Tips for new arrivals

Part ONE

Thought it might be handy for newbies to this sizeable rock and also those who have been here for a while to have a “list of things to watch out for” when renting or owning or purchasing property here..I have compiled this list(mainly borne out of personal experiences over the last 6 years) as a means of offering some level of protection for both new and old ex pats alike. Please note the following : All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only we make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information in this document and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis., and is provided in good faith.

Please feel free to message  me with things that you have experienced something that may not be listed here and we will add it. By the way they are not in any particular order just as they occurred. Hope it helps to protect you a little more than not having it at all.

the information contained in this document must not be seen or taken as legal advice

1 always rent for a short period first to ensure you know more about the area, services and neighbours before committing yourself. Once you move in take photos before and when you move out  - the landlord may try and make claims against you and may want new for old.

2 visit the area for external noises at varying times of day and night.. Barking and howling dogs is common as is noisy full blown ful flow car exhausts..!!

3 check out parking restrictions

4 if you have pets makes sure the landlord will allow them, some will some wont but some will accept it on the offer of payment of a further damages/cleaning deposit

5 if sunshine is important to you then try to get a south facing can pay dividends in winter and cut your bills for heating quite considerably. Does it get plenty of natural light?

6 penthouses are fine but they are as a general rule very cold/damp in winter and too hot in summer.. assess the number of exposed external walls - exposure to adverse weather conditions is a major factor in dampening any property

7 make sure you have a lift in the block – hauling gas bottles and shopping up several flights of stairs is not fun as you get older

8 check for air vents and fully opening windows – are there any signs of black damp, humidity and or condensation – feel the bedding etc

9 does the property have insect screens on opening windows and doors

10 does it have fans and or air con or at least fully opening windows to get a through draught

11 check out comfort of furniture, sofas chairs and beds, especially springs and squeakyness....there are various designs of sprung beds some are extremely noisy LOL

12 are the appliances eco friendly units, power efficient units - same with lighting – check your electrics to make sure they are wired to you and nobody else as well – this is an old trick… turn all your power and water off and see if the meters are still going…sounds extreme but believe me it happens more than you think. Make sure you are on the correct tariff as a resident. Get it in writing dont leave it to a verbal agreement even if the estate agent makes comments make sure that's in the contract too. Dont leave anything to chance, if it has an impact on your budget then make sure its clear and fully disclosed.

13 is there a time-switch on the water heaters or can you get one fitted – do you have a separate water heater for the kitchen sink – it saves a lot, meaning that the main boiler doesnt need to be on all day just to give hot water for washing dishes - If you are lucky you may well have a solar panel install that will provide you with hot water for free while the suns out and then some

14 remember ground floor and mid floor apartments will suffer from a level of noise from units above, especially where young children are located. If next to a busy road the higher you are the less noise will be evident. Check out the neighbours, are they families, young ones oldies do they own or rent...believe me it makes a difference Check out the location.. it an area prone to flooding. 

15 check if the rent includes charges for communal costs for lighting, lifts including maintenance, rubbish taxes if appropriate and also regular cleaning of communal areas. If you are lucky enough to have access to a pool check that out too. If not then check what the costs are likely to be as pools may have to have licences and need to be treated regularly with chemicals overnight to keep the water clean and disease free as well as slime and algae free.

16 is there an emergency lighting system in place for stair wells and lift shafts as power cuts are normal and climbing stairs is not recommended in the dark – get some good torches (rechargeable ones and batteries) and keep a supply of candles handy. 4-10 hours power cuts are infrequent but they do happen. Make sure you know where the fuse boxes are and the main switches etc. Also check out whether the area is prone to water shortages and water cut offs.

17 if you have your own belongings and furniture assess whether you will need a lifter and whether you can get all items through the windows and or doors and is there space for the lifter unit to stand on the road – also note a permit may be required usually available from the local council offices – there may be a small charge. Note also if the lifter has to stand in a bus stop or on a pedestrian crossing then you may also need to get permission from transport authorities..especially if on a main road.

18 is there any outdoor space available for you to use privately or shared, if so identify it, and make it your own if you can. Check also washing line availability and your allocated roof space

19 is there enough electrical power sockets, and are they where you need them to be – any burn marks on electrical points get them checked and changed. Check security of sockets and if they all work the way they should

20 gas cooking (oven and hob) is much cheaper to operate than electric – it is common place to have gas hob and electric oven...on remote complexes its common to have just electric appliances, try one of the small (12L /17L) round bench top halogen ovens, theyre very economical and work well – we use ours every day

21 check out all your lighting features. Especially the lights over the kitchen surfaces and oven hoods, see if you can change the bulbs etc for energy efficient ones..they pay for themselves over time  - take them with you when you leave (its one of the first things i do)

22 always do an inventory and get it checked thoroughly and note any damages or anything missing – get it agreed, dont just leave it to chance. It will be painful if you do – dont accept the landlords “it'll be ok dont worry about it – DO worry about it as it may come back to bite you) take photos – especially watch for furniture that is veneered as this often lifts due to the humidity     levels

23 check the water pressure as it can be very low and poor service for showers, if its low ask the landlord to fit a pump they are not too expensive and theyre cheap to run but make such a big difference

24 check the water tanks for the security of the lids – make sure they are wired down as insect larva can get in. taste the water. also check the toilets for flushing, identify if they have half and full flush functions. We can suffer from very high winds and the tank lids can fly off. Although to be fair havent seen many of this tyoe here they all seem to be cylindircal tanks so far

25 tv phone and internet connections – check whats available – check if the satellite channels you wish to view can be received  - many british channels cannot be received here. Check if you can you can have one, can one be fitted, have you got the space, can it be installed easily, are there existing cable runs – if not where can the cables go. will you need permission to have one. Will others require service too. Internet tv (iptv) is easier to get for uk live tv, sport, movies, tv series, catchup, music, radio, weather, news etc etc etc  and very cheap, there are free options and subscription options available and you would only need a decent internet service of about 4mbps... They will include SD & HD quality channels via sites like Or try this  don't take the local services as theyre usually poor out of date services…and you will be bored with whats on offer within 3 months. Try it on your laptop - or get an android box install xbmc and install the addons asscociated with it.. its superb viewing and free or subscription

26 check for refuse collections how often and on what days and at what times you can put the rubbish out as there can be restrictions – thus awkward.. Disposal of bigger household items can be arranged with the local council just phone them – Recycling points are in most villages so find out where they are if its important to you.. you may be fined if you get caught putting your rubbish out before the allotted times or disposing of it in an irresponsible way

27 check out how the bills for utilities are calculated, how and when they will be presented to you. Ask to see a recent one – dont be fobbed off that a recent one is not available – ask to see one - the landlord will have one.

