Collective self help

Pull up a chair, grab a coffee & have a chat
Post Reply
MC
Posts: 22
Joined: 09 Nov 2007 21:16
Location: UK

Collective self help

Post by MC » 25 Nov 2007 16:53

I have just read the latest (25/11/07) postings on your Buying property in Cyprus, property purchasing guide website & am astounded but somewhat perversely comforted to know that the problems I have experienced since 2005 in getting lawyers or agents or for that matter anyone to accept any kind of responsibility in giving me what I paid for in full back in 2005 is a common problem. In fact it appears to be so common to be within the realms of stupidity for anyone even considering thinking of spending any kind of money in making a home on the Island.
I have many friends on the Island but all either moved or purchased their properties long before the rush that preceded or accompanied EU entry.
The legal system is a mess & the policing of that system an even bigger mess. Any standards & ethics guidance is so obviously ignored to make it not worth the paper it is written on. One would be forgiven for drawing the conclusion that ones money could be safer in Sierra Leone, Nigeria or Zimbabwe, a horrifying thought, or could it be that I and the couple of thousand like me who have fallen prey to the liars & cheats are just unlucky.
Sites like you have will prove invaluable to any who still ignore the warnings & proceed to purchase. Perhaps we need a list of lawyers not to use rather than a list of those recommended to use.



Nigel Howarth
Site Admin
Posts: 2499
Joined: 24 Oct 2007 14:38
Location: Erimi, Limassol, Cyprus
Contact:

Post by Nigel Howarth » 25 Nov 2007 19:43

I too have found it difficult to get people to accept responsibility for their actions.

I can recall when we were building our house, the guy who made our shutters made them a few millimetres too long. As a result, they scraped on the patio and got stuck when I tried to open them. He indicated that I should chisel out the patio so they would open. It took my architect and contractor some time to persuade him that he should make the shutters a bit shorter. He did eventually and I have to say he's done a good job (he made all our aluminium windows and doors as well).

I've also noticed in various newspaper articles that the Government blames the property developers for delays in Title Deeds, while the property developers blame the Land Registry. Everyone, it seems, points the finger of blame at someone else for the problem, while doing nothing about putting their own house in order. You would think they would all sit down around a table, thrash out what needs be done, and go do it.

On the legal side of things. As far as I'm aware, there is no 'standard' procedure for conveyancing property. So a lawyer may not check that the person selling a property is entitled to do so - and they may not carry out a Title search to check that the property is not mortgaged. That's why I always advise people to instruct their lawyer and to make sure they get confirmation and costs of the work to be carried out, the results of searches, confirmation of fees, etc in writing.

The legal system here is 'different' to that in the UK. But then you can't expect people to have a good understanding of the law before buying property.

Just to frustrate matters, developers and estate agents claim that Cyprus Law is based on British Law. This puts buyers, particularly British buyers, off their guard, leaving them open to manipulation. At the very least it lulls them into a false sense of security and into believing that buying property in Cyprus is as safe as buying property in the UK (which obviously it isn't).

When it comes to finding a lawyer, the best thing people can do is:
  • Use one whose office is in a different town to where they're thinking of buying.

    Instruct them correctly.

    Go by word-of-mouth recommendations from other buyers.
The British High Commission in Nicosia will provide you with a list of lawyers to help in your quest, but for obvious reasons, they can't recommend anyone.

Regards,


Nigel Howarth
Independent information & advice for Cyprus property buyers
Contact Nigel Howarth
Read the latest Cyprus property news

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

Post by MC » 26 Nov 2007 02:08

Nigel
Sound advice to all as always. If it helps anyone in the future I can confirm that I did choose a lawyer on recomendation, I certainly instructed then in unambiguous detail & agreed to use them as they were based in town & I was buying in the mountains. I guess I could have used one in Nicosia but my brother failed to give me the contact address before I travelled to set up the deal.
The claim of the process being based on British law is by far the greatest misnomer which as you suggest lures unsuspecting buyers into a false sence of security, perhaps the fact that it is not needs to be advertised a lot more. What buyers would take for granted when instructing their UK lawyer & what that lawyer will check on their behalf is as you suggest not what one can expect in Cyprus, leading to the problems many now face. Perhaps the answer is to instruct a conveyancing lawyer in UK who one could trust to check everything but there again I guess they must at least have a knowledge of Cypriot law too.
How can a legal system of conveyance permit the sale & payment for property that the owner does not own. That's a Banana Republic process not one befitting a European state. I am at a loss to think of what the answer is other than steer well clear, leave well alone & preserve your sanity. Choose another destination which exhibits a degree of honour, ethics & morals or play Russian roulette & take the chance.



kade12
Posts: 41
Joined: 07 Nov 2008 19:43

Re: Collective self help

Post by kade12 » 15 Jan 2009 12:24

When i purchased some 4 years ago i engaged a British based lawyer to buy my property here in Cyprus.When i got the bill of him i very nearly had a heart attack.However,looking back i'm glad i did,everything as gone perfectly well and if it had not i would have some redress.By the way the bill was for 4500GBP for the purchase of a 77000CYP apartment.



Nigel Howarth
Site Admin
Posts: 2499
Joined: 24 Oct 2007 14:38
Location: Erimi, Limassol, Cyprus
Contact:

Re: Collective self help

Post by Nigel Howarth » 15 Jan 2009 14:47

Hi Terry,

I'm please to hear that everything's gone well.

