Non Communal Payers living in the UK

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Geoff B
Posts: 2
Joined: 17 Aug 2013 12:11

Non Communal Payers living in the UK

Post by Geoff B »

I am new to this forum.

I own a property on a complex in Paphos

There are 64 Owners who have appointed a Management Committee to administer the site. Each Owner pays an annual Communal charge for the upkeep of the swimming pool, gardens etc.

The Committee is registered with the authorities and is run in accordance with Cyprus law. Some Owners live on-site whilst others use their property as a holiday home and mainly live in the UK.

We have a problem with one particular UK Owner who has not paid her Communal charge since 2006. The last Committee tried to contact her over the years but she moved house and refused to give them her new contact address. She has not been to Cyprus for many years and her property although in a state of disrepair (the water and electricity has been cut off) is still habitable and worth over 70,000 euros.

A new Committee has now been elected (of which I am the Secretary) and have managed to track her down using UK Bailiffs and have served her with an invoice for the outstanding Debt which, with interest and costs, is now 4,200 euros (£3750)

She has appointed a UK solicitor who has asked for more information that has now been provided.

We are now considering using the UK Courts to try to retrieve this Debt.

Can you advise whether the UK Courts would recognise the Debt as it concerns a European property ?

Has anyone had any success with similar cases ??

Can anyone recommend a Cypriot solicitor that can assist ??

Geoff
Nigel Howarth
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Re: Non Communal Payers living in the UK

Post by Nigel Howarth »

Hi Geoff and welcome to the forum,

I guess you all have the deeds to the properties? If so, the way this situation is usually handled is to seek an order from a court enabling you to lodge a 'memo' against the title of the debtor's property.

This 'memo' will prevent the property from being sold until the debt is cleared. But I can see how this may not help you very much.

Another way you may be able to go about collecting the money owed is to seek a court judgement against the debtor in Cyprus that can be enforced in the UK under an 'EU Enforcement Order'. This is a very simple process but relies on the debtor not contesting the claim.

Best to discuss the problem with a decent lawyer - the British High Commission publishes a list of lawyers who may be able to help - you can find that list at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... lators.pdf

Any reasonable expenses you incur, such as legal fees and court costs, can be added to the amount claimed.

Regards,
Nigel Howarth
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emgee
Posts: 44
Joined: 12 May 2008 21:32

Re: Non Communal Payers living in the UK

Post by emgee »

We had a similar problem but our Management Company appointed a debt collection agency to pop round for the outstanding balance. Living in a posh area in UK, they paid up immediately.

Alan
:-!
Last edited by emgee on 20 Aug 2013 11:10, edited 1 time in total.
JaneDoe
Posts: 22
Joined: 31 Aug 2011 19:08

Re: Non Communal Payers living in the UK

Post by JaneDoe »

Notwithstanding their domicile in UK, they shall be sued in Cyprus as the communal fees concern the administration of immovable property situated in Cyprus (Regulation EC 44/01 - Brussels I).

The committee is able to sue only if it is registered to the Land Registry Office.

Before lodging a writ of summons the plaintiffs must apply to the Court to obtain leave to seal the Writ of Summons which is to be served abroad (O.2,R.2 of the Civil Procedure Rules - Cyprus). After obtaining that court order, the Writ of Summon can be issued, sealed and lodged. After lodging the Writ of Summons, the Plaintiffs must apply to the Court for leave to serve out of jurisdiction and for court order to serve a Notice of the Writ of Summons in the United Kingdom in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation EC 1393/07. This procedure may take you 3 months until to be informed about the service. The Defendant(s) will have at least one more month to enter their appearance.

In default of appearing you can apply to the Court for a judgment. So far the minimum litigation costs package will include three applications and a writ of summons (stamps, costs of services, translations, and at least 3 appearances before the Court). If the Defendants enter their appearances the hearing of the case may be expected in 2018 except if the case is settled (more litigation costs).

After obtaining a judgment indeed you can register a MEMO over the immovable property which is registered on the names of the Defendants and if the Defendants have estate in UK you can register and execute the judgment there as UK judgment. More fees. If the Defendants return in Cyprus you can take more measures here in order to execute your judgment.

If you decide to proceed with litigation, I recommend to find a lawyer who could agree to the payment only of the out-of-pocket money and as for his/her fees anything he/she collects from the Defendants.

