In their latest update the Cyprus Property Action Group (CPAG) have reportedly lobbied, petitioned and successfully enlisted the EU Commission (EC) and its Committee on Petitions (PETI), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), in an ongoing effort to resolve Cyprus’ mis-sold property scandal and to have property rights appropriately granted to affected victims, which include expats and nationals alike.
CPAG have also lobbied the EC for support with specific instances of improper property deals and an ECHR-registered lobbyist has already received a response, which suggests their cause is now in safe hands. The EC responded to CPAG with something of a reassuring statement which, reading between the lines, does shed a slender beam of hope onto their ongoing six-year plight for justice: here’s what they said in response to CPAG’s cry for help:
“The European Commission intends to continue its bilateral contacts with Cyprus in order to ensure the relevant authorities address the issue … Should it receive confirmation that there is no real willingness to solve this problematic situation at national level, the European Commission envisages to take further actions, as appropriate, in order to protect the affected citizens and ensure compliance with EU law.”
This heavyweight assistance was inspired by the sheer scale of complaints received. Some Cyprus-based expats have seen the value of their mis-sold property purchases plummet, whilst others waiting for their pre-purchased properties to reach completion have been left devastated by the widespread failure of the developers and construction companies involved. Just as with Spain’s similar situation, it’s yet another farce that’s affecting the lives of thousands of innocent expats.
Buying property abroad is a life-changing decision to make, but expats are now being urged to exercise caution before buying EU property, so as to ensure their lives don’t take a change for the worse. You can’t rely on old adages such as “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”, so here are some simple safeguards to help save you from a needless and sorry situation that could see you stranded, financially crippled or even homeless with nothing but a huge debt to fret over.
Assess your contract carefully and take time to read the fine print alongside a translator wherever necessary. Buy legally sound property that has no known issues by sourcing an experienced English lawyer. Confirm the parameters of any and all planning permits or permissions granted. Dig deep into property’s history as well as the area’s to eradicate any unexpected shocks. Ensure all property documentation is legally sound and have your lawyer pick it apart prior to signing.
By Anthony Standring
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