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Protest at ‘A Place in the Sun Live’ property exhibition

A group of property buyers continued to raise awareness of the problems associated with buying property in Cyprus by holding a peaceful protest outside the ‘A Place in the Sun Live’ exhibition at Earls Court.

THOUSANDS of visitors to the ‘A Place in the Sun Live’ exhibition at Earls Court in London over the weekend were greeted by a group of protesters who were raising awareness of the potential problems associated with buying property in the Republic of Cyprus.

Many of those protesting believe they have been defrauded or mis-sold property and are exasperated by the unacceptable delays in the Island’s judicial system; some of their cases have been dragging on in the courts for many years.

Carrying placards reading ‘Shame on Cyprus’, ‘Cyprus Island of fraud’ and ‘South Cyprus buyer beware’ the protesters discussed the potential pitfalls of buying off-plan properties with visitors to the exhibition and handed out leaflets warning of the dangers.

Stelios Kyriakides from the Consular Directorate in London and part Foreign Office’s ‘Know Before You Go Team’, which had a stand at the exhibition, came out and talked with the protesters.

Organised in conjunction with the popular Channel 4 TV programme, ‘A Place in the Sun Live’ claims to be ‘the UK’s biggest and best-attended overseas property exhibition’.

Exhibitors at the exhibition from Cyprus included: Aristo Developers, Cyprus Property & Home, Kanika Developments and Leptos.

The protest passed without incident.

Readers' comments

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  • paul lambert says:

    As one of the leaders of the protest outside Earls Court last week, I would like to thank those who left encouraging and supportive comments. For those that could only be smug and criticise then I can only hope that you never get involved in the ‘scam’ that my group were involved in.

    I think everyone has to bear in mind the effect that protest groups like ours has had on reforming the property system in Cyprus. Seven or eight years ago there were few people to turn to for advice. There were no lists of ‘safe’ solicitors, no advice openly available warning you about title deeds. Many of those who have made their smug and insulting comments have probably benefited from the publicity that has led to more ‘openness’ in the property buying system.

    This was our third protest and we shall be at the NEC in Birmingham later this summer, where, once again, we shall be warning unsuspecting buyers that nothing much has changed.

    The level of corruption that affects Cyprus might be expected in some THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES, but not in a member of the EU. The corruption and complicity seems to run through every government department, from land registry to the Law Office of the Republic. No amount of complaining to any government department has led to any positive response, only denials that anything is wrong at all, or a total refusal to carry out their lawful duty to investigate.

    Historically, Cyprus seems to have accepted a level of corruption in their property system that cannot be found in any other EU member state (perhaps Spain comes a close second). They have blatantly refused to impose any EU consumer protection legislation for many years and the EU, to their shame, has let them get away with it. When Cyprus scandalously accepts the rotating presidency of the EU this summer they will find us protesting outside their London Embassy, shaming them on behalf of the many property victims.

    Rather than criticise our group I suggest that they join us (and the many Cypriots who say we denigrate their whole country) Everyone out there now knows what problems still exist and to just ignore it and do nothing makes you guilty as well !

    ALL PROPERTY DEVELOPERS AND AGENTS BEWARE – WE ARE NOT GOING AWAY. YOUR POCKETS ARE BEING HIT BY OUR PROTESTS AND I FOR ONE WILL BE GLAD TO SEE THE PROPERTY MARKET GRIND TO A HALT UNTIL THE GOVERNMENT TAKES REAL ACTION.

  • andyp says:

    To be quite frank Eccles I think you are now talking crap but we all are entitled to our opinions.

    You seem to be in the stuff the rose tinted glasses brigade.

    Stuff no one in my opinion. They all relied on professional advice which was not given. Retired, holiday home owner, investor? All deserve your good fortune and best legal advice. Did they get it? No.

    What should have the protesters had on their banners?

  • Gavin Jones says:

    @Eccles.

    How nice it must be to be so self-satisfied with one’s prowess at avoiding not being one of the tens of thousands of people who’ve been swindled by the collective antics of the Cypriot government, developers, banks and lawyers.

    Your deflection argument that people are in effect being anti-Cypriot has no basis whatsoever and is an insult to the genuine distress being inflicted as a result of institutionalized fraud.

    I hope for your sake that you’re never on the receiving end of such general wrongdoing that’s been perpetrated in these cases.

