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Utilities/Services

The infrastructure in TRNC is still developing in many respects.  This is largely due to the economic isolation of the island.  The message, again, is don’t expect things to be as they are in the UK.  Improvements are being made however.

Water

An underwater pipeline has been constructed that will bring water from Turkey. It is expected that this will be operative in September 2016. Details of the project can be shown on this link.

A new feature of life in the TRNC will be the introduction of "Smart" water meters. We have reprinted a news article that explains how these new gadgets are used. The article is shown here.  A Manual (English Speaking) can be downloaded using this link.

Details of installation and charges can be shown on this link.

Electricity

The supply and sockets are the same as in the Republic of Cyprus, ie 220/240v AC 50HZ, and European three-pin.  Electricity is supplied by Kibtek, a nationalised company.  Bills can be paid either directly to the meter reader, in which case ensure that you get a receipt, or at the local Kibtek office, by direct debit through your bank or using online banking. Since your supply will be cut off if you don’t pay within 30 days, you should add credit to your account prior to leaving the TRNC for any length of time. Power cuts are not uncommon for which reason some people choose to have a back-up generator. In any case it is advisable to use power surge protectors for your more sensitive and expensive electrical goods like computers to avoid them being damaged/destroyed from sudden surges and drops in supply.

A new style electric meter has been introduced in 2015 to most properties in the TRNC. To view the new style meter and an explanation on how to read one can be found using this link 

Electricity prices in the TRNC are comparable to those in the UK. You may be shocked at the size of your electricity bill if you use electricity for heating and air conditioning extensively. Beware of the so-called  “builders tariff” – a much higher rate- charged on new-build property before a proper contract has been taken out with Kibtek.

Gas

There is almost no piped gas in the TRNC; instead gas bottles are used for cooking and heating, available at service stations, supermarkets and local stores. For central heating purposes gas will be delivered to a tank outside the house. In winter you have to be frugal with your use otherwise you could use around 1000 litres in a typical centrally heated, three bedroom  villa or bungalow.

Permits for Storage of Petroleum Products (LPG, Fuel Oil Tanks etc.)

Before purchasing a gas tank, you should lodge a permit application together with the fee and the documents detailed below at the District Office. If you own a home with an existing gas tank that has no permit you should begin the application process as soon as possible. Please note that the initial application can take a few months to come to fruition.

 

  • Copy of the Title deeds of the property or copy of the building permit for a building which is not registered on the title deed.
  • Original site plan with stamp.
  • Mechanical plan
  • Contract signed by the gas company
  • Receipt to confirm purchase of 6 kg Powder Fire Extinguisher.

Properties built with final approval obtained prior to December 2010 do not require a mechanical plan. However, for subsequent buildings a mechanical plan is required.

 

Once the application is made the District Office will arrange for the Fire Brigade to visit and inspect your property and will advise on the location and prepare a report for the District Office. As a starting point you should plan on siting the tank on a concrete plinth at least 5 metres away from boundaries/fences, dwellings, overhead power lines and manholes and 10 metres away from a BBQ.

 

The Fire Brigade will make an appointment with you to visit your property to inspect the proposed site and will wish to see the fire extinguisher which should be should be easily accessible.

 

Fire extinguishers are required to be inspected and re-charged by an authorised dealer every 12 months.

 

Gas tanks are to be inspected every 10 years for security and serviceability.

 

Failure to register a gas tank runs the risk of the District Office ordering compliance of its rules and the removal of the tank if it is not in line with positioning requirements. Gas companies may also refuse to deliver gas to un-registered properties.

 

Permits must be renewed annually in December. Simply take the existing permit to the District Office and pay the fee, currently (DEC 2016) 41TL for a 500 litre tank and 59.50TL for a 1750 litre tank.

Please note:- You will be fined 15% extra for non payment in December

 

If you rent a property that has a gas tank you should ask the owner or letting agent for the permit.

 

Permits are also required for the storage of other petroleum products oil and diesel tanks.

 

Phones, Internet & Satellite Services

ADSL and wi-fi are widely available but you may have to wait a long time to get a phone if there isn’t one already installed. Speeds are typically lower than in the UK, with varying degrees of reliability. Charges are comparable to those in the UK.

Because a ‘landline is expensive to install; typically £1,000, most ex-pats relay on ‘Skype’ technology via the Internet to keep in touch with family and friends back home.

Mobile phone costs are reasonable and the two main suppliers TurkCell and Telsim provide an acceptable level of service at a reasonable cost.

REGISTRATION OF MOBILE DEVICES PURCHASED OUTSIDE OF THE TRNC

Since the beginning of 2016 a regulation was introduced which requires ALL mobile devices not purchased in the TRNC to be registered and for duty to be paid on their importation.

This applies ONLY to phones, tablets or other devices fitted with a TRNC Sim card.

We were told by a provider, in this case Turkcell, that any device using one of their sim cards (pay as you go OR contract) which was identified as a non – TRNC device would receive a text (see below) which required the recipient to attend the offices of BTHK in Lefkosa, to register the device at a cost of 13.3TL.

This is the text message you will receive : -

359315066366658 IMEI numarali cihaziniz kayitsizdir ve 30 gun sonra kullanima kapatilacaktir.Cihazinizi sadece 5338719031 ile kullanabilirsiniz.Bilgi icin www.bthkmcks.org adresini ziyaret edebilir veya BTHK cagri merkezini 03924442845 arayabilirsiniz

Refuse

Refuse collection is good and cheap with twice-weekly collections. As in Southern Cyprus, there is a local habit of dumping unwanted items anywhere, thereby spoiling the countryside. Recycling has yet to reach Northern Cyprus.

Security Systems

The whole of Cyprus has had a reputation for being a safe place, both in terms of personal safety and for property. In general there are few problems in Northern Cyprus although the number of burglaries is increasing, for which reason it makes sense to take normal security measures like fitting good locks on doors, windows and shutters, and installing burglar alarms in built-up areas.