19 June 2015
Q.: We just arrived in Cyprus after a 4 month
absence. The house smells terrible like sewage. We
called in a plumber who more or less told us that
our w.cs should be taken out and replaced. I ask you
dear Mr Loizou if you know anything about this sort
of thing, since we cannot relate the bathroom
fixtures with the smell.
A.: Another rubbish and a con job I suspect dear
Ntino. What happens if you do not use the toilet,
wash basins/bath, the water dries out in the pipe
leading to the drains and you get the smell from the
sewage system. You might also get some sort of
cockroaches (coming through the pipes since the
waters in the pipes are not there to block their
My opinion is that if you are away from the house
for long periods and before you leave it, say for
more than a couple of months unused especially in
the summer season.
• Open the water to fill the pipes say for 3-5
• Place ¼ glass of petrol on top since it helps the
water not to evaporate
• Place the plastic top on top
• Place a tape also around the outlet
• Make sure that the w.c. floating mechanism works
That should do it.
Q.: We are building a garage and we applied for a
permit. The planning authority stipulated in its
terms that the garage tiles should be of clay. We
came to note the aluminium tiles (sheets) that look
exactly like the ordinary clay tiles and in fact you
need to touch them in order to know the difference).
Shall we then ignore the clay tiles condition and
opt for the aluminium ones?
A.: It is a risk, but you have nothing to lose if
you ask your architect to check with the planning
authority if this substitute is okay. I will suggest
that if the house forms part of a village with
traditional houses around you we have a problem. In
another case the permit condition stipulated timber
window shutters. Yet now with the new aluminium
series which look like timber is acceptable (you
might remember the 15 years ago aluminium shutters
having a silver or golden colour). Now aluminium is
acceptable but subject to a reasonable appearance
with the real thing.
Q.: Our project is coming to its completion. The
developer is asking us (with suggestions by some of
the buyers) that should we wish, the asphalt road to
be replaced by the ceramic asphalt, which indeed
looks much better and reminds us even of Buckingham
Palace red colour surrounding roads! The cost is
approximately €300 addition/house. Shall we go for
it, is it reasonable and will this have a fair added
value on the value of our home?
A.: It sounds reasonable and I will say it will add
to your property’s value as much. Please note that
this refers to private roads (e.g. in a complex) and
not public ones. So provided the roads are private I
would go for it dear reader.
Q.: I must thank you for your recent article on the
real estate market and in particular to the new
incentives that the Government is proposing,
especially regarding the 50% transfer fees and the
non-capital gains tax. How else were to know if it
was not for you? I believe that you are the only one
who cares about foreign people in Cyprus for such
proposals, duly advertised in the Greek press and
TV, but how about all the rest of us who cannot
follow the language?
A.: Dear Steve I thank you for your comment and
encouragement. Cyprus Weekly is also to be thanked
by projection. I hope with God’s permission I will
be around for a while to help all our readers.
Q.: Our house specs stipulate that our roof will
have insulation. What does this mean therman or
A.: Who is to know dear Jack. I will say the least
is that of the water proofing. It is an open ended
part of the contract which could be interpreted
either way. Having said this what happens in actual
practice is that owners and their suppliers place
all sorts of equipment (e.g. a/c, antenna etc) on
the roof piercing the insulation course – A never
ending problem with a most difficulty circumstance
to address. Discuss it with the developer if not too
Q.: How is your European Award of Customer Care is
progressing? Do “we” have a chance to win it? Being
a client of yours and having experienced the subject
on your part, I wish to help. Will writing to the
examining committee help you and us Mr Loizou?
A.: This is a European Award dear Nic not a Cypriot
one. Let us not get unduly excited since there are
many other Cos who are doing better, but I love your
support. Do nothing since it can work the opposite
Q.: I have read your answer where you suggest the
use of the car representative garage as opposed to
others. I wish to add my own experience on your
stand. I took my car for oil change and service to
the representative garage. Kept it for a day and I
understand that I brought the car earlier than I
should have done. Notwithstanding the fact that I
had a small problem with the ashtray and having
checked the brakes, I was told that this is free. A
rarity at these times.
A.: Yes – well done, but at times it can work the
opposite way. Your garage must be managed by a well
meaning manager with customer satisfaction and
ethics in mind.
Q.: Further to the reader's letter printed in The
Cyprus Weekly Friday July 3rd.
You advised the reader that it would be worth
waiting a month or two to see if the property
transfer fees would be reduced by a new bill being
submitted by the government.
In view of the fact that this is a brand new
proposal, and the fact that there will be a
government recess for summer, how long does this
type of matter usually take to come to fruition ?
My query relates to a relative who is in poor health
and therefore the completion of the property
transfer is required within a fairly tight
Thank you for your attention
A.: I expect that the new measure will be in place
end of September this year.
Q.: I have just read your article in the press.
I live in a complex of 8 properties with a shared
pool. We have been told by Tala Board that any
shared pool is “Public” and should be licenced and
have the facilities mentioned in your article. As a
member of our Management Committee I have been
pursuing this with the Paphos Health Department who
say that our pool is “Public”. However, on trying to
get a second opinion no one else seems to know
anything – not even the District Information Desk.
Additionally the lifeguard has to have a blood test.
If they show positive for Hepatitis B they cannot be
a lifeguard even if they are positive because they
have been inoculated against this. We have been
trying to find a Lifeguard course locally but that
is proving difficult.
