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Questions & Answers

19 June 2015

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Q.: I must apologise for bothering you about a petty but irritating problem that I have with the Electricity Authority of Cyprus. In our home we have storage heaters. The last bill came to around 3 times more than the usual. I have asked the EAC to inspect their meter, who informed me that it was not functioning correctly. I wrote to the EAC twice for a refund and notwithstanding the fact that 4 months have lapsed, I am still waiting for some sort of refund. The local EAC inspector told me that he is waiting instructions from the Limassol H.Q. – What shall I do?
N. Karmas

A.: Write a letter of complain. Give the Authority one month and if no reply, write again. Send me a copy so that I can chase it and the officials to go.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: We have a house at the Protaras area and we are connected with the recycling water. We got a letter from the local sewage board that we should use our sprinklers during the night hours. Yet the supply comes at all sorts of hours. Sometimes early in the morning, afternoon and sometimes at nights. So what are we suppose to do dear Mr Loizou?
Th. Katiana

A.: Write a letter to the Board indicating your problem. At least in this way you are covered. A very strange situation dear Katiana – Non usual for Cyprus mind you.

Q.: What is the width of a public road so that it is acceptable by the planning authorities to build a home? Our plot abuts onto a 3 meters wide earth road and our application was refused on the basis that the road is narrow and this notwithstanding the fact there is a number of homes built along the very same road.
Nicos Papas

A.: It must be 4 meters wide at least. The building regulations keep changing mind you and what was acceptable before does not necessarily mean that it is okay now. The same situation exists with the planning zoning. An irritating and an “unfair” treatment, but there you are.
A.P. Loizou


Q.: Are you not worried about the Greek economic disaster dear Mr Loizou? What do you think are the repercussions on the Cyprus economy?
N. William

A.: I am worried since the international markets relate Cyprus with Greece and this is shown on the bonds that Cyprus is issuing from time to time with flactuations on the required interest which relate to the Greek situation. On the other hand, the bad and the non-understandable situation of the Greek economy we, as Cyprus, get Greek businesses who want to be based here. Based on interest of shipping Cos that are establishing in Cyprus (had the Turkish embargo did not exist we would have a boom) it seems that Bulgaria is the main beneficiary of this bad situation. The Greek Banks are now recapitalized (important for Cyprus with their local branches here) – be it they are not subsidiary but independent but still it worries some people.
Greece has so many things going for it, but alas, a socialist/communist Government promised that it will change everything – end result-disaster (similar to our own previous Government to an extent). If one joins a club it should follow the rules. We did as Cyprus and our economy is getting better. The Greeks are yet to understand the rules of the club however.
A.P. Loizou


Q.: We visited a restaurant at Avdimou Bay for dinner. We asked for a lemon (for both of us) and the waiter duly returned with a plastic bottle of concentrated lemon juice. We were surprised for a country that produces and exports lemons to have the juice bottled.
Maria & Stelios

A.: Another example of bad management I am afraid. Lemon trees grow everywhere even on pavements and their cost is next to nothing. A beach tavern with a plastic lemon bottle is all the worst. It reminds me of the Peyia restaurant who charged the clients €2 for one lemon!! Some readers who write to this column, reported that they have visited Crete with the air fair being €39.50/each (return mind you) reporting that the most expensive food they “manage” to have, grill fish etc including one bottle of wine it came to €15/each. In Cyprus around €30-40 per person. They have added for non fish meze their bill did not surpass €10/p.p. (in Cyprus a take away souglakia pitta €5-€8/each). No wonder Crete with no international airports have 3.0 mil. tourist p.a. and similarly Rhodes island. No wonder also that Cyprus celebrates a success for having 2.1 mil. tourists. Thieving in most occasions in restaurants – something which no one seriously touches upon is the cause – The sleeping C.T.O. and the Ministry of Tourism seem to live in another world.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: I have read in the Greek press your article on tax evasion regarding holiday lets of villas etc. In Barcelona the new Mayor threatens to tax all websites and Cos that are promoting this, without being registered as such. An example to follow?
Andrew & Linda

