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Questions & Answers

26 October 2015

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No.1871
Q.: I have had a apartment in kapparis for 11 years now and have always paid my maintenance fees. In this time there have been numerous companies trying to get people on board to pay there dues, unfortunately they are flogging a dead horse, Always to crop up is if he isn’t paying nor am I. A company who is now prepared to have a go at bringing it around is saying all the non payers will have debt collectors involved and take them to court. As much as I would like to see this happen, in reality is this possible? If so how long would this take because  there must be thousands in the same situation? Hope to hear from you
Maggie Cotter


A.: It is not as easy as it sounds Maggie. The administrative committee must take legal action in court and secure a court decision. The debt collectors will come into play after this. Make a deal so that the new Co will get a percentage as a fee for their work (based on the collected amount). I suggest that a group of residents through the administrative committee or at least some of them, get together in order to ascertain who is on board for this. In terms of time don’t expect results earlier than 1-2 years (some people might come up with payments upon the receipt of the lawyers warning letter).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/36678-td
26.10.2015

No.1872
Q.: I am employed by an estate agent and I get a basic salary and commissions. End of the year the employer deducted from my total income the required percentage for social security and income tax, based on the total income which includes the commissions. Is this legal?
(name withheld)

A.: Yes it is, since if he does not do it, he will be responsible to pay for it himself. He is being correct – unlike many others I hasten to add mind you.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1873
Q.: The passports for cash etc seem to be working fine based on published reports. Who are those who are interested in this Mr Loizou since there are many other countries to choose from including the U.K. who offer similar benefits – Why Cyprus?
Tim Sheford

A.: Cyprus has its own attraction as other countries. On the subject however it seems that it is offering the best deal and not only on this count but in addition security, family living, etc (see our previous article on the subject).
All sorts of nationalities are interested not only the Russians and the ex-eastern block countries, we are now having Iranians, Arabs, some Chinese etc. Don’t think that we are inundated by the thousands. Cyprus being a small country a few hundreds makes a large difference on the Cyprus economy (this is the purpose of having this measure). An Iranian national bought 20 donums of land at the Paralimni area in order to build a “safe” house (as he told me) – works are progressing. A Saudi Arabian national wants a plot of land on the beach at Pafos. We offered him a €25 mil. plot, he did not like the beach otherwise no problem with the price!!! We had even a Greek national seeking a Cypriot passport. We told him that there was no need since Greece is an E.U. member and as such he has already an E.U. passport. His reply was – “no, since I do not know when Greece will be kicked out of the E.U.!!!”. It takes all sorts dear Tim each one for his own reason (the Saudi Arabian buyer also did not want to have close neighbors).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1874
Q.: Why did you write the article on the restaurants dear Mr Loizou? Was this related to a real estate matter?
George Koukis

A.: As I have reported it had to do with statutory tenants and their effort to get through the courts a lower rent. My point was that some restaurants do not know how to work in the business. I believe the article was primarily useful to owners/ tenants who because of the state of the economy ask for rental variation and not blaming their own failings.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1875
Q.: I note that you do not have a personal twitter Mr Loizou. It would be most helpful in your business and project yourself in other matters such as social and even political stands of yours.
Manos Lefteris

A.: Our younger staff is pushing me to do this but then we have our weekly articles, our own facebook, our Q+A column etc. Firstly there is no time and secondly antagonizing others is not good for our business.
Thank you for your suggestion dear reader for caring.
Regard,
A.P. Loizou

No.1876
Q.: I was at the Phaneromeni Square church restaurant and there we were singing with the guitars and you appeared (we know you from the press mind you). You stopped for 1 minute danced your own style of sirtaki shaking in addition a plastic bag all over the place. We were very pleased for having (as you say) a mature man to join us.
Thank you for sharing some of your time with us.
Gregoris & friends

A.: Gregoris and friends, I cannot hide from you. I remember the event since I was dining with our Serbian agent at a restaurant next door. Upon leaving I collected the dog food and the bag was just that (for which, I add, my dogs appreciated it tremendously the next day. My dogs are always in my mind).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/36676-td
26.10.2015

