Legal Wrangles over Cypriot Property

A court judgment last month has sent ripples of worry through foreign property investors who have bought homes in northern Cyprus. A British couple bought a property in northern Cyprus on a piece of land that a Greek Cypriot was forced to flee when Turkish troops invaded Cyprus in 1974.

Despite the British couple having bought the land in good faith and owning Turkish title deeds proving they owned the land and property, courts have rules that they must demolish their holiday home and return the land to the Greek Cypriot. The Brits have also been ordered to pay damages and a monthly rent until the property has been handed over formally.

Around 167,000 Greek Cypriots fled homes in northern Cyprus following during the turmoil of 1974 and 1975. Around 40,000 Turkish Cypriots also abandoned properties in the south to escape north. The European Court of Human Rights has now ruled in several cases that owners of property in northern Cyprus prior to 1974 continue to be regarded as the legal owners of the property.

The rulings mean that anyone looking to buy foreign property must be very careful, particularly in areas where people have been displaced or there have been wrangles over the legal owners of properties. Even if you hold the legal documents stating you are the owner of the property, it pays to do a little research to ensure that you won’t get caught up in a fight for your property.

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  1. BMVs | May 28, 2009 | Reply

    That is absolutely unbelievable. I can’t believe the court is actually making them pay rent until it formerly handed over! It just goes to show that it is a real mine field out there.
    What does the couple do now, put it down to expreience!

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