A.: I am not against the private lets but regarding my article on the subject I have suggested just this. Register your let, pay your dues and the income tax if any and all these being illegal to let to holidaymakers for periods less than 30 days to one single tenant.
It is not fair on the registered holiday establishments who are covered by strict regulations having to compete with unfair competition.
My views are recorded and I have to blame the C.T.O. and the Ministry of Tourism as well as the Income Tax people for doing nothing.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: The summer season is coming to an end but yet good weather extends for another couple of months and we would want to use our pool a bit longer. We have asked for tenders to have it heated but the cost is around €3.000 – Any alternatives dear Mr Loizou?
Kyr & Christina

A.: I have heard of a gadget which you place in the pool which warms the water at minimum cost – I am waiting for details by the supplier and I will come back to you.
A.P. Loizou


Q.: We note what you say regarding a possible solution to the Cyprus political problem. With particular reference to the real estate market and us foreign buyers who are not involved in the dispute, where do we stand if we bought/develop “our” property?
N. Kicks

A.: I cannot offer you any ideas at this point of time, although your point is very much appreciated. I hold the view that foreign buyers who have a problem should get together and form a certain group so that their views should be heard now. Perhaps the British High Commission could help towards this and/or the U.N. representative so that they know “you are here”.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: We are considering of doing up our roof into a roof garden with B.Q. etc and we have our own separate title. Pub talk you might say Mr Loizou, but we are told that for the provision of a counter and pergola and placing a sink we will require a building permit. Any truth in this? Sorry for troubling you but your name came up during our “pub talk” with friends of ours having opposite views.
A.K. Said (Manchester)

A.: No you do not necessarily need a permit to have what you describe, unless you proceed with covering parts of it, providing a w.c. (a must) etc. If you have a title deed and “do as the Cypriots” do it regardless (it entails some minor risk – which if you are encountered with it submit an application for it). I hope you had a drink for me, for giving you, I hope, a Cypriot/"good" advice. Cheers my friend(s).
A.P. Loizou

Q.: Did I note some sort of racism in your last article regarding the immigrants/ refugees or am I mistaken?
G. Syrimis

A.: Far from it dear George. I do suggest you read the article on our police etc. In the article I point out that Europe will not be the same after 10 years if the rate of immigration continues as is. Not to mention it, it will be hiding our head in the sand. In the article I also referred to Cyprus being prepared to host such unfortunate people. Having read my article again, I think you are mistaken dear George, but any opposing views to mine are always welcomed.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: We do understand the economic situation of the country and its new limited financial resources. Yet we found that a lot of roads have pot holes which are left there creating a danger for drivers and others.
Could you raise this with the Government since you have a better chance to be heard than us?
Ninos & Helen H”Rousos

A.: I thank you for the compliment my friends, but do not think that I have the “muscle” that you think I might have. Having said that and following a similar letter addressed to me regarding the Pissouri-Avdemou (old) road and after a couple of letters to the District Office on my part the road and the pot holes were duly repaired. I tend to think that this is not because of my interest, but more it coincided with the Governmental programme of repair.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: Going through my computer files you must have addressed more than 1.500 Q+A over the years. Do you get any thank you letters at the end or are people using you for free advice?
Mrs Th. Kounis

A.: Most people appreciate my efforts. The “thank you” letters are not published since this is not the aim of the column.
So that you know the 1.500 Q+A you refer to and are published are in addition to the personal/private matters which I try to address. Some thank you letters I get are touching and at this “mature age” of mine, I get emotional. Cyprus Weekly and myself as I always say, have a mission to help, especially the foreign people who might not understand our way of doing things.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: We had to change our aluminium windows on the 6th floor of our apartment. The contractor was practically hanging on the ledge and we did not dear even to look in fear of an accident. All went well, but we ask you, had an accident happen, would we have been held responsible?
T. Yiassis

A.: If he is a private contractor it is his responsibility to insure himself. If it is your own employee, then you do have a responsibility. In such cases take out an insurance to be on the safe side.
A.P. Loizou


Q.: I have read in the press that the new “fashion” of agricultural produce for export is prickly pear. Taking this on, I am informed that Israeli producers are on the lookout to find suitable spots for the purpose in Cyprus. Any chance for us to join in, in such a venture?
Andreas & Mary Sachs