28 do a consumption check when you arrive check the start readings and say after a normal week of consumption check it again and then do a calculation on the utility suppliers website ....this will give you a good idea what you are using and the likely costs. Remember the elec bills come every 2 months and may be a little late - maybe 3 weeks or more...and often are due onthe day of arrival at your this can happen with Cyta too.

29 make sure you are named on the bills  - go to the EAK and get the electricity account changed into your own name immediately - €100 deposit passport and lease is all you need... - then do the same with the water account

30 ensure you get a copy of the bills

31 ensure you have a record of the rent paid and utility payments – a rent book is a good idea. Some andlords may want to be paid cash...NB sometimes (but not always) its to avoid declaring income for tax., but thats not your concern

32 keep your bills and records of payments, pay the bills yourself by a traceable method..this may help you later if you eventually have a problem.

33 anything that the new renter finds by way of repairs, broken items missing items after you have signed and say within one week of the let - make sure you tell the landlord at the earliest possible time but dont wait for a week or more, tell them straight away dont prepare a long list and it as these are found, its better for you – it may be a pest to the landlord but it is better for you. Keep on at them too as you will find you will not be top priority..its just the way it is...

34 Tax evading landlords are still highly evident - there is not a lot you can do currently (short of telling the tax man - not recommended due to serious legal and potentially violent repurcussions). Talking to your landlord – try and negotiate, be civil and courteous but firm.

35 many landlords charge monthly and a little over the average just in case - but the important thing is that you get the bills     calculated at the correct rates... check your meters regularly. Make sure your landlord isnt connected to your supplies..believe me it does happen and you would be surprised how often....and many tenants dont even know its happenning until its too late... the good landlords do things right and dont have an objection to their tenants going on the bills or re-imburse the tenant or put you in credit...if you've overpaid - its always best to recalculate it every three to six months and adjust accordingly if you pay it every month.

36 always inspect your water tanks...for security of the fittings as once the water is passed the meter its your problem to pay for leaked water...and as the tanks are usually out of sight on the roof - you could have a leak and not know it – another reason to check consumptions regularly and investigate any major fluctuations.    

37 As a general rule on consumptions and yes i know everyone is different - our consumptions have remained fairly stable over the last 6 years and we have every economy gadget going - when there was just two of us at about 4.5 electricity units per person per day and even now there is three of us its the same. as for water... well when there was two of us it was about 150-170 litres total per day...and now there are three of us its about 200-250 litres total per day.....mind you "her indoors" does 1-2 clothes washes most days - obviously that depnds on your usages habits and appliances - mainly whether you use AC or not as theyre big consumers    

38 Running  Air Con is expensive - we used 5-6 fans every day all day and night during the summer these are considerably more affordable to run - for air con you can rely on about 50-60c per hr per AC unit usage...ours arent ancient but probably about 5-6 yrs old - the newer more efficient invertor types are a little bit cheaper to run
NB 9000-12000btu AC units (usually bedrooms) use about 1-1.5 units per hr  - 24000btu units (usually combined living litchen diners) use     about 3units per hr

39 if you havent got new water saving flush toilets fill a 1 litre bottle up with water and place it in the cistern....also to save water in the shower head replace the rubber washer between the hose and the head with a same size washer but with a smaller hole....make one yourself if you cant find one. The normal hole size is similar to that of the size of a pencil - replace it with a     washer with a hole the size of a does work.

40 put buckets under the extract outlet of the Air con and use this to refill the Toilets after use. Or use the water to water your plants or use in the steam iron. You will generate a gallon of water over two hrs or so using air con

41 never ever pay an estimated bill - they are often heavily over estimated - you may not be obliged too - you may wish to make a contribution towards the bill by way of your own caclulations or pay just the meter service charges as thats all you are obliged to pay against the estimated bills. It can be illegal to demand payment against the issue of an estimated bill – a recent court case within the EU proved this – it is clear that the supplier has the responsibility to read the meters regularly and within a reasonable time-frame - dispute the over charges

42 The AEK supplier may try to charge you 4.5% interest on unpaid outstanding bills – so be wary

43 AEK are mandated to supply bills every two months. Some people have experienced late billing. Dont ever fall for the threatening reminder letters, if the bill is wrong – it is wrong – tell them so by putting it in dispute by writing to the supplier- keep copies of all correspondence. If they persist (and this works for repeated estimated billing too) tell     them that if you get just one more like it then you will take legal action.

44 its not uncommon for the prepayment of utility bills to landlords (if the bills remain intheir name) -  however as bills may not arrive as often as youd like the landlords get the benefit of your money in their bank account and that could be anything up to a year. As the landlords tend to err on    the high side - Its good practice to take your own readings and check them with a online calculator tool - this will then give you a more accurate idea as to what you should be paying...but then you must also be sure that you are getting the correct rates charged to you.

45 finalizing / balancing / reconciling bills will depend on when they are supplied!!!!!!! reconcile as early as possible, even if you have to     keep pestering them. The last thing anyone wants is a protracted delay and a hefty bill at the end.

46 when taking a let take your meter readings agree them with the estate agent and landlord quote them in the contract and also take photos of all areas of the property to identify condition at start of the letting contract and keep them safe...similarly when leaving a let to move on do the same - and pay particular attention to furniture, services, flooring and fitted units etc, especially where you  may have had pets ....its not unusual for massive claims against you after you have long gone and left... its essential to keep these records..I know a number of people this has happened to....and they have ended up in court.... so caveat emptor - i think that means buyer beware. when you have taken the photos of the furniture, condition of walls, shower     etc email them to yourself - this provides irrefutable evidence with a date and time and should stop future discussions on when the pictures were taken. . or use a camera with time and date stamp functions. I know it sounds over the top but believe me these things do happen – protect yourself from this

47 to deter mozzies as we have had lots of them this year - try putting out a bowl of cloves in each room..not the crushed ones - the     whole ones. If they still bother you at night put your fan on low and place it so it blows towards your head (mozzies are attracted to your breath) - but they cannot fly well if at all when in a breeze....

