GEORGE Kounis, Consultant with London City law firm Maxwell Alves, submitted proposals to the Cyprus Government via its Consulate in London on 1st August designed to resolve the numerous property disputes between property buyers and Cypriot developers, banks, sales agents, lawyers and financial advisors.
A document entitled ‘A Plan for All Reasons: How to resolve property purchase disputes in Cyprus without litigation and restore the credibility of its public, property and financial sectors‘ contains five proposals aimed at resolving the current backlog, stopping the market from taking another dive due to the planned repossessions and preventing a future recurrence.
“Three of these proposals are nothing new” said George Kounis. “They are about measures that should have been in place decades ago and nobody disagrees they are needed. They would protect the industry and the buyers and this is in the interests of everyone. The only problem seems to be a lack of political will to get on and do it.”
The remaining two proposals aim to resolve the more recent problems of properties losing up to 70% of their value since 2008, high loan to value mortgages in strong currencies like Swiss Francs, and almost non-existent rental incomes despite expectations. “These people are faced with losing all the money they invested and everything they own including their UK assets,” added George Kounis. “The last thing they want is to spend more good money after bad in protracted litigation,” he continued. The fact is that neither do the banks, the property developers and the Cyprus Government – and that is a good starting point for talks.
What is positive about the last two proposals included in the document is that they do not require changes in legislation. “The Government is only expected to facilitate and co-ordinate and this means that they are more likely to happen,” clarified George Kounis.
Government participation would help the proposals and add to the Government’s credibility which, so far, appears helpless.
“Although it would be good to have it, the last two proposals can go ahead without Government participation. We are, therefore, proceeding to contact developers, banks and other parties to get things going” declared George Kounis.
About the author
George Kounis started his career in banking and has been running businesses for over 30 years. He has recently joined Maxwell Alves as a business consultant.
Established in 2003, Maxwell Alves is a firm of solicitors and international lawyers based in Central London. The firm is on the panel of legal advisers that are maintained by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). UKTI is a government body which forms part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that promotes UK bilateral trade and investment.