Buying property in Cyprus “could seriously harm your health and wealth”

The Republic of Cyprus chose the title ‘toxic debt’ to describe the situation where corrupt builders and banks conspired together to put mortgages on property/land which although technically still in their name, in truth had been sold to innocent third parties. These purchasers in the main foreigners but also Greek Cypriots had unbeknown to them acquired a mortgage on property/land they had paid for in full. According to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the figures of those affected by this fraudulent and criminal act are in excess of 50,000 victims.

In the North of the island, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the self same thing has been allowed to happen too.  The figures of the affected whilst not so large are still at an unacceptable level.  In the North, the Property scam is compounded when you add the incidences of bad building practises, unsafe building practises, unlawful demands for money in excess of the Contract price, demands for purchasers to pay builder’s taxes.  Builds without planning permission, builds on land not owned by the builder, builders walking away on unfinished sites and no provision for basic utilities such as electricity and water.  The one thing all these builders have in common, they had already been paid.   In the TRNC they are slightly ahead of the Republic of Cyprus in that there has already been auctions by the questionable banks and homes have been illegally repossessed.

The two sides of the island have much in common when it comes to duping unsuspecting punters.  Both side have resorted to violence.  In the RoC, a builder hospitalised a purchaser who had the audactity to demand justice.  In the TRNC a car was driven at speed at a purchaser protesting against the illegal repossession of a property.   The driver and the passenger of the car used as a weapon, claimed the purchaser was wielding a baseball bat, the purchaser denies this, but it does beg the question, surely if someone had a weapon of any kind, you would turn the wheels away from him and make your getaway, not turn the wheels toward him and drive directly at him at speed causing him to need to jump out of the way.  In Britain, I believe this would constitute undue force, if indeed the purchaser had been wielding a baseball bat as alleged.

The respective Governments stance seems to be ‘if in doubt do nowt’   Both claim to have introduced new laws to help new purchasers.  Both Governments seem happy to throw the existing victims to the wolves.

Clearly the Island of Cyprus is a toxic island with the South ignoring EU efforts to bring them into line and the North just ignoring everyone.

The message to all prospective retirement/holiday home purchasers has to be, do not buy in Cyprus, it could seriously harm your health and wealth.

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