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Apartment residents living on the edge

Apartment building
Photo credit: Phileleftheros

Residents in a hilltop apartment building in Germasogeia, Limassol are living in fear that their complex could collapse at any moment.

The developer who built the complex failed to build a retaining wall and, as you can see in the photograph above, the development is being undermined as the face of the hill erodes away.

The Authorities have known about the problem for several years and one resident who spoke with Phileleftheros said that “We really live in the air. We have been fighting to find a solution to the problem for years. We bought an apartment, but it’s like we threw away our money away.” A member of the complex’s management committee said the problem was very serious.

Another resident said that “The developer built the apartment building, sold us the apartments, but since then he’s been missing,” and said that that construction of the apartment building should have stopped by that time. He claimed that complaints were made when the problem came to light 10 years ago, but nothing happened.

Residents have written to the mayor and the Municipal Council of Germasogeia requesting their help to build the missing wall.

Speaking to the Phileleftheros, the mayor of Germasogeia Kyriakos Xidias agreed hat the problem was very serious.  “The retaining wall must be done immediately. We have managed to get the consent of the owners who live under this apartment building, to build the retaining wall within their property.”

The mayor noted that a Certificate of Approval for the complex had not been issued and that no Title Deeds could be issued until the retaining wall had been built.

He also noted that he had written to the residents advising them that although the municipality is willing to help wherever it can, it cannot pay all the costs required to build the missing wall as the complex is privately owned.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Total lack of building control. In the UK the planning authorities would not permit the construction to proceed without all the necessary ground-work such as the retaining wall having been completed. The developer may have done a runner, but the responsibility rests with the Cyprus authorities for not ensuring that the retaining wall was in position befpre the building was started. Getting anyone to accept responsibility of course is another thing.

  2. how can the builder be hiding just shows that the fascist government has been paid and today hide this developer force others to pay for his greedy mistake typical fascist corruption.

    • I expect Lazaro that the developer has skipped the island taking his money with him. There have been several cases of this happening.

  3. So the developer failed to build a retaining wall and the buyers, maybe off plan, were not able to walk away and did not demand a retaining wall when they could see that the edge of a cliff was only metres away.

    Building the retaining wall was necessary before any other building took place.

    Its just another day in Cyprus, but something this time is different. The local mayor is going to fix it by building a retaining wall, and quickly, but will not pay for it.

    I hope the owners/residents can come up with the money before the building falls down the cliff.

    • This problem is cause by (a) the developer failing to complete the project and ‘doing a runner’ and (b) the total ineffectiveness of the law.

      Even if the developer was still around responsibility for fixing the wall rests with the residents.

      (Note I call them residents because until they get the Title Deed to their property they purchased, they do not own the property.

      • You raise an important issue, Nigel. It’s a while since I received title deeds after eleven years of waiting, but I remember that the first title deed was for all buildings on the building permit and was issued to the developer, who was at that point the owner, and who then made the application for the division into individual title deeds. What happens when the developer has legged it?

  4. Who in their right mind will buy a property without at least a final approval, let alone without a title?

    • Unfortunately Aggi, the antediluvian bureaucratic process and the ineffectiveness of the law makes it impossible to get a Certificate of Completion quickly. In my case it took 8 years after my house had been built.

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