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F.A.Qs
  Asked Questions
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Answers
1 )
What languages are spoken in Cyprus??
 

English, Greek, Russian

2 )
In what currency are payments made?
 

Payments are made in Euro only.

3 )
In what currency is payment going to be during the property transaction?
 

Payment is made in Euro, as specified in the contract of sale.

4 )
Are credit cards accepted in Cyprus?
 
Major credit cards are accepted in most establishments.
5 )
Is Euro accepted in Cyprus?
 
Yes, provided you exchange your Euros at the bank, as you would any other major currency.
6 )
Which banks operate in Cyprus?
 

Major domestic and international banks operate in Cyprus including: Bank of Cyprus, Alpha Bank, Arab Bank, Cyprus Popular Bank (Laiki Bank), Hellenic Bank, National Bank of Greece (Cyprus), Societe Generale, Universal Bank, Gulf Bank, Eurobank, COOP Banks. All these also have branches in the U.K.

7 )
How easy is it to find work in Cyprus, and will I need a work permit?
 
Since Cyprus entry into the EU on May 1st 2004, all EU citizens have the right of free movement, to live and work in Cyprus without restrictions provided that they hold an EU passport. However, non-Cypriot citizens must still follow the formality of registering at the local immigration office in order to obtain a social security number. Finding a job in Cyprus can be done through visiting the Labour Office, or simply through the local newspapers. Now that Cyprus is an EU member, the co-operate network EURES can help through the site:  http://www.europa.eu.int/eures/index.jsp
8 )
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 EU citizens there are no restrictions. They just have to complete an application form at the immigration office for formality purposes. For non-EU citizens there is a straightforward procedure that needs to be followed. However, permanent residence 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:
1. A copy of the sale/rental agreement
2. Copies of pension/retirement income
3. Any other document relevant to income
4. Three photos and passport
The application for permanent residence may be submitted to the local immigration office in the area of residence.
If you purchase a property in Cyprus and your visits are for less than three months at a time, you will not need a resident’s permit.
9 )
As a non-national can I buy a business in Cyprus?
 
E.U. citizens can buy a business in Cyprus. Non-E.U. citizens can also own a business in Cyprus, but require a permit.
10 )
Can I receive my pension in Cyprus?
 
UK pensions are easily transferable to Cyprus. For individuals, CYP 2,000 of pension income from abroad is received tax free p.a., and thereafter income tax is applied at the very low rate of 5% to amounts above this. Additionally, Cyprus has double taxation agreements in place with many countries including the UK to prevent double taxation of income. We can refer you to a tax advisor in Cyprus to answer any individual questions you may have.
11 )
How do property prices compare to those of the UK?
 
12 )
Up to how much land am I allowed to purchase as a non- Cypriot?
 
At present, there are restrictions on the amount of land a non-Cypriot can purchase. Currently, this stands at 3 donums (4014m²), however in 2007, this restriction will be reviewed.
13 )
What safeguards are in place to protect my investment?
 
Cyprus has very solid safeguards in place for property investments. The Land Registry in Cyprus is based on the British system and safeguards the purchaser’s rights in many ways. Once the sales agreement is signed and a deposit of 30% paid, the contract is deposited at the Land Registry to protect the purchaser’s ownership rights until issuance and transfer of the title deeds into your name. This cannot be withdrawn by anyone and ensures no one but the purchaser can lease, sell, transfer, or mortgage the property.
14 )
Do I need a solicitor to purchase a property?
 
It is not always needed, but we at S. L. DEVELOPERS recommend that any home buyer take independent legal counsel from a local English speaking lawyer, familiar with assisting non-Cypriots purchase property in Cyprus.
15 )
How do I get information about taxation of resident expatriates in Cyprus?
 
Cyprus has double taxation agreements designed to avoid dual levies with many countries, including the UK. You are advised to consult your tax advisor and/or the Inland Revenue in the UK.
16 )
What taxes would I have to pay annually on a property I purchase?
 
17 )
What is Local Authority Tax?
 
