this swimming pool malarky

Questions about living in properties with shared/common facilities
HappyCamper
Posts: 24
Joined: 04 Jan 2018 19:48

this swimming pool malarky

Post by HappyCamper » 20 Jul 2018 01:08

our "management agency" (Blue Orange - Paphos) sent us all a letter today telling us all individually that it was now "urgent" that we complied with the 1992 regulations re the communal "public" pool (lifeguards, water samples etc). They want us to agree that they should do this on our behalf and increase our management fees accordingly
law ignored for 26 years - yet it is now suddenly "urgent"


Are others in a similar position? Sharing experiences might be helpful?



barryedwards
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Joined: 10 May 2012 09:23

Re: this swimming pool malarky

Post by barryedwards » 23 Jul 2018 14:09

Hi Happy Camper,
First of all I assume Blue Orange are the Management Services Company that are responsible for all the services on the complex and not just the swimming pool. Further, do I presume Peyia Chorio 2 was built by Pafilia. If that is the case, Blue Orange, the re-branded name of Pafilia Services Limited (same Address, same Bank Account), have been fully aware of the Law they mention well before your complex was built and well before ours in 2004. They appear to be hiding behind the cover of "Maintenance Agreements". However, again presumably, they accept responsibility for the collection of the communal expenses of the site. Whilst as they say, they are not responsible for applying for a pool licence, they were well aware of the impact this has on communal expenses which is why this is never mentioned in their Agreements. Basically, in my view, All these Developers are guilty of hiding this communal expense because they well know that if added, very few people would buy in Cyprus. This is tantamount to concealment and in my view they should be sued.

Best regards.



Nigel Howarth
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Re: this swimming pool malarky

Post by Nigel Howarth » 23 Jul 2018 17:27

Hi HappyCamper and barryedwards

I've received a number of emails from people living on “Peyia Springs”, “Iris Village” in Pegeia another from someone in Kato Pafos and another one who did not say where the property was located.

Although there’s been a lot of talk about changing the swimming pool laws and regulations law, nothing’s happened. As a consequence, those who have bought an apartment or a property in any other development with a shared swimming pool have to pay a significantly more in communal charges than those in complexes without pools. This makes buying a property in a complex with a shared swimming pool a much less attractive proposition.

Under the present law, swimming pools that are shared by more than one family are considered as public swimming pools and must therefore comply with strict regulations including the provision of a lifeguard, separate male and female toilets, showers and footbaths.

This is how the Cyprus law relating to swimming pools currently stands:
  • Cyprus Law N.55(I)/92 paragraph 2 states that the term ‘public swimming pool’ also includes the swimming pools of buildings which are used by the owners of the units or their tenants.

    Regulation Number 368/96 paragraph 47 (1) states that all the employees relating to the swimming pool have to obtain a health certificate, to be clean and to behave properly.

    Regulation Number 368/96 paragraph 47(2) states that all the trained supervisors will be on duty during the operation and the use of the swimming pool. Their number is determined in accordance with the size of the swimming pool and the number of the persons usually using the swimming pool.

    Regulation Number 368/96 paragraph 47 (2)(a)(i) states that for small swimming pools at least one trained supervisor is necessary to be appointed.

    Regulation Number 368/96 Part VII paragraph 53 states that a license is needed for the operation of a swimming pool by applying to the relevant authority. The last decision is made by the Minister. (It’s an annual licence)

(You can find the swimming pool regulations (in Greek) at http://cylaw.org/KDP/data/1996_1_368.pdf )

The most expensive item will be the lifeguard.

I know that some other developments with shared pools have managed to operate swimming pools without a lifeguard. They erected a fence around the pool and fitted a gate. They also put up signs that warning people that there was no lifeguard, that they used the pool at their own risk, and that the pool closed at a certain time. This satisfied the authorities.

I suggest your Management Committees makes enquiries at your Municipal offices and swimming pool suppliers in the area.

And your Management Committee could also look into the possibility of outsourcing maintenance, etc of the pool to a specialist company.

BTW happycamper. It's the Management Commitee's responsibility to pay companies they appoint to manage and maintain the shared facilities. If the MC cannot pay because some people refuse to pay they will end up in trouble! To avoid this those who are paying have to make up the shortfall and the MC can take action against the non-payers.

Regards,


Nigel Howarth
Independent information & advice for Cyprus property buyers
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HappyCamper
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Re: this swimming pool malarky

Post by HappyCamper » 03 Aug 2018 20:09

thank nigel

very helpful

i assume then that Cyprus, as a member of the EU, ignores EU directives on how swimming pools are to be classified

(I know the answer!)


:-))



Nigel Howarth
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Re: this swimming pool malarky

Post by Nigel Howarth » 03 Aug 2018 20:21

Hi HappyCamper

There are no EU directives on how swimming pools should be classified. Here's a question that was raised in the European Parliament by former MEP Arlene McCarthy in 2011 and the answer she received on behalf of the Commission:

Question

European Standard for swimming pools and its application in the municipality of Paphos

On 25 July 2008, the European Committee for Standardisation approved a European Standard for swimming pools (Swimming Pools — Part 2: Safety Requirements for Design and Operation, EN 15288-2.) This European Standard was to be given the status of a national standard, and all conflicting national regulations should have been withdrawn by March 2009 at the latest.

