Renting in Cyprus
If you’re thinking of living in Cyprus for just a year or two, it’s probably best value to rent at first. Even if you’re coming long-term and plan to buy, it may well be worthwhile taking out a short-term rental agreement to start with. Look for somewhere fairly central in the area you plan to live in. This gives you a chance to get to know the region. It means you can chat to locals who may advise you. You can also explore the different estate agencies who can offer a variety of styles and prices of housing in Cyprus.
Finding property to rent for a year or two is fairly easy. It is usually rather less expensive than in most of Europe. Women traditionally own property in Cyprus, and pass it down to daughters as dowry. However this is changing as the island modernises. However there are still some houses and flats waiting for young girls to claim their inheritance. Long-term rentals can be more difficult, depending on your requirements. Prices vary by area as well as by kind of house, and also – since it’s Cyprus – on who you know.
If you take out a rental agreement, make sure you have a written contract. It may be possible to pay a fairly low rent, if you agree to take care of all decorative maintenance of the house. But you need to determine who will be responsible for more major items such as a leaking roof or a faulty toilet. Each landlord or landlady will have a different idea as to what is acceptable.
Buying a house in Cyprus
Buying property is possible, although non-Cypriots need written permission to do so. This is generally granted without problems. Make sure you find a good lawyer if you are buying a house in Cyprus. If you use an estate agent, they may try to convince you that you don’t need a lawyer, or that you can use theirs. This is a bad idea. Surveys are not generally done. So you may also need to find or employ a builder to advise you on the state of a house you would like to buy. Housing in Cyprus varies enormously in its structure and safety.
Some people buy land and then have a house built to their specifications. This may be the most inexpensive and satisfying solution, but be prepared for a long wait. Schedules in Cyprus can be more Middle Eastern than European. Also check the builders’ credentials. There have been many horror stories of builders running away with vast sums of money. There are also stories of non-existent or ‘lost’ deeds to properties. This sometimes happens when houses are not built to correct specification.
Note that if you buy a flat in an apartment block, that there may be significant extra payments for maintenance of the building.
For some ideas of prices of housing in Cyprus in various places around the island, you can explore the BuySellCyprus site. There are estate agents in each town who will be happy to take you to look at local options. Make sure you know in advance what you require (for instance, number of bedrooms), and your maximum budget.