48 Always take the time to read your contract even the small print, if there are clauses in it you do not like query them and have them removed if you dont like them or have them adjusted / amended to your satisfaction, if there are things you want included get them included. REMEMBER YOU ARE THE AGENTS CLIENT TOO, dont be afraid to ask, and you are paying them for the service make them work for their fees. If the changes required are objected to, then move on to another property, landlord or agent...or even all three. If you dont and just accept them “because hes a nice guy” you may feel the pain when the going gets tough and they both show their true colours.

49 always ask for a receipt for the rent and utilities payments or a rent book signed by both of you each time you rent book or receipt DONT take the let. Do not trust the overly friendly local until you now them really well...and thye have earned your trust ...even then – be wary – things and people change.

50 never ever sign a contract for your lease unless you know for sure that you are 100% happy with its contents and are 100% prepared to be bound by them



51 Some places include water rubbish and communal charges in the rent....
52 if you do end up in communication with the utility supplier NEVER EVER say you are not going to pay them – ALWAYS say that you will pay for the ACTUAL consumptions but NOT FOR guesswork consumption quoted in ESTIMATED bills.
53 If you suspect there is a meter fault – demand that when anyone comes to deal with it, it is dealt with under your supervision and     viewing. And make note of all readings new and old meters     if replaced, note any conversation with the engineer, get a copy of the report and take fotos before and after the work
54 always check with your landlord about tv cable internet connections as sometimes they get a second cable box free or very cheaply from the provider and charge the unwary tenant as though its a normal rate - but they charge you directly with the rent (not within it but as an extra)
55 remember to cover your own possessions with insurance its very cheap (about 70euros for 15000euros of cover - abbeygate)
56 most estate agents websites are out of date for many months so dont expect property to be available it usually isnt.
57 its normal here to find the better deals by word of mouth and on recommendation. ask in bars cafes shops friends of friends etc you will be surprised at how many there are available but be wary of all the above points. There are reasons why they are not advertised and its usually tax related. But there is no harm in asking and viewing remember YOU are in CONTROL – its currently a renters market – negotiate hard always – easy deals are a sign to the landlords that you may be easy pickings and they will take advantage if you let them. DONT LET THEM and     dont be scared of negotiating hard. If no deal WALK AWAY. Its especially important in word of mouth deals to ask the awkward questions and dont accept the “its ok its very cheap” – get down     to the nitty gritty details). Ask if the property is or has been subject to power and water cuts.
58 remember try not to be blinkered AND FOOLED by a nice pool – they have issues such as being very busy with other tenants and their families during the summer – it only takes one “family from hell” to ruin your summer enjoyment of your rented home.
59 heating in winter can be expensive – there are not many properties with central heating. Heating options are, gas bottled heaters, electric radiators, halogen heaters, electric convector     heaters, Air con on heat or dehumidifier settings or if you are very very  lucky the owner may have had PV panels or solar panels installed. Note that a dehumidifier removes water from the atmosphere clothing bedding and the walls and thus can be more effective in warming up rooms than a gas or electric heater.
60 gas bottle 12kg (approx 16-17 euros) for heating will last between 7-10 days depending on usage - NOT SURE OF THE SIZES HERE YET
61 gas bottles for cooking will last between 3-7 maybe even upto 12months months depending on usage  ie gas hob only or gas hob and oven even using a gas     kettle will deplete your gas quite quickly.
62 buy a water filter jug and filters for the water if the water isnt to your works out cheaper than bottled water. Local water is 100% safe and drinkable but has a curious taste as its full of minerals, the  mineral content is high, easy to recognise in tea but not so easy in coffee or squash. Or if you are happy to do so get a pukka water filter unit installed into the kitchen water feed (approx 300e)
63 be wary of estate agents as they will show you anything – even when its not on your list of requirements just to get a sale. If it happens walk away..find an agent that listens to what you want, it will save you time effort and money.. be very specific if you have a minimum spec for your home and stick to it, if you can  - sometimes you will be required to compromise as the perfect home isnt always the first one you see or take.
64 keep your eyes peeled when travelling or walking as many properties are found and advertised in windows as “direct from owner” and a telephone number – ring it, if it appeals externally and view it armed with this document
65 some ads in estate agents or web pages only ever have internal photos – you will find there is good reason for it.
66 usually the further inland you go the cheaper the property is likely to be - not always true dependingon proerty types and location
67 dont just accept a verbal agreement from your landlord (for example cleaning the property before leaving may not be mentioned in your lease and he might say “not to worry about it” and     he will take care of it) – get it written into your contract.
68 keep your estate agent involved in issues relating to the property and the landlord. He/she can be a good mediator in times of troubles.
69 when choosing a property to rent, ask your agent if they have rented for this landlord before and if they have had any previous complaints/disputes whether they were initiated by the landlord or tenants, and whether any are still outstanding. its good to get an idea. And ask for details. Get the rapport going.
70 keep a good relationship with your agent, once you find one you like! Use them every time you move and send other people their way. It'll build loyalty and they'll be more likely to want to place you with good landlords and good properties  - they will learn what you really like and will be encouraged to find you the exact property for you when it comes up.
71 Before you move in, always make sure/check if there is, or there will be any construction done to the block you are moving into or a nearby block. If there is find out what the laws are regarding work start times. In many countries drilling or heavy work cannot start legally before 7am. But it often does....
72 make sure you have your own separate meters to ensure only your consumption is measured and that it is those meters readings used for your bills - e.g  a block of apartments might have     one main meter, which is then split up by sub-meters to calculate the consumption of each apartment, the electricity bill could then be calculated on the main meter and would technically r    each the maximum tariff much faster than would otherwise be the case, thus your bill could be much higher than you expect as the landlord will pro-rata the bill according to the overall consumption and allocate accordingly at the much higher rates – it may not happen but be aware it could....
73 if you like to sit outside in the summer look for a shady balcony or terrace if you want to use them during the day.
74 Look for apartments lower down in the building like ground floor or first floors. It will be warmer in the winter especially with other apartments above and next to yours. Its a compromise that you and you alone can decide upon as lower floors have other issues. Different issues affect higher floors.
75 Make sure you can get some fresh air in during the night and early morning by being able to open windows (even better with mosquito/insect mesh screens)
76 Older town houses can be dark and have high ceilings and thick walls which helps keep them cool in summer and warmer in winter. Although it has to be said they could be damper too.