    But there again, unlike others’ “stupidity and perhaps greed”, you’re far too wily a bird and “have your wits about you” to ever be in this situation. It’s therefore academic.

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    @Eccles. I agree that wild OTT expressions of anger are not very helpful. However, you seem to have gone to the other extreme. Spock-like ‘pure logic’ may be OK for armchair theorising but most unlikely to achieve anything much and, worse, makes you sound like an apologist even though you strongly deny it.

    When politicians, marketeers, lobbyists – you name them – want to get a message across, they will use all the relevant emotion tweakers they can. Why? Because it works.

  • jon frazer says:

    @Eccles – It is obvious to me at any rate that a person making what at first sight are general statements about Cyprus has to be taken in context.

    Outside a property exhibition, or on a property forum, such remarks generally relate to property matters.

    Matters of human rights abuses, environmental degradation, indiscriminate trapping and poisoning, and pollution in Cyprus, for example, have their own specific agencies who attempt to cope with them.

    The strong “emotions” sometimes encountered on this site are invariably related to some aspect of property fraud in Cyprus.

  • Eccles says:

    I think that you’ve all been caught up in each others comments about my post. Sorry, You have all missed the point entirely! Yes, due to the persistence of the contributors on this site, many people have benefited, long may that continue. The banners above and some comments I have read on numerous occasions have denigrated Cyprus as a country. As I said before, the country hasn’t changed since you first decided to come here to live, the reasons for you coming here haven’t changed have they? What has changed is that some people have experienced been ripped off through their own stupidity and perhaps greed (buying a property with no deeds in sight) or, they are experiencing the illegalities and fraudulent activities of those with whom they were doing business, they were duped. Then of course there are those who have suffered at the hands of the so called ‘professionals’ solicitors, bankers, and developers who have been reported as looking after their own interests at the expense of their clients, these are the people who need continual exposure for their lack of ethics or disregard for the law. The group in the picture above had an opportunity to be more specific about what is wrong in Cyprus, instead they let their emotions do the talking. In my view a missed opportunity.

    @andyp. you asked if I’d received some guidance for my project in Cyprus from this website? No, I didn’t, I’m fortunate to have my wits about me and the good sense to ask questions about anything that doesn’t look or sound right, to check and double check. I would never buy anything that didn’t have the deeds available for scrutiny. I notice that estate agents are clarifying that deeds are available in their advertisements now. At least that message has got across. I feel very lucky compared to many, not to have had their bad experiences.

    BUYERS BEWARE, yes of course, but it may have more impact to include what exactly they need to beware of.

    You would have to agree I think, that if the developers, solicitors, bankers and the establishment, were all on the side of the purchaser, your views on Cyprus today would be the same as when you decided to invest here, wouldn’t they? Don’t publicly blame Cyprus, blame those that have caused the problem, especially, since one of the latest conmen to be exposed in a Cyprus property scam is a Brit. In short, I am on the side of anyone who has been conned, I just think that exposing your emotions rather than what might be ‘constructive’ comments, keeps you (metaphorically) firmly in the mud.

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    Yes, as the former CEO of an international company I came across Eccles’s ‘PMA – positive mental attitude’ stuff a few times from various management consultants trying to flog me the idea that problems are merely illusions and perception is everything. Taken to its logical conclusion, the PMA model would have you believe that there are no criminals or fraudsters, only people who are misunderstood and who will behave like little angels if only we deal with them with deference and talk to them nicely.

    One small problem with this approach: with stats showing that the majority of criminals suffer from some degree of psychopathy, by definition such people lack a conscience and are simply incapable of responding favourably to nice talk from nice people. They will carry on behaving badly regardless.

    Optimism is one thing. Wild optimism is delusional.

  • andyp says:

    All been tried Eccles.

    I am genuinely pleased to hear that your purchase has gone well. I assume it is in Cyprus.

    Where did you get the information to guide you through the Cyprus minefield of house purchase? Perchance might it have been through sites like Nigel’s and the information provided by the posters?

    Until people started to speak up and report problems there was very little information available to buyers before 2006/7.

    Only in the last two years has The FCO highlighted buying problems in The Republic and similarly the buying advice on The Rightmove website was also changed. Cyprus Lawyers were only required to have professional insurance within the last few years, whether most of them actually have it is another matter.