A.: This is what I heard my dear friends also. It appears that this fruit, which is a local delight provided it is cleaned and served cold, is a most refreshing fruit I can assure you. I understand that p.p. has all sorts of uses ranging from medical to perfumes etc. The bush can grow more or less everywhere requiring no water save the night/morning moisture. A place which seems that it is thriving is Nata village, Pafos. It cost next to nothing to plant, they grow by themselves and animals due to spikes cannot get near. It requires some labour however for cleaning them. You place the fruit with the spikes in a perforated steel bucket, you shake the fruit placed in and the spikes are cut. Then you clean the fruit from the skin. This is as far as I know dear readers. From there on should you need more information get in touch with the Ministry of Agriculture whom I found, when needed, most accommodating and helpful – free of charge. This fruit reminds me of tequila and how it is produced. A bush in the desert but with a long process to get tequila – Visit the internet dear friends which has most interesting details including recipes.
You can imagine that if this is a viable business, how Cyprus can be converted from its barren land into a cactus (green) country.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: You were all for the old Limassol harbour which has been turned into a most modern entertainment place – Any info of its success or otherwise?
Harilaos Constantinou
A.: Out of the 40 units, 18 are in the process of being let. I expect this number will increase as the project becomes more “habitable” and lively. Much of this will depends on the Cyprus Ports Authority management and concept – doubtful when Governmental bodies are involved in private enterprise, but I have high hopes for a success in the near future.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: I note that you have been asking the President to fire the Environmental Director for reporting the Cyprus Government to the E.U. regarding the Limni development. I disagree totally with you Mr Loizou. What is a place without proper environment I ask you.
Stuart Gray

A.: No problem disagreeing with me dear Stuart and any different opinions are welcomed. It is obvious that you are not a local of the region, nor unemployed and nor a visitor of the Municipal handout grocery shops. Environment is to serve the people for its well being especially the younger generation. There will always be losses upon development, but I do suggest you read my historic article on the Limni cancerous environment, which has been improved so far at a cost of €30 mil. (now a beautiful agricultural land). The Anassa hotel example and the objections raised by the same people for Athalassa park are projects to be noted regarding mis-information and people’s well being.
A.P. Loizou


Q.: We got our title deeds at long last. We noted to our horror that the square meters/extent referred to our apartment (102 sq.mts.) is far less than what we were told the extent was at the time of purchase (126 sq.mts.).
What shall we do Mr Loizou?
Fred Chriss

A.: Don’t panic dear friend. Developers usually include in the square meterage the covered verandahs and an analogy of the floor common areas. This was the practice up to around 8-10 years ago. Since then the Lands Office in its title gives an analysis on most occasions so recorded on the title (e.g. covered area + covered verandahs + uncovered verandahs). So it might be that there is no difference as such. Now the developers/sellers follow mostly the Lands Office records/or give an analysis of the square meterage. The Lands Office is not always correct mind you and should you differ you can apply to have the deed corrected. Sales contracts always have an attached floor plan. You can measure it from there to ascertain the extent (if you cannot send me a copy to offer my opinion). At the end you can measure your property with a tape (external dimensions mind you – not like U.K. where the extent is measured internally net of walls and unlike Greece where the covered verandahs etc are not recorded.
In one case at Paralimni the said apartment referred to 65 sq.mts. and the deed recorded 51 sq.mts. Prior to the buyer taking legal action against the developer he referred to us. We measured it from the plans and on site and the developer was correct at the end saving our reader a few thousand euro in legal fees (his piece of mind in addition).
A.P. Loizou

Q.: I have introduced a Co to buy a plot of land in Cyprus. The deed recorded 46.000 sq.mts. Upon application for a development the planning office suggested that the extent was over estimated and the Lands Office agreed that the correct extent is 38.000 sq.mts. You do appreciate the loss, let alone that the project plans for which we have invested a couple of hundred thousand euro are wasted.
Do we have a case against the Lands Office/Government?
H. Said

A.: A mess indeed dear reader. I had a personal experience when a bought a building plot recorded at 680 sq.mts., was revised at 590 sq.mts. Upon my representation, the Lands Office clerk said “sue us”!!
A title deed is an official document and those who issue it must be responsible in your case the Government. If we start doubting official documents I do not know where it will all end.
In my opinion you could compromise instead of compensation to get a “relaxation” based on the recorded on the deed extent, even if this means an extra floor. I feel confident that the Ministry of Interior will go for this rather than having to pay cash.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: We have had a notice recording our house value as at 1.1.2013 at €280.000. we bought the house in 2013 for €210.000. How on earth these people can come up with such a difference?
Ronnie Cragan (Germany)

