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Questions & Answers

20 March 2016

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No.1971
Q.: You quote regularly dear Mr Loizou that Cyprus is inexpensive in relation to other E.U. countries. Our experience so far makes us to differ. How is it possible to have an average dinner with a bottle of wine at Pafos with a cost of €28 p.p. without any extras/over ordering that some locals do etc?
Maro & Linda

A.: There are two “categories” in terms of food cost. The tourist areas and those which are not. The cost is ½ for the second. In order to give you the Mc Donald’s example – cost of a Big Mac, depends on the cost of living of the country. For us, if we take a souglakia pitta (kebab) at the Protaras area (take away) costs €9.50 for an ordinary size one, yet in Nicosia, where we live it is €4.6 for the same size etc. Approximately ½ (it costs €5.0 to deliver it home). What is “thieving” in terms of food cost is the cost of wine. A shelve price of good wine (take Lidl as an example) of €4.0/bottle is charged at a not tourist area €8.0/bottle and for the tourist areas €24/bottle!! If one is to follow the locals, the dinner you describe should be no more than €20 p.p. including the wine, coffee to follow and fruit as well.

Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1972
Q.: There is some time that you have referred to your dogs. We live at Latsia village, where we understand you also reside and I went to pay the dog licence called Happy. The cashier girl at the counter said “this is a strange name for a dog” and continued “but there are others with more crazy names Yiannis and Costis” (yours). You must have made an impression on your dogs’ name – just to let you know what a small world is.
Carlos & Abba

A.: We have the 4th generation of Alsatians (the previous died unfortunately) and the new male dogs are called Stillis (Steve) and Hambis (Haris) – Crazy names indeed but what fun to call them “human” names. Yes I have acquired a name at Latsia Municipality home my dogs’ name over the last 40 years. I read a recent report that after Collies and Poodles, Alsatians are the cleverest dogs around – Not aggressive if not trained as such. Wait for it, our African grey parrot is called Tassos (Anastazio). He needs to get out of the kitchen cage a 6.30 in the morning and he calls me “Antoni mou where are you”? (My Antonis). Can’t resist to get out of bed and run downstairs, his approach kills me!!
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1973
Q.: I am a Cypriot solicitor in the U.K. Our firm handles many cases in Cyprus regarding all sorts of matters mainly relating to British nationals (Cypriots or not). We need from time to time valuations for real estate as well as sale of real estate. What I am surprised is that I get that both opposing parties suggesting your name as a common valuer. Any reason for this Mr Loizou (and excuse my ignorance but I am surprised by the insistence of opposing parties to suggest your office even before we come up with our own suggestion).
(name withheld)

A.: Well, you made my day dear solicitor and I am afraid you make my big head much bigger!! We are here for the last 40 years and this helps us and I believe that our reputation is quite good by comparison to others (modesty kills me mind you). Our work includes around 40 cases p.a. in the U.K. courts and so far we have not met any problems. In small countries the word spreads (in this case in a positive manner but it can work opposite).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1974
Q.: A school leaving certificate Mr Loizou? We are involved in a minor dispute at Pafos court and the valuer on the opposing side quoted as part of his qualifications that “I worked for Antonis Loizou & Associates for 10 years” in an attempt to show that he is qualified to do the job.
Nerry Hammoud

A.: We have a training school for young graduates leading to the RICS qualifications and over the years our own ex-employees “graduates” must be in excess of 20. I must thank this colleague of ours (I would like his name should you not object to say “thank you for the appreciation”. At this point of time we have another 3 young persons on the same training scheme.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1975
Q.: Your Pafos office from its 3 members of staff has increased to 6 – Based on my last visit at Possidon Avenue sea front office. Well done, it seems that your business is going well especially when others on the same street are closing down.
K. Bozark

A.: Many thanks dear reader for keeping an “eye” on us. This is a $1 mil. Question. Do you invest in people first and expect more business or do you get the more business part and then you engage more people? Up to now I have not come up with a reasonable answer and mind you I have asked around our accountants/auditors/ lawyers for the purpose. No one has a clear reply. We have expanded in terms of staff at our Pafos office not only to accommodate the increased British demand but also the Russian speakers one and recently the locals (so far ignored) extending our working hours in addition. I will be in a position to reassess the situation end of the year.

Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1976
Q.: You have a grudge against Larnaca’s decision regarding the port. This is so recorded in the Greek press. Don’t you like Larnaca Mr Loizou?
Chahan Brian

A.: Far from it. My wife comes from Larnaca and we have one of the larger offices and projects in the town. But yes, I have a grudge against the Municipality of the town. They are well behind all other towns and including small Municipalities such as Ayia Napa-Pafos-Paralimni. It is beyond me how the Municipality is handling its local financial targets.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

3/37164-td
21.3.2016

No.1977
Q.: We are erecting a fence to have more privacy from our neighbours. We have an aluminium, very good looking fence in appearance 2.0 mts. height. We are now told that this should not be more than 1.20 mts.
Tim Shippi

a.: If your neighbour does not object do not worry about it. It helps both in terms of privacy. But if not, yes, you might have a problem.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1978
Q.: Terror attacks are everywhere nowadays. Shall we face such a thing in Cyprus?
Ch. Lamb

A.: Never say no in this troubled world that we are living. However, Cyprus not being part of the conflicts, I doubt that it will happen, but always be on your watch. This is a country of all nations and religions and we have had experience on this part. To this end the Muslim local community (T.C.) and our own Christian (G.C.) one make a point that we cohabit. Both religions leaders are going over their way to say this. It will be a difficult situation if we have non Cypriot Muslims. France is becoming more or less a Muslim country and Cameron (U.K.) apologised when he reported that the U.K. is a Christian country. (I cannot understand this).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou



3/37171-td
23.3.2016

No.1979
Q: We have built a car garage open sided 3 mts. away from the road. We thought that we are okay with the building regulations. However recently we received a letter from the Municipality that this is illegal. I ask you dear Mr Loizou what is the situation?
Tim & Joanna

A.: Strictly speaking you have to apply for a permit, but things being what they are in Cyprus I would not have bothered if it is just a car port. If you close the garage in terms of walls etc there is an issue. Most likely you will get a relaxation on this.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/37178-td
24.3.2016

No.1980
Q.: Get real Mr Loizou. With the existing MPs quality and the newcomers with the new elections, it is more certain that not that we will experience no improvement in the Cyprus economy.
Chriss Harris

A.: I am as worried as you are dear Chriss. Unions are after income increases and in most cases small politics encourage this by the opposition. Mind you this Government and its supporting party, are not angels when in opposition.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1981
Q.: Your Q+A column gives out so much information and in most cases addresses personal real estate problems that I wonder why you do not do the same in the Greek press.
Jenny Karagiorgi

A.: Thank you Jenny. It is up to the papers to invite us.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1982
Q.: Are we allowed to use aluminium roof on our pitched roof cover? It looks lovely and in accord with the appearance of others. We are at the stage that we have to make a decision and your opinion Mr Loizou will be very much appreciated since we are informed that this is not allowed
A. MacGill

A.: Originally there was an objection to this but nowadays it is accepted. Better ask your architect to examine this with the Planning Authorities – As far as I am concerned there should be no particular problem – Please do not use aluminium cover with no colour.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou
3/37187-td (28.3.2016)

No.1985
Q.: I remembered 6 years ago at Pieros restaurant at Protaras where there was a party. Professional dancers were there placing the traditional glasses of water (6 at the time) on top of their head. You have attempted to do the same and the whole lot came down. I “run” to help out in you disappointed giving you a kiss. Do you remember?
Gina from Germany

A.: How can I forget you dear Gina. The kiss is still on my cheek. Having said that I had a car accident and a passer-by (Myria) gave me a hug and said “do not worry I am here”. This happened 3 years ago I remember this as well.
This is how it should be amongst human beings and thank you again.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/37188-td
29.3.2016

No.1984
Q.: I know this is not your usual subject bit I noticed your comment in Friday's Cyprus Weekly regarding domestic Worker Assistance from the elderly being available in Cyprus.
We are ex-pat permanent residents of Cyprus, having lived here for 13 years. My husband has been diagnosed with final stage COPD and has to be permanently linked to an oxygen supply. He is nearly 75 whilst I am nearly 73, suffering from Fibromyalgia and waiting knee replacement.
I am finding it so very tiring trying to not only nurse my husband but carry out all the physical and mental work in running our home. I am only just managing to pay someone to come in for an hour each day to wash and change my husband each morning so that I can wash and struggle to dress myself, I can only afford to pay for the house to be cleaned 1 day a week and also pay for the garden and pool to be kept tidy. I have to go to the oxygen company several times a week to collect refilled cylinders but I have to keep asking a neighbour to put the cylinders in and out of the car and from bedroom to sitting room.
I have written and telephoned several Cypriot government departments to try and find out if any help is available to us, but got no reply from the Ministry of Health and no help from another department.
I love Cyprus but am finding life so tiring with our current situation and am dreading the hot earthier coming and how I am going to keep going.
Can you please give me some advice as who to contact to try and get some help.
Thank you.
(name withheld)

