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Cyprus buyers stage protest at overseas property show

A group of British property buyers who believe they have been defrauded or mis-sold property in Cyprus staged a protest outside the ‘A Place in the Sun Live’ overseas property exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham.

Protesters at the NEC in Birmingham

VISITORS to the ‘A Place in the Sun Live’ exhibition at Birmingham’s NEC were greeted by a group of protesters who were raising awareness and distributing leaflets on the potential problems associated with buying property on the island of Cyprus.

Many of the protesters believe they have been defrauded or mis-sold property and are taking advice from their lawyers on possible legal remedies.

Some of the exhibitors complained that the protesters were damaging their business and demanded that they be removed, but the police turned them away and made sure there were no problems.

‘A Place in the Sun Live’ claims to be “the UK’s biggest and best-attended overseas property exhibition” and is organised in conjunction with the popular Channel Four television programme, which attracts millions of viewers each week. The exhibition, which ended on Sunday, attracted 4,076 visitors.

Readers' comments

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  • paul lambert says:

    To Dave whose comments were ” what was the point (of the protest) if the developers who these people bought through weren’t even at the NEC. Dave, the point that lots of developers and selling agents at the NEC have still got their heads firmly buried in the sand about the crooked state of the Cypriot property market. They refuse to admit there are problems and refuse to challenge their government about these issues. They are in fact part of the problem and rather than coming out of the NEC and angrily confronting us they should be joining us so that the system can be changed. I and many others will continue to protest at property shows so that it eventually becomes pointless for developers/agents to exhibit at them. Only then will they be forced to take direct action to change things on their island

  • paul lambert says:

    If there are still people out there who have been involved in the ‘problems’ surrounding Alpha Bank and Alpha Panareti, there are some very large legal actions which you can join, which through sheer weight of numbers of people telling the same story, are lightly to succeed.

    I recommend that you look at the Face Book site Alpha Panareti Owners Group, which is very informative and will give details of the action. I myself am not in the action as I don’t have the funds any more to join it, but after extensive talks with the legal group I think it is the best way forward to extricate yourself from your problems. I speak as a complete, but very well informed, neutral.

    I have communicated with over a thousand people in the UK who have been caught up in the web of lies and deceit peddled to them by agents selling Panareti properties. The amount of heartache and distress caused to ordinary people over the past few years is unbelievable. Many people just do not know who to turn to for help. The large legal action I mentioned earlier may be your way out of this mess. So many people have experienced the same problems as you. I have listened to what other legal groups have had to say and I only really got the impression that we were a easy target for them to take even more money from. I do not get that same impression with this group. I will not give you the name as I want to remain completely independent, but I do urge you to search FaceBook for the Alpha Panareti Owners Group site. Get yourself informed and make up your own mind. Kind regards Paul

  • Conor O'Dwyer says:

    @Dave “what was the point??”

    ‘A Place in the Sun’ and ‘Right Move Overseas’ were both at the show and still advertise property for my developer who has criminal convictions for assault. These two are also members of the AIPP who sponsor the show.

    The AIPP (Association of International Property Professionals) were there giving out more awards for excellence. Many of the protesters attending bought from Alpha Panareti who in 2008 were awarded that year “Best Developer in Central and Eastern Europe”

    AIPP commendation reads:

    “In a hugely competitive market it takes real talent to stand out, an attribute Alpha Panareti’s people do not lack as evidenced by the Cypriot developer’s comprehensive Offering that leaves nothing to chance”.

    When a judge signs off on an award entry saying “It’s difficult to imagine what more could be provided by a developer”, it’s a truly emphatic endorsement of a job well done. So it was of Alpha Panareti and its work on the island of Cyprus. From “a good understanding of, and a history of working with, local communities” to “thorough training” for selling agents and “excellent” after-sales support, the judges saw a company that expertly marries a detailed proposition with “a commendable lack of hard sell”. In summary, this is “an organisation with real talent”.

    Many protesters have issue with Alpha Bank and some buyers attending were very interested to hear their experience.

    Every developer selling off plan developments was informed that this year the Attorney General has stated that even with a contract in the land registry it is not a criminal offence for a developer to sell your house to another and keep your money. This is a “civil issue”. I have been waiting 5 years and my civil case has still not come to hearing. So every contract they were trying to tout was worthless.

    There were plenty of points raised at the event. In my experience the pointless days are the ones where you write letters to the authorities only to be ignored.

    I have been protesting at property exhibitions since 2008 and these protests are having a snowball effect and are growing larger at every event. The next protest will be at ‘A Place in the Sun LIVE” at Earls Court, March 2012. It would be pointless for any Cypriot developers to attend ;)

  • Dave says:

    But the developers these people were protesting about weren’t even at the NEC, so what was the point??

  • Johnny says:

    Genius, I love it. This is a kick where it’s really going to hurt these rogue developers. They’ve been getting away with conning people out of their money for years and now it’s come back to bite them on their backsides. When will these people realise that the only reason they ever made any money was because of the British and British Cypriots spending money over there?

    Don’t bite the hand that feeds you comes to mind…..

  • DIMITRI says:

    @cgibb, very open ended question, more details are needed, what has developer told you, at what stage are you in the process of obtaining deeds, if you have the planning permit and building permit you chase up what is going yourself, and also do a search at the land registry via the N50 application form you find link on this site and see if there are encumbrances on the land your property is built, as I said you need to provide more info, Nigel is expert on theses matters but a busy man so if us beginners answer and we answer wrong I hope he corrects us.

  • Hector says:

    Well done people. I hope it really hurt those trying to sell property in Cyprus both north and south. They know what the solutions are, pity they don’t concentrate their minds on that.

    What a pity that ‘A Place in the Sun’ doesn’t have a section at the Show or on a website warning people of the dangers of property buying a place in the sun.

  • Paul says:

    Good work guys. From only four at Earls Court to seventeen at the NEC. Next time it will be 50. Keep it up !!!

  • cgibb says:

    We have a stamped contract registered with the Land Office and a Planning Permit number on the contract. What will happen if we don’t submit a letter of intent by 7th October?

    Will Title Deeds ever be issued ?

  • Costa fortune says:

    A certain Greek developer came out to the protesters and said “it’s your fault for buying off a cowboy”! And complaining that the protest was putting people off from buying in Cyprus, what a shame eh?

    If developers believe certain Cypriot developers/lawyers/banks are cowboys and may be misleading potential buyers and therefore causing financial damage to unsuspecting buyers, then maybe they should stand up and make there voices heard.

    Do they not realise that people now use the net to look for problems and pitfalls of buying in foreign countries? Let them ask about, for them to see that other countries such as Portugal are benefiting as there sales rise because investors have and will continue to give this nightmare of a island a very wide berth.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Well done lads & lassies!

    The real issue that is damaging ‘their’ business is the useless, misleading and potentially fraudulent property purchasing system in Cyprus.

  • Andrew says:

    Well done those protesters. I hope that Channel 4 took some footage and will show that on their TV show. This message needs to get to 4 million potential investors, not just 4 thousand.

    Cyprus needs to sort out these huge property buying issues once and for all.

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