    Sure victims are angry but if sites such as this and it’s posters can provide others with information and support that is fine with me.

  • Gavin Jones says:

    eccles.

    Sorry. Not good enough.

    Everybody’s tried the softly-softly ‘appeasement’ route. Hasn’t worked. Won’t work. Organizations such as the Cyprus Property Action Group have had numerous meetings at ministerial level and despite assurances, have got nowhere. 130,000 properties, more than 40,000 of them bought by non-Cypriots, are without their title deeds which are unlikely to appear any time soon.

    Naming and shaming the corrupt practices that CONTINUE to exist here will be a crusade that many will continue to shout from the rooftops until justice is attained.

    Thank you for revealing who you are. I’m glad that you’ve been lucky enough not to have been touched by what can only be described as institutionalized chicanery. Tens of thousands of other unfortunates haven’t had your good fortune.
    As has been displayed by the comments attached to this article and elsewhere, I rather suspect that those without their deeds will receive not a scrap of comfort from your words and that instead will be seething with anger.

  • eccles says:

    Marktyler & jon Frazer

    I’m suggesting that people should take a step back and look at it again from a different angle. The problem will stay the same whether you shout from the rooftops, demonstrate until you collapse or go on hunger strike until you die! believe me, no-one is listening anymore. They’ve heard it all before. ‘They’ scroll down or click on to the next page. So, what do you do, carry on in the same vain? I am not making judgement on anyone who has lost their life savings or their retirement home, understandably they are angry, I would be too.

    I am suggesting that you re-write the book and tell prospective buyers what they should be doing to ensure satisfaction in purchasing their retirement home. Let the republic and its establishment read, constantly what is very wrong with their management.

    “Use your own solicitor” “Lands office do your job” “Never buy off plan” “Buy the Title Deeds not the house” “Is your solicitor worth employing”. Tell the world what the problem IS not what you think of the country and it’s appallingly bad housekeeping. Constantly highlight what is wrong, not your emotions, As I said in my previous,those who decided to live here, did so for positive reasons, those reasons haven’t changed. What has come about, is the inability for the establishment to act positively, and in a timely fashion on your behalf when things have gone wrong. That’s what has to be put right.

    By the way, I am a soon to be retired Brit who has also had to deal with the pitfalls of buying property i.e. builders and the authorities, thankfully (touch wood)I have managed to avoid those pitfalls that many have not.

  • Gavin Jones says:

    eccles.

    I trust that you’ve taken stock of the comments posted after yours.

    Let me reacquaint you with recent examples of appeasement which by definition means “placating by acceding to demands and subterfuge”, in case you’ve forgotten. I’m sure it’ll bore you and you’ll feel patronized but what the hell.

    1936. Hitler’s march into the Rhineland.
    1938. Anschluss. Swallowing up of Austria.
    1938. Munich. Swallowing of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland.
    1939. (March). Swallowing of the rest of Czechoslovakia.
    1939. (Sept.). Swallowing of Poland.

    The rest is indeed history.

    You’ll probably argue that the above examples are not the same as what’s going on in Cyprus. Sorry to disappoint. They’re EXACTLY the same. Our forefathers fought, died AND gave us a shining example to continue the fight whenever confronted by injustice. And what we’re discussing here in Cyprus is just that: injustice.

    With attitudes like those of your good self, we would have had swastikas flying over our public buildings. But that’s alright. According to you we would have had to accept our fate because the Wehrmacht would have stopped invading and enslaving nations at some indeterminate time in the future.

    Finally, as jon frazer has requested, please do us the honour of revealing who you are and put our minds at rest that you’re not a plant with vested interests in the Cypriot property scene. Apart from anything else, by so doing it would at least prove that you indeed have the courage of your convictions. In addition, it may possibly engender a modicum of respect from the tens of thousands who’ve been swindled by the corrupt, institutionalized practices that exist in Cyprus.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

    Eccles – are you serious or is it possible that Bluebottle forgot to give you your tablet?

  • andyp says:

    Perhaps Eccles you might also like to see how at least one Cyprus Lawyer regards their own Governing body and how their Governing body treat serious charges. The quoted comments from both speak for themseles.