A.: I suggest that you pay a visit at the Social Security Department. You will not get an answer through a phone call. Let me know if you have no answers.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/37194-td
28.3.2016

No.1983
Q.: Dear Mr Loizou

We enjoy reading your column in the Cyprus Weekly from which we have learned a great deal.
We have almost completed building our house. We understand that the government was discussing legislation requiring people to submit an application for the final permit within one month of the building being completed. Has this legislation been passed, is it now in effect and if so what would be the consequences of not applying within this limit.
Thank you very much

A.: On completion of the house you must apply for a certificate of final approval. The one month request is not adhered to mind you. In theory, buildings with no certificate of final approval cannot be occupied – Not enforced in practice.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/37195-td
28.3.2016

No.1986
Q.: Is there such a thing as ownership by use? (translation from the Greek law). We are told that if someone passes over our land for many years, then the user will acquire it as of right – or even worse if he uses the field by cultivation etc he can claim it as his own.
Stelianos Pambillis

A.: No. In Greece they do not have “proper” titles and their legal system has nothing to do with ours. Far from it, the owner is so registered on the title and if someone else is using the property in addition to eviction you can claim damages i.e. rent.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1987
Q.: We are used to fish with nets but we are told that here in Cyprus this is not allowed. Please explain.
F. Fritiz

A.: I do not think so but there are regulations regarding the size of the nets etc. better to get in touch with the Fisheries Department for the details.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1988
Q.: Easter is coming Mr Loizou and we hate to go through another Easter period with the various firecrackers some of which make a very lout “bomb” like noise which scares us. We opt for a couple of weeks to leave the island in order to save ourselves from this terrible experience. Is it still allowed?
Nicholas + Margaret

A.: I could not agree with you more. I am not clear about any legal restrictions, but it is still allowed I am afraid and all these notwithstanding the fact that young people are often get mutilated – the illegal importation from the T/C areas in addition. As soon I have the police information I will come back to you. It is getting better but it is still around. In Greece the situation is much worse but this is no excuse, neither I know the reasoning behind this dangerous and objectionable tradition.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1989
Q.: We note on the one hand the number of unemployed and the reduction of income to the people, yet at the same time we read about new car sales are increasing and especially the expensive models. An antiphasis of the whole situation?
Linos Shiakkas

A.: I agree with you. There will always be people with money around. Compensation given to fired employees who prefer to show off, doctors and big shot advocates, as well as accountants do not seem to have been affected. In addition foreign residents form part of the market. Speaking to some of the Mercedes people the above groups seem to be the main market source. The rest of us remain to “survive” under the prevailing economic circumstances.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1990
Q.: We have an upper house having access through an external open staircase. The planning people have calculated the covered space underneath the staircase as part of the building density. It seems to us that this is not reasonable since it is not a living space.
Your views please prior to lodging an objection.
(name withheld)

A.: Another rubbish that I come across from time to time. This space is not to be included as part of the density. Some planning people instead of helping out the applicants, make it a point to be difficult to the applicants - The Hitter Sumpton you think?
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/37204-td
6.4.2016

No.1991
Q.: In your last article you referred to shareholders of units/property etc. You stipulate the pros and cons for which we thank you. Now that my husband has died and we own the 1/10 share ½ each (1/5th) we are, as I understand this, in a bigger mess?
Please help.
Nancy Balak

A.: Yes Nancy, it is now a bigger problem than before. You need to secure a court order for administration so that your deceased husband can through the court transfer his share onto you (or to others). Get an advocate’s advice dear reader how you can proceed (fees and time of execution agreed beforehand).
Regards
A.P. Loizou

No.1992
Q.: We bought an old village house which has (we now discovered this) asbestos roof cover. Is there a huge problem as our “pub” friends tell us?
Nina Harris

A.: Yes – some people nowadays will not have it (no problem before) and removing asbestos is carried out by specialized firms (so you can imagine the cost + cost of replacement).
What can I say to you dear reader. If the asbestos roof has insulation underneath you should be (health wise) okay – but I am not a specialist on the subject. If I was you, I would worry on the one hand, but bearing in mind that most older houses and industrial buildings have this, this could be a consolation. Needless to say that if you decide to sell your house, the buyers might have a different approach than what I say.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


No.1993
Q.: We have bought a preserved house (listed building). We have applied for a renovation permit – but this has ended up with so many restrictions that we doubt if it is worth it.
Nic Adams

A.: I agree with you absolutely. In addition to the various financial incentives given originally they are no longer available, let alone that selling your “incentives” have reached rock bottom in terms of value.
Do your maths with your architect and get the details in order to ascertain if it is worth it.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1994
Q.: We have 3 dogs in our house and teaks are everywhere. We give them a bath once a week but they still keep appearing. What should we do since you have dogs of your own?
Nathan George

A.: My experience tells me that you cannot get rid of them. In addition to the bath but with the special shampoos, special collars and injections on their neck they are still around. You must spray your garden with specific chemicals. It will reduce the problem but not solve it dear Nathan. Avoid taking your dogs in the fields since there is one of the sources of having them. Keep on checking them for the purpose regularly.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

3/37313-td
13.4.2016

No.2001
Q.: We live in a project where on pavements there are trees - now 10 years old. We are now told that the trees must be removed so that pedestrians can walk along the pavements etc. What do you think dear Mr Loizou?
Diana Lays

A.: It has happened to our own home in Nicosia. No demand to cut down the trees but if they are not to be replaced when they die. I understand the reasons since (for my own house) no one can walk on the pavement due to the trees. Planning requirements change from time to time and the pavements should be for the walkers. I regret the demand for cutting the trees down and I suggest you propose what we have experienced.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

3/37264-td
21.4.2016

No.1995
Q.: I wonder Mr Loizou why you have not been interested for the coming MPs elections. I think that you have such an appeal to the local population and especially to the foreign residents you could score a good percentage.
Lena & friends

A.: Thank you for thinking of me dear Lenia and friends. Firstly I am “aged” be it more knowledge and the standard of our MPs is not what I wish to be involved with. Having said this, I had a couple of offers I must admit, but then at 17.00 hours I have a couple of whiskeys and over the weekends B.Q. with friends. How can I cope with all these dear Lenia!!
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1996
Q.: I have received your Greek article on the “curse” of common expenses and I agree with you absolutely. Is anyone listening?
George Georgiou

A.: I think some of the people like yourself are listening based on the response I have had. We have to wait, hopefully for a better Parliament in order to put “our” case again.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1997
Q.: We have obtained a town planning permit for our project. Yet the Municipality/local authority raises some minor (be it) objections to this. What shall we do in such cases where two authorities have a different view?
Nillas & Co

A.: The prevailing permit is that of the town planning (court cases to support this). Depending on what sort of objections the local authority has (if minor) nothing to worry about it.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1998
Q.: Don’t you think that the incentives given to the hoteliers are most generous for them and as you say in your articles they offer little back towards the general infrastructure upgrading?
T. Papas

A.: My views are recorded in several articles and I agree with you to an extent – Please see the details provided in my articles. Having said this, the incentives given have caused a general upgrading of the hotels etc (most of the hotels are under renovation and extension done is due to this). I am crossed with the hoteliers association not to promote general facilities and infrastructure other than their own. The criminally low densities apart (I had a meeting with the Minister of Interior on the subject, as well as with the Planning Office, but with little success so far).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1999
Q.: We are charged for sewage system for the last 10 years by the Municipality, yet it has not happened either we expect that it will happen over the next 10 years. Shall we stop payment?
Nica Wordland

A.: It is one of these situations that it will take one person to object and go to court in order to challenge this. But then who is the “one” who will undertake the legal procedure, costs etc?
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2000
Q.: We are building a building and the local authority/town planning demands that as part of our permit to construct the public road in front in addition to ceding the land for free. In addition they ask us to build the whole road ourselves. Is this reasonable you think?
Tim Henry

This is the normal and it will depend on the circumstances i.e. you are required to construct the road only up to your boundary and not beyond. In addition you may claim compensation for the lost land if to a large extent.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

