NEWS about the property scams in Cyprus has been reported in GlobalPost, a Boston-based international news service. During the following video report Nicole Itano speaks to Hazel May.
Hazel and her husband Bob came to Cyprus on holiday and fell in love. Eight years ago they sold their house in the UK and bought one in Pyla. But their dream of retiring in the sun rapidly turned into a nightmare.
They soon discovered that their house had been built illegally; without the proper permits. Worse, the man who built it and sold it to them took out hundreds of thousands of Euros mortgages on the land with the Hellenic bank. He was jailed for fraud but has now been freed and is continuing to build illegally and defraud other unsuspecting buyers in the Pyla area.
Because Hazel & Bob’s house was built without the proper permits, an order has been issued for its demolition. The bank has got a court order enabling them to sell Hazel and Bob’s home to recover the developer’s debt.
The Mays are trapped; she has cancer they want to sell the house and downsize. But with all the problems and the developer’s outstanding debts, they cannot get a Title Deed.
Lakis Tofarides, president of the Cyprus Land & Building Developers Association, blames buyers who have not done their homework. “If the property contract has been properly drawn and deposited with the Government, they (property buyers) would have nothing to worry about”.
Perhaps Mr Tofarides could explain why things went so badly wrong in Hazel and Bob’s case? The May’s instructed a lawyer, Maria Souroullas, to act on their behalf. She drew up a contract that was signed by all parties and subsequently deposited it at the Land Registry. According to Mr Tofarides the Mays “would have nothing to worry about”. Clearly Mr Tofarides is badly mistaken!
Investia Property Consultants – introduced the Mays to the property
Ms Maria Souroullas – the lawyer who acted on behalf of the Mays during their purchase.
Antonis Theophanous – the developer who built the Mays house and subsequently imprisoned for fraud, but who is allowed to continue building illegally and defrauding other unsuspecting buyers.