Could you please refer me to the documentation that
states 10 properties. Then I will be happy.
A.: This was quoted from my experience at a project
at Laxia. Since I received your letter it is
incredible that having asked the various planning
officers it seems that no one knows. Strictly
speaking the law stipulates that a private pool is
for a single house. If not and more units are using
it, it becomes public!! Certain building permit
authorities ignore this requirements and others
place a limit i.e. 5 units, 10 units etc. This is a
non workable legal requirement and from time to time
efforts are being made to change it. The E.U. law
stipulates that public pool is one open to the
public. I have asked for an interview with the
Minister of the Interior on the subject and I hope
that something will come out of it.
Q.: Dear Mr Loizou,
Once again I find myself writing to you, this time
to say thank you for your piece in the Weekly News
on Friday 10th July. As someone who has been waiting
for my title deeds since 2001 I was pleased to read
what you had to say. May I ask two related
You said that the transfer fees will be halved until
the end of 2016. Could you give the formula, please?
My wife and I wish to give our house to our niece,
although we intend to live in it for the rest of our
lives. When the title deeds are issued can we ask
for her name to be put on them rather than our own?
A.: The transfer fee scale is as follows:
Up to €85.000 3% (= €2.550)
Up to €85.001-€170.000 5% (= €4.250 – total €6.800)
Over €170.000 8%
The total amount will be halved if transfer takes
place up to 31.12.2016.
Regarding now the direct transfer to a third person,
it will depend what your sales contract stipulates.
Most contracts allow a direct transfer to the
parties indicated as such by the original purchaser.
If you want to be “secured” in your possession and
upon transfer you can ask the Lands Office to
register a life interest in your favour on the
Q.: With the going ons in Greece shall we move our
deposits from the subsidiary Greek banks back home
or to other local banks?
A.: As far as I know, the subsidiaries will not be
affected by any Greek Haircut or otherwise. Should
you feel unsecured however, move your money to more
“safe” destinations and return it back once the
present circumstances get cleared say in 2-3 weeks.
Bearing in mind that the interruption of your
deposits might cause you to have a small penalty,
whereas the reintroduction of the deposits might
also reduce your existing deposit rate (now on
average 2% p.a. whereas it was around 2.50%).
Q.: What a joker the ex Minister of Finance for
Greece. He left for holidays during the crucial vote
regarding Greece’s future, having himself caused
most of the problems. I say this because I agree
with our President Anastasiades that we should cut
our financial ties with Greece.
A.: This is the general feeling in this country as
well as in Europe I say.
Q.: I note so many cats and dogs killed on the roads
that we wonder how many such animals exist in
Cyprus, so that they are runned over by such
A.: We have too many and this is due to the
irresponsibility of locals who let loose newborns
just about everywhere in the fields etc. We are not
a loving animal country and I must take this
opportunity to thank the new animal societies for
raising the matter to public attraction. I hope that
the future will be better for the unfortunate
Q.: What is the difference between a pork and a lamb
souglaki Mr Loizou?
A.: We, the Greek Cypriots are brought up with the
pork souglaki and the Turkish Cypriots with the
lamb. It has been a long time since I have had the
lamb version, but I remember it is better. Mind you
lamb is more expensive (slightly). I will make a
B.Q. next week using both and I will come back to
you dear friend. As I say often to our readers “who
am I”, a chef advisor, a contractor, a car engineer,
or an estate agent/ valuer of real estate (based on
the readers’ questions).
Q.: I think you were a bit harsh on the all
inclusive holidays describing your experiences. We
differ but still I love your writings.
A.: Each one’s experiences might be different but as
another reader wrote to me regarding Pafos “better
to hear comments from your friends than nothing”. I
agree with him and of course yourself. Let’s keep an
eye on things and be on the alert.
Q.: I have read your solution on the bad smells
coming out from the drains within the house. We have
tried it and so far it worked!!
Many thanks as I am sure many other readers of the
Cyprus Weekly will thank you as well.
A.: As I have said before, I have progressed from a
real estate valuer and estate agent, to a gourmet
cook with my recipes, a contractor regarding
building maintenance, to legal advisor and more
recently a plumber. For each and every question mind
you, I have to ask people in the know prior to a
Q.: We have an apartment and on our title it
registers a covered parking No.1. Yet we have other
residents taking possession of it. What shall we do?
A.: What a normal but yet irritating situation. I
would recommend you to take out a court, ex-parte
judgement, to prohibit others to park on your
parking. Communicate the judgement to all residents
and if it happens get the car Reg.No. and report it
to the police. The “intruder” may stand a chance to
go to prison for non obeying a court order (be it
for a couple of days).
Q.: We have noted what you said in your article
regarding holiday homes and the limitations on
having it let.
Does this mean that we cannot let our home?
A.: Of course you can (be it that there are some
regulations restricting this which are not adhered
by the authorities mind you) – This is Cyprus, but
you might take a risk not declaring your income etc.
In Greece holiday lets for less than 30 days are not
permitted. You can go to prison for 3 months if you
let your property for less than 30 days to a single
tenant. The same applies to Cyprus (without the
prison) having said that everybody turns a blind eye
here. So what can I say, “do as the Romans”.
