?

Our company works only with reliable and proven construction companies, which today are the largest developers in Northern Cyprus and have commissioned a large number of real estate objects. We cooperate with the leading developers of the island, which to this day continue the construction of high-quality residential complexes with developed infrastructure for a comfortable life and relaxation and can provide our clients with the best terms and prices for the purchase of primary real estate.

Does buying a property form the basis for getting a residence permit in Northern Cyprus?

The ability to obtain a residence permit in TRNC is one of the important criteria for motivation to purchase real estate on the island. After you have bought a house or flat in Northern Cyprus, it is possible to obtain a residence permit and later, after 5-7 years of permanent residence on the island, obtain citizenship of TRNC. To do this, you need to collect a certain package of documents, including a contract for the purchase of real estate, and go through a very simple process of obtaining status, which begins with filing documents with the central police department of the local municipality as part of the administrative division of the country, and ends with a formal interview and obtaining a residence permit in the immigration department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the TRNC in the capital of the country, Levkosha, 21 days after the filing of the documents.

A residence permit must be obtained within a certain amount of time in order to avoid accruing penalties. The period of temporary stay on the island is 15-90 days on the basis of a tourist visa, which is formally issued at the entrance to the country through the airport or seaport and its period in the visa ticket may vary within this framework at the discretion of the visa officer at passport control. To extend a short-term tourist visa, you will have to leave the country for a few days, and then get it again the next time you enter, but you must keep in mind that following changes and amendments to the residence permit law in October 2019, a tourist visa allows you to stay in the Northern Cyprus no more than 180 days per calendar year.

Where is it best to buy property in Northern Cyprus to rent out on favourable terms?

To rent real estate for short-term rentals to tourists and holiday-makers for 1-10 days, it is recommended that you purchase housing as close as possible to the sea coast and, accordingly, to the beaches. If we are talking about a long-term lease, from 1 year to several years, it is better to buy real estate closer to major infrastructure, where transport interchanges, the hospitality sector and educational institutions are well developed.

It is also worth considering options for buying real estate located directly in the city, but at the same time within walking distance of the beach or within a small radius of the coast with the possibility of inexpensive access to the sea by public transport in a matter of minutes. In addition, many popular residential complexes located just two to three kilometres from the sea provide an absolutely free transfer to the beach using buses that run between the complex and the beaches on a regular timetable.

What is the cost of servicing your own pool in case of buying a villa or house in Northern Cyprus?

When buying a villa or a house with a swimming pool in Northern Cyprus, you should take into account the costs of its maintenance in addition to the monthly cost of water supply, sewage and electricity. The average cost of servicing a private household pool will be approximately £65-80 per month. If you purchase a flat or studio in a residential complex which has a swimming pool, the cost of maintenance for this important pleasure in the hot Cypriot climate will be much less, since it is proportionally divided between all homeowners.

Can I leave my house or flat in Northern Cyprus for a long time?

Yes, of course, you can, without any fear, leave your property in Northern Cyprus for a long period between visits to the island. As mentioned in the answer to question number 7, in Northern Cyprus there is virtually no crime and local residents learned the word «theft» from visitors, since the Cypriot mentality has absolutely no interest in other people’s property. As they like to joke here, because of the habit of local residents, everything is done at a very leisurely pace, which has been handed down from generation to generation in view of the hot climate: «Cypriots are too lazy to even think about someone else’s property, let alone lay their hand on it». But seriously, the island really has a special atmosphere in this regard, since there have actually been incredible stories when, for example, in moving to a new flat, people left the doors to their old homes wide open and, moreover, suitcases and other things right on the landing; a few days later, they found absolutely everything safe and sound, which is very unlikely in most countries of the world. Regarding monthly utility bills during a period of prolonged absence of the homeowner, it is only necessary to pay the fixed cost of the aidat for servicing the residential complex. In the case of a detached villa, which is not included in any residential complex, there are no expenses for its maintenance during the absence of the owner.

What is the minimum estimated cost of real estate in Northern Cyprus and what determines the pricing of housing?

The minimum price for flats in TRNC starts from £40,000, and for houses and villas from £55,000. The cost of housing depends on the area, infrastructure of a residential complex or settlement, proximity to the sea, the availability of communications and many other factors. It is worth noting that a property in Northern Cyprus, located in the countryside about 20-30 kilometres from major cities, is much cheaper compared to housing in the city. In addition, suburban real estate properties have a number of additional advantages compared to urban ones, such as not having to be in a noisy city every day, although in general by the standards of large countries, the local distance of settlements from each other cannot be considered great.

What is an orientation tour of Northern Cyprus?

An orientation tour of Northern Cyprus aims to provide a potential buyer with the opportunity to independently examine options for their preferred housing for purchase, as well as to obtain comprehensive information from our employees about the island and conduct an express survey of its major cities and sights to make an objective decision on the purchase of a property.

In filling out out an application for a tour with our company, the buyer only needs to purchase tickets and fly to TRNC; the company takes care of other organizational issues and expenses, including transfer and accommodation. The duration of the orientation tour takes 3-4 days. To complete a sale and purchase transaction, you only need a passport.

What location should you choose to buy a home: in close proximity to the sea or in the mountains?

