Insurance of Communal Areas

Questions about living in properties with shared/common facilities
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bitterlemons
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Insurance of Communal Areas

Post by bitterlemons » 10 Jan 2008 15:43

Hi Nigel
Our residents association is taking over management of the communal pool etc from the developer. We need insurance which would claims resulting from injuries etc Do we need a lifeguard, toilets etc to be installed before we can apply for this insurance.
Thanks



Nigel Howarth
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Re: Insurance of Communal Areas

Post by Nigel Howarth » 10 Jan 2008 17:56

Hi bitterlemons,

I was hoping a question about communal pools would never raise its ugly head here - but I was wrong :(

To say that the legal position is confused is somewhat of an understatement. Denis O'Hare & I met with Dr Lazaros Savvides, the Permanent Secretary of the Interior Ministry back in June last and raised this problem with him. We also wrote to him shortly after, but have yet to receive a satisfactory answer. I also know a lawyer I know in Limassol has been trying to get a definitive answer, but without success.

This is how the law currently stands:
  • Cyprus Law N.55(I)/92 states in paragraph 2 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 states in paragraph 47 (1) that all the employees relating to the swimming pool have to obtain a health certificate, to be clean and to behave properly.

    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.

    Paragraph 47 (2)(a)(i) states that for small swimming pools at least one trained supervisor is necessary to be appointed.

    Part VII of the Regulations 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.
(I believe the pool should also be no more than 1.6 metres deep)

In summary, you should have a licence to operate a 'communal' swimming pool - and in order to get such a licence you need to employ trained supervisors who must provide health certificates and who must behave "properly" (whatever that means - the mind boggles!)

So according to the law, you shouldn't even be thinking about using your pool, let alone insuring it, until you have obtained the necessary licence.

But in practice this law is (almost) universally ignored not only by people, such as yourself, living in communal developments, but by hotels, holiday apartment complexes and others. As I've been led to understand this issue was only brought to people's attention by some bright spark in the Larnaca District Office. Since then, the water's got somewhat muddy and the powers that be seem to be refusing to comment on the situation.

I suppose in theory that an insurance company would refuse to pay a claim if the swimming pool was being operated illegally (in the same way that a car insurance company would refuse to pay a claim if your car was not taxed or MOTed).

The only thing I can suggest is that you speak to various insurance companies and see what their position is.

Regards,


Nigel Howarth
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bitterlemons
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Joined: 10 Jan 2008 13:05

Re: Insurance of Communal Areas

Post by bitterlemons » 11 Jan 2008 14:55

Hi Nigel
Oh dear, sorry that it raised its ugly head on my first posting! However, your reply is most informative and much appreciated - thank you. Will now contact some insurance companies and post the outcomes of my enquiries. I wonder if in the long-term a separate classification for communal pools will be introduced ? In the meanwhile, it seems we either have to spend money on these modifications or use a pool at our own risk ? Or, as we do not have title deeds yet, should the developer pay for the modifications ? This also raises the issue as to whether an inspection for title deeds would be positive if the pool does not conform ?



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Re: Insurance of Communal Areas

Post by Nigel Howarth » 11 Jan 2008 20:26

Hi bitterlemons,

No problem :)

It will be interesting to see how the regulations develop, but I can appreciate the problem. For some developments such as hotels, holiday and time-share apartments it's obvious that they are 'public' pools. For other private developments, where the owners choose to rent out their apartments, the situation's a bit difficult - where do you draw the line? The system that's currently in place is 'fail safe' - although it's mainly ignored.

Regarding the inspection, providing the complex (including the pool) conforms to the various permits issued for its construction, there should not be a problem in getting Title Deeds issued.

It's really getting a licence to operate the pool that's problematic - this is a separate issue from its actual construction.

I don't think you'll have a problem with getting insurance. But it may be worth your while putting up warning notices around the pool (you can get these from most swimming pool suppliers for a few pounds/euros).

And when you think about it, many buildings are currently occupied illegally (because their Certificate of Final Approval has not been issued) but this does not affect their insurance cover.

Regards,


Nigel Howarth
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bitterlemons
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Re: Insurance of Communal Areas

Post by bitterlemons » 17 Jan 2008 12:56

Hi
I contacted a large insurance company and they said yes, no problem by email next day. I then asked if we needed a licence to get insurance cover and everything went quiet. I contacted an insurance broker who immediately sent an application form but when I mentioned if there was a need for a licence, no reply ... ...



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Re: Insurance of Communal Areas

Post by Nigel Howarth » 17 Jan 2008 14:51

Oh dear,

It maybe worthwhile speaking with the developer to see what insurance company he's been using.

Regards,


Nigel Howarth
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Nigel Howarth
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Re: Insurance of Communal Areas

Post by Nigel Howarth » 07 Feb 2008 16:21

I've been reading through the law regarding jointly owned buildings. It doesn't mention a requirement to have insurance against claims resulting from injuries, etc., just for the repair and replacement of it (just like a household building insurance).

So I suggest you insure the jointly owned parts (including the pool) to conform to the legal requirements (i.e. don't try and insure against claims resulting from injuries). However, I would advise that you post warning notices around the pool - in English & Greek - advising people that they use it at their own risk.

I hope this will be enough - but I suggest you have a word with a lawyer - just to confirm - this is a very grey area.

Regards,


Nigel Howarth
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andrew
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Re: Insurance of Communal Areas

Post by andrew » 02 Mar 2008 14:14

Hi bitterlemons
There is an international company with offices in Cyprus who will insure the administration committee for public liability of the common areas
This can be included in the building insurance of the complex, public liability cover for up to 170,000 Euros
It is not necessary to have a swimming pool licence to obtain insurance with this company
Policy wording as follows
The insurer (Company) will indemnify the insured (Administration committee) in respect of;
a) accidental personal injury to any person
b) accidental damage
c) accidental nuisance, accidental trespass or accidental interference

Regards
Andrew



bitterlemons
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Joined: 10 Jan 2008 13:05

Re: Insurance of Communal Areas

Post by bitterlemons » 05 Mar 2008 20:00

Hi
Thanks for that. We have found another one too. It is a bit of a messy grey area and grateful for you and Nigel's advice!



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