    Andrew McClay.

    http://www.news.cyprus-property-buyers.com/2012/03/11/cyprus-bar-association-fines-lawyer-for-misconduct/id=0010930

  • andyp says:

    Good on you Eccles an inspirational post!

    I assume you just do not get it nor have a clue how the Cyprus ruling class, primarily lawyers, work. Despite requests, invited submissions by Government (The CPAG Report) and finally begging nothing has changed and quite frankly nothing will change until the market hits rock bottom and then a wee bit more.

    Your idea of encouraging investors is exactly what the developers and lawyers are doing, but now in the likes of China in search of new victims rather than fixing the problem.

    I would rather inform on a basis that I was not. So if one more person is saved from the nightmare that thousands of us are already in, and I am one of the lucky ones, so be it.

    Kindly remove your “rose tinted glasses” and see the big picture. People are listening and being informed or you would not have posted.

  • marktyler says:

    @eccles,
    Some interesting ideas in your comments..I hope I may be allowed to address a few points you make…But now I see! The argument is we are to accept we got it wrong, should stop whining and adopt a more conciliatory approach to the “establishment”, and thereby trust, and hope, for a more pitying treatment in future. It was our own fault anyway, after all, what were we to expect by stupidly contracting to buy property in a foreign land (albeit a member of Europe), and then also in trusting the local lawyers (there are no foreign lawyers) to protect our interests. Even though the lawyers and government said what we should trust them just so. Stupid us!

    Consider the proportions involved. It seems disingenuous to make light of more than 100,000 people who have been deprived of their title deeds by reason of a tortuous and circular finger pointing evasion of responsibility performed by the island’s banks, developers, lawyers and government. And so fantastically convenient to have a Court system that is understaffed and takes years to process litigation.

    I would like to know how all this fits in with the definition of a supposed “civilised” state. Is this the practice of a civilisation? Is Cyprus civilised? I question it.

    Many of the comments you have read and refer to, tarnished with justifiable anger as they often are, serve also the purposes that you purport to put forward. But Caveat Emptor embraces the idea of informing others. The information necessary to inform newcomers is frankly so alarming, of such great proportion. I do not say what this implies about this country state of Europe for fear of deletion by Moderation. The people who have bought property are retirees, often without the luxury of time in which to persuade the establishment to be a bit more sympathetic (after they’ve already been heavily ripped off), and then to kindly show the new prospects what a nice people they are here that run the country.

    No, the shoe is on the other foot. The onus of responsibility for a system that honours contracts rests firmly with the Cypriots and their “Establishment”. Such responsibility is not a “favour” that it might confer on the people – “oh, if they would just be a little less vitriolic” in their responses after the pervasive ripping off; and then the carefully arranged slowness of the Court system which universally fails to provide proper damages and compensation for Plaintiffs. Indeed most times the Court system doesn’t work at all, the years pass by in the waiting. Very effective! And so very memorable.

    Although foreigners did make the choice to live here, it should be the natural human right of any European (indeed anybody, anywhere) to receive proper value for payments made under contract (whether that be title deeds or goods/services, or work done. The “value” should be of appropriate and reasonable quality.

    Most (wise) politicians know that appeasement is a deeply flawed approach to wrong-doers. How many examples are there to cite (compared to the opposite) of wrong-doers suddenly doing “right” by their adversaries or victims when they start to adopt a relaxed and convivial demeanour? Should we say to the Establishment) “Oh come on, water under the bridge, we can write it off, stiff upper lip, please let’s do it right next time, because hey, you’ve got a lot of new business waiting by, people want to buy your houses….! Consider Obama’s early conciliatory gestures to a few of the world’s notorious; today, now, how might you rate the productivity of those initiatives?

    When I hear apologists for such a leadership and system as this in EU Cyprus, I naturally feel curious about the motives behind…but whatever they may be, the results we see are caused by Cyprus; i.e. the results being the rising unemployment, the lost millions in property sales, vacant properties, desperate restaurateurs and small businesses. I hope the Cypriot people are well a satisfied with their direction.

    Cyprus, it is up to you! Can you do it a little bit better?

  • Steveo says:

    @Eccles although your positive outlook should be commended, smiling and carrying on sweeping while the the bulge under the carpet is like the elephant in the room is not an option. I believe many people have taken this course of public action and your right shooting themselves in the foot from lack of choice. To really clean the system all the way to the top means suffering for everyone and a scorched earth policy. I say keep burning the real problems are still dug in & surviving, from the ashes will come fresh new clean growth.