A.: You can lodge an objection, but prior to this ask the Lands Office how they have come up with this figure. Maybe the house extent adopted is not correct, the land extent etc. This will cost you nothing. If not satisfied you can lodge a formal objection (mind you prior to 31.12.2015) duly supported by a valuer of yours. It might cost you around €500-€600 but bearing in mind the property additional tax, the sewage/Municipal taxes etc which are based on the 1.1.2013 value, it will be a considerable saving.
Take one step at a time dear Ronnie and come back to me if you think that I might be of some help.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: I remember 3 years ago there was a British person who built a house but because of the change of regulation his house (built without a permit) was illegal and was threatened to be served with a demolition order by the local Improvement Board.
What happened?
Anna George

A.: My dear Anna you have a good memory. The matter has been settled and I expect the owner, lives now in a licensed house. We raised the matter with the local planning authority and we had good points to refer to, notwithstanding that the “British person” as you say had his own failings.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: I know that you are proposed by the European Business Awards for “caring of your clients” – Any success?
A. Pidgies

A.: Andrea, I have just received a letter saying that we will not get the award. I must say that the proposal having come from this body, I felt a bit disappointed – C’ est la vie as the French say. In consolation I thank you dear reader for keeping me going.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: I noted what you have said about the Italian restaurant at Pissouri properly runned by the Columbia Group. Have you visited the Indian restaurant across the road? I do not wish to promote this restaurant in particular, but it is another plus for Pissouri Bay for you to know.
N. Bozofk

A.: Unlike Chinese food which I find untasty, Indian food with all the spices to go is all for me (a mater of taste mind you).
My wife does not like Indian food so here you are. I have not visited the place notwithstanding my stomach indicator – Having married for 38 years I have no chance to visit the place soon I am afraid!
A.P. Loizou


Q.: Hi there,

Firstly thank you so much for this answer last month. I have another quick query if you do not mind.

We are experiencing noisy neighbours still despite the landlord's promise. We now have a new house to move in for next month. We think we have every right not to pay the last month's rent because of many broken promises by our landlord that she would only make sure there were "2 people who were quiet" next door to us. It has been anything from 4 to 8 people and they will not stay quiet despite many requests.

Our contract was for 12 months but we are moving early because of these problems. We want to say to the landlord to keep the bond for our last month.

Could you please tell me if there are any legal steps she can take to prevent us doing this, or force us out of the house before we move out? I know she will not be happy at the situation but morally I believe it is the fair thing.

Thank you again so much and best wishes,

A.: You can try it, but I doubt if it is worth the trouble and the expense if the landlord objects to it.
A.P. Loizou


Q.: There is a lot of argument for and against having dog beaches. Can you offer any solution drawn from your wide experience Mr Loizou?
N. Clerkst

A.: The attitudes on either side are very strong. You might remember the Zyghi shooting and the Polis murder on the very subject. Independently of the zoning, dog owners should respect others opinion be it right or wrong. I take my own dogs rarely in deserted beaches and having made sure that there is no one around. Usually I visit the ex-Limassol cement factory area east of Limassol, but there are others (Ormidhia village etc). Having said that, I am not 100% certain if allowed as such!!
A.P. Loizou

Q.: I have just been told that prior to let/sale one’s property, he must provide an energy certificate to present to the would be buyer/tenant. Is this nonsense or something serious?
Nicos Stellou

A.: It is nonsense but quite legal. Yes you are supposed to provide a certificate of the energy category of the property, either for let or sale. It costs around €1.50/sq.m. to provide such a certificate. So for a 100 sq.mts. apartment having a rent of say €280 p.m., one must pay €150 (one off mind you). So yes the law is there but not implemented by the interested parties. Mind you, you might run into trouble if, for example, a tenant wishes to terminate a lease giving as an excuse the non existence of the certificate.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: We have 4 tiles broken but we cannot find replacements of the same colour. These broken ceramic tiles give a very bad impression to the whole building. What shall we do, we went around practically to all the tile importers without success. Any suggestion Mr Loizou?
M. Manoli

