NEWS that the Cyprus government is looking into changing the laws concerning swimming pools will bring relief to many people who have bought property in Cyprus.
Under current legislation, communal swimming pools in private residential developments such as apartment blocks, terrace/town houses and maisonettes are considered to be public swimming pools – and public swimming pools are required to have life guards, toilets for the disabled, showers and other facilities:
Cyprus Law N.55(I)/92 states in paragraph 2 that the term ‘public swimming pool’ also includes the swimming pools of buildings which are used by the owners of the units or their tenants.
Regulation Number 368/96 states in paragraph 47 (1) that all the employees relating to the swimming pool have to obtain a health certificate, to be clean and to behave properly.
Paragraph 47(2) states that all the trained supervisors will be on duty during the operation and the use of the swimming pool. Their number is determined in accordance with the size of the swimming pool and the number of the persons usually using the swimming pool.
Paragraph 47 (2)(a)(i) states that for small swimming pools at least one trained supervisor is necessary to be appointed.
Part VII of the Regulations Paragraph 53 states that a license is needed for the operation of a swimming pool by applying to the relevant authority. The last decision is made by the Minister.
Although the current legislation was drawn up in 1992 and the regulations in 1996, they have largely been ignored by property developers and the authorities charged with their enforcement. But things came to a head some 18 months ago when the authorities in Larnaca started refusing to issue Certificates of Final Approval to those developments that did not have the required changing rooms and other facilities in place. This left those who had bought property with communal swimming pools in limbo because without a Certificate of Final Approval, Title Deeds for the individual properties comprising the development could not be issued.
This issue now affects all property developers and all building complexes with communal swimming pools.
(This subject was raised with the Permanent Secretary of the Interior Ministry, Dr Lazaros Savvides, last year when I had a meeting with him along with Denis O’Hare and Linda LeBlanc)
The Cyprus Land & Building Developers Association is trying to resolve the issue. It has reached an agreement with the Cyprus government that communal swimming pools in commonly owned complexes should not be classified as ‘public pools’. The Association has drafted revised legislation and is due to discuss the matter with the Interior Minister this month.
If everything goes according to plan, the matter will be voted on by Parliament and the revised legislation will be in place by the end of the year.
So with any luck, by 2009 there should be one less problem for property buyers to overcome!
Update December 2009
It was hoped that this ridiculous situation would have been resolved by now, but that hasn’t happened.
Communal swimming pools in private residential developments are still considered as public swimming pools and continue to be subject to the legislation outlined above.