77 Be wary of large terraces especially ones with penthouses...when it rains, sand from north africa comes in the wind with it and large terraces are a pain to keep clean...we spent more time cleaning it than using it
78 heavy winds can affect open terraces meaning everything needs to be tied down or weighed down or brought indoors
79 also be wary of canopies over patio doors as these too suffer from winds, as do parasols dont leave them out take them down – flash winds have been known to take them for spin onto the roads and gardens / yards / cars / people below
80 also place your plants in places where they are not too exposed to wind as it will look like harry potters garden in a heavy wind
81 if fitting a satellite dish try and place it so best part of it is shaded from winds – make sure it has obstruction free sight to the satellites you wish to view – even a tree or part of a building could seriously reduce your signal strength by 20-25%
82 why not join the petiton to get lower electricity charges on cyprus . Have your say in restoring fair electricity prices - sign the petition here … e_monopoly 
83 Drinking and driving here is frowned upon as it should be and theyre heavy on fines especially on clearly identifiable red plated hire cars which indicate you are usually a foreigner.
84 If you have complaints regarding anything that is against your EU rights you can submit a complaint to the EU via their petitions mechansim at … ition.html
85 wear and tear is normal during the life of any product, and that includes furniture, fittings, appliances etc.... if an item gets damaged and your landlord wants it repaired or replaced - remember to deduct an element of wear and tear in any pricing... get three quotes, BETTERMENT IS NEVER PART OF THE DEAL - UNLESS OF COURSE ITS A BRAND SPANKING NEW ITEM
86 If you end up in a situation where you feel the need to withhold monies for whatever reason – remember - the with-holding or non-receipt of monies is generally a successful policy to adopt and cultivate in achieving one's aims     and objectives - as money doesn't just talk, it screams and shouts and is the only language we and they all understand despite a potential language     barrier. Money or lack of it is universally recognised.
87 item 86 works also with Utility and other service providers too...the one thing that is quite clear here is that “money talks” and the only way to get this message across sometimes is to hit them where it hurts – IN THE POCKET. Remember its a renters market and you can BE IN CONTROL if you are brave enough. Be brave coz they will be. If you give in they will take advantage of that weakness for sure. For greedy landlords (and most are) are aware of this and believe me they want reliable foreigners (mostly British or other desirable EU nationals who are socially responsible citizens and pay cash, on time, and in full, as they want you in their properties, and not the others who do not observe nor subscribe too such account settlement niceties - trust me, and that a threat to leave their property (which YOU as tenant obviously do not really want to do) may have the desired effect!!!!!  There is no guarantee though. So be prepared to do whats necessary
88 in the case of purchasers be sure that the completion dates you agree are met (particularly the builder developers quotes) and that the costs quoted are clear and accurate. It wont be the first time a new owner/purchaser has not had their kitchen or bathroom finished off. Remember too there is no housebuilder guarantees here – more like non at all.
89 Also check on notaries/lawyers fees too, sometimes they are over estimated but more often than not they are underestimated leaving the new purchaser exasperated and potentially struggling to find the extra cash needed to progress further with their dream home
90 Remember its illegal here to display a tax disc or anything else on the windscreen of your vehicle  - just as it is not having a red warning triangle in your car.
91 always pay the bills yourself (insist on it) dont just give cash to the landlord or his will need to be able to prove this if ever the system changes
92 For purchasers always check everything you are told – even when told to you by a notary solicitor or lawyer
93 For purchasers dont be fooled by the developer/builder/owner completion dates they are rarely if ever accurate
94 Be wary of the builder putting equipment / fittings etc into your new property that you didnt ask for or order....
95 Be aware the statement of “includes fixtures and fittings” doesnt necessarily mean what you might think it means. “Completely finished” is another term to be wary of. Be very very specific and ask the questions so that you know exactly what is and is not included. If its vague say what you expect to be included. These things can and often do include things such as balcony rails and even hand rails on stairways in double check.
96 Please check as much as you can get local knowledge anf form your own opinions and make your decisions carefully... either way PROTECT YOURSELF... CHECK EVERYTHING ONCE THEN TWICE AND WHEN YOUR SURE CHECK IT AGAIN.
97 Also be very wary if when selling your property to a person who has or may have been divorced (especially ladies) as this may cause considerable delay if the documents are not readily available
98 Sometimes when delays occur in the sale – you may be required to give extensions of time for completion and these are all chargeable – so consider the extensions of time very carefully as these are often taken to their extremes and this can cause you a problem too.
99 Buying – (Notes from both a buyer and a seller)

a. Always try to get a property which is south facing as without the winter sun coming through it can get very cold. Especially if its a new build.
b. If you are buying a new build make sure you do your research on your builder before committing. Ask the locals, people at work etc etc We didnt and only found out through other people after we had bought that he was a crook!.
c. If you are buying a new build and buying it fully finished make sure the notary / lawyer / solicitor writes EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING down that is included in the sale. The notary / lawyer / solicitor will probably say that there is no need to do that but I can assure you there is every need.
d. Do not sign the contract for the property until you have seen inside the property and are happy with the finish.
e. Do not take the estate agents or notary / lawyer / solicitors word for it, they are doing what's best for their own interest, get off your bum and go do your homework yourself.
f. ALWAYS get an architect into check the property – get a hold of the original plans if you can – check to see if there have been any new additions – as these may not have permission from the planning authority and you can find all sorts of issues and even be required to demolish them later

a. Once again do your homework, many things will arise that no one had mentioned before, as we found out if you dont ask they may not tell!. You are expected to know all so thats why doing research pays off. CAVEAT EMPTOR – buyer beware
b. If you sell your property in the ealry years of buying you may be liable for capital gains tax. How much you pay depends on how much profit is made and if mr taxman is in a good mood or not!
c. Be prepared for a long wait till completion the usual time frame is 3/4 months.
d. If you decide to sell and are happy to use just one estate agent make sure you know what the rules are and conditions of doing so are
e. Even better, if possible, dont use an estate agent!.
100 Tip to deal with MOULD – its all about balancing heating and ventilation - gas heaters, ventilation and AC. The absolute best advise given so far by a motor home and sailing boat owner:     CAT LITTER!  Small decorative bags filled with cat litter in every corner of the property, behind books, behind pictures, in wardrobes and bigger, less decorative bags on the stairs to the roof     terrace and upstairs in washing room. Anywhere prone to the dreaded black damp – you can even get perfumed cat litter now too and the best bit it actually works!  :-).