3/37265-td
20.4.2016

No.2001
Q.: Dear Mr.Loizou,
I found your contact in The Cyprus Weekly and I´d like to ask you something...I have problem with one Real Estate Agent in Paphos,who offered me her help to find an appartement for long term.At the beginning everything looked like correct.But when I sent her money for rent and deposite suddenly the all situation changed.
When we agreed about something,the lady always changed it...ones she was busy,then she didnt have a key...or owner couldnt come to the meeting and so on.For that reasons I asked her to give me back money.3 weeks she pulling the time and lead me by nose.Every day promise and swears and tells fairy tales...one day gave me some money,but till today she still owes me and every day do the same...promise and swear....could you give me any advice please what to do....I am first time in this situation and I am not sure if I have to complain at the police or the court /cause somebody covers her back is sure otherwise she couldn´t allows do this....I am not the only one ho has this experience with her/.
Thank you for your time,
Kind Regards
Sylvia


A.: I suggest you appoint an advocate to write to her a warning letter. Depending on the response you can take the matter to court. If you reach that stage bear in mind the costs you will incur as compared to the amount to be refunded.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou



3/37286-td
26.4.2016

 

No.2003
Q.: I refer to your last article on commission payments to non estate agents but in certain cases to advocates etc. I wish, with due respect, to mention that this has been going on for sometime. The lawyers and accountants seem to me to be running this country – See MPs.
Stelios


A.: What has been said it is there, it is correct and I write my own experience with data that came up recently. I hear what you say and it is very much appreciated.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2004
Q.: I have written to several valuers in Cyprus for a certain divorce case with regard to real estate valuation. I wrote to four different firms and you responded within a day. The others I am still waiting – just to say thank you.
Susan Allas

A.: Thank you for your promotional effort of our office. Divorce cases is always a difficult job to do and may be this is the reason of the non response by others. We carry out something like 20 cases p.a. for the U.K. courts on the subject and we have no problem to respond.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou



3/37280-td
27.4.2016

No.2008
Q.: We moved to lovely Cyprus last year and amongst our must home equipment is the local B.Q. gadget (called locally foucou) to cook sougla. Our British compatriots gave us the recipe how to do it but they disagree what time one puts salt on it, before doing or after the meat is cooked. We appreciate that this is not a real estate question but because from time to time you refer to cooking, we thought we will give it a try in hope.
Allan Pyrsos

A.: This is Easter time and sougla is on the menu but then, sougla is cooked more often than not, by locals at least, once every month. To this end the gadget as you say, discovered by Cypriots but then streamlined by the Italians is what you have today. A few tips for you to note (there might be differences of opinion mind you).
• Use real charcoal and not the composite
• Leave the charcoal to be “cooked” by coming white on top.
• Place your sougla with meat in the centre and place the charcoal on either side.
• Place salt prior to the cooking procedure, but if need be add at the end (you must cut 1-2 pieces prior to the finish to see how it goes
• Time required once the charcoal is ready is 60-90 minutes.
• In order to realise that the sougla is ready the meat gets a froth on top.
• Ask your butcher to cut small pieces for the purpose (lamp). You can have sougla with pork (not preferred) unless the whole sougla with the meat is covered by panna (sheep’s stomach lining) which makes it most tasty.

From there on dear readers it is a trial and error but then this is part of the fun.


3/37301-td
4.5.2016

No.2002
Q.: Dear Sirs,

I am seeking your advices on the field of non-dom rules for
individuals in Cyprus and its application in practice.

I am Hungarian citizen, born in 1975, single. My major sources of
income are Gain / loss from FX trade; Gain / loss from interest on
deposits; Yield from government bonds; Dividends; I have no incomes
from rental and have no company in Cyprus;

The above activities are run at my own risk on my own accounts outside
of Cyprus through Hungarian financial institutions.

It is my understanding that an individual is considered to be a
resident for tax purposes of Cyprus if he/she is physically present in
Cyprus for a period or periods exceeding in aggregate 183 days during
the calendar year.

The purpose of my inquiry is to validate if non-dom residents can
benefit from streamlined taxation on the above incomes' categories.

I would be interested of your assessment if I can be become non-dom
for Cypriot tax purposes and how.

What is your proposal for the next step?

Best regards,

Dora Koperniczky


A.: This is not a real estate question and as such I suggest that you contact an accountant who I am sure will provide for you the required information.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/37287-td
26.4.2016

No.2005
Q.: We have to decide what sort of construction our home will be. The ordinary reinforced concrete frame, steel structure, timber frame building or what? We have been approached by all sorts of (we hope) licensed “contractors” and each one offers his own idea. Your views please?
N. Warnings

A.: Difficult to say dear reader. Best to use the traditional R.C. method, be it that the steel structure buildings offer large open spaces, it is faster to build and possible at a lower cost. Steel buildings are more rapid in terms of constructional but more rigid, but I am sure this can be overcome. I have no personal experience on timber frame buildings and their behaviour over a long term period including our weather. It is becoming more popular however especially for additions on top of existing structure due to their lightweight.
If your site is at a location requiring extra works or at a distance from towns/better to use the faster method of development i.e. the timber frame (there will be I suspect a good cost saving).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2006
Q.: Our neighbour parks his speed boat on the road, be it outside his house during the months of the winter period. Not only it takes up a large space but more importantly it is unsightly. Is he allowed to do this?
(name withheld)

A.: I don’t think so. The roads are for parking cars and not anything that needs to be parked. Having contacted the police this is what I was told.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou



No.2007
Q.: We have an underground standard type pool pump house made of plastic which houses the pool equipment. This is the third time that the pump is burned out and according to the supplier we should have the lid open during the pump’s operation. We do not find this as being logical to have an open lid in our garden, the added noise apart. Do you have any views on this please Mr Loizou?
Ken Shefis

A.: I doubt that the pump supplier is correct. But if this is the case, you have the option to drill a few holes on the top cover so that hot air escapes, or place a small brick in order to keep the lid open say by approximately 3 inces during the working hours (I suggest during the day – since I expect the evening will not have high external temperature).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/37303-td
4.5.2016

No.2009
Q.: We have a terraced house with each unit having its own walls. It seems that between the gap of the two walls rain water is seeping through causing us dampness on the internal walls. We were told by the builder to place a mastic substance in the gap and that should solve the problem. What do you think? In addition please inform us who is to pay for this?
V. Macklouf

A.: I do not agree on the mastic insulation. Better to place an aluminium sheet to cover the gap properly placed. Regarding the cost I think that both of the owners should pay since the other owner/your neighbour will have a similar problem. If he is not obliging pay the cost yourself dear reader. It will depend on the extent but a cost of €25/meter running should do it (not a cost to be of a huge concern) since it will not take more than €300-€400 in total (for both). Do it my friends since the dampness and repainting will cost you much more, the aesthetics apart.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2010
We have a pergola which we chose to cover with canvas. Now after 7 years the canvas became brown (due to dust, dirt etc) whereas our friends tell us that we should place the cane type cover (psatha) which is more durable but it does not look as good – could we have your opinion please dear Mr Loizou?
Pola Spienger

A.: The cane type cover is as costly and lasts for the same period of time and it is not as good looking. Canvas is more “trendy” and adds to the value and in addition it allows through the sun and air. I would opt for the canvas. Yes it does get dirty but so the psatha alternative gets old and looks ugly over the years – same life span.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou
No.2011
Q.: We have planted several flampouagian trees (local name) which seem to flourish in the Limassol region. We have planted the same trees at Cornos village, yet they seem to die after a few years. Any solution on this?
T. Ergoner

A.: I understand that these trees need a bid of a humid climate (they survive in coastal areas) and they do not like the wind. My own neighbour at Laxia planted one and it was the pride of the neighbourhood for 10 years. Then it suddenly died. It is regrettable that such trees are not abundant in other towns as Limassol has, most beautiful.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2012
Q.: Any news on the Pafos marina Mr Loizou? Where is the matter? We look forward to such a project which will upgrade Pafos in general and of course real estate values.
Nic Smith

A.: Having spoken to the Chairman of the Cypriot Chamber of Commerce I am not wiser. The long court time (11 years of waiting mind you – is totally unacceptable). The job will be awarded now to the successful bidder, but I wonder if the Co has the total funds to do it. It might be that the economic crisis may put off the parties involved. So, what can I say – Democracy has its problems.
Regards
A.P. Loizou
A.P. Loizou
No.2014
Q.: Are you encouraged by the profit made by the Bank of Cyprus over the first 3 months of €50 mil.?
(A debtor)
A.: I am very happy dear reader. Bank of Cyprus belongs to the main shareholders but also to all of us Cypriots and others. Bank of Cyprus is the foundation of a healthy economy (with the other banks as well) and I was pleased to read of their results. I am aware that debtors may have a crudge, but the Bank of Cyprus is not to blame fully having being landed with the Cyprus Popular Bank’s shortfall. The present management of the Bank of Cyprus seems to be doing well and I hope that they have an understanding for the debtors who most of them is not their fault – Most of the bad debtors have “paid” for the ill situation in terms of loss of shares, bonds, deposits etc.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/37326-td
10.5.2016

No.2019
Q.: Halloumi or Hallim dear Mr Loizou. There is a huge demand for it hence the “battles” that are taking place in the E.U. etc. Having said that do we have the capacity as Cyprus to meet the demand?
Christos Meraclis

A.: Quite right you are. If demand is in excess of the supply sales prices will increase hence one expects an increased income and newcomers mainly for animal farming. There will be an equilibrium at the end. Now the Government is subsiding almost 60% for newcomers for this job. If we keep our brains within our head (so far we quarrel amongst ourselves) we should be okay (keeping our fingers crossed). Demand will also produce several additional variations – see with the Greek fetta.
The T.C. areas exports of halloumi comprise the 25% of their total exports/foreign currency. This is how important is for all in Cyprus.




