NO KOCAN, NO MONEY! Or how ex-pats can safely buy North Cyprus property

It is always useful to have a simple rule when setting out on a new venture, in this case buying a property in North Cyprus. Here it is:

NO KOCAN, NO MONEY!

If you are from England, and have bought a property before, then you will have no problem understanding this rule developed by a legal system which has taken centuries to develop a safe system for buying property. Put simply:

NO ONE GETS PAID UNTIL

THE TITLE DEEDS ARE IN YOUR NAME!

In England, a 5-10% deposit is placed in a safe account which your lawyer is responsible for. This deposit is there to protect the vendor should the purchaser withdraw when there is no reason for them to do so. When an unencumbered (mortgage free) title deed, in the purchaser’s name, is ready to be issued then money is paid to the vendor and the lawyer. Then, and only then.

The builder and the estate agent and, so I have been told, even the lawyer are not your friends and may not be working in your interest if they tell you to act in any other way. They may use the age old ploy and say, “but we don’t do it like that round here.” This is the Middle East and as long as you realise that and that doing business here is like being in an Arab  souk (market) with people hounding you to buy, then you should do just fine.

Why not “do it like they do it around here”? Again, simply put, because you will have paid everything and own nothing! Why not trust these people. Well if you’re happy to give them all your credit cards and your pin numbers then you possibly do trust them. Otherwise caveat emptor – ‘let the purchaser beware.’

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