Q. We received an offer on our property which we duly accepted. (without title deeds but the property has an AX number). However, the purchasers withdrew their offer as their Solicitors established that the developer has a mortgage on the land and a memo issued for non-payment of taxes (neither of which we were aware of at the time of our purchase). Our contract stated the property was free from impediments. What can we do?
A. The property could have been free from impediments when your contract was deposited - but only a search will confirm. The memo seems to be the main problem preventing a sale and that could have been lodged any time after your contract. Assuming your lawyer acted on your instructions promptly, the search should have been completed in a few days.
The sale of a property in Cyprus can be completed with a memo, it depends on the purchaser and if they’re willing to accept the terms of the sale without. Given that there is no risk of repossession it should be ok; however unfortunately what the memo means is that title deeds are not processed or forthcoming any time soon unfortunately.
Q. We have leased our flat in Nicosia for an agreed one-year contract, however the tenant just gave us notice to terminate the contract only 7 months into the contract. The tenants reasoning for not fulfilling the entire year is because he claims that the lease was not signed by two witnesses for each party (4 signees in total). Does this make our rental agreement void?
A. A rental agreement for a year or less requires four witnesses to countersign for it to be considered a valid contract. Hopefully you can recover the deposit from the tenant to at least get one months rent back and in future carry out all contracts with the correct signatories as per Cyprus law.
Q. We hired a contractor in Limassol to carry out an extension to our building for €50,000. Half way through completion he left and has not returned. Our solicitor says that the contractor was unlicensed and therefore the contract has been nullified. Do we have any rights?
A. The Solicitor is unfortunately correct. Being a nullified contract, you should try claim back your down payment at the very least. Following a Cyprus-trained legal councils’ advice, you may have rights to sue him for misrepresentation (for claiming to be something he was not- a licensed contractor) as long as you can prove that you conducted sufficient research on him and his business before signing contracts.
Click here to read part 2 of our Cyprus Property Q & A
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