    You said people are not listening and people are now careful. Naivety still exists, people automatically trust the system and the developer literature supports that. Cyprus is number one on back rubs, handshakes & false smiles are saying that everyone who made a bad decisions is stupid ? Or is it they just had too much faith in human nature ?

  • jon frazer says:

    @eccles 2.08 As a regular reader of this forum, I for one don’t recognise your name. If you are a new poster, perhaps you might like to do as many of us do, and use your full name. Perhaps you are an agent or developer, a member of the legal profession; would you like to tell us please?

    I ask because these courageous people (above) have given freely of their time, effort and expense to reveal the rotten corrupt system here in Cyprus, and help prevent further misery.
    You insult us by your patronising, condescending diatribe.

    Your suggested course of action would simply allow the rot to continue – and I think you know that very well!

  • Gavin Jones says:

    Andyp (aka night owl?!).

    Thank you for refreshing us with the link.

    The article in question officially names a particular Paphite lawyer with whom I and several others are well acquainted.

    The Latin phrase caveat emptor springs to mind. I couldn’t possible comment further but I’m sure most will get the general idea.

  • eccles says:

    Isn’t the constant negative approach to buying property in Cyprus just going to drive prospective investors away? Of course it is. Well, how is this actually going to help solve the problems you write about?

    Surely what you want to do is to encourage people to come here and invest, albeit to scrutinise the deeds, banking, lands office and solicitors issues etc. bring the issues to the attention of the establishment in a more positive way which might encourage the Republic to look at this more sympathetically. If there are no investors queuing, may as well close the book. Has anyone ever won a fight against the establishment? You chose to live here, presumably because Cyprus is a beautiful country. That hasn’t changed has it.

    Most of what I read here is heavily tarnished with bitterness and anger, understandably so in some cases but in some, as a result of stupidity and neglect on the part of the purchaser. It doesn’t actually do anything constructive to be angry, not for you, not for anyone.

    What is best, complaining incessantly because you allowed yourself to be ripped off, or is it best to write about the way forward, how to make it work. Demonstrate about what you want to be done, not what has happened, we know that already.

    No-one is listening any more, you’ve been shouting for so long that it’s difficult to maintain interest. You’ll be left behind by those people who, as you once did, think Cyprus is worth investing in. Of course they will be more vigilant due to all those past comments but those who want to live here will see the benefits as you once did, they won’t make the same mistakes. You’ll be left behind.

    Alternatively, no-one will ever buy another property in Cyprus, you will have succeeded then, as the saying goes, it’ll ‘go to the dogs’. Is that where you want to be living in ten years time, an Island fit for dogs?

  • Richard Knowles says:

    It never ceases to amaze me that the laws of Britain do not prevent the companies from representing themselves. This is an opportunity for the government to take action. False advertising is considered a law to uphold to protect it’s citizens. Fines, plus a public closure of their booths, should at the very least occur when they are caught at lying and cheating the public. I can’t blame these companies until the British government steps up it’s own ability to prevent public companies from other countries from publicly lying, cheating and misrepresenting facts to their own people. Keep up the good fight to all those that protested!! Keep the word going out there and let’s get the legal rights enforced. That is what they are there to do!

  • andyp says:

    @Geo. It is the only option left and is backed by The Supreme Court. I will find it and post the ruling.

    I am not saying it will be easy and individuals will have to act but perhaps they could be backed by a common group/fund. From the court ruling anyone with a mortgage would be backed in a negligence case by this ruling, in my opinion. This was a very significant ruling but it’s importance seems to have been lost or ignored. It should also be quicker as it would take place in local court.

    There is no Government, local nor EU, galloping over the hill to help. We are on our own.

  • Pete says:

    Well done indeed all who made their protest at the exhibition but such a shame that it has to be like this.

    Successive Cyprus governments have all failed miserably to protect the public and the scamming goes on which begs the question, ‘why won’t they put a stop to the many scams and wrongdoings that infest the island?’ It’s a simple enough question so maybe comrade Toff can give a public answer between July and December.