Q.: I read through my computer on a matter regarding
collecting sea puples that it is illegal but you
offered a solution and I wonder if there is any
change on your advice.
A.: No – Follow my advice and you should be okay.
Q.: I have read your reader’s letter regarding
holiday lets and your reply. I have a similar
experience and I just wanted to add my reservations
on the subject.
A.: Cyprus Weekly and myself are here for the
purpose to get people informed to the best of our
Q.: “How dare he to charge us for excessive legal
fees” our legal advisor told us about your good
report on the subject. This is a Pafian advocate
A.: The con job does not limit itself to Pafos but
in other towns. Recently we had a British advocate
(U.K. based mind you) asking us to pay him a 10%
commission for a deal that we were in process of
conclusion. So there you are.
Q.: Do you think that now that the Cyprus Airways
has closed down the tourist numbers will increase or
was the decision to close the only national airline
was a mistake?
A.: Only positive signs are noted dear friend. First
we got rid of the millions of subsidies that we, the
rest of us, had to come up to pay the never
demanding pilots and employees. The free skies
policy has opened the Cyprus connection with new
destinations including the much needed German and
U.K. airports. It is worth noting that Crete has a
similar total number of tourist (2.4 mil. p.a.) and
this with chartered flights. Crete has 1 mil. German
tourists, whereas Cyprus around 200.000. It does not
make sense why we have such a huge difference,
especially bearing in mind the war history between
Crete and Germany (with 2 German cemeteries in
Crete) and with no past bad history with Cyprus. In
addition to the monopoly that Cyprus Airways had,
limiting the international connections with other
tourist destination, we have a problem with the
quality of the services and prices that we have here
and for which I have reported repeatedly.
Q.: So that we help the readers the new tax
amendment laws state that if a property is acquired
by 31.12.2016, no capital gains will be charged upon
resale. In addition under other laws relating to
similar dates suggests a 50% reduction in transfer
fees and in some cases zero fees. So at the end a
buyer will not only save himself the transfer fees
(in some cases) which could amount to 5%-8% based on
its value, but in addition the capital gains. Any
catch dear Mr Loizou?
A.: I am not a specialist on tax provisions and I am
meeting our accountant next week to explain to me
the new tax situation. Bear in mind that the
acquisition of a property and then its resale with
no capital gains will be subject to provisos i.e.
you bought the property at market value and that the
original seller is not related to the new buyer –
creating suspicions for tax avoidance.
Q.: You must have seen the forest fires that they
are reported year after year in Greece. It seems
that in Greece it is a bit of a “popular sport” to
burn wooded areas, since Nero of Rome has not died
literally, but there are descendants. We have a
situation here as well on the subject, but in many
cases they are manageable what is wrong with Greece
dear Mr Loizou?
A.: Our own Cyprus fires are a matter mainly of
stupidity of farmers and others not necessarily
arcenist to a noticeable extent in terms of courses.
Yet in Cyprus we have invested in fire fighting
planes and we have hired 2 large helicopters from
Russia at the cost of €½ mil. p.a. We also have the
British Bases to thank for contributing in the
effort (something which we tend to forget even with
an official “thank you” letter. We seem to me that
we are ahead in Greece and we have observation
posts, likely spots have stationed with fire
brigades on spot, with full crew to handle.
During the last huge fire in Greece, we sent our own
fire fighters to help out. They found out that the
Greeks did not pass the test, whereas their mobile
water tanks are made of plastic hence they could not
reach the fire since the plastic could have melted.
We are fortunate to have had the good management and
experiences of the colonial era (G.B.) the results
of which we see today in many cases regarding public
administration. I see in the TV news, as I m sure
all the rest of us, that the Greeks have
“discovered” the stand by fire fighting crews in
sensitive areas, the potential of part time fire
fighters but they have difficulty to understand to
“hire” on a stand by basis fire fighters during the
What can I say, a country blessed with natural
beauty being destroyed by lack of knowledge,
stupidity, inefficiency and strange laws (I could
expand on this but as a start, if you burn a wooded
field you stand to convert it into development
Q.: The new tax law on transfer suggests the
reduction of transfer fees if reduced by the end of
2016 by 50%. My question is: There is another law
reducing the transfer fees by 50% if VAT is paid.
Does this mean that if a purchase has a VAT charge,
the transfer fees will be NILL?
A.: Yes – Lovely is it not?
Q.: Dear Mr Loizou,
TITLE DEEDS AND PUBLIC POOLS
Every week I read with great interest your section
in the Cyprus Weekly and admire your resolve and
courage at trying to make this Country a better
place to live in.
With regards to the Title Deeds, and i believe the
Governments decision to half the transfer fees to be
very fair, considering the problems that title deeds
have bought, i have two questions, firstly, will the
house price remain based on the original purchase
price, or will it be based on the valuation as at
01.01. 2013. I believe the later to be a much fairer
price as it relates closer to it's current value.
As an example, when i purchased my property in 2008
i paid cy£103,000 which equated to euro 176,130,
Cyprus having just gone into the Euro @ 1.71 euros
to cy£1. The 01.01.2013 valuation estimates the
property value at euro 108,300. As we have no title
deeds at present this is the developers figure. The
current market trend has our properties selling
around euro 90 - 95,000, as you can see, not far off
a devaluation of 50%.
