BUYERS of properties on an unfinished ghost estate in Marathounda village in Paphos are desperate to gain ownership of their homes, which they now fear are under threat of being auctioned or demolished.
A rescue plan for the misnamed Paradise Hills estate – whose developers, MDB properties, have gone bust – was recently rejected by the Bank of Cyprus (BoC) the holders of the company’s loans, leaving owners in indignant limbo. Last year their plight was filmed for a popular UK TV show Holiday Homes from Hell (watch below).
Although 33 of the 46 units have been sold, only three are now permanently occupied. Lance and Tracey Hames, John Rowles and Alistair Nethercott are the sole residents of an eerily quiet estate on which many buildings are showing marked signs of decay.
Villa owner Lance Hames said some of the non-resident owners who live in the UK are planning a meeting in Kettering UK on October 17 to discuss employing an international property lawyer to try and sort out the mess.
“I believe the idea is to employ an international property lawyer to try to find a solution to the awful situation we find ourselves in,” he said.
Bank of Cyprus rejected rescue package
Owners at Paradise Hills waited for almost two years for the MDB’s administrator – One World – to come up with a rescue plan which included property owners coughing up on average an extra €10,000 each to finish the site, but they were recently informed that the bank has decided not to go ahead with the deal.
Hames said BoC told the administrator that it would not help complete the site due to the alleged illegal activities by one of MDB’s directors.
In addition to moves to engage a specialist lawyer, three of the owners including Hames, have used the recent town planning amnesty on some building irregularities to apply for individual completion certificates for their properties.
“I’m hoping to then apply for my Title Deeds and intend to sell the property at half price,” said Hames.
“I love the island but I’ve had a belly full of this situation. It’s put a huge strain on my marriage and everything I have is invested in my house. I just want to get out and will be on the first plane back to the UK.”
He is also hoping that the completion certificate will prevent his home from being slapped with a demolition order.
“I really don’t know what else to do.”
Hames said that no information had been forthcoming from any of the parties involved and that they were still being left in the dark.
Bank of Cyprus may auction the site
According to Hames, a couple of the owners were recently told by BoC that the bank may eventually auction the site, for which they hoped to gain a seven figure sum.
“No-one is going to pay that kind of money for a site which is three quarters complete and parts of which are deteriorating badly,” Hames said.
“It’s too much money for all of us to buy and complete ourselves and we really don’t know what to do. I’ve ended up squatting in my own home.”
Hames feels particularly bitter because he carried out thorough research before buying a property in Cyprus.
“There were no mortgages or incumbencies on the land and everything was done as it should be here. Our contract was also lodged with the Land Registry,” he said. “I don’t see why I should have to pay to help clear MDB developer’s debt with the bank.”