3/37328-td
18.5.2016

No.2014
Q.: I have applied for a direct deed transfer 3 months ago since the property is mortgaged. I have not heard anything from the Lands Office and I am worried due to the queue of 10.000 applications that there are (so far) that I will not meet the transfer due date by the end of 2016 where I will save 50% of the transfer fees.
Nic Hamas


A.: Having spoken to the Minister of the Interior he was forthcoming with a reply “we will extent the date”. I take it that this will happen since it is one of the Ministers that does what he says.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2015
Q.: We often visit buffet dinners and we always note that the plates are small not enough space to place the food we like – any special reason you think Mr Loizou or is it the custom here?
Lakis Agapios

A.: One reason I can think of is to encourage you to serve yourself less food, be it that you can revisit the buffet (but then who will wait another 15 minutes in the queue for a second helping?).
What I do in such an event I take two plates from the start. One for the starters and the other for the remainder. While walking along the buffet I pick up and eat the odd delicacies – Not nice mind you and I give a wrong impression but there you are, we all have our failings!!
Regards,
A.P. Loizou



No.2016
Q.: Our local clay tiles after 30 years of being there they are becoming “black”. Have we chosen the wrong tiles?
Nina Pidgeon

A.: It is the result of dust and dirt which settles on the tiles. I know what you mean but it happens after so many years. We have used the Portuguese (imported) tiles for our home and they have now started to become darker every year. Take it as being part of ageing and perhaps looking better (?) doubt it mind you.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2017
Q.: We have parked in a supermarket’s spot for the invalid drivers. My husband is an invalid yet after shopping we got all sorts of tickets stuck on the car’s windscreen which are difficult to unstack. Is this fair?
(name withheld)

A.: Yes it is, but being an invalid driver/passenger you should have on your windshield the special card that it says so (some people feel embarrassed to show this) but then how are the traffic wardens and others to know? Mind you that the card is computerised and the wardens can check through their mobile computers if the car is so registered.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2018
Q.: We have a house on the beach at the Paralimni area. We note that a seaside pedestrian walkway will be constructed. We fear that this will affect our property in terms of land loss and privacy. How are we to know?
M. Smith

A.: Visit the local Municipality to be informed if and to what extend your property will be affected. Bear in mind that if they compulsorily acquire your land you may be entitled for compensation for both (land and privacy).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou



3/37364-td
18.5.2016

No.2020
Dear Mr Loizou

I submit a letter to you that might be of interest to a lot of Cyprus Weekly readers.

Even if you don't think it's suitable I'd still value your opinion on sewerage tax, the €400 annual charges and if you feel I'm being scammed and blackmailed into paying something I don't owe.

I'm fighting my developer for my Title Deeds so would prefer to keep my name out of it. However if you feel it would help improve the article then feel free to publish it.
Thanks
Kind regards
P.T.

A.: The sewerage tax is set by the local Municipality and it is based on the water consumption. The charge is made even at times when the service it is not provided (this to help the local authority to collect a sum in order to execute the work not reasonable in my opinion).
I would suggest that you pay a visit at the local authority who will explain to you how they have concluded at the €400 charge. Once you get some information come back to me.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou



3/37408-td
1.6.2016

No.2021
Hello,

I am an American, my wife is Chinese with a US Permanent resident card. We are in the USA now but want to move somewhere with nicer climate and due to high level of income we pay ALOT of taxes in the US. If we leave the US we can avoid paying state income tax (10%) and we would also get the Foreign Earned Income credit if we were outside of the US for 330 days a year. All in all this would save us $70,000 every year and possibly more as our income could increase. We run an online company and work remotely.

If we invested 300,000 EUR in property and gained residence status would we have to then pay taxes on our income earned outside of Cyprus? We would of course be paying US taxes, but I am wondering specifically if Cyprus will ask us to file tax returns to determine how much they would tax our income earned outside Cyprus.

Thank you in advance!

S.W.

A.: Not really our field I am afraid. I suggest you communicate with an auditor/ accountant in Cyprus.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou




3/37414-td
1.6.2016

No.2025
Q.: I was delighted to read that the property tax will be reduced by 50% and that the transfer fees discount of 50% will be extended with no time limit. I note what you said in the previous answers at this paper about the Minister of the Interior that he does what he promises. You are so right.
Now, we are told that building plots will bear a 19% VAT on the sales price. If it is sold by a developer and not by private individual. What does this mean Mr Loizou? Shall we buy from private individuals only in order to save the 19% charge?
Jean Lenin

A.: God knows dear Jean what this mean. I must study the Governmental proposal because for me it makes no sense. I must study the proposal (not yet submitted) and come back to you since I want to know myself (in addition).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2026
Q.: Time to visit the mountains Mr Loizou. With temperature this week reaching 37 degrees (C) we have visited the Troodos region and in particular Platres. What a change of temperature. Please publish our letter so that more people visit the mountains regions where we live.
Linda & Mariofki

a.: Wait for it dear friends. Usually what happens is that first the locals (at least) visit the sea and when they are too hot they visit the mountains.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou





No.2027
Q.: I understand that a local bakery (locally known as “fournos”) has expanded in New York and I wonder why the wizards of the U.S.A. could not come up with a similar concept or is it another local business going over the moon by its local success?
Tim

A.: I am not aware of New York set ups, but based on the information received by my niece who lives there this “fournos” set up it is a recipe of success.
Having said that we use this local bakery (fournos) on a regular basis. The variety is there but we pay special attention to the chicken, meat balls and mousaca at small portions, whereas the freshly baked bread is all the best to go.
What do I know about take away food stores dear reader, but this local and other similar food business could expand maybe (without knowing) to the U.K. as well as Greece.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No. 2028
Q.: What is this arguement all about regarding the property tax? One political party says it should be a flat rate and another on an increasing scale.
Costas Lenas

A.: It is a matter of philosophy. The left wing party uses this tax as “a wealth tax”, whereas the right wing parties based their philosophy on an ownership tax.
As far as I am concerned the ownership tax is the correct and wealth tax is applied in many other ways (e.g. income tax etc).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou




No.2029
Q.: What is the difference between a road widening scheme and a compulsory acquisition Mr Loizou?
Lena Gor

A.: I will need a whole column in order to reply to your reasonable question.
A road widening scheme (locally known as Rymotomia) the land is “yours” but you will be called upon to cede the affected part for public use upon an application for development (with or without compensation depending on the circumstances). A compulsory purchase is governed by another law and usually it follows compensation.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou



3/37434
8.6.2016

No.2022
Q.: Dear Mr Loizou

I have had good advice from you many times so I hope you will be able to help me again.

The title deeds were ready for my land as other people within the development had received theirs but they were included on original company titles. I tried to contact landowner but have since been informed that he is no longer in business.

The new law came in to apply for own title deeds what a godsend so I though. Went and completed form paid 10 euros in September 2015 then got informed that the land I had 1/2 share with my neighbour had not been divided. So neighbour competed form for division in November 2015 and informed letter would be sent to land owner giving him 60 days to provide documents. Did not reply so informed by the land would complete the division after a few months.

Could you please inform me what procedure has to take place for them to divide the land and how long it may take as I get different answers every time I call and would hope to get the 50% discount on the transfer fee this year.

I have provided the information required showing that no money is owing on my half of the land, all community charges paid and all IPT paid from 2013 to 2016 but i didn't realise 2013 was to be paid by me but the tax office said I had to.