    A lady barrister in Paphos actually told me ‘with the natural gas find, everyone will come to invest in Cyprus and maybe in 2 or 3 years a Russian may come along and buy the (Liasides) company and pay off the debts. Till then why don’t you just enjoy the sun and go swim in your pool?’

    Ya can’t make it up.

  • John Swift says:

    Well you’re not allowed to tell it how it really is on the Cyprus Living and Paphos People forums where many poor individuals have taken advice given on those forums and found themselves in a sad situation.

    The owner of one of those forums was insisting right to the end that there was no danger buying without title deeds and then it came out that his son-in-law was in the building trade.

    With CPN you get the true facts.

  • Hector says:

    I’d like to add my hearty congratulatory slap on the back to those who demonstrated outside the exhibition. It must have sent a very loud, costly & painful message to those who were trying to flog property in Cyprus and their political masters that the criminality, fraud and lack of justice for the victims involved will be shouted long and hard. The message must also have been seen by the thousands of visitors to the exhibition who I’m sure will pass what they have seen on to family & friends.

    Well done.

  • Alan Waring says:

    @Costas Apacket. I will certainly ensure that Commissioner Reding, MEPs and MPs I know in UK receive a copy of the publisher’s promo leaflet for the book.

  • Gavin Jones says:

    I echo Alan Waring’s sentiments and indeed everyone else’s.

    Many moons ago in my ‘wanting to believe’ phase, I used to wonder whether the Cypriot government, as well as the unholy alliance of developers, banks and lawyers, realized that what they were doing was WRONG. Silly me. They’ve naturally always been perfectly aware of it.

    I suspect that they all collectively behave in the way that they do because even if they’re caught, they’re able to get away with it because they protect one another and the penalties are so derisory even if their wrongdoing is proven.

    What’s especially worrying is that even if a case does get to court, this route has repeatedly proved to be nothing more than a vehicle to spin out the process and you’re unlikely to receive justice anyway.
    And as for the Disciplinary Board of Advocates when it comes to getting redress against wayward lawyers, enough said.

    By accident, I happened to have come across an article in the Daily Telegraph entitled ‘Cyprus: a true experience in north and south’ written by Sasha Bates and published yesterday. The best parts are the attached comments, particularly in column 3, where people discuss the state of the property market in Cyprus. Do check it out.

  • Geo says:

    Its all very well “let’s go for the lawyers” Andy but who is going to “get” them? Not the CBA and by the sound of it not the EU.

    I suspect quite a lot of us still have money tied up in Cyprus. We need a solution that will help us, sell/recoup losses.

    But I do agree we need to be together to fight this.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Alan W. Perhaps you could send a copy of your new book to our old mate, Viviane Reding?

    Well done to all who took the trouble to protest outside APITS.

    Isn’t it about time that APITS stopped allowing exhibitors peddling investment in the unsafe Cypriot property market, in the UK, until Consumers rights are properly enforced and protected in Cyprus?

  • Robert Briggs says:

    To Paul, Conor and the rest of the team, excellent work! my compliments folks. Regards, Bob Briggs.

  • Alan Waring says:

    Sterling work! Regrettably the protest campaign has to continue to warn the buying public. However, in addition, I think it is important to inform the boardrooms and senior execs of large corporations who may consider making significant investments or having operations in Cyprus. I mean broadly and not just in the property sector.

    Such corporations will undoubtedly come up against what Hermes Solomon called ‘artful ways’ here; the shenanigans in the Cyprus property sector is merely symptomatic of a wider malaise. Before deciding to go ahead, any foreign business or investor would have to carry out an in-depth ‘due diligence’ check not just on the credit worthiness of the local party but also on the integrity, history of judicial proceedings and judgements, reputation, media reports, claimed expertise and qualifications etc not only of the other party but also of any lawyer, bank, agent, third party or guarantor involved. It would be folly not to.

    My next book Corporate Risk & Governance, due out later this year from Gower Publishing, includes two case studies on the dodgy situation in Cyprus, one of which relates to immovable property fraud. The target readership worldwide is the boards and senior execs of banks, equity funds and other financial companies as well as big corporations and law firms and government organizations.

  • Alison Lewis says:

    I am extremely pleased that awareness was raised. I purchased an off plan apartment in 2006 built by Pafilia and financed by Alpha bank. My mortgage was double if that quoted and the whole thing has practically caused me financial and emotional ruin! I wish there was some action I could take, but at least others are being warned.