However, if the amount of a claim is small, litigation is not really the solution. You might find services of out-of-litigation debt collection in UK where the jurisdiction issues will be irrelevant if you proceed without litigation.
MarkySpangle
Posts: 6
Joined: 13 Aug 2013 16:43

Re: Non Communal Payers living in the UK

Post by MarkySpangle »

On the subject of Non paid communal fees, taxes etc I have recently posted explaining that I've in the last 2 weeks bought a property blind as it where in a UK auction. It is also carrying a substantial amount of debt such as the items you have been discussing. Does anyone know if i am obliged to pay all the outstanding debts against the property or is it feasible that some of the debts going back 2/3 years may be written off to the previous owner? After some initial investigations i have found that the Annual government tax, which seems to be linked to the water bill remains unpaid since 2011 and is approx €800. Electricity isn't an issue as far as i know. I am told that the deeds are now ready and I can instruct the transfer, however there is a transfer fee of approx €5,500.00 - is this correct? And what exactly is this fee, is it similar to our stamp duty? If so on what value is the fee calculated, as the price i paid for this apartment is considerably less than what the previous owners paid in 2007? I'm also told there is a €1800.00 admin fee to be paid to the developer - again no idea what this is for. Finally, that there are outstanding amounts of €2000.00 in communal charges on the development. Are the previous owners really able to just walk away and the incoming purchaser pick up tab?
Would anyone have the faintest idea of what i, as the new owner will be responsible for?
Looking forward to hearing some constructive advice.
Mark
JaneDoe
Posts: 22
Joined: 31 Aug 2011 19:08

Re: Non Communal Payers living in the UK

Post by JaneDoe »

MarkySpangle wrote:On the subject of Non paid communal fees, taxes etc I have recently posted explaining that I've in the last 2 weeks bought a property blind as it where in a UK auction. It is also carrying a substantial amount of debt such as the items you have been discussing. Does anyone know if i am obliged to pay all the outstanding debts against the property or is it feasible that some of the debts going back 2/3 years may be written off to the previous owner? After some initial investigations i have found that the Annual government tax, which seems to be linked to the water bill remains unpaid since 2011 and is approx €800. Electricity isn't an issue as far as i know. I am told that the deeds are now ready and I can instruct the transfer, however there is a transfer fee of approx €5,500.00 - is this correct? And what exactly is this fee, is it similar to our stamp duty? If so on what value is the fee calculated, as the price i paid for this apartment is considerably less than what the previous owners paid in 2007? I'm also told there is a €1800.00 admin fee to be paid to the developer - again no idea what this is for. Finally, that there are outstanding amounts of €2000.00 in communal charges on the development. Are the previous owners really able to just walk away and the incoming purchaser pick up tab?
Would anyone have the faintest idea of what i, as the new owner will be responsible for?
Looking forward to hearing some constructive advice.
Mark
Usually the new owner is held liable for the prior owner’s debts. This is the reason for which we add relative terms in contract of resale properties. Some debts follow the property itself, not the owners. However, you can recover your costs from the previous owner on the base of unjustified enrichment, etc.
Nigel Howarth
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Re: Non Communal Payers living in the UK

Post by Nigel Howarth »

Hi Mark

Something doesn't ring true here - you say that you purchased the the property from a liquidator - but now you are being asked to pay an €1,800.00 admin fee to the developer?

As the company is in liquidation, the developer is (or should be) out of the picture as the liquidator has the task of selling of the developer's assets to pay the developer's creditors.

Property Transfer Fees are the Cypriot equivalent of the UK's Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and is based on the market value of the property at its date of sale.

Some constructive advice? Get you money back and find something else to buy.

Regards,
Nigel Howarth
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MarkySpangle
Posts: 6
Joined: 13 Aug 2013 16:43

Re: Non Communal Payers living in the UK

Post by MarkySpangle »

Thank you all for your contributions, I think I shall leave the nitty gritty of the outstanding debts, transfer of deeds in the capable hands of my Paphos based lawyer, who has offered some very useful insights into how - the law, the developers and the labyrinth of government systems integrate and work. Nigel, it has been useful to join the forum and am sure I will be using it again as I spend more time on the island. However in relation to constructive advice, unless you can find me a 60M2 one bed apartment on a quiet development 10mins from Paphos and half a kilometre from the beach for under 20K, then I'll stick with this one thanks.
emgee
Posts: 44
Joined: 12 May 2008 21:32

Re: Non Communal Payers living in the UK

Post by emgee »

That's told you Nigel!

This person posted before asking where Limassol was in relation to Paphos as he had bought blind.

Alan
Nigel Howarth
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Re: Non Communal Payers living in the UK

Post by Nigel Howarth »

Hi Mark,

I'm sure that something is not in order here - can you send me a PM naming the lawyer, the development company that has gone into liquidation, and the name of the company handling the liquidation.

In all probability the bank will have appointed the liquidator to sell off the companies assets to repay its creditors and the fact that the developer (who is in liquidation) requires €1800.00 does not ring true.

€20k is a very good price - but...

Regards,
Nigel Howarth
Independent information & advice for Cyprus property buyers
Contact Nigel Howarth
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