A.: Try 2-3 reputable importers and offer them say €50/tile with a minimum quality in hope that their manufacturers will be interested to make similar ones. There are also several manufacturers in the internet towards to whom you can apply. A most difficult job I must say – if successful come back to me so that the readers can share your experience being a wide problem.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: There are so many things going on, that I wonder if people get to know. At the Nicosia Garden Café, there was a jazz festival taking place next door – good quality music, mostly young and enthusiastic musicians and free of charge.
Where is someone supposed to know of these events?
Mac Dermond

A.: Use the internet, the local Municipality news, the C.T.O. and the Cyprus Weekly with a weekly agenda on most events.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: What a lovely idea regarding the new museum you placed forward. The multi national and multi chronological order, replacing the one room museums all over Cyprus into one is all the best for Nicosia. Any response from the Authorities?
Linos Chiakkas

A.: Our proposal was not submitted to the Government, neither I expect that I would have had an answer had it been submitted.
A.P. Loizou


Q.: For the first time over my 20 years stay in Cyprus-Protaras area, I have encountered “face to face” a huge turtle and some dolphins at a distance. I could not believe it but then I suspect reactions from developers and beach land owners. What do you think?
China Turner

A.: Lovely on the one hand since these sensitive animals appear when the waters are clean and somewhat warm. Do not chase turtles or attempt to touch them since they bite. It is a plus but if the never illogical so called environmentalist have there way, the Protaras beach area will be out of bounce by bathers.
A.P. Loizou


Q.: Dear Antonis,
In one of your articles you mentioned a swimming pool law that refers to the number of units that applies if a lifeguard is needed or not.
We only have 3 units in a private property with small pool and would really like to be able to have a link to this law so we can take a look at it ourselves.
If you can refer us to an English version that would be best, otherwise a Greek one will suffice. I have spent quite some time trying various searches to find this law, but have not succeeded.
Your help would be very much appreciated.
Best regards,

Synnøve Vassiliades

A.: This has been answered in a previous publication dear reader.
A.P. Loizou


I hereby attach for the readers’ information, information regarding the changes to the Wills & Succession law as published by Neocleous Law Firm – Limassol.

A recent change to the Wills and Succession Law has important implications for many British people and nationals of other Commonwealth countries with immovable property in Cyprus. Like many countries in the world Cyprus has a “forced heirship” regime. Section 41 of the Wills and Succession Law, Cap 195, sets aside a specified proportion, known as the statutory portion, of a deceased person’s estate for close relatives. The statutory portion must be passed to the relatives concerned and cannot be disposed of by the individual’s will. For example, if an individual dies leaving a spouse and a child, three-quarters of the value of the estate is reserved for them and divided equally between them. Only the remaining quarter of the estate can be disposed of by the individual’s will. Prior to July 2015 British citizens and citizens of most former British colonies (excluding Cyprus) were exempt from the forced heirship provisions. However, Law 96(I) of 2015 withdrew this exemption and the forced heirship provisions now apply to anyone who dies domiciled in Cyprus and to the succession to any real estate located in Cyprus, regardless of the domicile of the deceased person. These changes, which also affect shares in Cyprus companies, can give rise to unforeseen and undesired consequences, particularly if relations between the surviving individuals are not good. There are a number of ways in which the status quo ante may be restored and freedom to dispose of one’s property as one wishes can be regained, depending on individual circumstances. We strongly advise anyone potentially affected by the changes to take specialist legal advice at the earliest opportunity.
For further information please contact Christos Vezouvios.


Q.: Just a short note for your readers to note Mr Loizou. There are people especially children, when they swim, sea water gets in their ear and it does not come out later, having to end up to doctors who suck the enclaved water with a syringe. We had this summer alone 3 occasions where our grandson had to visit at 3 times the doctors costing us, each time €50. We were given in addition some form of wax and on another occasion some sort of plastic screws to prevent the water coming into the ear – Not satisfactory.
Jill Malcolm

A. My own experience tells me:
• Place in a small plate olive oil
• Wet cotton big enough not to go in the ear pipe itself and large enough to cover the entrance
• It works and we use this grandmother’s recipe ourselves
• Use the cotton one at a time – not for reuse.