My second question regarding title deeds is will the
single or joint ownership still apply, on single
ownership the transfer of deeds without any
discounts on my property (176,130) is 7,290.40 and
for joint ownership it works out to 5,406.50, as you
can see, quite a difference. If the valuation of the
property is taken on the 01.01.2013 valuations, mine
being 108,300 the fees due would be 3,715 single
ownership and 3,249 joint ownership. My previous
amount due 7,290.40 could reduce to 2013 values plus
the government discount 50% to now being euro
1,857.50. A saving of 5,432.90, a vast difference
and a more realistic figure for settlement, one i
would jump at, when they become available and
hopefully before the end of 2016.
With Complex swimming pools, for which we have one
on our complex, iv'e got to say, as the Secretary,
it is an absolute nightmare. Is the current Cyprus
Law, "Number 55 (1) 1992 law regulates the
construction and operation of public pools", the one
we should be working too. In your opinion, and i
understand it would only be an opinion, would the
"EU Standard EN 15288-2 swimming pools-part 2.
Safety requirements for operation", take precidence.
On the one hand i am being led to believe that
Cyprus Law is law and is a safer set of rules and on
the other hand i'm being told as Cyprus is part of
the EU it should operate to the EU standards, am i
correct in thinking that the EU is a higher
authority. I understand that there are a new set of
Cyprus standards that were prepared in 2013 but as
yet have not been approved and are still under
consideration. Most of the people i speak to have
the opinion "well your in Cyprus", or "this is
Cyprus" for me that is not a good enough answer.
What would be your advice, as my main issue is,
would our insurance cover us if we do not meet one
or the other regulations/standards should, god
forbid, something happen.
Your advice would be much appreciated and good luck
with your meeting with the Minister of Interior, i
hope he fully understands that the pool issue is an
Island wide problem that requires solving sooner
rather than later. In addition it could bring some
much needed extra revenue to the Government (how
many swimming pools are actually registered).
A.: Thank you for your encouragement in continuing
this work. The transfer fee is based on the market
vale at the date of purchase and not as at 1.1.2013.
I have not studied the law on the ½ transfer fees,
but I expect it will be ½ of whatever you were
called upon to pay before it (could be zero if VAT
has been paid). Yes it is a good incentive for
The pool question (public or private) is indeed a
mess since the authorities are in different minds.
The E.U. law stipulates that public pools are those
open to the public something which is contrary to
the Cypriot law. E.U. law supersedes the Cypriot
law, but in order to have the E.U. apply, one must
take legal action against the authority and if you
feel that you appeal to the E.U. court. I am trying
to clear the air with the Ministry of the Interior.
A pool private or not if shared by a number of units
should have changing rooms, wcs., first aid rooms,
fenced pool and access to the pool for the invalids.
You should have a third party insurance not only for
the pool but for all common areas. Depending on the
size of the project and as an indication an
insurance for third parties of around €100.000 seems
to me to be a reasonable amount. Care on the
Q.: A few days ago I visited your office and asked
to see someone to express our feelings about a
matter that has been giving us serious concerns.
A few years ago perhaps four or five, Pyla
Municipality opened a ”homatery”/refuse dump on our
doorstep. This area was designated to be a green
area, but a “homatery” is what we have. Have they
obtained the environmental study required? Have they
obtained the building permission required? Does this
site comply with any EU regulations that they may be
We have been told that it is for the purpose of
depositing green waste for disposal, I am afraid it
is used to dispose everything, rotten fruit, tyres,
building materials, car mechanics waste, included
discarded batteries, which contaminate rain water,
whole skips are being emptied regularly and more.
People looking for recyclable materials visit this
place all hours of the day till late at night.
Last year, in the early hours of the morning an
arsonist set fire to the “homatery”, the waste had
not been collected for weeks.
We were very lucky our properties were not set on
fire and we burnt alive. Recently it was set on fire
again to burn tyres to collect the metal in them.
Please be aware that the fire brigade did not attend
this last incident, because they have said they will
not attend a fire again.
Mr Mitedes the Mayor of Pyla is aware of these
events but he is unwilling to do anything.
This “homatery” is 100 metres from the beach,
‘perhaps’ in the tourist zone. Neither is it
something that anybody wants on their front door.
We are appealing to you to do something about this
health hazard, on our doorstep. When food stuff is
thrown it becomes rat infested. As is well known
vermin can cause severe illness, Weils Disease is
caused by rat urine, very nasty, and with children
being around that is a constant danger. Also Lymes
Disease caused by ticks, and Toxoplasmosis caused by
cats eating infected rats which can be passed to
humans causing severe eye problems. On a number of
occasions animals have been abandoned.
During the winter months mud covers the road in
front of our properties, this is dangerous as cars,
vans and other commercial vehicles come and go to
and many from muddy fields making it impossible for
anybody to walk on the muddy road which the
municipality never cleans. When the site is being
cleaned by moving refuse it creates a lot of noise
and clouds of dust which makes the area covered with
unhealthy fumes and dust, which dirties our
properties and makes the air unhealthy and
Surely nobody wants such a filthy site on the front
door; what is the price of a property with a
“homatery” on its front door? Who would want to buy
a property when every day they would be looking at
filthy, dirty, smelly eyesore like this one?
I hope this matter is dealt with promptly as it of
great concern to the 80 property owners who live
here, yes most of them spend the summer months here
but some of us live here and find this unacceptable.
