HOME owners have announced the launch of the Cyprus Property Action Group (CPAG), the first-ever organised pressure group set up to lobby for their rights.
Dennis O’Hare, one of the founders of the CPAG, which also launched its own website earlier in the week, said the idea kicked off in Peyia in discussions with the local council, which in December saw the election of its first foreign-born representative.
“Most of the expats who came to us had property problems. We had a meeting and decided to start an action group to give them some help,” said O’Hare.
“We are reasonable people and polite and do not want to cause a fuss. We want to work courteously and constructively. We do not want to be a bunch of moaners.”
O’Hare said the CPAG would not be limited to Peyia and that the group had already been contacted by thousands of people.
“The more people we talked to, the more contacts we got so we decided to get organised. We are not here to scream and shout. We want to work with the industry. We are all in this together,” he added. He said there were huge problems with buying property in Cyprus and that people’s lives have been ruined.
“Anyone can be a developer, and we know of someone who sold a house to a couple and decided not to finish it. Now, they are being threatened by these people when they say they want to do something about it. These people come here to retire and this is not an isolated example.
“There are many, many more people really suffering and they have no clue where to turn,” he said.
The situation was particularly tough on retirees, O’Hare said. He said many of them came here after being made to believe the law was the same as in the UK.
“But it’s not, and some people get into trouble through no fault of their own. We even know some people who have been trying to get their Title Deeds since 1968.”
Leading CPAG are O’Hare, elected Peyia councillor Linda Leblanc, businessman David Ball, and Nigel Howarth, a business consultant.
The group has already talked to the Interior Minister and been contacted by people in the industry who want to work with them.
“Our first task is to quantify the problems and build up a database of several thousand people,” said O’Hare. “There were people who were petrified to talk but now we have given them the strength to do that.”
The CPAG can be contacted at http://www.cyprus-property-action-group.net, but because some retirees in Cyprus might not be internet savvy, O’Hare said, they can also send their written statements to PO Box 62427, Paphos 806
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