A.P. Loizou

Bank sale legal fees
Q.: I was told by the Bank that they are ready to take in my property in exchange of the outstanding loans. I am also informed that the exchange will not bear capital gains tax. So we are saving on this increasing the bank’s net income. Will I be correct to add on my property’s value the capital gains owed by the Bank?
Stelios Parlas

A.: I don’t think so. This is a benefit by the bank and you are lucky to be offered a deal in exchange with your debts. Make it more attractive for the bank and do not insist on having all gains to your side.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: I read n your recent article that the Protaras/Famagusta area is running out of tourist homes. My first impression was “here we are another estate agent emerging us to buy”. I now tend to agree with you since after a 15 days research, inspections etc we managed to find through local owners and estate agents only 7 units some of which had no titles (only 4) – all on the beach.
Asking price range from €7.000-€10.000/sq.mts. – a wide difference.
This is an apologetic letter of having “bad thoughts” about you Mr Loizou.
N. Kelly

A.: No problem Kelly, it goes with the job I am afraid. Bear in mind that:
• If a property has no title this is not a huge problem provided you do your due diligence and examine why the property has no title as yet. If may be a red tape matter only or it could be more serious.
• Get a mortgage release, if mortgaged, and examine if the relevant property taxes are settled.
• Bear in mind that real estate bought by 31.12.2016 bears no transfer fee (if VAT applicable) or 50% (if VAT is not).
• Resale on the property that you buy will bear no capital gains tax if bought by 31.12.2016.
• If income is what you are after and depending on size, location etc this could be anything between €10.000-€20.000 p.a. through holiday home letting agents.
• Protaras/Ayia Napa/Sotira area property values are directly related to the proximity to the beach and its quality. If for let the provision of a pool is more or less a must, whereas 3 bed(+) are in higher demand than small units – Apartments is a hit and miss situation – I refer to houses.
A.P. Loizou


Q.: The goal of 300.000 Chinese tourists the C.T.O. boss says is the target for the next couple of years. Is this possible and if it is how will this help the real estate?
N. Karris

A.: I am informed that the present numbers of Chinese visitors are around 10.000. The 300.000 seems to me to be very optimistic but then the C.T.O. boss says that only one Greek island, gets 200.000 and why not 300.000 for Cyprus? It sounds a logical expectation but then Greece is now “the place” to visit, whereas we have our own problems with visas etc. If it happens however (300.000 visitors) it will help to a great extent the Cyprus real estate market – bearing in mind that not all Chinese have a €300.000 budget only – There are millionaires there of a great number and as long as we keep our head with some brains (see the shopping mall of 500.000 sq.mts. by a Chinese investor at Larnaca turned down for unreasonable reasons) we could succeed.
A.P. Loizou


Q.: What is the progress on the crocodile farm, the dolphins’ park – Any news?
Angela Mercer

A.: Your name dear Angela almost coincides with the German Chancellor, change the c to g and there you are!!
Jokes apart, there is a big fight going on with the environmental authorities regarding both. As I always say we are the holiest than the holly in Cyprus. My own approach is that we should have one goal in Cyprus economy at this point of time the employment of the younger generation in particular. If these projects help I am all for it (as I am for the casino – notwithstanding in some respects – acceptable objections). I investigated the crocodile park process and I was informed of all sorts of objections regarding the fear of escaping crocodiles and this notwithstanding that similar establishments exist in Israel and Paris (the latter with 2 mil. visitors p.a.).
“We are here to govern” said the Minister of Interior – Govern I say – If you think it helps Cyprus go for it, the rest is not so important considering the immigration of young people especially, the Municipal groceries and the handouts etc which kills any healthy spirit.
A.P. Loizou

No. 1849
Q.: I have seen in the TV that the C.T.O. is a aiming to attract around 300.000 Chinese tourists over the next couple of years provided that we overcome the red tape regarding visas etc and of course the direct flights. What is your opinion on this?
Gina Dimitri

A.: You will read in the articles to come that Cyprus is “a heaven but without angels”. We should go for it at all costs even if mistakes happen in the process. If the 300.000 Chinese tourists happen it is approximately 20% of the existing ones. From what I understood the Chinese need clear air (save the two weeks in summer we have it) and hospitality (we have it to a large extent). As we are subsidizing various airlines to bring tourists in Cyprus, we could enter into some form of an agreement with Chinese airlines on a similar basis – What do I know Gina, but if there is such opportunity we will be crazy not to go for it (the Chairman of the C.T.O. referred to a small Greek island – I miss the name, that it hosts 200.000 Chinese p.a. So there you are, we have to wait and see, but the curse of our red tape gives me doubts.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: This is not a particular real estate subject but I wish to have your views on the possible Cyprus political problem solution. Who will have the priority the existing user or the legal owner?
Stelios Yianni