No.1877
Q.: I have read in your internet that your candidacy for the European Business Award for being the most caring firm for its clients has not succeeded. Myself and my friends were very disappointed since such a service that yourself and the Cyprus Weekly provide has not been appreciated. You must have been disappointed and we regret the end result.
Tim & friends

A.: The candidacy came from an E.U. organization. We did not enter into any competition mind you, but the organization which proposed us, I must admit, included many other firms.
Of course we are not happy Tim and I accept the decision. Lovely in itself to be recognized by the group that Cyprus Weekly and myself are doing a good job even for a candidacy.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/36677-td
27.10.2015

No.1878
Q.: I am invited to participate in the equity for a chicken farm. The project looks good since I was born and raised in a chicken farm. I have the inclination to participate. Anything to watch out Mr Loizou?
Harold Hess – South Africa

A.: I will tell you the obvious. As a start check the existing building permit and planning zone. Contact the Department of Agriculture and make sure that the project is in accord with the new E.U. regulations (very strict). If everything is okay, get the G.O.P. of the project and its prospects, based on the feasibility study by one of the serious auditors. The value of such farms depend on the volume and profitability of the trade. We are now inundated with such products from South America and other countries at rock bottom prices, let alone the frozen ones (chickens). Check also your future partners. If they are easy to get along with.
Before you “rush” to a decision use your own accountants etc in addition to check everything. The market is very volatile and the investment risk is somewhat high.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1879
Q.: I am over the moon since I am getting married with a local beautiful man for whom I have deep love. I was asked by the local priest if we have a “dowry contract” (in U.S. I understand it is called a pre marriage contract). This sort of thing existed 30-50 years ago (I have one mind you with my wife) but not any more, with some exceptions!! Based on Cypriot law, in case of divorce each party can get back what it has contributed prior to marriage be each party. From there on and depending on the circumstances e.g. contribution to the “new” family wealth, will be split in analogy but in order to cut a long story short, bear in mind that 50-50 is a norm, even if one party does not work. If you are at home bringing up the children and entertain your husband to be his business associates this counts as a contribution. What you have been asked to do (be it a 50 year old tradition) is to commit what you are actually bring into the new family. The Americans with their pre marriage contract is the same be it more professionally done. Use a lawyer’s help dear girl but more importantly make it happen (both of you) for a happy family, alas, finances get on the way which must be addressed just in case.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

3/36702-td
3.11.2015

Νο.1880
Q.: We are buying an apartment dear Mr Loizou and we want to know if we are liable to pay VAT. The seller says we must pay VAT (19%) on top. Our friends told us that since the property is used and more than 10 years old we are not liable.
Maria Welsh

A.: No – You are not liable dear reader. In addition you will be charged 50% of the prevailing transfer fees if bought by the end 2016. Deposit your sales contract at the Lands Office.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1881
Q.: We are ready to transfer our purchased property, yet the Bank which has a mortgage on the project will not provide the seller with a mortgage release – what can we do since we paid off the purchase price a long time ago.
Jon Cameron

A.: Don’t worry, make an application to the Lands Office for a direct transfer provided you can prove that you have paid off the sales price. Similarly if the developer owes property taxes and municipal taxes.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1882
Q.: Recent reports suggest that red meat could be cancerous. What are we are going to do without our sougla and the fun that goes with it?
Stelios Harbos

A.: We get from time to time all sorts of reports on food V health. We know that chocolates were bad for us and now new reports say it is good. It is all a matter of vested interests by manufacturers and traders and depending on what it suits them they provide a report to go.
In Greece the known “gyros” had a similar classification as well as our sougla, souglakia and sausages (and everything else on charcoal fall within the same category). Similarly in the U.K. steak and kidney pie fall within the same category. According to statistics, 90% of the people die (of cancer) due to smoking, another 9% for other reasons (causing cancer) and less than 1% due to “bad” food.
I simply ignore it dear Stelios as I suggest you do the same. The way this state of affairs is going at the end we will become vegetarians but even those have their “cancer” limits. Enough I say.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1883
Q.: There is a lot of complains about the storm drains being blocked and the result is partial flooding blaming at the end the local Municipalities and other local authorities. Don’t you think it is unfair on the authorities who have not constructed the drainage system, but only to maintain it?
Minos X. (ex Municipality employee)

