Be absolutely sure that the land you are buying is in fact the land that you are being shown.
1. Ask for a copy of the title deeds and check the sheet/plan/plot references and the site plan position of the site. Look at the site plan and ascertain from its boundaries its shape and position. The location of nearby roads and buildings, major differences in the topography of the ground, river and streams are clearly shown on Land Registry Office plans. If you cannot study the site plan seek the advice of your property surveyor. Items in the description such as "near the road", "near the village" etc, are used flippantly by people eager to sell, which, in some instances, are far from being true. Also beware of "terrific opportunities".
2. Check the planning zone in which the property you intend to buy belongs. If you plan to build a house in a certain area, you may find that the maximum building density allowed is so low that you will not be able to erect a satisfactory unit. In addition, the particular zone may forbid the specific use you have in mind. Furthermore, it is not sufficient to merely check the zone of the property under consideration, but one should also check the zone of the nearby area as well. This is important, since your plot may be within an agricultural area, but a few meters away there may be another zone, say industrial or animal farming, which will create a nuisance to your property.
The things you must observe when studying a Planning Zone are:
a. Building Density: The maximum amount of square meters, which you can build.
b. The Use: What nature of use is permitted.
c. Site Coverage: The maximum proportion of the site which can be occupied by a building.
d. Height and number of stories allowed.
3. The seashore protection zone is independent of the town planning zones. It is a zone which extends from the sea and it usually (but not always) has a depth of approximately 300ft (91 meters). Within this zone no building can be allowed (the right of ownership is not affected), not even a small hut or ice-cream shed (note that a swimming pool may be built but subject to a relaxation and constraints).
4. When there are ancient monuments close to your plot, make sure to examine whether the Director of Antiquities has any objections to a building project. If a plot of land is classified as an ancient monument area, the Director's approval must first be sought. Usually, the ancient monument area is marked as A.M. on the Lands' and Surveys' plans, but the non inclusion of the letters A.M. does not guarantee that the plot is free from this kind of restrictions. If, therefore, you see on inspection ancient monuments close to the land you intend to buy or if you see on the Land Registry's Plans your prospective acquisition or one near it being marked with A.M., then check the whole matter with the Antiquities Department.
5. Try to check whether there is any road or other scheme which affects your property or the locality in general. It is advisable that you buy a recent Lands' and Surveys' plan (the whole sheet) for the property you intend to buy [cost €5], since on these plans many proposed public projects such as roads etc are shown. It is best, if you suspect of any schemes in the area you wish to invest in, to see the District Inspector (at the District Officer's Office) and/ or pay a visit to the local Planning Office.
6. As a general rule, electricity can be brought to any place in Cyprus provided one is prepared to pay for it. Be careful, however, with the general belief that if there is an electricity line close to the property the cost of providing electricity will not be much. This is not true at all and it is best to examine the approximate electricity provision cost with the EAC District Officer.
7. Telephone lines may be a problem for less agricultural areas developed areas. If one is needed at your "spot", examine this possibility with the CYTA District Officer. In any case cheap mobile telephony (7.8 cents per minute for calls mobile to mobile phone and 9 cents per minute for calls from mobile to fixed phone and a monthly charge of €1/month is available with a network covering 90% of the island. There is also a pay as you go scheme for mobile phones with no monthy contracts. In urban and most touristic/rular areas there is cable TV, which includes one telephone line and broadband internet connection from €23.90/month For moree informaion go to CYTA , Cablenet or PrimeTel for a full list a services and coverage.
8. The most important factor is access to your property. Do not be fooled by what is on the ground. Check the Lands' and Surveys' plan to see whether the property abuts onto a public access, as well as the nature of its boundaries (shown on the title deed).
9. The fact that the property abuts a public access does not necessarily mean that a building permit can be obtained based on this road access. If your property does not possess an access (or a satisfactory access), it can acquire a right of way over adjoining properties in order to reach a point of public access. The procedure is undertaken by the Lands' Office on application and the right to obtain an access is reserved even if the owners of the properties over which the access will pass object to it. Please note that if the right of access is in excess of 180 meters (distance from a public road to the property) and for a width of less than 3.65 meters, then a permit to erect a house will, most likely, be refused. Satisfactory access means a public road [made up or not], not less than 4.00 meters. wide.
10. For those who want to buy a plot of land and build a stucture there, there are certain major points they have to bear in mind. As a rough and general rule and provided there is a satisfactory access, a single house can be erected on a plot of land. If more than one house is required, then water must be provided. The water supply may be either from a public or a private source. In the event of private water supply (usually a borehole) its quantity and quality must be tested by the Water Development Department. For all the towns and for most villages there are water development zones and it is very difficult to get public water supply to a property situated outside the zone. Do not take, the word of the middleman, the owner or others, that water supply can be made available. Remember that the appropriate water authority is the Water Development Department only and that promises and the willingness of locals to help may meet the Authority's objection.
11. If there is a building on the plot you are buying, ask to see the building permit in order to ensure that the structure is legal, as well as to ascertain the terms and conditions of the permit and whether the Building permit is in force, (the permit may have ended).
12. Please note that most of the above problems do not exist in the case of buying a building site (as opposed to buying a plot of land/field). Even if the title deed registers the property as a building site, it is recommended that you go through the motions of checking the various prerequisites for development (but electricity, telephone and in general all other public services are provided to a building plot).