THE FAMAGUSTA district court has awarded a British couple €100,000 in damages for losses incurred through breaches of their contractual agreement with a developer who sold to them in the Famagusta district.
This could be the highest amount awarded by a court in Cyprus for such a case in recent years, if not longer, legal sources said yesterday.
Simon and Jennifer Penney filed a suit against FK & S (Varoshia) Properties Ltd in 2007, claiming the company had breached the contract regarding the sale of a two-bedroom villa in the coastal township of Paralimni.
The couple said the company had constructed the villa with an interior area 13.7 square metres smaller than what was agreed and it had also failed to deliver it on the agreed date.
The sales contract had been signed on January 18, 2005 and the house was supposed to be delivered in July 2005.
The Penneys eventually entered their problem-riddled home in July 2006.
The plaintiffs said there was a delay in connecting the villa with the water network while the developer failed to provide electricity.
The house was still not connected to the grid on the day the court issued its decision three days ago.
Throughout that time, the plaintiffs were forced to use a low-voltage generator for several hours a day and were unable to operate various appliances at the same time.
In fact – in her decision – judge Elena Efrem issued a statement saying it was the plaintiffs’ right for their villa to be officially connected to the Electricity Authority grid.
The Penneys, who were represented in court by Alexandros Coucounis of the Andreas Coucounis & Co. law office, also said the developer had failed to construct the villa properly, noting the shoddy workmanship and incomplete work.
FK & S (Varoshia) Properties Ltd is partly owned – 40 per cent – by K & M Famagusta Developers, which acted as the contractor and helped with the sales of the housing complex where the villa was located.
The plaintiffs said the villa was sold to them by Kypros Kyprianou although the defence denied he had anything to do with the company.
During her cross-examination, Jennifer Penney said Kyprianou – who later testified as a defence witness — presented the two companies as one.
She also presented a business card Kyprianou had given her with the name of the company, Famagusta Developers, his name and title – general manager.
The judge upheld Jennifer Penney’s testimony, saying she “left a good impression as a reliable and sincere witness.” That was not the case for Kyprianou’s testimony.
“Thus, the testimony of defence witness one is rejected as unreliable in its entirety,” the judge said.
The plaintiffs also presented a well-documented case, presenting photographs and documents of every stage.
In its decision, the court upheld the plaintiffs’ claim that in addition to the losses they sustained due to the delays, incomplete work and faulty workmanship, they also suffered further loss due to the decrease in the goodwill of the complex, which in turn knocked down the value of their villa.