If the purchase of housing on the island is carried out with a view to renting out to holiday-makers, then of course it is preferable to choose the option of a residential complex or villa near the sea. When the plans include permanent residence in Northern Cyprus, it is recommended to opt for the purchase of a flat or house a little further from the sea coast, including the picturesque mountainous areas of the island, which will be cheaper and more comfortable for family life.

Can I buy property for use during the summer holidays, and rent it out for the rest of the year?

Yes, you can. The funds received from the lease will help fully cover utility bills and provide a regular passive income. If you wish, you can use the services of a specialized agency, whose representatives will monitor the condition of housing, control the timeliness of rental payments and provide a full report to the owner, which is usually done by the management companies of developers of residential complexes.

In the case of using the opportunity to lease housing under a contract with the management company, the specific period of use of the property by the owner and the period of the calendar year for renting the property are stipulated, which usually covers not only maintenance costs, but also brings profit to the owner. Due to the fact that in Northern Cyprus the temperature is above zero all year round and the swimming season lasts 8-9 months a year, this option of successful investments in the mode of combining «pleasant with useful» is completely realistic.

What taxes on real estate must a homeowner pay in Northern Cyprus?

ach owner of residential or commercial properties annually pays real estate tax, calculated at the rate of 1 Turkish lira per 1 m2 of the property, which in terms of the 2020 exchange rate is about £0.12.

When registering a transaction of purchase and sale of a primary property (not applicable to secondary real estate), the buyer must pay the following taxes as a one-off:

VAT – 5%;
Stamp duty in the amount of 0.5% of the value of the property.

Does a foreign national have the right to sell previously purchased property in Northern Cyprus?

Yes, if desired or necessary, foreign citizens can sell their own property purchased in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Moreover, a good profit can be derived from the sale, given the continuous smooth growth in the value of real estate in the country. To sell his property, the seller needs a contract for its purchase from the previous owner or company of the developer, as well as a document proving ownership.

What are the methods of payment for property acquired in TRNC?

In the process of real estate purchase and sale transactions, cash and non-cash methods of payment are available in Northern Cyprus. Also, in the case of buying a home from a developer, payment by credit card or bank transfer is possible. After signing a contract for the purchase of real estate, a foreign national can open a bank account in any bank in Northern Cyprus on the basis of a certificate of registration received from the muhtar (local headman of a village or city district).

What is included in properties for sale in TRNC?

The price of all properties sold on the island includes built-in kitchens and bedroom cabinets. Also offered for sale in Northern Cyprus are fully furnished houses and flats for those who want to get the keys and immediately settle in without any hassle and fuss. If the buyer prefers to furnish the purchased housing himself, this will also not be a problem, since there are quite a lot of furniture stores and salons on the island that carry out quick delivery and installation of furniture.

Is it possible for foreign nationals to acquire real estate in Northern Cyprus on credit or interest-free installments and is it possible to repay a mortgage ahead of schedule without additional costs?

Construction companies in Northern Cyprus offer to purchase real estate on the security of acquired properties. As a rule, the down payment is 25-30% of the cost of housing, and the interest rate on mortgages varies from 7 to 12% per annum.

In case of a purchase of housing on credit or by installments, there are no additional costs associated with registration of a mortgage and transaction support.

The interest rate on the loan and the amount of monthly payments are fixed in the contract for the purchase of the property. A foreign national has the right to early repayment of a loan without paying additional interest for an unused period of lending under a mortgage agreement. To make a purchase of real estate on credit, the buyer must have a foreign passport and funds to make the down payment. Processing a transaction and transferring keys to a new homeowner takes just one day.

Is it possible to move to Northern Cyprus with your own car and apply for temporary registration of a vehicle?

Foreign nationals have the right to import vehicles into the territory of the TRNC subject to temporary registration and payment of local road tax. Under this option, the car owner can stay on the island for a total of no more than 365 days in the last two years, taking into account the entry/exit from the territory of the state, which the customs officers calculate on a fresh police statement about the border crossing by a foreign national. If you want to apply for permanent registration of the car with TRNC, it will be necessary to pay substantial customs duties for the vehicle, the age of which should not exceed 5 years from the date of issue. Cars older than 5 years cannot be cleared and registered due to the existing vehicle age limit.

Customs duty depends on the brand of the car, age, power and type of engine – petrol or diesel. On the island you can buy a used car of good quality and for reasonable money. In Northern Cyprus, traffic drives on the left and vehicles are right-hand-drive.

Are there any problems in practice related to the purchase of real estate in Northern Cyprus?

If you buy a home from a bona fide construction company or private owner, all risks of any nature are reduced to zero. That is why, in order to choose a reliable seller of quality housing and to obtain the best conditions and cost of purchase, you need to contact industry experts who have authority among a huge number of satisfied real estate owners and leading developers of TRNC.

Are there any advantages to buying property under construction in TRNC?

Acquiring real estate in Northern Cyprus at the construction stage is very profitable for the following reasons:

the ability to choose the location of the flat in the building and its layout;
selection of convenient payment methods: installment plan, credit;
individual choice of home decoration available at the construction stage;
independent control of the development process;
the price is 30% lower in comparison with the market value of similar completed properties.
Upon completion of construction and putting the property into use, housing purchased at the construction stage can be sold for much more than the initial cost, which in addition can be paid in interest-free installments for two years during the construction period.