A.: What a question dear Stelios. On our G.C. part, we look at this question for our protection only. Yet we must see it from both sides. For example the thousands of refugee homes that we built on T.C. land and including possible the Limassol hospital, shall we allow the legal owners to take possession and compensate the occupiers (e.g. the refugee homes etc). What can I say, an emotional subject not easily resolved I am afraid and it is beyond my capability to give any concrete idea.
A.P. Loizou


Q.: Some Pissouri residents got together in order to expose the huge problem that exists in some areas, which is causing subsidence of buildings. The residents claim that the problem started the year 2011 and notwithstanding the warnings given to the relevant authorities, no action was undertaken, making the problem worse and which now includes in addition the breaking of underground pipes and damage to services. According to this action group approximately 50-60 housing units are facing such problems.
Your opinion dear Mr Loizou and who is to blame/pay for the needed repair.
E. Zoni

Α.: Difficult to say. Pissouri soil in certain parts is made of clay and this is the cause of the problems. The developers/civil engineers and of course the District Office ought to have taken this into account at the design stage. Also some initial damage, e.g. cracks on the asphalt etc tend to become bigger since water penetrates underneath through the cracks, causing the clay to bulge in wet conditions and shrink in dry ones.
I doubt that the Government will undertake any remedial works save the repair of public (not private) roads. Good to check if any insurance cover for this, but the setting up of this pressure group might help towards the authorities addressing the problem.
A.P. Loizou


Q.: I have noted in your last articles urging foreign local people who acquired property in the T.C. areas to get together in order to ascertain their “rights” (if they have you add). I now note that there is somewhat of a “pressure” group on the subject asking what will happen to their investments.
Do you think that you will be liked by the G.C. property owners in the T.C. occupied areas?
Jeremy (name withheld on request)

A.: If a solution is to be found dear Jeremy it must not have lose ends at least on the real estate part. I don’t think it is a matter of liking or not but a common sense not to keep in the cold unaware buyers in the T.C. part. We must do, this time, the job right, in order to avoid future problems and not to appear later, when we all think that we have solved an ageing problem.
A.P. Loizou


Q.: Cyprus is a paradise on earth you say in your last article dear Mr Loizou. I beg to differ, there are no many wrong doings in this country that my experience tells me otherwise.
Robert Harrol

A.: Each one of us has his own experiences. I can only go by mine and others and reading the international press I still hold the view that I have. I am sorry to disappoint you Robert.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: Dog treatment in this country is absolutely terrible. You must have seen the recent report on dogs tied up on apartment balconies. Shocking is it not?
Steve Mac

A.: I could not agree with you more dear reader. Bear in mind that the Chairman of the Animal Protection Society is the wife one of our employees – So we have first hand information on the unacceptable goings on.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: I have experienced the same bottled lemon juice treatment at one of the Melada restaurants. How right you are Mr Loizou.
Chris & Christina Miles

A.: Some people just do not know how to work professionally and I am highlighting some points from time to time for consumers and restaurateurs note.
A.P. Loizou


Q.: When you say that investors for income are seeking 5%-6% paid on the acquisition cost, does it include the acquisition cost in addition i.e. transfer fees, legal etc.
Mahad Green

A.: No – It is actually the sales price as such. This is what the evidence of market sales show.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: I note what you say about restaurants etc. Is this a real estate subject or you wanted to make a point Mr Loizou?
James Carren

A.: In an indirect way it is, since we aim to have Cyprus as a good place to live with professionals in all aspects. Buying a home and living in Cyprus is not just the value of a house, but quality of life during one’s stay.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: I note what you say about security of living in Cyprus and I agree with this. Yet I note the terrible car accidents that happen in the island mainly amongst younger people.
Tim Jones

A.: Car accidents have nothing to do with security of living, be it Cyprus is not known for careful drivers. In addition, aged people are another problem for car accidents mind you.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: I want to thank you for your article on E.U. citizens of having free medical care or at some cost. I did not know about this I took your article at the hospitals and “Voilà” - You are right.
Jenny Hammoud