Local authority Tax, often called “Municipality Tax” in Cyprus is equivalent to Council Tax in the UK. It is levied annually on all houses at very low rates generally ranging from CY £30 to CY £100. It covers refuse disposal, street lighting and similar services to the community.
18 )
When and how do I become a resident of Cyprus, for tax purposes?
 
As a non-Cypriot resident you may apply for Cypriot tax residency if staying in Cyprus for over 183 days per year.
19 )
Am I subject to double taxation if I live in Cyprus?
 
Cyprus is very careful to ensure protection of its residents from double taxation. To this end, double taxation treaties have been entered into by the Government of Cyprus with 40 countries, including the UK so as to eliminate double taxation for non-Cypriot residents. Where relief is not given under a double taxation treaty, relief from Cypriot tax is granted unilaterally.
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.
20 )
How easy is it for non-Cypriots to get a mortgage in Cyprus?
 
Cypriot banks lend up to around 70% of the value of a property after payment of a 30% deposit. Mortgage lending can be in the currency of your choice but will usually be in Pounds Sterling or the currency of your income. We collaborate with all the major banks, here in Cyprus and we can help you with your finance procedures.
21 )
What taxes and charges are due to effect transfer of the property to my name as the home buyer?
 
These are comprised of the VAT, Transfer Fees and Stamp Duty.
VAT is calculated at 15% of the value of the purchased home
Transfer Fees: A one off transfer fee is payable to the Land Registry, based on a sliding scale: 3% on the first C£50,000, 5% on the value between C£50,001 and C£100,000 and 8% on the value exceeding C£100,000.
Stamp Duty: a minimal charge.
22 )
What is “Stamp Duty”?
 
A small stamp duty is levied on the purchase of property in Cyprus. The amount is calculated in relation with the property value.
23 )
How do I arrange to transfer funds to Cyprus to pay for the property I purchase?
 
If you intend to purchase a property in Cyprus, you will need to open a bank account at one of the local banks. This can be used to transfer your property deposit and subsequent installments for your property, to pay legal fees, to receive any loans and, subsequently, to set up standing orders for utilities such as telephone, water and electricity. Banks also commonly offer to issue Visa credit cards for you against this account. Our ‘Property services’ include all these arrangements and procedures. We will help you contact one of the major banks and will guide you all the way.
24 )
How much are the communal charges?
 
The communal charges cover maintenance of the communal areas in a development. For example, the garden, swimming pool etc. They vary from project to project to project.
25 )
How much is VAT, and is it included in the sale price?
 

The VAT is included in the sale price. The decision of 19% VAT on new build property has been passed, with the exception of projects or buildings which have already applied for the planning permit prior to the 1st May 2004. This 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. VAT is also exempt for re-sale properties.

26 )
Do I need to make a will in Cyprus?
 
It is not mandatory, but it is advisable to make a will, in any country where you have immovable assets you would like to pass on in a certain way. There is no inheritance tax in Cyprus. In case you do not have one, your heirs might be forced to pay tax in your home country.
27 )
Is health insurance available to non-Cypriots?
 
Private health insurance is available locally to Cypriots and non-Cypriots alike starting from around C£400 per year, depending on coverage and age.
28 )
How costly is it to buy property insurance in Cyprus?
 
Given the low crime rate in Cyprus, the insurance rates for buildings and contents start at 0.135% or CY£135 per year for a building and contents valued at CY £100,000.
29 )
Can I insure my home contents?
 
Yes, you can and are encouraged to given the low insurance rates and the peace of mind that provides. Presently, the cost is from CY£ 0.335% of the value of the contents.
30 )
Warranties and guarantees of your company.
 
We at S. L. DEVELOPERS, offer 2 year builder’s guarantee and 10 years guarantee for the pipes (plumping etc). Also there is a an ‘After Sales Department’, at your service, ready to help you with every problem comes up.
31 )
Will peaceful co-existence continue between the North and the South part of Cyprus?
 
Since the Southern part of Cyprus has joined the EU on May 1st 2004, peaceful co-existence with the Northern side will be provided. Already Turkey is a candidate for accession to the EU.
The presence of the U. N. insures that life goes by safely and peacefully.
32 )
Is there crime in Cyprus?
 

