AN EXPATRIATE couple who faced eviction and homelessness last September after a developer sold them a flat with outstanding mortgage payments have at last been assured that they can stay in the flat for the rest of their lives.
However, for Ken and Mary Hudson, both 72, it is a bittersweet outcome, as they will not be allowed to pass the flat they paid €41,200 for onto their children; it remains the bank’s property.
Speaking from her home in Larnaca yesterday, Mary Hudson said: “The Land Registry was very understanding, and they told us that we could rest assured that ‘as the case stands’ we can stay where we are ‘until we go to heaven'”.
Asked what would happen after that, Hudson said: “It will go back to the bank then. For now it is just a case of waiting until someone does something.”
In the mean time, Hudson said, the property developer who formerly owned a kiosk in Larnaca has reportedly disappeared.
The Hudsons first visited Cyprus in 2000 and “Fell in love with the people, culture and community”, so when a charity job in Cyprus came up in 2002, they jumped at the chance to buy.
Hudson said: “A suitable property was found through an estate agent, registered in our name and paid for. We were told that solicitors were not necessary in Cyprus.”
They paid £24,000 Cypriot pounds (€41,200) for the flat, and even received paperwork from a notary to confirm their ownership.
However, shortly after they completed the purchase, they learnt that the bank had retained the Title Deeds because the owner had not completed mortgage payments for the property. Until the payments were completed, the Hudsons could not receive the Title Deeds.
The flat was put up for auction but there were no interested buyers, and so they remained in legal limbo until the Land Registry told them they could remain in their home for the rest of their lives.