You gave so much interesting information here Toon.

You are right it is important for the new arrivals to see these information that you just shared with us. !
Therefore, your topic is now a sticky one :D






101 Starting school in another EU country - As EU citizens, your children are entitled to attend school in any EU country under the same conditions as nationals of that country. They have     the right to be placed in a class with their own age group, at the equivalent level to their class in your country of origin – regardless of their language level.

102    If you are an EU national migrating to another EU country for work, your children are entitled under EU law to receive free language tuition in your new home country to help them adapt to     the school system there.

    Source: … dex_en.htm
103 Did you know that, as an EU national, you're entitled to work — for an employer or as a self-employed person — in any EU country without needing a work permit? … dex_en.htm

104 For those wishing to travel with pets … dex_en.htm

105    NHS access may be restored to expats

        NHS cover for expats

        British expats could see the return of their right to use the NHS for free.
        Currently, any Briton who lives abroad for more than three months of the year no longer has the right to access free health care in the UK with the exception of medical emergency.
        Expats of state pension age who have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 10 years remain entitled to some cover even if they permanently live abroad.
        The current qualifying test for free treatment is, therefore, whether a person is ordinarily resident.
        This calls into question the disparity between those who have paid into the system sometimes for a lifetime, before moving abroad and migrants who may have contributed nothing.
        The government undertook consultation over the issue, fuelled by the desire to eliminate health tourism for those entering the UK seeking free care.
        The outcome is believed to suggest that access to free treatment should be allowed to those who have made a fair contribution.
        A fair contribution would constitute at least seven years of National Insurance contributions, under the proposals.
        The proposals also will institute a levy for health care for temporary residents in the UK who originate from outside of the European Economic Area.
        The government's decision to base NHS eligibility on NI contributions could be of great assistance to those abroad, possibly saving them the high cost of private medical care.

        The new regulations are expected to come into force 2014

106   Remember you have EU rights when purchasing too – but remember most shops and their staff dont know about this so take it easy, stay calm,be cool, be firm, but stand your ground – it     is for your own protection … U-law.html

107    Remember too that until you have been out of the UK for 15 years or more you can still vote in elections in the UK  - after all they wil make decisions on things that affect you at some     stage of your life... to register go to

