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Title Deed mess leaves couple homeless

A couple who bought an apartment in Cyprus for their retirement face eviction and repossession by the bank as its former owner has defaulted on his mortgage payments.

Ken and Mary Hudson

Ken and Mary Hudson (Photo: Cyprus Mail)

YET ANOTHER case of Title Deed misery and unscrupulous property dealers will conclude today, as a retired expatriate couple’s home goes up for auction in Larnaca.

Ken and Mary Hudson, both 72, will now face eviction from and repossession of a flat they bought in 2002, after the former owner failed to meet ongoing mortgage payments and the bank, which kept the Title Deeds, recently ordered repossession.

The Hudsons first came to Cyprus for a holiday in 2000 and “fell in love with the people, culture and community” here. When the opportunity to work for a charity in Cyprus came up in 2002, they returned and bought a flat in Larnaca, where they hoped to spend their retirement.

Mary Hudson said yesterday “A suitable property was found through an estate agent, registered in our name and paid for. We were told that solicitors were not necessary in Cyprus.

They paid £24,000 Cypriot pounds (€41,200) for the flat, and even received paperwork from a notary to confirm their ownership.

However, shortly after they completed the purchase, they learnt that the bank had retained the Title Deeds because the owner had not completed mortgage payments for the property. Until the payments were completed, the Hudsons could not receive the Title Deeds.

We were a bit naive I guess, but we were assured that this was not a problem in Cyprus as repossessions were rare, and that it everything would be paid off,” said Mary.

The former owner did not complete the repayments, and so two weeks ago, on August 21, the bank informed the couple their home would be put up for auction today. They immediately hired a solicitor, but under Cypriot law the couple has no claim on the deeds and despite sympathising with the couple, the courts decided the bank could go ahead with the auction.

We must now find somewhere else to live, as we have no home and feel robbed and let down by a system. It appears to be unjust by making a totally innocent law abiding couple of self supporting pensioners homeless.

In the meantime, they say, the owner has continued to live in another property that he owns, with no legal obligation to refund the couple.

Asked if they planned to take further legal action against the former owner, Mary said: “No, we don’t have the money to fight a legal battle, and besides, we are both 72 and I have no faith or trust in the democratic departments of the justice system or banks. We’re disgusted.

Asked about their feelings towards the former owner, she said “He’s a crook, but a Cypriot crook and he’s obviously played the system. We trust in God and we know that in the end evil people don’t profit. As for me, I am not sure if I want to stay in such a corrupt place.

Cyprus Title Deed mess

Readers' comments

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  • @antonis – All I can say is that it was an Estate Agency – naming the company could prejudice the Hudson’s case.

    Once the name of the company is in the public domain, I will publish it as a warning to others.

  • antonis says:

    Could you tell me what is the name of the company?

  • Matthew Ring says:

    Surely if the Hudsons received false assurance from any source holding itself out as professional and trustworthy they would potentially have legal recourse to damages arising from negligence..?

  • Andreas Spiliotis says:

    It is sad to read stories such as the above but one wonders….. WHO told them that solicitors aren’t necessary in Cyprus??? If the estate agent that found them the property is a registered agent then they are governed by laws related to their profession.

    When i say laws, i mean laws and not professional body guidelines or ethics, they are proper laws of the Republic of Cyprus. If they were told that solicitors aren’t necessary then that constitutes an offence (i presume as i am not a solicitor myself).

    If they have proof that the agent misinformed them, then they can turn to the courts of law…But i very much doubt this as very few people do business the right way. When foreigners come to the island, “they fall in love with the people & culture” they put their holiday thinking hats on and they forget their brains back home. Then some half educated moron probably called “Stavros”, gives tragically false information which tragically leads to pain & suffering…

    Remember, you are not buying a TV from the back of a van. You are parting with loads of money so DO YOUR HOMEWORK….and think like a 21st Century Cypriot: SUSPICIOUSLY!!!!! The days are over, when you were passing by from the neighbourhood and a Cypriot family called you in for a sweet preserve treat and coffee.

  • paul ruse says:

    We are British. We moan. We complain. We do nothing. And that is what they want us to do and they are relying on us to do nothing .

    Or we could, All every one of us do some thing.

    Those of you who live in Cyprus write to your Cyprus MP and your Euro MP and if you still have ties with the U K write to your UK MP and your British Euro MP. I think my own MP would rather I went away but I am not going to and I will keep onto him. (Andrew Mitchell MP)

  • Steve says:

    I was wondering what happens to any proceeds of the sale at auction in excess of the amount owed to the bank. Does it go to the bank because they have the title deeds or does go to the previous owner? My guess would be that the last persons it will go to are the Hudsons.

    In Cyprus, when anyone says “We were assured that…..” or “We were told that…..”, then there is trouble coming.

  • Simon says:

    So it’s started then, the banks are calling them in sheesh. I am dumbfounded there is no legal recourse.

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