There are 4 types of property title deeds in Northern Cyprus. The process of buying your property in Northern Cyprus is dependent on which title deed your property holds.
1. Freehold – Foreign Title
This is North Cyprus property owned by European residents, (eg. British, German). The title deed is internationally recognised.
2. Freehold – Turkish Title
This is property Turkish Cypriot owned prior to 1974. These deeds are 100% safe, but before the property can be registered in your name, an application must be made to the Council of Ministers for approval. Foreigners are limited to one Dönüm per person in Northern Cyprus (husband and wife count as one person unless they have different surnames). The procedure to obtain approval will take about six months or so.
3. Freehold – TRNC Title/Greek Cypriot Title
This property was previously Greek Cypriot owned prior to 1974.
When the Turkish Cypriot refugees came to the safety of the north after July 1974, they left all their possessions behind in the south. Accordingly, the Government then assessed on a points basis, the value of the refugee’s forsaken assets in the south.
With these points, the Turkish Cypriot refugee could take a relinquished Greek Cypriot house or land in compensation for his lost properties. He would then sign over his properties in the south to the TRNC government, who would then hold them pending a negotiated settlement between the North Cyprus and South Cyprus Governments. The refugee would then be issued with a property title deed for his newly recompensed property. Until he received this title, he would not be in a position to sell the property. Our feeling is that as the island is heading, albeit slowly, for some sort of solution, whether it will be a negotiated settlement or annexation to the Motherland, then the TRNC title deed properties can be considered safe to buy.
4. Leasehold Title
Leasehold property in North Cyprus is often owned by the Government ‘EFKAF’ ministry of antiquities and available on a 49 years lease basis. That aside, you may at any time freely lease or rent property, including your own, for any period of choice. There are no particular restrictions for foreign nationals on this. Lease agreements over 1 year must be in writing and there are very peculiar laws and precedents about leases, so please consult with a lawyer before rent or let property in North Cyprus.