Not at all! Cyprus is virtually crime free and that is why it is such a popular destination for tourists. Street criminality is absent in Cyprus.

33 )
Are phones and phone lines easy to get?
 
Mobile phone access is readily available throughout Cyprus and coverage areas are complete throughout the island. Landlines are generally available within a week following application to CYTA, the Cyprus Telecommunications Agency.
34 )
Are internet and Email services available in Cyprus?
 
Access to the internet via broadband ADSL and ISDN lines is available in most major cities and towns, throughout Cyprus. Also, access via a regular phone line is available all over the country
35 )
Is there an English telephone directory?
 
CYTA, the telecommunications authority publishes a “Yellow Pages & Telephone Directory” for each of the major cities in Cyprus. These are available free of charge from any CYTA office and often distributed at supermarkets. Updated editions are published every year. Emergency numbers:
1. For all serious emergencies call 112.
2. Medical Assistance 112 
3.  Police 112
4. Fire Brigade 112
36 )
Who supplies power, water and gas?
 

Cyprus Electricity Authority supplies power. The Water Board supplies the water. Gas is not centrally supplied in Cyprus. The charges for electricity and water are payable to the respective authorities at regular intervals throughout the year. The water bill is issued every three months and the electricity bill every two.
Excluding air conditioning electricity costs, the average household spends roughly 80€ per month and the water arround 40€ per month.
 

37 )
How expensive is heating oil?
 
Domestic heating oil costs are comparable to those in the UK; although it’s hardly necessary, with 340 days of sunshine a year and solar panels covering about 95% of all water heating requirements throughout the year.
38 )
Is heating gas available and if so at what cost?
 
Bottled heating gas is widely available and very cheap, costing C£4 per canister, and will last from 3 to 12 months for a cooker, depending on usage. There is currently no direct gas utility to supply homes in Cyprus.
39 )
How much does food and drink cost?
 
The local markets in Cyprus provide a colorful variety of locally grown and very reasonably priced fruits and vegetables, especially when in season.
Beer, wine and other spirits produced in Cyprus are of excellent quality and very reasonably priced. Cyprus produces the award wining “Keo Beer”; the locally renowned Carlsberg beer and other local brews. Cyprus also produces an enviable and vast selection of red and white table wines. Commandaria, a sweet desert wine dating back to the days of the crusaders, is a favorite among many UK residents. Cyprus sherry and brandy, the aperitif Ouzo, and Zivania for a nightcap are popular and widely available local specialties.
40 )
Is eating out available and how expensive is it?
 

Depent of the place. Eating out is a delight – local taverns and small restaurants provide a wide variety of delicious meals. You will also enjoy excellent service, often personally provided by the owner. International restaurants and larger hotels have every cuisine imaginable from Japanese to Italian. Eating in Cyprus in a nice restaurant, may cost you from 25€-40€ each person and to taverns from 10€-25€ per person.

41 )
Are European tobacco products available in Cyprus, and what do they cost?
 
A good selection of local and imported tobacco products is widely available throughout Cyprus. The same tobacco brands and smoking brands, are almost half priced, from the rest Europe.
42 )
Overall, per year, how much does a couple needs to live reasonably well?
 

Overall, a couple owning their home in Cyprus can live comfortably on around 20,000€ per annum.

43 )
What do cars cost?
 
Cars are priced similarly to in Europe for smaller engine models. Cars with larger engines are slightly more, in line with the levy imposed to encourage environmental responsibility. Petrol costs are lower than those in the UK. You should also know that we drive on the left, like in the UK.
44 )
Can I watch English TV in Cyprus?
 
Of course! You can watch all your favorite British programs, through SKY Satellite TV.Other UK Satellite channels are also available, plus custom Greek channels,have many English programs.
45 )
Is there a university in Cyprus?
 

Cyprus has universities in the capital Nicosia, as well as a series of colleges offering tertiary education. In fact, Cypriot schools and colleges commonly prepare pupils to continue their studies to a university education mostly in the UK, Europe or the United States.

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