108 Driving - Cyprus Traffic Laws, Offences, Fines and Points.
Here is a list of the main traffic offences in Cyprus.
This list is not exhaustive but is a good guide.
The main law was updated on the 5th November 2010. The definitive Government publication in Greek can be downloaded here. An addendum regarding speeding and drink driving was made on the 15th June 2012.
It should be noted that Municipalities and similar entity's are able to enact laws and impose fines.
Some of the offences listed without penalty points may attract them at a later date.
On reaching twelve penalty points the courts will normally disqualify a driver from driving and suspend the driving licence. Currently penalty points are removed three years after the day on which they were imposed.
The penalty point system is currently under review.
Payment of Traffic Fines
Traffic fines are not paid to the officer at the roadside.
Drink driving.
The limit is lower than UK at 22 micrograms per 100 ml.
The reading from 23 to 35 micrograms - fine €100 - 0 - 2 penalty points
reading 36 to 55 micrograms -fine €200 - 2 - 4 penalty points
reading 56 to 70 micrograms - fine €300 - 3 - 6 penalty points
Over 71 micrograms - Prison or fine between €150 - €400 will be determined by the court - 3 - 6 penalty points
Drunk in charge of a vehicle. Determined by the court
Speeds between up to 30% over the limit - fine €1 per km/h - 0 - 2 penalty points
Speeds between between 31% and 50% over the limit - fine €2 per km/h - 2 - 4 penalty points
Speeds between between 51% and 75% over the limit - fine €3 per km/h - 3 - 6 penalty points
Speeds over 75% - Determined by the court - 3 - 6 penalty points
Some Common Offences
Using a mobile telephone with their hands while driving - 2, max. 4 penalty points - A fine of €85
Eating or drinking while driving - fine €85
Seat belts - omission: (a) installation (b) use by drivers and passengers - 2, max. 4 penalty points - A fine of €85
Not carrying a reflective warning triangle - fine €20
The writing, attaching or displaying of any object, for example a tax disc, on the windscreen of a vehicle is prohibited – fine will be imposed
Document Offences
No driving licence or no insurance - Determined by the court
No road tax (circulation licence) - Determined by the court
No MOT (Bi annual vehicle inspection) - Determined by the court
Registration Plate - Number plate infringements. Police have power to detain and remove vehicles not complying with the regulations - fine €85
Failing to notify change of ownership or saleof vehicle within 30 days. - fine will be imposed
Motorcycle Offences
Motorcycle / Moped - Rider or Passenger - No helmet - 1, max. 4 penalty points - A fine of €85
Motorcycle / Moped - riding without dipped beam headlights illuminated - fine €50
Motorcycle / Moped - pillion under 12 years old - fine €25
Motorcycle / Moped - passenger being carried in front of driver - fine €25
Motorcycle / Moped - pillion not sitting astride vehicle - fine €25
Moped - driving on Highway - fine €85
Driving Offences
Causing death through dangerous driving - 5, max. 10 penalty points - The fine will be determined by the court
Dangerous driving - 3, max. 6 penalty points - The fine will be determined by the court
Careless driving - 3, max. 6 penalty points - The fine will be determined by the court
Signalling - The driver failing to make signals - fine €25
Failing to stop after an accident - 5, max. 10 penalty points - The fine will be determined by the court
Non-mechanical vehicle on motorways and high speed roads - fine €85
Failing - to comply with traffic lights - 2, max. 4 penalty points - A fine of €85
Failing - to comply with directions given by a Police Officer - fine €55
Failing - to comply with directions given by traffic signs - fine €25
Failing - to stop or to conform to the signals of the traffic warden or Crossing Patrol at a school crossing - fine €55
Failing - to stop and allow precedence to pedestrians on a pedestrian crossing - fine €85
Driving the wrong way down a one way road. - fine €25
Failing - to slow down to allow the safe passage of other vehicles or traffic - fine €55
Overtaking on the left, on a bridge, top of a hill, opposite a junction, pedestrian crossing a continuous line or other sign - fine €55
Driving of motor vehicles in a pedestrian street - fine €55
Illegal entry of motor vehicles on the road with restrictions on the movement of motor vehicles - fine €55
Priority - driver who does not give priority to vehicles coming from the right at junctions with main road or at controlled crossings or who drives into main road without stopping or slowing down - fine €55
Unnecessary reversing - fine €25
Unnecessary use of horn in built up areas - fine €25
Construction and Use Offences
Cargo - passenger vehicle carrying bulky and hazardous cargo in a vehicle - fine €50
Dangerous load or overhang. (More than 10% of vehicles length) - fine €50
Shipments - which project or are hazardous - fine €50
Driving a motor vehicle which has been modified,changed or adapted - fine
Tyre (tire) - dangerous or defective - €25
Silencers - or lack of silencer system - min 2, max 4 - €50
Silencers - Using the vehicle with excessive smoke - min 2, max 4 - €50
Mirrors - infringement regarding reflex mirrors - fine €25
Windows - windscreen washers / wipers non-existent or defective - fine €25
Windows - glass windows with limited visibility - fine
Other Offences
Smoking - in private motor vehicle, with a person under the age of sixteen in the vehicle - fine €85
Smoking - in public vehicle - fine €85
Smoking - in designated public places where smoking is prohibited - fine
Obstruction - of the highway with a motor vehicle - fine €85
Obstruction - most other forms of obstruction - fine €50
Obstruction - Heavy vehicles - a truck driver or bus does not stop and allow the other traffic to pass - fine €25
Parking - Within 10 meters of a junction, within 15 meters of a pedestrian crossing, near traffic lights, on the pavement, on a bus stop or disabled bay - fine €85.
Parking facing other than in the direction of traffic flow. This applies at any time day or night even if it is in a permitted parking place - fine €85
Driver - who is in an irregular position inside the vehicle or raises his hand from the steering wheel unnecessarily - fine €25
Passengers - not sitting in fixed seats, obstructs or interferes with the normal operation of the vehicle or is making signs or gestures could be seen as traffic signals - fine €25
Doors - person who opens the door of a vehicle in a manner unsafe or disturbing for other vehicles or leaves the door open making another vehicles movement excessive - fine €25
Lights - offences relating to parking lights and placing of a reflective warning triangle - fine €25
Lights - offences relating to motor vehicle headlamps - fine €25
Dropping litter - fine
Taxi Fares - taxi driver fails have a table of charges in a prominent place in the taxi - fine €25
Learning to drive
Learner Driver - failing to display E plate - fine €25
Learner Driver - driver of a vehicle carrying passengers other than the supervisor - fine €25
Learner Driver - driver who is not accompanied by a licensed driver - fine €25
Learner Driver - on highway not accompanied by a Cyprus Registered driving instructor - fine
Learner Driver - motorcycle driver carrying passengers other than the supervisor - fine €25
109 Road Tax - Circulation Licence
Do Not Display Your Tax Disc
As of the 12th of March, 2010, the writing, attaching or displaying of any object on the windscreen of a vehicle is prohibited. This includes tax discs.
A circulation licence is to drive a vehicle on a public road. The licence is valid for 6 or 12 months.
Time to renew your road tax
Your road tax can be renewed from the end of the first week in January until the end of the second week in February without penalty. After that time the police will prosecute. After the grace period a fine of €30 + 10% of the rate of tax for the vehicle will be levied on renewal. If the tax is not renewed for a full year, further penalties apply
From September 2014 it is intended that owners will be able pay for their road tax in monthly instalments. Failure to keep up the payments will result in revocation of the licence.
You cannot renew your circulation licence
If your vehicle requires, but does not have, a current DoRT Vehicle Inspection Certificate (MOT). This information is logged on the DoRT database. If the MOT expires during the currency of the circulation licence, and is not renewed, the circulation licence becomes invalid and you are likely to be prosecuted for both offences.
How to renew your Road Tax (Circulation Licence).
Renewal online.
You will be required to log on or register with with your email and a password. The site is in Greek and English.
You will require the following details:
Registration Document (Log Book).
Credit card.
The owners' reference number is the last three digits of your ID, Alien Card or Passport number. This is the one shown on owner section of the logbook for that vehicle under I.C. No. or [C.9] on the newer Greek language log books.
Insurance certificate may be required if cover commenced recently and has not yet been entered onto the database.
Renewal at the Bank of Cyprus, the Co-Op and other commercial banks and Citizen Service Centres
You do not need to have an account with the bank.
You will require:
Cash for the sum required.
Registration Document (Log Book).
The last three digits of your ID, Alien Card or Passport number. This is the one shown on the logbook.
Insurance certificate may be required if cover commenced recently and has not yet been entered onto the database.
Renew at Department of Transport Offices.
You can apply at the local Department of Road Transport. This is not recommended because of the time spent queuing.
You will require:
The application form TOM 8
Cash for the sum required.
Registration Document (Log Book).
Insurance certificate may be required if cover commenced recently and has not yet been entered onto the database.

The application form TOM 8 is sometimes available in English. You can download a printable form TOM 8 for completion and an English translation of the Greek form in PDF format
If your vehicle is going to be off the road.
If you are not going to use your car, going to the UK on an extended stay for example, you can obtain a rebate of some of the road tax unused during your absence or delay having to renew your road tax.
Before you go away,
Or as soon as the vehicle is off the road, fill in a form TOM 12 and take it to the Department of Transport Offices or Citizen Service Centers.
In due course a rebate cheque will be sent to you.
You will have to nominate a place, off the road, where it will be kept during your absence so that it can be inspected.
The notification cannot be backdated and is similar to the Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) in the UK.

