IN 1981 I bought a new brick built three-bedroom house complete with garage, central heating and mains drainage on the outskirts of London. It cost £31,000 (€36,600). In 2002 I bought a brand new concrete villa in a small village in Cyprus. No garage, no central heating, no mains drainage with a 1980 value of €36,000, that is according to the Paphos Land Registry.
So both homes are worth roughly the same. Really? A house on the outskirts of London worth as much as a village house in Cyprus? I have tried to find out how the 1980 value was calculated but failed. I’ve been informed that is a secret formula used by the Land Registry which I wouldn’t understand. I can appeal the valuation by spending several hundred Euros on getting my own surveyor, but I’ve also been told that this will be a waste of time and money, so it’s cheaper to pay the IPT.
Today the house in the UK (according to Zoopla) is approaching £340,000 Sterling or €400,000. A resale Agent told me that if I wanted to sell my Cyprus villa it was worth about €230,000, but if I was offered €220,000 I should accept it. I wonder how much the Land Registry will value my villa for 2014?
Across the road are two similar properties built by Greek Cypriots on family land, I have no way of finding out what their 1980 value is.
There is no transparency in the system, and where there is secrecy there is always corruption. Close by is a small farm house, which is below the €12,500 threshold. It has been a family home for several generations. So whilst I pay my IPT having worked all my life to clear off a mortgage this house will contribute nothing, and has never had the onerous task of a mortgage. The land and property owned by the occupier way exceeds my income. What is fair about that? Why can some people be excused their share of support for our Government? Why should it be based on the value of a house?
I used all my savings and borrowed from our daughter to buy our title deeds, paying an inflated cost to the Land Registry well above the cost of the contract, and borrowing more to pay my developer’s tax bills.
My daughter lent us the money knowing we will never be able to repay it. Cyprus has it appears has always relied on foreigners to pay for the lifestyle of the many. With 70 per cent of the properties now excluded, having a 1980 value of €12,500 or less, the burden of reaching the troika threshold will fall on the remaining 30 per cent, mostly on the newly arrived expats. This amounts to both direct and indirect discrimination against foreigners and is contrary to EU Law. Our president says he wants a clean governance with responsibilities. Well as Huckleberry Finn said. “Just you saying it’s so, don’t make it so”.
Peter G Davis, Droushia