Duties of Property Lawyers in Cyprus
Property lawyers in Cyprus have several duties which they owe to their clients when purchasing immovably property.
Under the current law, a professional (including a lawyer) must show the standard of care and skill that the reasonable person would show in exercising such a profession. We have identified four areas of duties within the scope of Property Lawyers in Cyprus’ profession. These relate to enquiries as to the title, the permits, the solvency of the seller and finally duties relating to the preparation of the sale contract.
Duties of Property Lawyers in Cyprus in relation to the Title
Firstly, the Property Lawyers in Cyprus should investigate the legality of the title of the seller i.e. whether the seller is the owner of the property.
Furthermore, the lawyer should enquire whether the Seller’s title is free from any encumbrances or adverse interests. In the case of Melford in allen v Clark  7 LTD 78 it was stated that
“It is clear negligence if an attorney suffers himself to be misled by the apparent respectability of the vendor, and thereby neglects his obvious duty of making reasonable inquiries into his title.”
Whenever there are any encumbrances in the title, these should be immediately communicated to the purchaser.
In case that there is no separate legal title to the property, lawyers should investigate any future issues which may arise – for example whether there is a likelihood that title will be issued in relation to the property. If they deem that such matters do not fall within the scope of their expertise, they should, after warning the clients, advise them to seek the services of other professionals.
Duties of Property Lawyers in Cyprus in relation to Permits
Additionally, if the clients intend to build on the purchased property, the lawyers in Cyprus must turn the clients’ attention to issues such as the existence of a planning and building permit and if they do not exist, they must clearly explain to the client the risks involved.
In case the clients are non-EU nationals, the lawyers in Cyprus must also bring to their attention the conditions for obtaining the relevant permit from the Council of Ministers for the acquisition of land in Cyprus.
Duties of Property Lawyers in Cyprus in relation to the solvency of the seller
Property lawyers in Cyprus have a duty to warn the clients of the risks arising from the possibility of the insolvency of the seller. This does not mean that the lawyers must investigate the solvency of the seller without the clients’ request. However, the lawyers must, with appropriate warnings, turn the clients’ attention to these risks given that they are connected with the issuing of the title deeds and if for example, the seller is a company, the lawyers in Cyprus should advise the clients that the solvency should be investigated and they should further require the clients to provide them with instructions to investigate its solvency.
Duties of Property Lawyers in Cyprus in relation to the contract of sale
Another duty of property lawyers in Cyprus is in case they receive instructions for drafting a relevant agreement. In such case they must introduce in the sale agreement terms which secure the interests of the clients.
Finally, at the stage of signing the contract, the lawyers must advise the client on the benefits arising from depositing the contract at the Land Registry for purposes of specific performance. The lawyers should obtain the instructions of the clients for this purpose.
It should be noted that the Cyprus Property Lawyer has no duty to advise on financial or business matters or on the business risks involved.
This article is given for information purposes only and it does not constitute legal advice. For further information and advice please contact Mr. George Antoniades at firstname.lastname@example.org.