Would you be able to act on my behalf and what would the cost be as had to do everything on my own so far

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me on this situation

Kind regards

JL


A.: There is a procedure where you can apply to the Lands Office in order to secure separate titles. I suspect it will take months but this is a start. The transfer fees discount of 50% will be extended based on the Government’s recent announcement, so on this count you should be okay (must be approved by the House but no problems expected on this ground).
Regrettably we do not do this sort of business but we can try to place you in touch with people who do.
Get your paperwork together and I will ask someone to attend a meeting in order to realize the costs involved.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

3/37427-td
6.6.2016

No.2023
Q.: Dear Mr Loizou,

I have been reading your column ever since I moved to Cyprus in 2010.

In the past, I had asked you questions about purchasing and building on agricultural land. In my 2014 email to you, I mentioned that I bought a plot of land in Maroni in 2011 and was told I could build up to 10% of the land size then. However, after the haircut in 2013 when I tried to build with what was left from the haircut, I was told that I could not build any more. I am just wondering what is the latest with building on agricultural land since 2014. Any new rules/changes?

Many thanks for your prompt response in advance,
Lisa Ioannou


A.: I remember your case. The situation has not changed I am afraid. There are certain exemptions which might allow you to build, such as, you must be a local of the community, that you have no other property, be within a “reasonable” distance from the village (approximately 1-1½ km) etc. I suggest you pay a visit at the Town Planning Office (Larnaca) and discuss the situation with the officer in charge. If negative answer, please come back to me and I will attempt to apply to the Minister of Interior on your behalf (don’t expect miracles mind you).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

3/37424-td
6.6.2016

No.2030
Q.: Dear Mr Loizou
I read with interest your upbeat about Cyprus and Real Estate in the Cyprus Weekly 25th March 2016. May I inform you of my experience.
November 2014 our Estate Developers installed a sewer alongside our houses in Limassol. The main sewer was installed by December 2014.
The Contractors for the Developer left the site without completing any of the reinstatement, o.e. tarmacking the sewer trench etc. The road has been left in a dangerous state and a considerable amount of damage was also done by the Contractor, i.e. broken footpaths, blocked storm drains, broken drain covers and more.
In order to gain easy access to our gated village the Contractor for the developers forced open the security gates, breaking them in the process, allowing anyone access to our previously secure estate. Since this act of vandalism there have being five attempted break ins and two robberies in our complex, all due to the open access. We see all sorts of strange people wandering around our supposedly private site and even using our facilities.
Despite many phone calls, letters and e-mails, which usually go unanswered, it has proved impossible to get the remedial works carried out. I was advised before Christmas 2015 that the work would be done by the end of January 2016 some 18 months after the Contractors left the site uncompleted. It is only a matter of time before there is a serious accident caused by the state of the road – loose stones, uneven surface due to settlement or infill – and then they will say it is our fault.
There has been to my knowledge at least two incidents or residents needing medical attention due to falls on the dangerous surface.
We bought into a secure village on the good name of the developer who we were assured were honourable but we are very disappointed with our treatment.
The Estate was started over 25 years ago and contains 31 units of all whom are still awaiting Title Deeds making it impossible for some of our now elderly occupants to sell their properties and move on. Some of these owners have een denied their Final Receipt despite having paid in full for their properties as far back as the late 1990s. This is causing problems with the Land Registry who, despite the new Law, appear to make their own rules up!
Where do we go from here?
J.M.

A.: You must check either by yourself or through the administrative committee with the local Municipality who was responsible to carry out the works. Maybe, it was the Municipality who did this or the developer. This you must check since depending on the answer it will indicate who the person responsible is.
Similarly, you/the committee must check what is the reason for non-securing the certificate of approval after so many years. Based on the new Ministry of Interior direction not to follow strict inspections for properties completed prior to the year 2014 there might be a window of opportunity. At the same time you can apply through the Lands Office for the title deed procedure.
If the committee is not up to it, it might pay you to appoint an architect to go through the details and come up with a report indicating what the problem is. Budget for an architect of around €1.000 for the purpose to be shared by all residents.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/37446-td
8.6.2016

No.2024
Q.: Dear Mr Loizou
Hello.
I am an avid reader of your property weekly article in the Cyprus Weekly, and have learnt a great deal reading these!
I have a query for you:
You have mentioned twice over the past few weeks the notion of “tax-free housing income” and that “…rental lets are tax-free (direct payment from abroad).”
Could you be so kind as to elaborate on this…I am under the impression that any income (rental in this case) is taxed no matter where it is paid from, or from who…i.e. that an individual is taxed on their ‘worldwide’ income no matter where it is sourced from
??
Thank You
Kind Regards
Nicholas


A.: Your understanding is correct in theory. What I was referring to is what is happening in practice. Mr X, the owner, places the property in the internet and/or through local agents who deal in short term holiday lets. The rent is paid abroad (in case of interest) whereas most, if not all local agents, do not report the lets to the local tax and other authorities. So in this sense it is tax free, until one is “found out” most difficult by the authorities. It is not tax free under the law.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/37433-td
6.6.2016

No.2031
Q.: What is the average marrying age dear Mr Loizou? This is not a direct real estate question, but I need the information in order to plan ahead when I expect my children’s marriage, so that I can plan my finances.
Giorgos X.

A.: What a question dear Giorgos (George) but I treat it as a side line of real estate, since marrying off children, usually goes with a flat/house to go (especially if it is a girl – the dowry system and attitude is not yet dead). Based on my own experience the more educated and well to do people marry latter than the not so well to do.
There are no statistics of course, but boys marry on average at the age of 30-33 years and girls around 28-32 years. Most young people nowadays do not seem to be particularly interested in a marriage the “proper” church way, but prefer to live together for a period of time 1-2 years (although I do not agree with this new coming custom, I appreciate that it is a better way to find out the compart ability at an earlier date rather than after a marriage.
What is also interesting to note is having children first and the marriage to follow. So there you are “times are changing” as Bob Dillan said in his songs.
Coming back to the real estate aspect in the previous years parents had to plan ahead 10-15 years regarding home accommodation for the children. Following this, their 3rd grade education became more important (male and females) with real estate taking a second place. If you have the capability of saving some money and if it is a girl, go for an apartment purchase now that prices are at very low levels, the foreclosures apart. Do not make discounts on education (third grade) in exchange of the house option mind you.
I often ask in this lovely column, “what am I, a builder, a plumber, a gardener expert, or, now, a marriage counsellor”!! – But I love it since through the Q+A column I come to know a lot of present day circumstances.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

3/37430-td
9.6.2016

No.2031
Q.: Hi there,

Can you tell me what is the average price sold per meter square for residences built within the last 5 years in Nicosia, Limassol, and Paphos?
Many thanks and I am looking forward to your information.
Simone


My dear reader we cannot provide such an answer on an open ended question. We could provide with details based on a fee charge.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

3/37460-td
13.6.2016

No.2033
Q.: We bought an apartment and based on the seller’s brochure its extent is 120 sq.mts. When the titles were issued it was recorded 88 sq.mts. So what do we do?
Camilla Gomer

A.: First of all I wish to inform you that it happens. Secondly measure the extent from the floor plans provided. Separate the apartment area without the common areas and separate the covered verandahs (and uncovered ones separately). Then check this against the title, which, new titles refer to covered areas, covered verandahs and uncovered verandahs. If difference measure your apartment with a tape, so that you are sure what exists on the actual apartment. If you differ, apply to the Lands office for correction of title – in the past, developers and others referred to the apartment extent including the common floor areas covered verandahs etc. What you have is a large difference and this must be addressed since most would be buyers go nowadays by the title extent.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2034
Q.: Excuse my forward views dear Mr Loizou, but on my last visit to Protaras/ Ayia Napa beach area, I have seen “Little Russia”! The beach full of Russian speakers something which in the past the Europeans were abundant and the Russians to a small degree. Coming to Cyprus yearly it is a notable difference.
(name withheld)

A.: My own experience is positive. For the first time I see on the path leading to the beach prams and I noted this year 3 double prams (twins etc). The area hosts families and they are all the best in their behaviour polite and well behaved unlike most of us locals who are roudy, but it is okay. It took a job to get rid to an extent, European young party going people and gangs in order to re-establish the area as a family destination. Most of the Russian speakers that I have noted are of the average income groups. Unlike their “name” of being heavy drinkers, I have not noted this, not even holding a tin of beer. Far from it, when I took my grandson who wanted to play with other children of his age (1½ year old) a Russian mother who had a set up invited my (good looking) grandson (must have followed after me I presume!!) and the Russian mother insisted that he should be placed in the plastic off the beach “pool” with their 2 daughters of similar age. Great fun!! Never happen to see so many young children (hopefully future tourists) in a relaxed environment. I myself, personally, I am all for families rather than the party people (perhaps it reflects my present age). My only regret is that we do not have the bear breasted Swedish girls any more (unlike back in the 1980’s) but then at that time I was at a much younger age!!
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2035
Q.: What do you think about the Brexit and its effects on Cyprus Mr Loizou?
Rupert Houson

