A LOCAL SUPPORT group that offers free help and advice to home-owners in the Larnaca and Famagusta districts has just marked its first anniversary.
The Property in Cyprus Action Support group (PICAS) was created by members of an internet forum to share personal experiences and to offer advice in avoiding pitfalls or mistakes to those already on, or looking to join the property ladder.
While there are similar groups already in existence in Cyprus, this group is the first of its kind aimed at helping people in Larnaca, Ayia Napa, Paralimni and Protaras.
PICAS spokesman Steve Durkin said that members believed that those in distress needed personal support and the freedom to share their problems with others in a safe, secure and confidential setting.
“It was clear that there were numerous people were struggling in silence with a raft of property issues. The feeling of isolation, despair and bewilderment was clearly felt by purchasers on the eastern side of Cyprus. Whilst the forum was a valuable resource for information and assistance it was limited by the fact that it was internet based,” he said.
As well as members sharing their experiences, the monthly meetings are also attended by members of an advisory panel, which includes lawyer Stelios Stylianou and property advisor Nigel Howarth.
“We try to be an inclusive group welcoming all who find themselves with property issues regardless of nationality or location”, Durkin told the Cyprus Mail. “It was felt that a support network was needed where people could meet face to face in a safe and secure environment. In addition to confidential support, clear concise, reliable and qualified advice was needed.”
Recent guest speakers have included the British Vice-Consul in Cyprus and meetings have also dealt with non-property issues such as pensions and new rules for British passport applications.
“People can get in touch with us through our dedicated website: http://www.picas-cyprus.com which has full contact details and information about future meetings. In addition it is developing into an invaluable resource that should be helpful to many,” Durkin added.
Listen to Steve Durkin being interviewed by Nathan Morley on “Round and About”; CyBC Radio 2’s most popular daily show.