A.: What can I say other than sharing your views on
the subject. There are many home owners around, so
what I suggest is that you get together and produce
a fund in order to sue the local authority for an
illegal and without a permit use. If this is correct
as you describe to me, the local authority should
wake up – A letter to the Minister of Interior and
the Ombudswoman will be a plus. A copy to Mr
Perdikis (MP) of the Environmental Party and an
invitation to the place will also be a plus (photos
etc to go).
Q.: We are two minds Mr Loizou whether we should
start building our offices this year or next, when
building costs will go down further.
(Please use our response in confidence).
A.: It is doubtful that building costs will be
reduced further to make a difference. Recent years
and based on Governmental statistics office building
cost show the following trend:
2010- Say base rate year – 100%
(As can be deducted from the above the costs have
increased in 2013 with a slight reduction in 2014).
Although there is a slight revival in the building
industry, with the announced Governmental projects
it will affect (upwards) building costs. In addition
to the building costs, you must consider, say, the
one year delay which (if you let) must also be taken
As an indication consider that ordinary office
buildings cost around €1.100/sq.m. (plus basements
and common areas) whereas high tech ones (do not
compromise for less mind you) it is around
€1.300/sq.m., depending on the quality and services
provided, number of lifts, energy saving etc. The
latter with the use of geothermal techniques, solar
and electricity panels, could reduce your running
cost by approximately 30% be it that they cost as an
initial investment. It is no more a straight forward
comparison as it used to be in the past.
Do not compromise on parking and notwithstanding the
required 1 parking spot/60 sq.mts. of office space,
provide as much as possible, hence the use of a
second basement level (partly to be used for storage
purposes) should be looked upon positively. Third
basement level it is doubtful if it is in terms of
Q.: Technology comes nowadays in all sorts of ways.
Our son bought as a gadget from U.S.A. which upon
being detected by the police speedy gadget, it sends
a return signal that you are driving say 80 kms/hour
notwithstanding the fact that one might be driving
150 km/hour. We doubt that this is legal – Is it?
A.: No – It is illegal if you are caught mind you.
If the police patrol suspects that you have this, it
can chase you and investigate the car for your
gadget. If they find it you are in trouble my
Q.: We are planning to embark in a camping trip
around Cyprus. The official camp sites are few and
in-between and we are thinking of using off the
truck spots. The problem is the w.c. facilities and
the permit required, as we understand we need, to
camp. If there is a way around our difficulties? We
would appreciate your advice.
A.: In order to camp somewhere you do need a permit.
However if it is for a couple of days and out of
place areas, you should have no problem. We had a
caravan set up at Protaras beach and within 2 hours
Municipality officials paid a visit to the owners to
get it off the site. So avoid the popular localities
and use official camping. Bear in mind that there is
the possibility of the land owner objecting, so keep
it for maximum 2 days. Regarding the w.c. there are
disposal ones in a compact form. Bear in mind that
you should remove it to the nearest public rubbish
bin (not 100% legal) – don’t dream to throw it in
Q.: I note that if we transfer our property by the
end of 2016 our transfer fees will be 50%. I
understand however that the developer has a problem
with the title issue and we are afraid we will miss
the date. Is there any way that we could pay the 50%
transfer fees to the Government, notwithstanding the
non transfer due to the lack of title, so that we do
not miss the benefit?
A.: No – there is no such provision but it is a good
idea. The Government will be happy but you increase
your risk by investing more money with no title. If
you feel that it is a matter o time and provided the
law allow this (which it does not) do it Michael.
Q.: Have the gas Cos abandoned their efforts for the
Cyprus gas finds since reading a past article of
yours you reported that the gas finds will have a
positive affect on real estate prices etc.
A.: The gas find will help the Cyprus economy and by
projection the real estate market. The recent
reduction of the oil/gas prices and the added supply
that it is being sold by ISIS and now the Iran
supply, push prices at low levels, not making it
particularly viable for our own gas exploration. Of
course there are the ups and downs for such prices
and hopefully prices will change in the near future.
In addition the gas Cos who showed interest for
Cyprus, do not want to get entangled in local
politics and Turkey. For this reason they pull back
to an extent from Cyprus interest which coincides
with the local prices and the non viability. ENI, in
Mozambique, carried out 30 boreholes prior finding
the source, whereas in Cyprus it carried out just
Q.: We understand that a new type of building
amnesty will be coming. Could you please give us
some guidelines how will this differ from the
Allan + Friends
A.: The previous amnesty was found non workable in
practice and it failed. We reported repeatedly this
to the previous and this Government by appealing to
the Ministers of the Interior at the time. The new
amnesty as it is proposed by the Government will
allow an increased building density up to 60 sq.mts.
with no compensation payment. It will also be a
simple application procedure with a 3 month
mandatory reply. It will also allow partly change of
use – e.g. a house to be extended to include an
office (such as doctor’s office) for the resident
etc. At this point of time dear Allan and friends it
is at a preliminary proposal stage with many
objections on behalf of the planners, but bearing in
mind the forceful and determined character of the
present Minister, I have no doubt that it will be
approved by one way or another. The amnesty mind you
is subject to neighbours not objecting if it affects
their own property. Details are awaited, but on the
whole it is a good proposal I say.
Q.: Dear Mr Loizou,
I love your work!