A.: What we are experiencing here as floods is nothing by comparison to Europe with people using boats etc. Drains are blocked because of debris that the rainwater brings mainly, be it in addition in some cases the bad design. We are facing this problem due to storm water and the system designed under certain circumstances cannot cope with sudden heavy rainfall/storms. Part of this problem are the people themselves seeing that the drains are blocked even prior to the rain, do absolutely nothing to clean, expect others to do it for them and only to complain later. Those who have basements with no grills and water pumps in absorption pits have also a problem in case if a storm. I remember quite a few years ago a known Greek singer converted the basement garage into a recording studio completely illegal. Floods came and the equipment was damaged. A lot of publicity and at the end the Cyprus Government paid “compensation” to the illegal user – The reason? Because she/he was a friend of the then president of the Republic – God help us I say.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

3/36700-td
3.11.2015

Νο.1884
Q.: Here you are Mr Loizou - an incredible story.
I have a commercial building in the old Nicosia area at Ledra street. An agreement with a known estate agent on an exclusive basis suggested to place my property to the market for x amount, an amount well in excess of what I expected. I gave an exclusivity sales period for 6 months.
Out of the blue, I was having interested buyers particularly every week looking at the property – But no offers. After a couple of months and without warning, I visited the agent’s office at Nicosia. What did I see!! The visitors/buyers were the same members of the agent’s staff, in an effort to convince me that they are the ones who have buyers. I could not believe my bad luck of dealing with such crooks and they advertise themselves as being the “best” agents around.
Your comments please.
(name withheld)

A.: I am as shocked as you are. I am out of date it seems with the new “tricks” of the trade. This is what usually happens to those agents who are there for the take and no responsibility to their clients. This is just a con job.
Usually such offices use staff with no-salary, no social security, no expenses, no nothing, just a 40% commission (as opposed to the usual 10% commission + salary + social security + provident fund + health insurance etc). I would love you to report the matter to the Police – but it is not worth it and at the end you might find yourself accused for bad publication etc.
Forget it dear reader and do not be lured by the inflated price. I suggest that you listen to the more sceptical/reserved agents.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/36698-td
3.11.2015

No.1885
Q.: We are planting our garden Mr Loizou. Our subsoil is rocky and we want to plant around 50 trees olives/carobs/pines etc. Our gardener told us that we will need to dig a hole for each one approximately 2 mts. depth in order to reach soil. This will cost us around €50/hole. Is this recommended?
Nicos George

A.: If this is what you say is correct, I suggest you follow his advice otherwise you might find after 2-3 years that the trees will die due to no soil access. Preparation for planting is most important notwithstanding that the trees themselves of some age may cost €30/each. Our own forest trees died after 15 years. The Forestry Department visited our place and gave us the same advice. What a shame to replant new after so many years, it is heartbreaking.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1886
Q.: We are now upgrading our home and it comes to a lot of money. Can we discount the cost for capital gains tax purposes?
George Eleftheriou

A.: Yes you can, provided you have the relevant receipts and provided it is in accord to the relevant building plans.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1887
Q.: I have read your article on the Troodos retirees. Lovely and I agree with what you say. I write this letter so that others get to know what it is involved.
George Haris

A.: Thank you George and I appreciate your comments.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

3/36741-td
12.10.2015

No.1890
Q.: I read in your last article regarding planting of trees such as pines and you referred to a possible cost of €30. I have bought pine trees for €5.0/each. Are you not mistaken Mr Loizou?
Tim Shipping

A.: Not at all. What you are referring is a 30 cm plant height and what I am saying is 2½ meter pine. The time that it takes to reach from 30 cm to 2½ mts. is over 3 years if all goes well. It is a matter of how old you are and how much time you can afford to wait dear Tim.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1891
Q.: You like to quote various statements by foreign politicians and I love your quote by W. Churchill that “democracy is not the best system but it is the best we have today”. Then you go on about Enoch Powell. Who was this gentleman and what did he say?
Corby Shipman

A.: Enoch Powell was the vice chairman of the then Conservative Party. Because he referred to the possible racial troubles in the U.K. he had to resign and Margaret Thatcher come to be the chairman of the party. What he said was at the time when Britain had open border policy from its ex-colonies, was that these immigrants will cause “rivers of blood” etc etc. He resigned and two years later it happened with riots etc mainly by immigrants. The end result nowadays is Cameron (the P.M.) to apologize for saying that Britain is a Christian country!!
At the danger of being labelled as a racist person, I hate to predict what will happen to Germany after 10-15 years with the influx of refugee from other religions etc – France is now facing a problem on similar grounds.

