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Property scam leaves families with no home

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