I wonder if you could help with a query. My family
and I moved into a house for long-term rent. The
owner knew we needed peace and quiet for my work
from home and promised she would only rent the house
she owns next door to a person or a "quiet couple".
She let the house for 3 months to 4 very noisy
Russians who have regular other house guests who
make even more noise. She says she has told them to
keep the noise down but the problem continues.
When we said we would look for somewhere else she
said we were free to but had to move out in 4 days
(for her to take advantage of another holiday let).
We paid the rent for another month but the situation
and noise is making us miserable. What rights do we
have as long term tenants and what would you
Thank you so much,
A.: It depends what your lease agreement states.
However since in this case the landlord has agreed
for you to go and having paid the one month rent, I
would suggest to start looking for something else.
Make your investigation now, get an option say for
10 days for the new property and give your notice to
the existing landlord. It is a difficult time being
summer season to find a property to lease and a
better time might be after September (be it that you
will have to put up with another couple of months).
Q.: We saw the other day at Larnaca beach, a
fisherman, who just caught an octopus. He was
throwing the octopus on some rocks and we looked
upon this with amazement. Is there a purpose for
A.: The way that I understand it, is that octopus is
a tough “meat” to eat. If you beat the fish on the
rock 30 times on either side with some force, it
becomes frothy which means it is softer in texture.
Surely there is an easier way to do it, but this is
the way local (mainly amateurs) fishermen do it.
Q.: I note that you have taken sides on the
relaxations proposed by this Government and against
your own professional body (ETEK – Technical
Chamber). Your publications in the Greek press is
rather forceful and having said that, are you not
concerned that the Chamber might take some sort of
sanctions against you?
A.: What I write is my honest belief sustained by my
over 40 years experience in the market. I look
forward for any sort of “sanctions” as you say
against myself. This is all about freedom of speech
and if not I have no problem to take whoever is
threatening me/my office to the European Court of
Justice with myself claiming that it should be
abolished or at least curtail their opinion being an
advisor to the Government – see details of my
position in the Greek press.
Q.: What is your stand on the dogs not being allowed
in public parks? Where is one suppose to take his
dogs for a walk?
A.: As you know dear reader we have 4 dogs and now
that one of them died (Costis), I am left with the 2
young one (Hambis and Styllis) and another who
cannot walk (Yiannis). I have been a dog lover since
I was 12 years old and even during my U.K. studies I
had an Irish Setter (the most lovely but absolutely
crazy dogs). Although I sympathise with your
position, we, as Cypriots, do not care to collect
the dogs’ droppings etc. This is one of the reasons
that notwithstanding the fact that we have our
permanent home 10 mts. away from Athalassa park, I
have not visited it for the last 10 years (I cannot
stand to collect droppings with a glove etc etc).
So, there you are, both sides have their points and
I opt for the prohibition of the dogs in the parks
until and unless we collect the droppings (let alone
keeping one dog on the leash). I opt to take my dogs
for walks in agricultural areas with no people
around and I say this as a joke, the droppings will
be a fertilizer to the fields!!
Q.: How on earth can we get off the bad economic
situation when we read about the Government giving
increases to civil servants as well as the banks and
in addition to provide bank employees huge benefits
in addition (1.6% interest on loan as compared to
the ordinary 5% etc). How on earth the Bank of
Cyprus that it is now managed by Americans and
others, gave in to this?
A.: The public sector, the Banks and other
institutions are one of the causes of the prevailing
Q.: We are building a private swimming pool and our
architect suggested the installation of two pumps,
one working and one standby. Since most of our
friends have only one pump is there a logical
explanation for two (which will cost us over €600)?
A.: It depends how often and how large is your pool
and of course who is to know when a pump breaks
down. For large swimming pools used permanently I
would go for the double pumps when the holiday home
pools (4 m. x 8 m.) one should be okay.
Q.: I am wondering whether I have my facts correct.
I am a pensioner from U.K. and considering the
Cypriot/Ε.U. law I am allowed free medical/service
at the Governmental hospitals. Yet the other day my
neighbour, a local, was told that he had to pay
being a retiree also – What is the problem?
A.: I believe that free medical care in Cyprus is
given to retirees based on income criteria. So if
your income is above a certain budget (one person
over €15.400 and two €30.000 – total inclusive) you
are not to get a free service. Notwithstanding your
income level, you are free to use the hospital
services and their charges are very low in
comparison to private ones. What I can tell you with
confidence is children medicines are free of charge,
whereas all first aid at the hospital is free.
Q.: What is the difference between Pafos town and
Ktima Mr Loizou?
Polis Poliviou (U.K. Cypriot)
A.: Ktima is the original Pafos town around the
original town area. Over the years with the
expansion of the town, Pafos (which originally
indicated the District) became to be known as Pafos
town. It is like Nicosia town, which was originally
(near 1950) was named Chora, as Scala (the original
town area) became Larnaca town.
Q.: I am aware that the red balls placed near the
beach indicate the boundary of the bathers not to
exceed the limit and the boaters not to go inside
the demarcated area. This is acceptable and it is an
international way of demarcation, reducing in this
What I am annoyed is the various speed boats and
tourist cruise ships to follow the route 50 mts.
along the beach creating a backlash of water
disturbing the calm sea for the bathers. This is
especially noticeable for skiers who in an effort to
show off, exercise along the demarcation line. It is
upsetting to say the least.