You can download a printable form TOM 12 for completion and an English translation of form in PDF format
Rates of Road Tax on vehicles registered prior to 1st January 2014.
The general rates shown below apply to cars and small car derived vans and run for 12 months from January to December.

There is also an option to pay for half a year at proportionately slightly increased rates.

To work out the rate for your vehicle, multiply the engine size of the vehicle (cc) by the € rate in the engine category into which it falls.

Tax rates for vehicles registered prior to 2014
Engine Capacity (cc)
Up to 1450
1451 – 1650
1651 – 2050
2051 – 2250
2251 – 2650
2651 and more
€ per cc
Cost will be in the range

Private Car
€10 - 62
€87 - 99
€198 - 246
€297 - 326
€443 - 521
€521  +
€10 - 62
€87 - 99
€198 - 246
€297 - 299
Double Cab
(Prior to 2014 only)
€10 - 27
€39 - 44
€89 - 111
€133 - 147
€198 - 234
€234 - 299
Motorcycles between 1 and 1450 cc are charged €0.04272 per cc and will be in the range €10 - €62.
For 2014 the fee is calculated at 2013 rates shown above PLUS a special fee.
For vehicles, including motorcycles, the special fee is
€12 for engine size up to 2050cc with CO2 emissions which are up to and including 100g/km,
€22 for vehicles with greater emissions and engine displacements up to 2050 cc,
€32 for vehicles with engine displacements more than 2050 cc.
Pick-up trucks and larger vans.
Vehicles designed do carry goods with a gross weight of less than 3501, that is pick-up trucks and larger vans, the way the tax is calculated has changed. It is now calculated at .05 cents per cc up to 1650cc and .10 cents for 1651cc and above plus the appropriate special fee in each case. A cap of €299 has been reinstated. Those that have paid over that sum will be refunded the difference.
Vehicles first registered from 1st January 2014 will be charged road tax based on CO2 emissions.
The new road tax will be charged as at the following rates:
vehicles emitting 120g/km, €0.5 per gramme
121g/km – 150g/km, €3,
151g/km – 180g/km, €3,
over 180g/km, €8

110 For a list of electricity tariffs see … 202013.pdf

For the off peak tariff see … 202013.pdf

:top: You are the Tops Toon! 
I have read all three installments of your Tips and would advise everyone who is ever thinking of moving to any country, to do the same!
Thank you.

jessebernie wrote:

:top: You are the Tops Toon! 
I have read all three installments of your Tips and would advise everyone who is ever thinking of moving to any country, to do the same!
Thank you.

thank you  - we try our best

:) you did great and I'm going to make sure to bring with me to refer in our search!

a very good idea....

Thanks for that extensive guidelines= clearly, you put a lot of thought into that.
So many warnings are kinda daunting, but i will boil them down to a checklist i can bring with me when searching for a rental.   
I have a couple of questions re rentals, if you please,
As a newly arrived American, i get a 3 mos visa, and in that time i must find a rental so that i have a contract to submit with my application for a residency permit, is that right ?       once i have submitted that application, can I then move to another rental if I find a better one ?     so is a three month contract sufficient for the application ?
how best to find a modest place with an english owner ?       

Anxious to Exit Cambodia

Frankincambo wrote:

Thanks for that extensive guidelines= clearly, you put a lot of thought into that.
So many warnings are kinda daunting, but i will boil them down to a checklist i can bring with me when searching for a rental.   
I have a couple of questions re rentals, if you please,
As a newly arrived American, i get a 3 mos visa, and in that time i must find a rental so that i have a contract to submit with my application for a residency permit, is that right ?       once i have submitted that application, can I then move to another rental if I find a better one ?     so is a three month contract sufficient for the application ?
how best to find a modest place with an english owner ?       

Anxious to Exit Cambodia

Apologies for the delay Frank been a tad busy with friends visiting us .....

The warnings given are things i have come across and experienced in Malta mainly  - many have not been experienced here - thank god......but nevertheless are important to keep in mind when searching as they may not happen here but could so best to not forget them

Q1 yes
Q2 yes - the address on the yellow slip will never ever change - its something they just dont do and dont offer changes or amendments   - so its  not too important really...
Q3 they may question it but it is acceptable to them when you say that you are still searching for an appropriate property to rent long term. - we only have a 6months one at the moment but will renew on this complex if the summer months usage here are acceptable to us.
Q4. we have been lucky as we took a 12m rental initially though an agent via internet and had things checked out for us by some friends here.. we were in malta at the time and needed to do this as we have a cat and thus couldnt go into a hotel first. so we took the risk - anyway we ended up losing our deposit  (our choice) as we just couldnt stay any longer where we were as the constant dog barking annoyance was just not acceptable so we moved to where we are dogs - abfab and oh so quiet... heaven

This one was found simply by word of mouth through an english friend and both properties were with english landlords and they have both been absolutely fantastic.....
facebook groups for rentals sale hire or buy paphos or lanaca or whatever area you fancy
word of mouth  - ask around the areas pubs bars cafes shops restaurants
classifieds in local freebie papers

Holy Moly! Amazing work with all of this! Think I need to write at least a few of these down for myself!

40 put buckets under the extract outlet of the Air con and use this to refill the Toilets after use. Or use the water to water your plants or use in the steam iron. You will generate a gallon of water over two hrs or so using air con

Haha, love this one!

all borne out of personal experience Luke....