A.: I was very disappointed and I am coming back on the subject with an article be it that it is very early days. In my opinion the vote was a mistake and I blame Cameron (P.M. U.K.) for this to a large extent. I hope I will not come back with W. Churchill’s quote that “when one commits suicide in politics, it is better not to be around to see the consequences”. If Scotland, N. Ireland wish to break up from the U.K. (a rather distant I hope event) Churchill’s words will be a prophecy of this most disastrous Government.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou



3/37505-td
29.6.2016

No.2032
Q.: With the Brexit do you think that holiday home prices will be affected?
Maria Patam


A.: It will affect prices of homes where the British market is active mainly Pafos. For the British new buyers will be more difficult/expensive to buy, whereas those who want to sell (and I suspect it will be mainly retirees) will benefit due to the exchange. Either way I do not expect a great effect on that source of the market.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou




3/37506-td
28.6.2016

No.2037
Q.: We have in our possession a title deed which must be in the Turkish language. We do not know what it refers. How do we go about it to have an updated title?
Regards,
G. Haris

A.: Take your title to the Lands Office and ask to issue an updated title dear reader.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2038
Q.: We have a beach house and there is a proposal to construct a beach public footpath. We do not know if this will affect our property. How can we know about this?
Hara George

A.: Visit the local authority in order to get the proposal. You can then object or ask for compensation bearing in mind that if it affects your property negatively, once the order is issued (check if you did not cede this on the issue of the permit).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou
 

No.2039
Q.: Your website has numerous Q+A letters yet the questions you publish these are only a fraction. We get so much information out of this Q+A that I wonder why not all are published.
N. Hardare


A.: It is up to newspaper I am afraid, which has a limited space. Keep referring to our website dear reader where you will find many real estate subjects and the full Q+A data.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/37524-td
1.7.2016

No.2032
Q.: With the Brexit do you think that holiday home prices will be affected?
Maria Patam


A.: It will affect prices of homes where the British market is active mainly Pafos. For the British new buyers will be more difficult/expensive to buy, whereas those who want to sell (and I suspect it will be mainly retirees) will benefit due to the exchange. Either way I do not expect a great effect on that source of the market.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou



3/37506-td
28.6.2016

No.2036
Q.: Dear Mr Loizou,
I read with a great deal of interest your article named “What a job”, regarding that of a real estate agent. As I don’t seem to find a discussion forum, I have sent you this email instead with the questions I have.
If that is not appropriate please let me know where I should put the questions.

We have a property in Cyprus and would like to put it up for sale. However, the commission charged by a real estate agent seem to be 5%. This is a huge amount for simply getting us a buyer. I know it involves advertising, showing potential buyers around and interactions with them, but from what I have seen one can do a great deal of advertising across the world that does not amount to huge costs even if the property is on the market for one year. Some real estate agents don’t even come and take good photographs, owners have to provide them themselves. On top of this the seller has to pay conveyancing/solicitor fees and they seem to be excessively high too.

In the UK, the fees of the real estate agents are much less, typically 1.5% and 1% for a larger property. We also have real estate agents that sell properties for the owners at no more than £375.00 + VAT. This involves national internet advertising, adverts in their display windows, showing potential buyers around and arranging appointments and agreeing the deal.

Please can you articulate in detail what justifies the huge commission charged by real estate agents in Cyprus?

I look forward to your reply.

Best regards,

Synnøve Vassiliades



A.: I note what you say in your letter. The 5% commission (+VAT) is quite high, but it must not be compared with other countries level. In the U.K. the norm is 1%-1½% but then the values are much higher and most agents secure exclusivity for a period. Here the norm is free for all with no exclusivity save in certain circumstances. If the property you have for sale is of a high value, perhaps you can negotiate the commission level. Bear in mind that at this time with limited demand, agents will direct the enquiries to those properties that offer a higher commission.

“Just getting a buyer” as you say, it is not as simple as you describe. If one uses the internet etc, yes it can be done, but with less chances of success. This is the norm in Cyprus I am afraid and discuss it as you may, but your chances of sale will be reduced. It is up to you.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou



3/37526-td
1.7.2016

No.2040
Q.: Dear Antonis and team:

I am a president of our complex committee. We prepare to sue grave non-payers of common expenses according the article 38K (2) of the 6 (1) 1993 Law. Questions I have:

1. the committee is not registered with the Land Registry (as most committees in Cyprus). Will this negatively affect our chances to get the court order?

2. there is no any contract with the individual owners. Will this negatively affect our chances to get the court order?

3. some owners did not pay communal fees for more than the general 3-year claim limitation period. Can we claim beyond 3-years (more than for the last 3 years) of unpaid dues?

4. are you willing to undertake our case and file the claim (naturally for payment)? I can send you all relevant information.

I am well aware that the process may take a few years, litigation cost potentially higher than the claim amount etc.

Thanks
M.K.


A.: Thank you for your email and I note what you say.

Based on the information I received from the Lands Office the committee is not necessarily to be registered. However, there should be a general meeting and the majority decides.

You should look into your general agreement (if any) and if not, you must follow the law regarding common expenses.

I do not think that there is a limitation of 3 years. So you can take action for all years (seek advocate’s advice mind you).

You will need an advocate to take on the legal action. I may be in a position to help based on the advocate’s advice.

Regards,
A.P. Loizou



3/37541-td
8.7.2016

No.2041
Q.: The new Governmental proposal to allow Cypriot passports for an investment of €2.5 mil. only, is it not becoming to the detriment of Cyprus?
K & G – Pafos

A.: I do not think so dear friends. It will become more attractive and so far I understand we have had almost €3.0 bil. investments based on this count. Bearing in mind that we have a debt of €10 bil., we are getting there. Once we achieve this, the Government at the time will decide how it will handle the situation by abolishing or increasing the budget.
If we are to assume 1.000 passports will be “sold” to investors, this will be a plus for the next generation reducing the debt dramatically, the building industry benefits in addition.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou



3/37560-td
15.7.2016

No.2042
Q.: Good news on the reduction of the property tax. The tax has caused so my problems between owners/tenants/developers/buyers that it is just as well that it will be abolished next year.
Your views please?
D. Pegard

A.: I am all for reducing taxes especially in real estate in order to make investment in the industry more attractive. Having said that I am sure that the Government must find other ways to supplement its €100 mil. income (now from property taxes) from other sources. Thus, I am worried also. What they will tax next. A likely tax hike could be an increase in smoke taxes (problem of smuggling from the north will increase) and on the registration of new cars (expensive models) that keep registrating.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2043
Q.: We have two children and we want to place them in a nursery school. Are we allowed to use the public ones?
Chrysso Thiesty

A.: If you are an E.U. member I dare say yes. It is very low cost/free, but if you cannot seek this, use the private nurseries which operate (at your choice) from 7.30 am to 6.30 pm. Private nurseries cost around €250-€600 p.m. depending on the time and facilities provided. Private nurseries must have a licence mind you by the state.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou




No.2044
Q.: We ended up building more sq.mts. that our building permit allows. What can we do? WE are told by our friends that we will need to demolish the extra extent.
A & Kim Novas

A.: If your house falls within a residential zone you can increase the extent by 20% of the permitted area and up to a maximum of 60 sq.mts. So I suggest that you pay a visit at the local Planning Office and get both the availability in density and the procedure required in order to legalize the building.
(I hope I saved you the demolition).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2045
Q.: We have a private pool and we rent out our house to periodic holiday makers. The pool has no permit and we are wondering that if an accident happens will we be responsible?
N & S Warnwick

A.: I have not been able to get an answer so far. I do suspect however that you might be. If something happens you might end up in all sorts of troubles including problems with the Tax Authorities (if you do not declare the rent) problems with the local authority for letting out for less than 30 days at a time etc. I will come back to you as soon as I have some definite answers. Having said this, speak to your insurance people and ascertain how you can be covered.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/37566-td
19.7.2016

No.2046
Q.: How do you understand what the VAT on land sales is all about?
Nicos Bafas

A.: I am getting there dear Nicos. From what I have made out so far is that if a developer sells a plot/land, then 19% (VAT) will apply. If not and a sale is made by a private individual no VAT. So two plots next to each other depending who the seller is will have a difference of 19%. The banks might have a problem on this for resales of properties taken in as a result of swap deals and foreclosures. This is not correct and I am of the opinion that in such circumstances these sales should be exempted (as there are exemptions for other issues).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2047
Q.: Are we losing the measure Mr Loizou? Should we be happy from the bond issue by the Government at 3.80% interest, being the highest interest charged after disastrous Greece and with interest at less than 1% for Italy-Spain etc?
Melis Chrysochos