A.: I could not agree with you more dear reader. But
then, there must be a boundary. Perhaps the bathers
boundary should extend for the boaters to use by an
added national line of 500 mts. away but then who is
to enforce this? In any case the backlash can extend
for over 2 kms. In general the distance is 500 mts.
Should do it.
Q.: We were staying as a family at a Protaras hotel
on the beach. Our sons being absolutely “maniacs”
with fishing, got a couple of fishing rods, but
notwithstanding their efforts there was absolutely
no luck. Is there another way to fish in your
country Mr Loizou?
H & Chriss Woulfhan
A.: Having spoken to some friends of mine, the
Protaras area has no fish to talk about for fishing,
in terms of fishing rods etc. However I was told
that the area has what they call “kourkounes” a very
small fish ¼ the size of human palm which are
plentiful. What you should do is:
(a) Wake up at 5.0 am and place plenty of loose
(b) Get your rods ready at 5.30.
(c) Keep a bucket of sea water to place the catch
(d) The whole process could finish by 10.0 am and
the later you leave it the less fish you catch.
Local fishermen told me that it is normal to catch
around 30 fish in a bad day and more than 70-100 in
a good day.
It sounds good because catching a fish is all about
– this is the sport, but then who is going to wake
up at 5.0 am during holiday?
P.S. Please bear in mind that with a fishing spear
gun are not allowed within the bathers area, whereas
if outside they should have a floating red ball with
a flag to go so that passing boats are warned.
Q.: You know Mr Loizou McDonald’s that “big mac” is
set at a price which is related to the cost of
living/income of the people of the country, hence
there are the differences in charges. It is used
sometimes as a comparison regarding the cost of
living of various towns/countries. Coming to our own
souglakia (pitta) charges (on a take away basis) it
ranges from €4.50-€6.0 for an ordinary size in
Cyprus. Do you think we can use the same index for
Cyprus V Cyprus towns and those abroad?
A.: What an innovative idea dear Cost. It cannot be
a comparison on the same basis as McDonald’s which
is served on strict and specific specifications as
opposed to the souglakia (kebab) alternative. Had it
been an international chain on strict specs it might
be a comparison. The souglakia alternative charge
depends on the sort of meat used (frozen or not)
with salad or not, the packing, family business or
not, charcoal, grilled or not etc etc. What an
interesting idea however.
Q.: What is this? Halloumi is British? What other
nonsense we are going to hear about our national
Ninos Frazer (London Cypriot)
A.: This is big business expected to become even
bigger over the near future. It is like Cyprus
producing Scotch whiskey. It is crazy but we have to
be on the alert. This is one of the advantages of
joining the E.U. where we expect a fair play.
Q.: Dear Mr Loizou,
I read your articles in the press about planning and
real estate with interest. I think your comments and
articles are always balanced and reflect the views
of many well-informed Cypriots and expats living on
Today I have seen something that has left me almost
speechless. At Aristo’s Venus Rock development a
huge sign has been erected announcing the Bayside
Plaza development consisting of a large supermarket,
restaurants, coffee shop and medical centre to be
built a 100 metres from the sea on a narrow strip of
land between the A6 and B6 roads.
This is a beautiful part of the entrance to Ha
Potami and I cannot believe the planners are happy
to support even more destruction of the Cyprus
environment in this part of the island.
There is already a very good supermarket at Mandria
two kilometres down the road, a medical centre at
Aphrodite Hills, plus coffee shops.
Are the developers still hell bent on covering
Cyprus with concrete? Are there not enough
supermarkets already for the size of population?
A.: There are all sorts of relaxations given
nowadays in order to encourage comprehensive
developments. I am not aware of the project that you
say. I dare add however that other than its seaside
location a supermarket is in need to serve the
residents of the two golf projects and others. The
word medical center can mean all sorts of things,
ranging from a small surgery to clinics etc. So
unless I get hold of the details I cannot express my
own views on the subject.
I wish to thank you for your comments made regarding
our articles etc.
Q.: Dear Mr Aloizou,
I wonder if you can help with advice.
I live in a small village in the Akamas. I see that
many of the old walls faced with stone and derelict
fields have now had retaining walls built and faced
to beautify the village. My understand was that a
grant had been given to the village, either from the
EU or Government for this work to be done. My
Cypriot neighbour had her outside garden wall done
in stone facing, but mine was left.
Speaking to the village Mukhtar I asked if my
outside garden wall could also be included, as my
villa is within the village limit. I was told that
if I wanted this he would make the arrangements but
I would have to pay for work and materials.
Can you help with advice. Do you know if there was a
grant given to villages in the Akamas and if so who
would have given the grant so that I may approach
the department direct.
A.: Regarding the grants if any and their
parameters, better to speak to the District Officer
of Pafos, in charge of the area/village.
Without being 100% sure, I suspect that the local
authority will do the walls for aged buildings,
runned down etc. In your case if your house is
relatively new, their most likely stand is that you
should do it. I cannot get a clear answer I am
afraid but start with the District Officer and we
take it on from there on.
Q.: We have a rather large garden and we use our
borehole to water it. The borehole capacity is not
such that it can service the whole garden and we
fear that at the end of the day the pump will burst.