I represent a constituent who owns a property in a holiday complex in Cyprus. The complex has a shared pool, for the use of the property owners and their families and guests. Therefore, under European Standard EN 15288-2 it would be classed as a Type 3 swimming pool, making it subject to different standards than a public swimming pool.

However, the municipality of Paphos in Cyprus has recently taken legal action against several local holiday complexes, including my constituent's, because they have not applied for a swimming pool licence. Under a 1994 Cypriot law, any pool which is used by more than one property is classified as a public swimming pool, and is subject to the same regulations, in contradiction of the European Standard.

What action will the Commission take to ensure that such unfair legal proceedings are immediately halted, and the correct European standards enforced? What aid and advice will the Commission provide to those residents who have already been taken to court regarding this wrongful application of Cypriot law, and paid fines?

Answer

The question concerns a conflict between national regulations and a European standard. The European Standard for swimming pools, EN 15288-2, appears to conflict with Cypriot law on swimming pools.

European standard EN 15288-2 was developed and adopted by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN). Each CEN national member, which includes the national standardisation body of Cyprus, must implement the European standard by giving it the status of a national standard and withdrawing any conflicting national standard(s). However, a CEN member may be confronted with the situation where it has to implement a European standard that does not comply with its national legislation. As the application of European standards is generally voluntary (unlike legislation), in these circumstances the CEN member is entitled to request a derogation from the mandatory replacement of the national standard by the European standard. This derogation is effected through the application of a so called ‘A-deviation’, to be included in the informative annex to the European standard.

It is not clear whether the national standardisation body of Cyprus has requested an A-deviation with respect to the European standard EN 15288-2. However, even if this was not the case, national legislation would prevail over the European standard in the event of conflict. In the absence of EU legislation applicable to the safety of swimming pools, the obligation to seek a swimming pool licence will have to be assessed by the Cypriot courts.


Regards,


Nigel Howarth
Independent information & advice for Cyprus property buyers
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morgane
Posts: 14
Joined: 01 Jun 2011 22:46

Re: this swimming pool malarky

Post by morgane » 13 Aug 2018 17:46

Good evening All
Today we had an inspection of our swimming pools by the Paphos Municipality and were served with a notice setting out a number of discrepancies to be addressed. Needless to say the paperwork is in Greek which is perfectly understandable given that we live in Cyprus.
The inspector pointed out to us that we will need to engage the services of Life Guard.
My question i,s is it possible to obtain a copy of the regulations and the law in English?
Also is there a process set out step by step for applying for a licence.
Kind regards and thanks for your help
Eoin



Nigel Howarth
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Re: this swimming pool malarky

Post by Nigel Howarth » 14 Aug 2018 10:28

Kalimera Eoin

As far as I am aware there isn't an English translation of the swimming pool regulations. I posted the key points in an earlier message in this topic and a link to the regulations in Greek.

You can get an approximate translation of the regulations using Google Translate but you will need to chop the document into two pieces as it's too large to translate as a single document.

I don't know what steps you have to take to obtain a licence. I suggest you speak with one of the swimming pool suppliers in your area - they will know.

Regards,


Nigel Howarth
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morgane
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Re: this swimming pool malarky

Post by morgane » 14 Aug 2018 11:29

Nigel
As always thank you for your advice. I will post an update on the forum on how we progress with this.
Kind regards
Eoi



HappyCamper
Posts: 24
Joined: 04 Jan 2018 19:48

Re: this swimming pool malarky

Post by HappyCamper » 15 Aug 2018 19:46

we too are coming under pressure to sign an "instruction" with BO which authorises them to act as the pool manager and to recharge us with any fees they incur (all to be agreed and signed by end August)

I am planning to respond to BO as follows (thanks Nigel as ever)



Good Morning

Thanks for your correspondence regarding the swimming pool.

I understand that the sudden belated implementation of Cypriot legislation dating back to 1992 regarding swimming pools, and the Cypriot decision to ignore EU standards in this area, mean that our pool remains "unlicensed".

Whilst I understand that regular pool maintenance is already provided by Blue Orange within our existing charges, I also understand that BO have identified the additional costs of licensing and operating the pool under the Cypriot regulations. These include:

1. Providing a Lifeguard (estimated at 672€ per week for a 7 day a week 8 hour service)
2. Water Analysis (30€ a week)
3. Operating Licence Fee (85€ in year 1 followed by 51 euros annually)

There may be further unknown costs for:

4. Emptying and Refilling the Pool
5. Additions or Modifications
6. Meeting annual inspection requirements (Electromechanical and Public Health)

BO have told us that if the pool were open for 8 hours a day for 6 months a year from May to October the total cost of items 1 to 3 above would be 18,303€ - so approximately 360€ per apartment

Since we do not plan to be in Cyprus over the summer, nor to let our property over that period, this would be of no value to us at all. We would want year round opening as I understand is the case now. If we double the Lifeguard and Water analysis fees this would amount to 36,521€ - so approximately 720€ per apartment. Even that is for 8 hour a day opening only. There would also be additional costs for items 4 to 6 above.

