Utilities and 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.
An underwater pipeline has been constructed that will bring water from Turkey.
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 here.
All domestic water supplies are now metered. At present each Beledeysi is responsible for installation and maintenance of meters. Charges vary between local authorities. Initially all householders need to apply for a SMART WATER METER CARD at the appropriate Beledeysi office.
The documents required to receive a card are as follows:-
- ID.Card or passport photograph.
- Title Deed Copy - if not - The Sales Contract or Rental Contract (These must have been officially stamped and signed by the Appropriate Government Office).
- The form which came with the meter.
This form contains only basic questions and can be filled in at the municipality.
Once you have a card, when you require water, the standard charge is 5.75TL per ton. This tariff does not change as you buy more water.
Customers can pay for the amount of water required at this standard rate and may use this water for as longs it lasts. Water can now only be paid for on your card. Payment by Direct debit for water is no longer possible.
There is no longer a standard charge for 0 to 10 tons per month, this has been abolished and you now only pay for what you use.
There is no more "builders tariff". All houses are now on the same normal house tariff.
Please note - Before going to the Belediye to put money onto your water meter card, it is advised that you put your card into the water meter and press the black button once only, this downloads the information from the water meter to your card, so we may see the updated information on your water meter.
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 click here.
To view the Winter Electricity tariffs and related information, click here
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.
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.
The cost of the initial permit for a 500 litre Gaz tank is 586TL and the cost of an annual permit is 65.7TL ( Jan 19 )
Payments must be made each January and late payment will attract an additional monthly fine of 3% cumulative for every month it is not renewed. If you are renewing, take the existing permit to the District Office and pay the fee.
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 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.
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.
British Library, GIRNE
The library, situated behind the Girne Post Office, next to the NCCT and the BRS HUT offers members a huge range of books covering a wide choice of both fiction and non-fiction. The selection changes constantly, with most books being very recent publications. There are membership choices to suit visitors, swallows and residents. Membership is open to anyone, you don’t have to be British, just have the ability to read English. Please support your library.
To view further information on the library, please click here.