North Cyprus Property | British Residents’ Society Review

North Cyprus Property – British Residents’ Society Review

Having just received a copy of the British Residents’ Society (BRS) Review of North Cyprus Property which makes sad reading for those with problems, despite BRS trying to be upbeat. It is a document which names and shames no one.

I’ve included a selection of quotes from the document in order to give you a flavour of their impression of the property problems people are experiencing in North Cyprus. I’ve also included a link to the source document at the end of this article.

“The Source of Present Problems

Previous Governments have stood aside and allowed the chaotic property scene to develop & fester.  They have failed to act and clarify the laws in line with accepted international principles of Property & Contract Law..Unchecked Property deception has severely ruptured the economy and hampered North Cyprus economic development.  The continuing Property abuses are a great embarrassment to most Cypriots.  North Cyprus has earned an international reputation for injustice and on the ground become a graveyard for houses…this mess has seriously damaged North Cyprus’s credibility as a civilised fledgling state where the rule of law prevail, minority human rights are respected & property ownership is protected by the state.”

Unfortunately, while pointing out that successive governments have ignored those who protested against the government, individually or as a group, the BRS seems to draw the conclusion that protest has no future.

“Buyers that have fragmented and looked to protest groups to save the day have been disappointed in that. Regrettably buyers who took this approach have lost out.”

BRS seems to suggest that their alternative approach of working with the government is the way forward and somehow suggest that no progress on this front is actually progress.

“There is now some progress to report.  Late in 2013, the present Government was persuaded to set up an urgent enquiry into most of the property problems. Although the problems are now recognised at the highest levels of Government, we have been here before with previous administrations.  It’s early days, as yet we have had no feedback on any proposed action.  We will be pursuing this liaison with the Government in the New Year.  We remain hopeful that we will have some government acts of upholding equity and clarity in 2014.”

BRS then points out that taking the legal route is generally a waste of time but without explicitly saying this, thus negating protest and the law as ways of getting justice.

“Many buyer actions to date have been bogged down in the Lower Courts, these cases are characterised by excessive adjournments and long winded hearings going over the minutiae of the irrelevant.   Whilst frequently human rights and major points of mortgage law and contract terms are ignored.

In some cases key issues have been arbitrarily dismissed by Lower Courts resulting in cases being delayed by appeal processes.  Key TRNC laws, basic human rights & freely entered contracts terms have often appeared to be irrelevant to the Court process.  The Kulaksiz 5 case rumbles on with well over 100 Court appearances, it is currently at another
Appeal stage in the High Court.

In Lower Court actions “legal gamesmanship” has been tolerated by some Judges.  In these cases the TRNC law has appeared blind to Justice for house buyers.  This omission has been clearly demonstrated in some Property ownership & Contract matters.”

BRS, however, seems to believe that while the TRNC Lower Court may be ineffective in seeking justice the High Court is where justice can be achieved.

“The Appeal Process has forced the High Court to intervene in levelling the pitch for home buyers. It has generally taken a much wider and fairer view than the Lower Courts.  The High Court has firmly upheld TRNC Mortgage law 11/78 which has brought significant repercussions for any Creditor Bank and Land Registry District Officers.  These recent Judgments have cut the ground from under many Bank creditors or landowners seeking to exploit a developers demise.

As a direct result of recent High Court Judgments, some Landowners have now been successfully sued by buyers for attempting to exploit a developers demise by refusing to transfer Kocan’s or attempting to extract more money from dutiful home buyers.  Appeal Court Judgments have made clear that key TRNC legal processes have been ignored by Banks & Land Registry Offices.  They have also questioned that criminal action may be at the root of some of the more dubious transactions.   Some flawed Lower Court decisions have been turned over on Appeal.   Whilst some of these cases are still in legal process, recent Judgments have acted like a stun grenade on errant Bank Creditors. In our opinion the Judgments have had the effect of a stun grenade, because one would have rationally thought that these clear signals from the High Court would have been sufficient for early capitulation by the Creditors involved. But these judgments have to date merely stunned most offenders.

Some offenders act as if “I cannot believe it!”, in one case the surprising justification of the offender  has been, “but we have always got away with this in the past”.  Few offending Banks have conceded yet.”

Few offending Banks have conceded is an understatement, NO Bank has conceded as BRS points out later.

“Errant Banks and their lawyers are still twisting and turning and looking for procedural loopholes in an attempt to continue to justify their position. Evidence indicates that they are running out of ideas and time.  We feel that they will
inevitably lose this campaign but they still keep putting spurious arguments to extend the legal process.

Banks involved can afford to fight on and are unused to losing in TRNC Courts.  Loss of Face by creditors or their lawyers may in some cases be the reason for this irrationality.  In other cases, banks appear fearful of legal precedents.  They seem to fear a rash of actions against them.”

So, to summarise: no one has achieved anything tangible through protest or law and the only hope is…well this document doesn’t actually say how millionaires in the property and banking industry are to be brought to justice. They certainly aren’t going to stop doing what they do and give up their millions just because of this BRS document or a video which cannot even use Akfinans Bank‘s name in case they get sued. They aren’t going to be stopped by law or protest and as long as they aren’t named and shamed they’ll continue to get away with it. Just like Copenhagen Zoo who killed a perfectly healthy giraffe would have if they hadn’t been named and shamed. I wonder how many customers will avoid that zoo after the publicity they received.

This is a very sad document from a group who believes that waiting for the government to achieve something that, in my opinion they cannot do, is the way forward. Wake up BRS, the government doesn’t know how to help North Cyprus property victims, didn’t you know that!


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