This would be likely amount to something in excess of a 70% increase in communal management charges per apartment.

We do not think these charges would represent value for money.

Obviously the significant cost is the Lifeguard. I am led to believe that there are ways that this can be avoided. I am advised that some developments with shared pools have managed to operate swimming pools without a lifeguard. They erected a fence around the pool and fitted a gate. They also put up signs warning people that there was no lifeguard, that they used the pool at their own risk, and that the pool closed at a certain time. This satisfied the authorities.

Unless the costs of Lifeguard can be mitigated in this way we are of the view that the best course of action would be to close the pool down until the regulations are loosened and the costs reduced to a sensible and manageable level.

So we will not be signing the "instruction" as you have asked. We also note that the "instruction" is an open-ended authority to bill any expenditure incurred by BO without further authorisation. We would only sign such an "instruction" if it was not open-ended and instead it limited our financial exposure.

However, we would be grateful if BO could engage with the Municipality on our behalf to explore the possibilities for reducing the Lifeguard costs. If there are no significant reductions in costs we would ask that the Pool be closed down until there are.

Yours


will update with the response from BO as and when
Last edited by HappyCamper on 16 Aug 2018 01:46, edited 1 time in total.



HappyCamper
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Re: this swimming pool malarky

Post by HappyCamper » 16 Aug 2018 01:34

update and some progress (Nigel - I shared your comments on own risk when swimming etc - they have been leapt on - thanks)

my development is Pafilia built and Blue Orange Managed (they act as our Management Committee) in Paphos

some meeting notes ....

"Last week our representative met with Mr Doros Theodorou who is the Chief General Manager of Blue Orange to express their dismay at the recent B O emails (essentially asking for an open-ended cheque to cover Lifeguards etc). To his surprise Mr Theodorou completely agreed with him that the whole thing was absolutely absurd and he will fight to have the Law amended. This is great news as he and the other major developers are going to challenge the Municipality and the Mayor on the 31st August to think again.

What Mr Theodorou has asked us to do is email him stating our objections to the lifeguard, changing the pool water and obviously giving B.O. the authority to just go ahead and implement any necessary work at their expense. He asked us to agree to B.O. applying for the license on our behalf.

Our representative has now done this, stating that they are willing to give B.O the authority to apply for the Operating License which will cost roughly €85 this year and around €50 in subsequent years. One other requirement would be that the pool rules would need to be amended to included that everyone swims at their own risk, no lifeguard on duty.

Mr Theodorou asked if other complexes felt the same then if they could also email him too. Which would mean we would all join together to fight this issue"

That was quite positive in tone - we shall see

If you are Blue Orange this is the address to email

Blue Orange
Managing Director
Doros Theodorou
[email protected]
(00357) 26 848 760

If Mr Theodorou is to be believed, then other developers are looking to challenge the Municipality is as well



Nigel Howarth
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Re: this swimming pool malarky

Post by Nigel Howarth » 16 Aug 2018 12:36

HappyCamper wrote:
16 Aug 2018 01:34
fight to have the Law amended.
I hope he succeeds. This is a subject Denis O'Hare & I brought up with the Interior Ministry ten years ago. Changes have been on the cards for years and apart from a couple of vacuous announcements from TBTB, nothings happened.

Don't hold your breath.

Regards,


Nigel Howarth
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morgane
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Joined: 01 Jun 2011 22:46

Re: this swimming pool malarky

Post by morgane » 25 Aug 2018 16:55

Just by way of update on my earlier post. Following the inspection of our swimming pools by the Paphos Municipality after which we were served with a notice that we were found not have a licence in place.
At a meeting with the Municipality requested so that we could fully understand the process we were informed that prosecution of the "Responsible Person" is already underway and at the moment the Municipality are taking 161 cases to court. This meeting took place just days after the inspection.
We have been told by the Municipality that we will need to immediately employ a Lifeguard for each pool plus a person responsible for seeing that all of the health and safety issues are being complied with on a daily basis.
Apart from the obvious massive increase in costs it is impossible to hire a Lifeguard just now in Paphos.
More worrying is that should anything happen such as a drowning the members of the management committee will be charged with criminal negligence.

Has anybody out there had the same experience?
Kind regards
Eoin



ladywarrior
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Joined: 22 Apr 2017 06:39

Re: this swimming pool malarky

Post by ladywarrior » 28 Aug 2018 17:51

Following on from Happy Camper's information that Doros Theodorous is, along with other developers, to challenge the Municipality and the Mayor on 31st August, Mr Theodorous has denied that any such meeting is to take place. Is this an example of "fake news"?




HappyCamper
Posts: 24
Joined: 04 Jan 2018 19:48

Re: this swimming pool malarky

Post by HappyCamper » 28 Aug 2018 20:15

hi lady warrior

Doros T's statements were made in front of, and minuted by, residents of the development in which I own a property.

I can not comment on whether or not he was telling the truth - but I know our owners were

best wishes



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