We were told that we could drill another borehole to
supplement the existing one. Any alternatives dear
A.: This is one option but I would consider others
(a) Sectionalized your watering so that each section
works for X day, another section another day and so
on. You will need timers for this and must be
coupled with rerouting the water with valves etc.
It will need an added investment of say €1.000
depending on the size of the garden.
(b) The second option is to have an underground or
over ground water tank, so your borehole pumps water
into the tank at intervals and once filled you can
pump the tank water to the whole garden or again
sectionalized watered areas at a similar cost say
(c) Drill an added borehole is one solution but
consider the mess that a new drill will cause (it
depends on the state of your garden – cost around
€2.000 which includes the drill, electricity
provision and returning the water pipes so that each
borehole waters part of the garden.
Make sure on the suitability of the water for your
garden in order to ascertain its suitability for the
plant you have.
Needless to say that you should check periodically
your borehole since over a time it collects sand
etc, blocking the water flow – May be this is the
first thing you should do prior to other action.
Q.: There are all sorts of local disputes regarding
real estate, but I am most disappointed the time
that it takes and the costs involved. So is there a
legal system in place when justice is not executed
A.: I could not agree with you more. The whole
system is not satisfactory at all and the loss of
faith in our legal system leads to “serious” legal
arguments to refer nowadays to the British courts.
What a shame for a country which aims to become an
international centre for arbitration etc.
Q.: I know that Cyprus targets foreign civil
weddings in particular as part of the tourist
product. Yet upon our enquiry to use the Pafos
Castle for the event I was asked €500 an exorbitant
cost to hire the place for 3 hours.
A.: I do not share your view that €500 is an
exorbitant price bearing in mind what the hotels
charge for such events. I have communicated with the
Antiquities Department and its point is that the
electricity cost is around half of the cost, plus
cleaning etc after. Having said that, the
Municipality of Pafos looks upon this as a wider
promotion of Pafos and is suggesting only €50/event
- the other extreme I say. Promoting our ancient
monuments and other local attractions has wider
benefits for the Cyprus tourist industry and since
discussions are under way, I am sure a deal will be
concluded with more affordable charges. In addition
isolated churches of a unique architecture are most
popular in the Protaras area, not only for weddings,
but also for christenings etc with a next to nothing
Q.: Dear Mr. Loizou,
In 1987 my parents bought a partnership co. that
owned only a 4000s.m.land.
They built a house in 1991 thus the company now
owned the land plus the house and lived there until
2004 when they sold the company.
My father a few days after the transaction went to
the income tax office
to pay the capital gain tax. He deposited the
selling contract duly stamped at the relevant
After 11 years he received a letter from capital
gain tax, equal to an ultimatum, “Pay within a
In the taxation analysis the figures of the
acquisition of the company and the cost of the house
are stated 50% less than their own evaluation that
took place in 1995 for income tax purposes and is
still in his personal file.
Additional shock is the interest they demand from
2004.How can they charge interest from 2004, since
this is the first time they contacted us and
informed us that we owe taxes.
My father visited the Tax office and asked for the
company file in order to prove that all documents
were deposited on time in 2004. The Officer there
said that she did not know where the file was and to
his surprise she presented a fresh one (on top it
was written “temporary”) that was empty.
My questions Mr Loizou are:
1) Should we seek legal advice?
2) Should we object to the taxes since values are
wrong and they know it by now and fight it at the
courts if dissatisfied?
3)Since the delay came from their side are they
entitled to backdated interest?
4) Since taxation can go seven years back and most
companies dispose of their records when this period
elapses, how can we justify additional investments
to the house that are legally deductible? Is it not
a paradox for capital gain tax to go back 12 years
contrary to the 7 of income tax?
My parents are both retirees and this is the reason
I write to you.
Your views on the problem will be most appreciated.
A.: Thank you for your enquiry and I note what you
say. The sale referred to the sale of shares of a Co
and as such discounts that can be sought for private
residences cannot be sought but other discount can.
I suggest that you will need the services of an
accountant and if no results, then you take legal
action. Bear in mind if there are time limits for
Q.: Dear Mr Loizou
We are a complex of flats most of which are holiday
flats and several issues concern us -
1. Are the roofs regarded as common areas even
though (the 'aeras') is owned by the developer?
2.Every year there is an AGM; the committee do not
notify all owners, simply they are satisfied in
placing one or two announcements around the complex.
3. The committee never circulate the minutes, the
secretary reads the minutes from his book.
4. Emails/letters are not sent out to owners (this
has been requested at past meetings) with
notification of any thing that is to happen on the
Are these issues legal, are there any pointers you
can email me prior to the AGM which will take place
ps You can publish this letter, but an email would
also be appreciated, to forward to other owners on
A.: There is no clear answer regarding the roof you
refer to. The developer owns the right to develop on
the roof and it is my opinion that the roof
maintenance is the responsibility of the whole
The procedure regarding the invitation for AGM is
set out in your general agreement. So you have to
check this, it may be that the way they invite the
residents is the correct one. If not, an invitation
under the door should be okay in my opinion (better
if sent also to their permanent address for all
three ways i.e. on spot announcement, under the door
and direct mail to permanent address). Similarly
regarding the minutes. If not sent, anyone can ask
and expect to have copies of the minutes (see also
your general agreement).
The issues are legal in the sense that they (should)
be followed based on the general agreement.