As you may know a lot of people buying here use the developer's 'pet' lawyer which isn't a very good idea! Others try to save themselves a bob or two doing the same thing. But the cost of sorting out their problems often costs many times more than if they'd used an independent lawyer in the first place!

Legal fees can be quite high here compared to the UK. One of the reasons for this is that the Cyprus Bar Association dictates the minimum fees that lawyers are allowed to charge (they're linked to the price of the property). And any lawyer found to be charging less than the minimum risks losing their licence.

When we bought our land back in 1992 for the princely sum of CYP14,000, the legal costs were OK. But as property prices have escalated over the years, it probably time for the Bar Association to review it's figures.

BTW How are you getting on with your boundary issue? Any progress?

Cheers,


Nigel Howarth
Independent information & advice for Cyprus property buyers
Contact Nigel Howarth
Read the latest Cyprus property news

Pantheman
Posts: 592
Joined: 26 Jan 2008 14:44
Location: Famagusta District
Contact:

Re: Collective self help

Post by Pantheman » 15 Jan 2009 16:17

kade12 wrote:When i purchased some 4 years ago i engaged a British based lawyer to buy my property here in Cyprus.When i got the bill of him i very nearly had a heart attack.However,looking back i'm glad i did,everything as gone perfectly well and if it had not i would have some redress.By the way the bill was for 4500GBP for the purchase of a 77000CYP apartment.
Sorry, but good or not, thats an outragoeous price for a simple apartment. YOu should expect to pay Cy£1000 - Cy£1500 max.

he was taking the P*ss!

if it makes you feel better fine, but that is scandalous.


For all your property needs, we offer Trust, Integrity, Honesty.
FSB Properties Ltd
Registered and Licensed Real Estate Company Co. Reg. No. 795, Lic. No. 250/E
Member of ETEK Registration No. A201999
https://fsbproperties.com

Nigel Howarth
Site Admin
Posts: 2499
Joined: 24 Oct 2007 14:38
Location: Erimi, Limassol, Cyprus
Contact:

Re: Collective self help

Post by Nigel Howarth » 15 Jan 2009 20:21

I got these legal fees some time ago - they should give you a rough idea of what it should have cost:

Image

Cheers,


Nigel Howarth
Independent information & advice for Cyprus property buyers
Contact Nigel Howarth
Read the latest Cyprus property news

kade12
Posts: 41
Joined: 07 Nov 2008 19:43

Re: Collective self help

Post by kade12 » 16 Jan 2009 10:52

Pantheman,yes,i agree it was an outragous charge,but is that the price you have to pay for knowing your money is safe when buying property here in Cyprus...Nigel,yes there has been further developements on the property we have purchased with the question of who owns our front garden.The developments have been extrordinary with some help of some local Cypriots.We are going today to see our lawyer.The outcome could be a disaster or it could turn out better than if there had been no problem in the first place. I will let you know any out come,it could be a item that even yourself with the situations you have experiance have not seen before...Thanks for your replies



kade12
Posts: 41
Joined: 07 Nov 2008 19:43

Re: Collective self help

Post by kade12 » 21 Jan 2009 11:09

Well,it appears we have a final out come of the "who owns our front garden".The land registry says it does NOT belong to us,nor as far as they can trace back does NOT belong to anyone else.It has its own plot number but no one has the title deeds for it niether does' the land registry.
However.if we live in the property and do not sell it for 35 years it legally becomes ours,great news we will both be over 100 years old......Mmm,where's the nearest gym we will have to start our "lets live to be 100 fitness regime"



Nigel Howarth
Site Admin
Posts: 2499
Joined: 24 Oct 2007 14:38
Location: Erimi, Limassol, Cyprus
Contact:

Re: Collective self help

Post by Nigel Howarth » 21 Jan 2009 13:38

Hi Terry,

I'm pleased to hear the matter's been resolved - but I guess you would have wanted the Land Registry to come to a more positive decision in your favour.

Keep taking the pills and the exercise.

I did come across this problem in the UK. The owner of a small area in one of our Council parks, which we thought belonged to the Council, could not be identified. We had to fence the area off and could not cut the grass and generally maintain it. After either 10 or 12 years, the Council could claim ownership. A couple of years later the area was a thriving nature reserve - and the Council decided to keep it that way when the 10 or 12 years had run out.

Regards,


Nigel Howarth
Independent information & advice for Cyprus property buyers
Contact Nigel Howarth
Read the latest Cyprus property news

cypriotsid
Posts: 3
Joined: 23 Jun 2009 18:42
Location: Kent and Pafos
Contact:

Re: Collective self help

Post by cypriotsid » 25 Jun 2009 13:41

Great and informative post there and enjoyed reading it.We bought nearly 7 years ago when prices were low and covered everything with our Lawyer.I must be lucky as when you read some stories i feel sorry for some folk.It does sound like law same uk and you feel in a comfort zone knowing that but when it goes wrong it is so bad.
Our title deeds are issued and collecting while on holiday this August.So far no complaints but still finger crossed.


Life is short! Break the rules! Forgive quickly!
Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably
And never regret anything that made you smile Warning Internet forums may contain nuts

Post Reply