A.: My opinion is that we got out of Troika’s measures too early mainly for political reasons. Suddenly all sorts of unions came up with new demands, whereas the Government with the target of the 2018 elections, gave more or less in. Political parties dear reader do not have the country’s interest particularly, but only themselves. On the subject of having new comers (young people) in Parliament, save 1-2 cases, the rest are there for the benefits and nothing else. So, do we have a hope to set our finances right? I doubt it.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/37585-td
28.7.2016

No.2048
Q.: Has the 50% discount on transfer fees been extended Mr Loizou beyond end 2016?
Nick Clerk

A.: Yes it has and it has been extended with no limitations in the future.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2049
Q.: I note in the quality British press that all sorts of countries are hosted for holiday houses/holidays and despite my search I did not trace any journalists reports on Cyprus. Any reason?
Justin Hollman

A.: Regarding holiday homes by journalists, this is a cover up of paid adds i.e. a developer host a journalist with his family with full expenses paid including business class for all etc etc. In exchange it is the report you see. We did use this route during the good old days of the British market demand. Now the demand from U.K. is at low level and perhaps it does not pay to do it. Better to attend one of the international home exhibitions in U.K. which offer doubtful results especially nowadays with the pending Brexit. In addition, internet has taken over but journalist reports which appear to be unbiased play a serious role in promotion.
Regarding the tourist adds this has been undertaken by the C.T.O., but I agree with you that Cyprus is nowhere to be found. I have written a letter to the C.T.O. chairman on the subject but, as it is expected from Governmental departments, it is doubtful if they will do anything about it.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou



No.2050
Q.: There is a suggestion that part of the public beaches to be used with an upmarket service like say Myconos. We have visited such a beach. Each table had a walkie talkie with the hotel/operator and one could order chilled wine/ champagne and if you so wish a plate of beautiful snacks. Cost approximately €60 per 2 persons and a lot of pampering by the young and beautiful local waiters.
What do you think about this idea put forward by the Paralimni and Ayia Napa Mayors?
Chriss Philippou

A.: I heard the arguments on both ways. Myconos is an international address for service and with a different beach system regarding the use of public beaches. In Cyprus a public beach should be open to the public. 50% of the beach to be used by the Municipalities umbrellas etc for a low fixed price and the other 50% to be used by the people using their own umbrellas, sunbeds etc. Imagine then out of the 100 bathers to “be fenced off” say 20 umbrellas etc in the middle. If I was a millionaire (Cypriot) I would not do it, I would feel embarrassed. I also believe tourists will face the same with the Sunday bathers surrounding them. I am all for it if it happens in certain locations where it is not “provocative”. Anassa hotel beach is one which comes first to my mind and in some spots in Limassol as well as Larnaca. Being a small country and with our “socialist” attitude, it will create reactions. In some spots in Greece the public are called to pay just to use the beach. This is not allowed in Cyprus. Yes, it will go some way towards the “upgrading” in terms of the big spenders, but we must be careful not to provoke the remaining locals and tourists and including the 40.000 unemployed people.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou






No.2051
Q.: A new policy has been adopted for the high rise buildings and I wonder however after the “success” of sales, how will they manage the management and the non payment of the common expenses. Your article on the “curse of common expenses” is most relevant.
James Carlile

A.: I could not agree with you more. I will attempt to address the problem with the Minister of Interior and the Developers Association on the subject submitting my published thoughts. I doubt it for a response but being a serious problem with extended repercussions I will not give up. I hate it, but if I have to do it, I will address the matter with the political parties, CIPA, CIFA and all the rest who are involved in attracting investors and high income buyers with developers (who do not care about the “after the sale” problems).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou



3/37601-td
1.8.2016

No.2052
Q.: We submitted an application to have our house insured for an €x amount. The insurance Co said it was too much and we should insure it for a lesser amount, notwithstanding the fact that we insured the house at actual cost. We are on the one hand pleased that our insurance fee will be less, but we ask dear Mr Loizou is there a catch that we should outlook for?
Maria & Dinos

A.: There are two ways of insuring one’s property. The value of the property or its replacement cost. Make sure that you opt for its replacement cost i.e. what it will cost you to rebuild since the value might be less or more. If you insure your property for an amount less than its replacement cost say by 30%, the insurance Co will compensate you by 30% less.
Having said this your insurance agent must think again on how he does his business. If you have, for example, an aged house, it may have no value as such, but its replacement cost could be considerable.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou
No.2053
Q.: We have just finished our building and we use petrol for heating etc. Every time that the petrol station comes to fill the tank someone must be there and then how do we know how much they place? A silly question we must say but it is a nuisance for us and we are trying to find a solution Mr Loizou.
N & Kelly Diamond

A.: In such cases one should place a pipe reaching the road boundary and have a lock with the supplier having a key. Place a meter where the volume is measured something which the supplier and yourselves can check. If you cannot do it, try to find a way whereby you place a plastic pipe leading to your tank even if it takes to dig up a small channel in your garden. Otherwise place the meter on the entrance of your storage tank dear readers.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou
No. 2054
Q. What is Colokasi Mr Loizou? We read in the press that it has now become an E.U. registered product only for Cyprus.
Andria Liason

A.: A product produced mainly in the Famagusta region. It is like a potato but with its own taste and way of cooking. It has a lovely taste, soft and cooked with meat/chicken. A delicacy but then people must know how to cook it, from the way it is sliced to the end. My great aunt knows how to do it and because it is a rarety in terms of correct cooking, we usually visit her, for the purpose. It is not an acquired taste (unlike the sweet potatoes etc) but an addiction for the good eaters.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou



3/37628-td
11.8.2016

No.2055
Q.: Dear Mr. Loizou,

I read your article entitled "Who Governs Cyprus?" with interest. I agree that doing business in Cyprus is a complete nightmare, I am sure the country must be losing millions of euros every year because people are deterred from investing in the country because of the difficulties in dealing with the country's administrations.

Please use your position to pressure the government to employ more surveyors so that the massive backlog in cases at the Land Registry can be cleared as quickly as possible. Perhaps they can bring people in from abroad on temporary contracts or give some of the work to private companies.

The legal system is also incredibly slow and inefficient. There can be a 7 or 10 year wait for a simple civil case to be heard, any business which finds itself in legal difficulties could go bankrupt before its case is heard. This is a huge risk which is bound to deter businesses and private individuals who might want to invest in Cyprus. More lawyers must be trained or brought in from abroad to clear this backlog as soon as possible.

In both the Land Registry and the Legal System a minister must be put in charge of clearing the backlog of cases. The rate of closure of cases and the rate of new cases being registered must be measured so that an estimate for the date when the queues will be cleared can be made.

Although the cost could be high, if this is done Cyprus will enjoy enormous benefits as investor confidence will improve. In time, the income generated will far outweigh the cost of doing this vital work.

Regards,
George Savvides.


A.: Thank you dear reader for your suggestion which I will pass on to the Ministries involved.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

3/37654-td
17.8.2016

No.2056
Q.: Dear Sir,
I am writing to do some enquiries. I have intended to buy a house in Cyprus (hopefully in Larnaca) and settled in Cyprus, my wife myself and 5 children all under 14 years. We have enough fund to support ourselves.
The main issue is that I am HIV+ but very healthy and under medication. My wife and my children they are all HIV NEGATIVE and they are all healthy as well. Would you please advise us whether or not my status as HIV + affect my immigration process at all?
We are located in Turkey right now and we are a Kurdish - Christian family. My plan is that I send my children to private school there. In case that is not an issue I can get a touristic visa and see ur office there and make contract to immigrate through buying a house to Cyprus.
I am a journalist and activist in human right with a focus on refugees and minorities in Turkey. I am NOT a refugee and simply want to provide my family with a safe base for study and settlement there. We do have enough fund to support ourselves.
Thank you.
Yours faithfully,
Petros


A.: Thank you for your letter and I note what you say.
I do not think that you have a problem as such, but for permanent residency and passport you will have to submit a health certificate. It is up to the authorities to decide but as I have said I do not see a particular problem.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou




3/37661-td
19.8.2016

No.2059
Q.: What sort of an example do politicians give to the local public when they themselves take their holidays abroad and in certain occasions in far away and expensive destinations?
X & M

A.: I understand your point dear friend. On the other hand, politicians having a holiday in Cyprus, all sorts of people will be visiting them at the hotel having all sorts of subjects to be discussed. I know of a hotelier in Cyprus that spends his holiday in other hotels in order to avoid this (and as far away from his own establishment). On the other hand going to nearby average cost destinations cannot be adopted as being bad, but I agree with you, expensive holidays in the region of +€2.000 p.p. is a provocation to an extent.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/37652-td
22.8.2016

No.2063
Q.: I find it a bit irritating to note that during the peak of the summer holidays in Cyprus more or less everything is shut (based on my experience 2/August-30/August 2016). How am I supposed to carry out my business with this situation?
Garry C.

