EARLIER this year my wife and I took delivery of a property in a large development near Paphos. Since we moved in we are constantly being deafened by the noise of building work going on all around us.
The builders start arriving on site at around 06:45 and are so noisy talking to each other, I’m convinced that most of them are deaf. They start work at 07:00 and continue non-stop until 15:30. They work 7 days a week, often continuing until late into the evening. Throughout the day heavy lorries bringing concrete, bricks, steel and other construction materials drive past our house in a never-ending stream. The noise is unbearable.
To get away from the noise and dust we spend most of our time out of the house driving around or visiting friends.
If we knew we were going to have to put up with this incessant noise and dust, we would never have bought our house. We’re now at our wits end and our doctor has prescribed tranquilizers for my wife.
Our neighbours are also affected and feel the same as we do. Four of us spoke with the village Mukhtar who just shrugged his shoulders and said it’s the way things work in Cyprus and there was nothing he could do.
Surely there must be laws governing working hours on building sites. Can you please advise me what we can do?
I’m sorry to hear of your problems. I know it will be of little consolation, but you are not alone. Property development companies work all hours in their eagerness to finish construction work and move onto their next project, totally ignoring those living nearby.
The faster they can build, the faster they can sell, the faster they can make their money.
Sadly, there are no laws governing the working hours of construction workers in Cyprus. They can start work when they like and finish where they like. I believe there are some agreements between the unions and some of the property development companies that limit the number of working hours. But as property developers use cheap, unskilled, non-union labour from Eastern European and other countries, such working hour agreements can be conveniently ignored.
I suggest that you discuss the matter with your lawyer. There is a possibility that you could take civil action, or the Police could bring a criminal action, against the developer for causing a nuisance. I suggest you get your lawyer’s opinion on the matter before deciding whether it’s worthwhile pursuing this course of action and what it’s likely to cost.
Any case may take some time to be heard by the Court and it may be worthwhile speaking to the other people who are affected to see if they would be willing to share in the cost.