About Nigel Howarth
Before I tell you about myself, I must point out that I'm completely independent - I do not sell property and you will not find me introducing you to 'trustworthy' property developers and real estate agents.
I'm financially independent, and what extra income I get comes from people clicking on the Google ads on this website and from people who buy my property guide.
Before my wife & I first bought property back in 1992, I did a lot of research and learnt a lot about what to do and what not to do. And when we appointed our architect in 1996, he too gave me a lot of very valuable information and advice - as did many other people I talked to in the property industry - including estate agents and developers. I was surprised how open and frank they were - but that was over 10 years ago before the Cyprus property gravy-train had started to take off.
I joined an MSN group 'Cyprus Property Owners and Buyers' and was soon answering questions from people who had run into problems and were seeking advice. I was so shocked hear their horror stories (some had lost tens of thousands of pounds, others had suffered nervous breakdowns and other health problems, the stress had caused some marriages to break-up).
Virtually all of their problems could have been avoided if they'd taken proper independent advice before they bought; I decided to do something about it.
I joined other Internet groups, I set up this website, I offered my services to the Daily Telegraph as their Mentor for Cyprus and I wrote to the newspapers lobbying for change; I started to get noticed:
- Rosie Charalambous from the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (Cyprus'
equivalent of the BBC) invited me on her program for a round-table discussion
Erotokritou (the MP for Limassol), George Coucounis (a prominent
lawyer and legal consultant), and Lakis Tofarides (Chairman of the Cyprus Land and Building Developers
Association) on the thorny issue of Title
After the program, many people phoned the station asking that I be given a program where they could phone in and ask me questions - and I was back in the studio a few weeks later. (You can listen to both programs by clicking here).
- A UK TV company got to hear of me and property guru Melissa Porter and
her team interviewed me for a TV program they were making about buying property
and living in
Cyprus. Shortly after, a second TV company got in touch and I did an interview
Although each interview lasted over an hour; only a few minutes made it into the programs. (But you can see what remained, including some sound words of advice from Melissa Porter, by clicking here).
- By chance, a fellow
member of my Rotary Club mentioned that she went to school with
the (then) EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer protection, Markos Kyprianou.
I managed to have a few words with the Commissioner when he spoke at one of our Rotary meetings - and passed him a letter outlining some of the problems and issues people were experiencing.
- In 2007, I helped establish the Cyprus Property Action Group. I wrote the first draft of a report that described the property problems here in Cyprus and possible solutions; the report was subsequently handed to the Finance Minister for his consideration.
- And then Denis O'Hare and I were back in the studio with Rosie Charalabous discussing property issues with Antonis Loizou, the Managing Director of Antonis Loizou & Associates.
- I've since met with Peter Millet (the British High Commissioner), Michalis Sarris (the Finance Minister as he was then) and other senior officials from the UK and Cyprus Governments.
In July 2011 and after much debate, the Cyprus government revised a number of laws in efforts to mitigate some of the problems faced by unwary buyers and the actions of nefarious property developers. Clearly, the political will is there but it is still early days and exactly how effective these revised laws will be is uncertain.
My other interests
As you might appreciate, I don't have much spare time; helping people with their property problems is a full-time job.
My previous life
Before moving to Cyprus I was a business consultant and ran my own consulting firm for many years.
My professional career took me around Europe and to many other parts of the world; I have lived in several countries, including: Hong Kong, Australia, South Africa and the Netherlands.