REPOST with thank to Rury McLeod
very handy to know
Following on from a recent posting about the Citizens Advice Centre in Butcher Boy Road. ..................... I thought I would pass on some information which some people may not know. I have heard many people say that when their spouse has died, they have had a nightmare with the probate of the deceased partner's "estate", especially with a car registered in the name of the dead partner. Most things (bills etc) in Cyprus (seem to) have to be in one name, but we found out that we were able to register our car in both my wife and my name(s) on the same Registration Form ("Log Book") at the Citizens Advice Centre ..... This can save a lot of problems for the surviving partner who can then continue to MOT, tax, insure and drive the car as their own, and it does not become part of the dead spouse's "estate", (thus you also don't have to pay death duties / taxes on the car ?). .......... Just firstly get your insurance company to change the insurance policy into both names (as Policy Holders, not just as an extra named driver). (The insurance company will probably charge you something like 20 Euros for the change). Then take that Insurance Policy Certificate (or even the new cover note will be sufficient) and the vehicle's Registration Document to the Citizens Advice Centre, and they will amend the ownership details on their computer and give you a new Registration Document (showing both names on bottom left of the form) for about 8 Euros !!! ..... (PS... don't waste your time queuing at the Dept of Transport in the Mesogi road, it is honestly a lot quicker and nicer at the Citizens Advice Centre). Hope this helps some people

further to the above tip

You never know until one of you dies ..we all hopefully try to guard against any problems. It is the same in Cyprus as UK..take the death certificate to the Bank, Insurance Company etc. The document then has to be issued in the survivors name (a new policy) the bank account will be transferred into your sole name. The insurance policy is different as one of you will be named on the policy as the driver (husband) wife will be a 'named' driver. On the death of the driver, you will have to take out a new policy in your name, with proof of no claims. Also bear in mind that in Cyprus you are not allowed to take out a new Policy if you are over the age of 70 and you have been a named person on a Cyprus car insurance policy, there is no problem in extending over the age of 70. If you arrive in Cyprus and you are over the age of 70 and have never had an insurance in Cyprus, you will find it very difficult to obtain cover.

Cover may be aviable for thever 70s It's just more expensive. AIG for example have no problem up to 75. They just don't like new clients to be over that age. The reason one person  was given by one insurer was that young drivers will improve but they believe that older drivers "driving skills" will decrease and make them undesirable and thus a bigger risk

Use your Alien Registration Certficiates (ARC) cards ( yellow slips) to register your car in joint names. Not your passports. They don't run out passports do. So you don't have to update if you change your passport.

Thank you for this, we are planning on moving to Cyprus within the year, we will find this very helpful.  Would you know if there are any gatherings for Expat's? we are visiting in March, Polis & Latchi area and would like to attend if there is. Thank you again, its so nice somebody has taken the time to put a list together.

it all borne out by personal experiences both here in Cyprus and in malta (6+yrs)
I dont know about expats meets in the Polis and Latsi areas  - so will hope others who are on the forum in the area will be able to help you


Quick question what would be a ideal salary for a family of 4 to live comfortably in Limassol? Received an job offer in Limassol from Amdocs so not sure whether to accept the offer or wanted to hear more from the people about Limassol.


its nit easy to define this as everyone is different and expect different things

its dependent on many, commuting costs, schooling for kids, etc socialising costs, eating in or out - what do you expect to be able to do

there are posts here this forum that outline rough costs

Well, Toon, very helpful your guide. Thank you for your effort. A bit scary, though, as I will move there, in Limassol, on 3rd of May. I am looking for a place to stay for start, till I will find my long term, and them my family will follow. So I will take some of your advice from here, when looking for a place to live! Thank you again!  :)

You are welcome - dont be put off.... better to be forewarned of potential pitfalls and watch out for them than to be caught out by them... you may be lucky and not get hit by any of them...

stay positive.... just be mindful when making your decisions - good luck

One thing I've noticed in my limited dealings with banks etc is that they really don't like electronic copies of anything. Take the original documents, somewhat interesting for me when I use Monzo in the UK and they're an app based bank only, or physical print outs. My payslips are all electronic too so again print them out!


Hi Toon

Thank you so much for your great and useful information
I have a question, I have a job offer from a company in Cyprus.

Do you know how much is the cost of living for a single man with a medium lifestyle?

rent small flat + internet + home internet + cost of transportation and anything you thing is necessary to know   

I really do appreciate

Best regards


Cost of living is a very personal thing as we are all different with different needs and expectations - i can only offer information for the paphos district..

1 or 2 bed apartments vary in price depending on location - just an apartment or one with access to a communal pool.

Internet access is also variable due to the supplier, your needs and type of system

Transportation- car? bus? taxi? again subject to location and needs for socialising and  work.

so need more information really

thank you so much dear Toon
you are right.

at least can you suggest me a very good and useful application? to check the apartments rent, car price and etc?

best regards

mohsen.ma3 wrote:

thank you so much dear Toon
you are right.

at least can you suggest me a very good and useful application? to check the apartments rent, car price and etc?

best regards

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

You can try the Numbeo website; this link will take you there.

Hope this helps.

Expat Team

we find that the facebook buy sell and rent property sites for the regions of your choice are extremely good for accommodation searches as they are pretty much up to date on availability and rental prices ... rather than the property web sites as they are usually very much out of date.

Whatever you do  please do not send money to anyone pre arrival,,. take a short let or a hotel for a few days or a week or so to find a suitable property and only hand over cash deposit and first rent when you get the keys in your hand

same goes for car purchases.... facebook cars sales pages are excellent sources

Check out facebook for marketplace  and the where why how and ask anything groups for local information too.

Hi mate
thank you so much for your helpful and useful information

Best regards

thanks a lot, Sir.
this informations are very useful to me. I didn't know how useful is Facebook for these kinds of needs. it so makes sense

Dear Toon, thank you so much for the list while looking for a flat in Cyprus. ill print it out for sure as im moving there next week and will look for a flat in hte next weeks!

good luck gamine7.....

May I ask something about the bus in Limassol? I live on Markou Drakou road. I would like to go to the sea/beach/Limassol zoo area. What kind of buses shall I take? Where is the bus stop? Where can I get a bus card? I noticed that everyone use a car but I don't drive so I can only take buses.

Thank you in advance!



This is an amazing post @toon!

Having spent the last 3 weeks here with and baby and tiled floors, I will definitely be purchasing a robot hover/mop before we make the move. We can enjoy the sun outside, while our wee friend does the hard work indoors :)

If the expat spots arent for you maybe try one of the villages in the Polis area such as Prodromi or  Argaka.

Wow ! This post sums up everything i need to know on my next trip! Thanks a lot TOON! :)

you are welcome

Thank you so much for the information.

Very useful Toon, many thanks for the heads up