- Cyprus Property News Magazine - https://www.news.cyprus-property-buyers.com -

High-ranking officials accused of abusing state housing

GOVERNMENT housing in Troodos is being let at outrageously low rates, as a result of which rent revenues barely meet the cost of upkeep, lawmakers heard yesterday.

In some 20 documented cases, residential lodgings are being sub-let to the private sector for between €3 and €5 a year for a period of 99 years, the House Watchdog Committee was told.

Moreover, state property in Troodos is being used by private-sector individuals for commercial uses, including as hotels, kiosks and restaurants.

The annual rent for the two hotels in question amounts to €20,000 and €30,000, whereas long-term leasing for residences and restaurants comes to €5.10 and €3.40 per annum, respectively.

Some 50 residential lodgings are being used by civil servants, senior state officials, police officers, post office employees, Forestry Department personnel, and by bodyguards of the President and the House Speaker.

Deputies heard that from 2005 to 2011 the state received €1.1 million from renting out these properties; the cost of maintenance was about €1 million, not including billable man-hours.

A Finance Ministry official told MPs the government is drafting legislation revising the rental rates for residential lodgings.

Greens MP George Perdikis said that the mismanagement of state property in Troodos has led to it operating at a loss.

Moreover, government housing is being “scandalously” abused by high-ranking state officials, he said.

EDEK deputy Fidias Sarikas proposed that the lodgings be administered by a private company.