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Property scam leaves families with no home

A number of families who bought land in Fasoula and paid for properties to be built have been left with no homes as the contractor and property development companies have closed.

Li,assol property scam leaves families homeless
THIRTEEN Limassol-based families each paid hundreds of thousands of Euros for residential estates in Fasoula but have been left hanging after the contractor and property developer folded without ever building anything, a DISY deputy has said.

“The families bought real estate land in 2007 with [some] companies undertaking to build new residential units within nine months according to the terms of the contract,” said Limassol-based DISY MP Efthimios Diplaros.

But all works were stopped in July 2010, with the companies folding and “leaving these families vulnerable, indebted and without a home, while the bank pushed these people to pay off the companies’ debts to avoid foreclosing on their properties,” he added.

The contractor was not registered and the property developer allegedly pocketed VAT receipts worth over €350,000, Diplaros said.

Diplaros has reported the matter to the attorney-general and said the legal services found grounds for disciplinary action against a land registry official.

The deputy said among the companies’ CEOs and shareholders were a Limassol architect as well as the son and wife of an official with the Limassol land registry.

“The police have also started taking testimonies from witnesses to investigate a criminal case,” Diplaros said.

The families have said they have taken legal action against the contractors and consider the matter to be one of theft.

But he also suggested the (unnamed) bank was also responsible.

“How could the bank not have realised there was a scam and why were the CEOs and shareholders of the contractor not checked or else why did the bank not appoint an independent surveyor to check on the work’s progress?”

Ten of these families, who have young children, have spent their savings to pay off the bank and the property they bought and have been trying for some two and a half years to reach an agreement with lawyers, Diplaros said.

Limassol families left with no home

Readers' comments

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  • Robert Briggs says:

    Who are the developers, builders, lawyers, estate agent & the banks involved in this nightmare.
    I would like to know the names of these punks. R.B.

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    It is encouraging that at long last a Cyprus MP has recognized that a generic problem exists. Why it has taken all these years, during which the rest of the world has known about it, is a matter of conjecture.

  • Stuart says:

    @aggisdemetri

    It is not uncommon for property or land to be purchased “off-plan” as we all know. The proper contractual procedure is for stage payments to be made against percentages of completion so if nothing gets built, nothing gets paid.

    Unfortunately in Cyprus, many sales contracts make stage payment requirements against future calendar dates thus allowing developers to get paid in full without laying a single brick. Hence the outcome.

  • aggisdemetri says:

    If you cant see it why buy it?

  • Mike says:

    Another nail in the coffin. It will be interesting to see what if any action is taken to punish those involved (as against just publishing a plethora of empty words designed to appear as though something is being done). This must be a criminal act and as such investigated with due dilligence and treated as such. Cyprus is reeling from bad press throughout Europe and certainly does not need to supply further ammunition to those wo report such matters. Sadly I will not be holding my breath in anticipation of a just outcome. The vested interests may once again protect the perpetrators and punish the victims. So sad.

  • Martyn says:

    Yet another Cyprus property/construction Outrage, this time, it seems, largely at the expense of Cypriot families. This one looks particularly Nasty given the alleged structure and personnel of the Development company.

    But: whoa! The MP adds “while the bank pushed these people to pay off the companies’ debts to avoid foreclosing on their properties,”

    So another dangerous alignment, collusion?, between Developers and Bank and the demands made by the Bank on Purchasers, who it seems had already paid for their non -existent properties, adds a further dimension of Outrage.

    Based on the statements made by this MP, this whole matter needs to be investigated as a matter of Urgency and the Bank – or banks – involved named.

    And then a further look at similar ‘scams’, disasters, whatever they get called, and wherever the innocent Purchasers live, instigated at the very Highest levels and actions taken as soon as a new government is elected, to start cataloguing and taking early and positive action on the growing List of such property/construction outrages across the RoC.

  • Gavin Jones says:

    Doubtless apologists for such behaviour would blame the victims of this sorry tale and not the developer and others involved such as the bank and possibly lawyers.

    And as for those individuals and organisations such as the CPAG who voice their anger and disgust and dare to publicize such goings-on, they apparently should keep quiet as their actions are pointless and do more harm than good.

    And of course, the old refrain, “it’s the same elsewhere”, puts a veneer of acceptability on the matter and acts as deflective stratagem to soften the inherently corrupt system.

    It no longer washes. Cypriot ‘artful ways’ have been well and truly rumbled and the troika will be running the show from now on. No reforms and transparency, no bailout monies. Period.

  • Curmudgen says:

    “The police have also started taking testimonies from witnesses to investigate a criminal case,”

    Could explain the shortage of police….

  • Adrian says:

    For Sale

    A large quantity of white wash, this is a popular product and is used by many government dept, banks, lawyers and various law enforcement agencies. This product can cover over flaws of many descriptions.

    Unfortunately we cannot accept credit cards but payment can be made in cash. Supply is limited as we have had a large demand.

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