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4th December 2021
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Cyprus failing to enforce EU unfair practices laws

News that the European Commission has sent a reasoned opinion to Cyprus for failing to properly implement and enforce EU law on unfair contract terms (Council Directive 93/13/EEC) and unfair commercial practices (Directive 2005/29/EC).

The Commission opened this infringement case in 2013 based on a series of complaints from EU citizens who had bought real estate in Cyprus and had allegedly been misled by real estate developers, banks and lawyers.

The Commission found that the Cypriot authorities were not effectively enforcing either of the two relevant EU Directives.

In the framework of the infringement procedure, the Cypriot authorities responded constructively to several of the concerns raised by the Commission on the transposition and implementation of the two Directives.

However, the matter has not been fully resolved so far; there are still no adequate and effective means in Cyprus to prevent the continued use of unfair terms in consumer contracts.

The decisions of the Cypriot Consumer Protection Service are not enforceable and the Law Office of the Republic fails to follow up on its decisions, as it does not lodge applications for injunctions with the relevant civil courts.

In addition, lawyers are not subject to the rules on unfair commercial practices. Cyprus now has two months to reply to the arguments raised by the Commission. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer this case to the European Court of Justice.


  1. We bought a villa in 2005 knowing that we would have to wait for the deeds, but before signing the contract we had the contract signed by developer & builder that if anything went wrong we would be covered & able to get compensation, this was witnessed by our solicitor. We now have found out that the deeds will not be forthcoming as he has not stuck to the original plans. We are not able to take him to court.

  2. In 2005 we were offered a loan to purchase an apartment by the Alpha Bank.Then had to find a UK Envoy to authorise PoA for Lawyer, Bank and Developer to sign agreement in Cyprus. On arriving in Cyprus to find developer had not been paid and refused us keys to apartment. A new 3 party agreement had to be hurriedly drawn for us to sign in the Bank. Only when paid did developer let us in. The reason given by Bank was that “head office told branch that holding sales contract against loan was unsafe” as no Deeds were available. Misled all round, just to get sale.

  3. This is excellent news! Fairness In Fees, which submitted the Complaint to the EC relating to what Counsel described as price fixing for out of court fees by lawyers, is now pursuing damages for fees charged under local law which was incompatible with EU law (and therefore null and void according to Counsel legal Opinion). Counsel says such overcharged lawyers’ fees are reimbursable.

    The 2nd stage of the campaign is gaining momentum now. Email with your experience should you wish to join the campaign.

  4. The UK has gone through all sorts of problems leaving the EU when all they had to do was follow the Cyprus policy and just ignore any eu directive that they didn’t agree with. They know that the eu is now so cumbersome it has become toothless.

  5. Yes, we went through this with a complaint regarding our Title Deeds (or rather, lack of). We received a letter saying they had found against the seller, but actually nothing was ever done!!

    In fact, we are coming up to 17 years since purchasing our property and still there is no sight of our Deeds.

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