  • Hugh says:

    It is good that this action took place, as you mentioned awareness of the pitfall of investing in Cyprus must be highlighted. However I have also heard tales of UK investors buying property off plan without visiting the country, or the site, or just on a booze filled inspection visit!

    Let the buyer beware is still relevant!

  • Nick - Larnaca, Cyprus says:

    A few years ago, having discovered all the malpractice that goes on in Cyprus property marketing, a friend described it as ‘bandit country’.

    If Cyprus wants to be taken seriously as a mature member state of the EU, it should stop hiding behind the fig leaves of half-baked initiatives to reform what laughably passes for the law and the plethora of media ‘spins’ to encourage people to buy here.

    For a country with no railway system the gravy train that was the property market has well and truly hit the buffers! Wake up and smell the souvlaki!

    The greedy crooks who see no wrong in their malpractice deserve the scrutiny and focus of media attention such as that reported at the ‘Place in the Sun’ exhibition.

  • Gavin Jones says:

    Very well done to all concerned.

    The time for rational talk with government, developers, bankers and lawyers is well and truly over.
    The only route to any form of restitution is constant public exposure of their crooked ways and the resultant strangulation of their business. This is happening already and long may it continue…

  • Pam Hogarth says:

    Well done to the protesters at ‘A Place in The Sun’ The tireless efforts of Conor O’Dwyer, people, thousands of them, who have been duped out of their life savings by Cypriot Developers, Lawyers, and Estate Agents, the Brits, have fought back and brought the corrupt Cypriot Property Market to it’s knees, where it will only get worse until all that will remain are Ghost Towns full of unfinished, un-sold Properties.

  • @Curmudgen – Do not be mislead into believing that properties with Title Deeds are free of encumbrances.

    It is essential that buyers carry out a Title Search at the Land Registry, or instruct their lawyers to so so on their behalf, regardless of whether a Title Deed has been issued for the property in question.

    I could take a loan using my house as collateral and then sell it to you. You would be unaware of the loan unless a search was carried out.

  • derek powell says:

    Well done to all the demonstrators. I myself have bought on this rip off island and intend to fight my dispute all the way to the European court.

  • Steveo says:

    Nothing wrong in the truth keep it up guys, hurt them in the pocket that’s the only way to get change. Not all developers are as bad as each other however none I believe offer deeds at point of sale.

  • Conor O'Dwyer says:

    Not on our doorstep! – Never again!

    Robert, Thanks for your help with the leaflets!

  • Curmudgen says:

    @Paul – Had I been in the UK I would have gladly joined your band of truth tellers. I would also have been quick to point out properties with Title Deeds are free from such encumbrances.

    The problem now is educating the British public that properties with Title Deeds do not have the same pitfalls and safe to purchase.

  • Robert Briggs says:

    Well done Folks! a good piece of free supplementary publicity for my friends, the Cyprus Property “Developers”. R.B.

  • paul says:

    I was at Earls Court yesterday as part of the protest group. Our intentions have always been to inform the public about the potential pitfalls and problems associated with buying in Cyprus.

    Two of us went into the exhibition hall and asked several developers and agents about buying in Cyprus. We expected that they would at least admit to some problems in Cyprus but each one of them referred to the protesting group as just a small group of people who had been ‘unfortunate with their experience of buying’ but assured us that none of their clients had ever had any problems!

    It’s so strange isn’t it that with over a 100,000 people in Cyprus remaining without Deeds and the group of nearly a thousand that we we’re representing were having problems not only with Deeds but solicitors, developers and banks who had been very economical with the truth.

    Apparently the new planning amnesty and Land Registry reforms have solved all problems not only for new buyers but also for existing buyers!!

    Later in the afternoon during quite animated discussions with two agents we revealed our true identity much to their surprise! The shocked look and change of tone was quite a treat to see. At that time we were sat in an area set aside for a Cyprus seminar. The only attendees were the two of us and one other person. I think our message is getting across.

    SPECIAL MESSAGE TO DEVELOPERS AND AGENTS “Do not bother to turn up next time because we will be there spreading the true version rather than the airbrushed version you tend to give the public in order to sucker them in. We will not back down until you too join in the protest and change the way things operate in your country “

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