A.: Although I appreciate your stand, I cannot agree with you fully. The Banks work, as well as auditors etc. Don’t you think it is better to have most of the services shut down for a period, as opposed to the people with whom you do business with at times to be on holiday? If you know the prevailing situation, one gets organised accordingly. A major problem is the Banks which operate at a different time scale than those in the U.S. and Far East (especially in stock exchange markets etc and with nobody to talk to at 12.00 in the night local time).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2064
Q.: The transfer fees as you have reported are now reduced to 50% of the prevailing scale. Yet I know that the scale can be lowered if say two people buy a property. Should you not mention this as well?
Nina Psilogis

A.: Yes you are right, but then there are other parameters in addition which one could consider. Buying a Co which is “clean” in shares owning only a particular property will reduce transfer fees to nil. Each way of business has its plusses and minuses mind you.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou




No.2065
Q.: I note on the one hand that the local authorities who manage the beaches have an income which runs into hundreds of thousand euro and on the other hand we find dirty beaches the day next.
Stelios Nic.

A.: You are to a certain extent right. The beach that I use it is cleaned every morning. But by 6.00 in the afternoon the bathers locals (mostly) leave behind all sorts of rubbish including rubbish bags, frape holders etc etc.
My personal experience is that the Municipalities are doing a good job but then how can one cope with 1.000 people littering all over the place? We, locals, need environmental education I am afraid.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou
No.2066
Q.: I have received a bounced cheque, with a note “please represent”. I did not do it after encouragement of the person who issued the cheque by saying that he will be placed in the Gap (stop list) etc. After a few months I produced the same cheque to the Police who informed me that in order for the Police to take action I ought to have presented the cheque again and if bounced to present this to them. Is this reasonable?
Nik

A.: The Police is correct, but I wonder what the situation will be if you present the cheque today (there is a time limit mind you). If you have no success take a private legal action dear friend.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/37653-td
26.8.2016

No.2056
Q.: I read in your publications your stand on tax-free (illegally) villas to let. Don’t you think that this will reduce demand by to let villas which nowadays seem to be on the up and thus hurting the industry that you seem to support?
N & K (name withheld)

I support the industry dear readers and not the cheating and tax dodgers. As is the local system, the tax authorities will let you carry on until a report comes up and then – God help you.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2057
Q.: I live in Pafos for the last 15 years and I hope that Pafos will have a marina over the next 2-3 years (before I get too old to enjoy my favourite sport – sailing). Do you think it will happen or shall I move to Limassol or Ayia Napa for the purpose?
N. Chakson

A.: In order to reply to you, I say yes, move to Limassol Ayia Napa – not the same, but there you are, there are the facts of life. The only definite is the Ayia Napa marina (Limassol is up and running). I do not expect that the Pafos marina will be ready for you to enjoy earlier than 4-5 years based on experience.
Coming back to Limassol I have visited the marina and the old fishing port as it has now become an entertainment centre. I travelled from Nicosia, say 1 hour, and I will gladly go again for a different experience. Completely different in quality and service by Cyprus standards (be it the sea front). In terms of living budget for average cost (with a bottle of wine) not less than €40/p.p. An experience similar (with a bit of exaggeration) to Monte Carlo (much more expensive but then I am extremely biased).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2058
Q.: A danger for our kebab Mr Loizou? What is this? The E.U. directive more or less instruct us not to cook on charcoal. Are we going to do without our favourite and social gathering tradition?
Rois Kamas

A.: I read the report and the governmental reply on the subject. It seems that it is not prohibitive as such, but the way we cook it – e.g. no ash etc. As far as our national dish dear Rois, privately we will carry on doing it. just the restaurants might have a problem (but there are ways to by-pass the directive with certain parameters I suspect). We will have to wait and see (see Greece with its own cocoretsi dish – not supposed to have but still around since 15 years ago). On another favourite dish of mine is the British steak and kidney pie – Now not allowed with the liver etc, but then visit Pissouri village where a British lady produces the same (within the E.U. standards mind you).
All the best.
A.P. Loizou


3/37671-td
22.8.2016

No.2060
Q.: We read from time to time mainly from developers’ brochures that upon visa issue, the visa holder can travel all over Europe. Yet you say otherwise dear Mr Loizou.
Mickey Gaps

A.: If you secure a Cypriot passport this is correct. If only a permanent residency visa, it is not. Regrettably this is another misleading information I am afraid.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2061
Q.: How on earth can one pay €40/sq.m./p.m. on a shop at the Psarolimano port in Limassol? I understand that you have placed the rents as a valuer, but I wonder if you are correct.
Steve Nicolas

A.: “The proof of the pudding is in the eating” as the British say. Yes, we have placed the rents and the project units were let based on our assessment. The restaurants/ cafes seem to be doing well (be it expensive) whereas an ice-cream shop sold in one day (we are informed) 4.000 scoops with €1.0/each – What more can I say?
Regards,
A.P. Loizou



3/37698-td
30.8.2016

No.2062
Q.:
Dear Sirs,
I am writing to do some enquiries. I have intended to buy a house in Cyprus (hopefully in Larnaca) and settled in Cyprus, my wife myself and 5 children all under 14 years. We have enough fund to support ourselves.
The main issue is that I am HIV+ but very healthy and under medication. My wife and my children they are all HIV NEGATIVE and they are all healthy as well. Would you please advise us whether or not my status as HIV + affect my immigration process at all?
We are located in Turkey right now and we are a Kurdish - Christian family. My plan is that I send my children to private school there. In case that is not an issue I can get a touristic visa and see ur office there and make contract to immigrate through buying a house to Cyprus.
I am a journalist and activist in human right with a focus on refugees and minorities in Turkey. I am NOT a refugee and simply want to provide my family with a safe base for study and settlement there. We do have enough fund to support ourselves.
Thank you.
Yours faithfully,
Petros


A.: Please be informed that your HIV will not affect the outcome for an application for the Permanent Residency Permit (also known as “Immigration Permit”), through property investment, nor the outcome for an application for an Entry Permit for the purposes of visiting Cyprus for viewing properties.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

,Νο.2067
Q.: How right you are that it is a mistake not to deduct maintenance expenses in one’s own house. We maintain our home for the last 10 years yet we have never asked or received a receipt for the jobs done, thus on our part we have encouraged tax evasion. It is so simple, why is it so difficult to persuade the Government otherwise?
K & Le

A.: My views I am afraid are not important. It is up to the accounting firms to propose such measures (if they care mind you) to the Government.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2068
Q.: We had our doubts on the usefulness of the D.I.Ys and the low cost department stores. Yet over the years we have come to realize that they must have reduced our living expenses by at least 5%. Should comparative prices not be published so that people get to know of the benefits?
Stella Gregoriou

A.: Your realization is correct and it comes a bit late. Pay a visit at the lower end food stores also – Be it not of top quality and mostly frozen but then it is up to you and your budget. I bought 4 spades, one for each corner of the house, so that (being lazy) I do not have to carry the collectables around. I visited the D.I.Y. to buy one but have realized that the cost was €4.0/ I bought 4!!
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2069
Q.: I have read your most interesting and amuzing article on foreign people home entertainment. I have passed on your article to our sales staff, since I have been suggesting this for years, but now I have an ally.
George Soros
A.: Are you related to the multi-billionaire Soros? If you are then there is no particular problem!! If not what I report in the Q+A Column is based on our own experience. This is one of the articles that we have received “likes” in numbers – We also received not likes mind you for others.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2070
Q.: “I object to your article regarding the low quality of the local universities and colleges. You are being grossly unfair and biased. This so that your readers have a different view on the subject since I am a graduate of (x) college”.
Maria

A.: Dear Maria, I publish a summary of your letter since by publishing its full content written in the English language would have proved my point – Bad English.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.2071
Q.: When will the new permanent residency visa and passports requirement be published, since we understand that they will be easier to obtain them?
Cellog Harison

A.: Based on press reports they will be published next month. Mind you with the Minister of Interior absence for a couple of months (for good reason) this could be delayed for a while.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/37711-td
8.9.2016

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