Contractual Obligations? Remember this is Cyprus.

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MC
Posts: 22
Joined: 09 Nov 2007 21:16
Location: UK

Contractual Obligations? Remember this is Cyprus.

Post by MC » 26 Jan 2008 13:17

Like many purchasers who diligently do their homework & take advice from all quaters then visit the Island on a regular basis to confirm their prospective purchase is exactly to their requirements I ensured as far as was reasonably practicable that I had what any sane person or lawyer would consider was a contract that I wanted & agreeable to both parties.
In my case the purchase was land with the intent of having my own house built. Having witnessed the quality of build in too many developments over the last decade or two I felt I had to be there to witness / oversee any build.
My contract of sale for the land included things like the vendor to bear all costs associated with: a) Providing 12 foot access to the plot, b) The removal of all debris & unwanted soil from the plot. c) Grading & compacting the access road to enable access by means of ordinary family saloon vehicle. D) the delineation & visible identification of plot boundary amongst other things.
Prior to receipt of the money a continual stream of assurances & promises that "all is in hand to be done as soon as funds are cleared" was a daily chorus. Since receipt of the money not a dickey bird - silence, total inactivity & in fact nearly three years later - zilch on every front and no title to the plot either.
The moral of the story is that no matter what the contract says or stipulates you may be signing it with someone who is from a nation that in some cases just ignores the rule of law in the knowledge that the system & connections are such that the odds are stacked against the purchaser. Please beware.



Nigel Howarth
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Re: Contractual Obligations? Remember this is Cyprus.

Post by Nigel Howarth » 26 Jan 2008 13:43

Thanks for the warning - hopefully it will help others avoid similar problems.

As a general rule of thumb, in any contract you need to have some form of leverage over the other party to ensure they fulfil their side of the bargain. E.g. In your particular case, it would have helped if your contract had been written to pay in stages an each piece of work was completed.

Perhaps something along the lines of:
  • Stage 1 - Deposit
    Stage 2 - Provision of access
    Stage 3 - Removal of debris
    Stage 4 - Grading & compaction of access road
    Stage 5 - Delineation of plot boundary
As you've unfortunately found out, once they've got your money, it can prove difficult to get them to do anything.

The only thing I can suggest is a 'stiff' letter from your lawyer. But if the vendor ignores that, your only recourse is through the court (which may take 2 or 3 years). And even if you're successful, getting the decision of the court implemented could also be difficult if the vendor refuses to do anything.

Regards,


Nigel Howarth
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MC
Posts: 22
Joined: 09 Nov 2007 21:16
Location: UK

Re: Contractual Obligations? Remember this is Cyprus.

Post by MC » 26 Jan 2008 17:37

Nigel, exactly why I posted it, hopefully others will not fall into the same mire of lies, empty promises & deceit. However, how in heavens name can being a victim of fraud be avoided (because that's what it is called in a civilised society) given the laws as they stand & the standard way of ignoring any that begin to offer any semblence of protection to the buyer.
The stage payments for land is a sound idea, I can't see too many Cypriots agreeing to it though, as in their view they can sell it to the next sucker that passes.
As an aside, the lawyer has written countless letters & I have copies of most but as you say if the vendor ignores everything what chance have they or the courts got. In any event if the influence exerted by the lawyers I have had the misfortune to have dealt with on the Island is anything to go by then the whole judicial process must be an absolute shambles. Bungle, Zippy & George might be better placed to administer the process.
Anyway, if it helps anyone at all from being conned like the thousands of us who have been already then it would have been worth it. I have not noticed the Government rush to fix the problem since 2004 so buyer beware, be very aware.



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