A.: Thank you Jenny, Cyprus Weekly and myself are here to help out the readers and others.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: If I was the Shacolas Group I would have left this country and invest in other cash hungry countries, such as Greece, Bulgaria and even far away countries such as Armenia and Azerbaijan where the group would have been welcomed without frustration etc etc.
Nicos Kelli

A.: What can I say dear Nicos. This is the country we have. It has its good and bad points. My own stand on the matter is that people with cash who love this country such as the Shacolas Group and Photiades Group project are one of the few examples to “exploit” their will for investments for the benefit of the Cyprus economy.
A.P. Loizou


Q.: Can fishermen fish within the red-ball bathing area?
Xrach Nicolas

A.: I am not aware of any restrictions regarding people with fishing rods provided the hook end is near the shore (say 2-3 meters) and in localities where bathers do not use – e.g. near rocks etc. To be otherwise it will mean amateur fishermen/young people will not to be able to use the jetties etc.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: We want to take our young child on a pram for a walkabout in our neighbourhood. Yet the lack of pavements on a continuous position makes our walk dangerous. What can one do in such occasions Mr Loizou?
Patrick & Lena

A.: I appreciate what you say and security of the people is paramount. Use the various large parks that are within the towns (see Limassol and Nicosia especially). If you have one near your home it is fine. If not go by car to the nearest one – I agree with you that otherwise it can become dangerous, both because of the lack of pavements, careless drivers, cars parked on pavements etc. Don’t risk it dear friends.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: Can non E.U. citizens claim a 5% VAT for a home purchase as opposed to the 19% otherwise?
B. Ball

A.: Yes, it applies to all home buyers if a permanent and only house in Cyprus. The word “permanent” does not mean that it must be as such, but “your permanent home while in Cyprus”. I will be publishing an article on the subject giving details since there is a matter with requirements attached. Bear in mind that VAT bearing properties do not have transfer fees. So in some occasions VAT properties cost in total less than the non VAT ones.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: Our ground floor apartment neighbour built a fireplace and placed the chimney along the external wall of the block reaching the roof. He was confronted by the administrative committee but he said this is within his rights – Any truth in this?
(name withheld)

A.: Unless there is such a right in the general agreement, he is not allowed to do this. The external walls are in common ownership and the residents must agree otherwise he is acting beyond the regulations.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: Our next door neighbour installed central heating using gas. The tanks are right next door to our garage. Is he allowed to do this?
Nic Vorkik

A.: Provided he takes the required protection e.g. fencing etc as this is required by the authorities, he is, in my opinion within his rights.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: I have a full comprehensive insurance for my car. I had an accident (which was my fault) and the repair bill came to €300 duly paid by my insurance Co. I am afraid now that this will increase my no claim bonus and increase the insurance fee. Was there something I could/can do to avoid these increases?
Yiolos Anthou

A.: Usually full comprehensive insurance includes a free car provision during repair period. If such a case and provided you have a spare car or can do without for a few days, agree with the insurance Co that you will not claim the provided car (approximately €25-€30/day). In such a case the insurance Co provided it will not increase its cost and in exchange keep the N.C.B. and increase amount as before.
A.P. Loizou

Q.: There is a most interesting Cypriot charity “called Sophia” which is active in Africa and especially Kenya. I understand that one can adopt one or more of the unfortunate children for €20-€30 p.m. which pays for their food and education. What a lovely care by small Cyprus today for the needy.
Lenia & Agis

A.: You are quite right and it is an admirable effort with a lot of money and human effort run by one of the Shacolas Group daughters Marina. I have a number of friends who have taken this on – A most touching effort especially if you know the person (Marina) involved not only actually working with her hands, but giving money and encourage friends and others to contribute. An appreciation metal by the Archbishopric or the Government will not be a miss I add.
This help is personal and there is a face and a name on the adopted children and who knows, if you want to visit them at the charity you will be most welcomed. A friend of ours who has adapted 2 children (brother and sister) visits them once a year and are now at the high school ages. He is now making efforts to bring them to Cyprus for higher educational studies.
(Sophia Foundation email:
A.P. Loizou

19.10.2015 |

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