No.1892
Q.: We are buying a house and we have asked to be provided with plans of the electromechanical installations as built and not as it is shown on plans. No success we are afraid. So if something goes wrong how are we to know where the pipes etc are?
T. Janken

A.: You are quite right. We do not seem to bother for this most important detail. Hence in most occasions one must “dig” the floor in hope to find the covered services. What happens is we use the “as designed” plans and then if something goes wrong “hope for the best”. A most unsatisfactory situation.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1893
Q.: Gay marriages Mr Loizou. What a subject to write to you about and this has nothing to do with real estate. Why Cyprus does not allow this?
(name withheld)

A.: You are wrong. Cyprus is coming to allow civil marriages of gays but so far the adoption of children by such couples is a no go. We have a strong minded and influential church and our customs make it difficult to swallow the adoption. So that you are not far from real estate, you cannot imagine how many gay clubs are around worldwide and through them you can get connected to investigate any interest in real estate purchases. As a crazy idea, for the developers make a package “get married free of charge in Cyprus with a home purchase”. Am I ahead of my time or just overexcited with the possibility?
Regards,
A.P. Loizou



No.1894
Q.: The Chinese are now allowing each family to have two children instead of one. One of the reasons for becoming permanent residents in Cyprus was that being permanent residents they can have as many children as they want. Do you think that this new “relaxation” of the Chinese Government will affect Chinese interest for acquiring property abroad especially in Cyprus?
Aris Kyriakou

A.: I do not think so. There are so many millions of Chinese and we need only a few thousands.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou



3/36749-td
17.11.2015

No.1895
Q.: Hello, I want to know if is possible to help me to recover (if any) overpayment of personal income tax. I work in Cyprus one year in 2008 and 3 years from 2010 until 2013. Thanks in advance.
Alina.


A.: You must refer to an accounting firm. This is not our line of business I am afraid Alina.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/36767-td
19.11.2015

No.1888
Q.: I have this idea Mr Loizou. To build in an agricultural area on a large plot (which I have) approximately 400.000 sq.mts. to make it into a Cypriot farm. The project will host all the trees and vegetation that Cyprus has and the project to produce local products, such as pastelli, halloumi, olive oil, wine from our own ecological vines in the project etc etc plus a restaurant to go.
Nicos Karras – etc

A.: Such projects dear Nicos entail considerable investment and risks and a waiting period of 5-6 years to get the plantations producing. I love the idea but the financials are another thing to consider. The Oleastro project at Limassol is a case in hand but on a small scale. I could expand on this but the Q+A column is not for this purpose.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1889
Q.: Certain urban areas with the new incentives have an increased building density of more than 240%. The question is can the infrastructure support this (roads, water pipes etc)?
Lenia Xeniou

A.: A good question which only the Authorities can answer I am afraid. I am all for the idea of having high rise buildings and increased building density in Cyprus, which was left behind since the 1960’s. I reported in the past a comment made by a well known Lebanese investor saying that “your development is like a village” – I could not agree with him more.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

3/36750-td
17.11.2015

Νο.1896
Q.: Read this Mr Loizou. We rented a shop for one year and half way the 12 month period, the landlord (whom we think has found a potential tenant with a higher offer) gave us notice of termination, claiming that the contract is void due to lack of witness in our contract and this notwithstanding that there is a witness under signature.
Can he do this?
N.S.

A.: One year contracts or less must be signed by two witnesses by each party, i.e. in total 4 witnesses. One of our legal peculiarities. The landlord may be within his rights but I do suggest you seek advocate’s advice as well.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1897
Q.: Our tenant without excuse gave us one month’s notice that he is leaving our apartment. His contract is for 3 years mind you.
Can we take legal action you think?
(name withheld)

A.: You can, claiming the non payment of rents for the remaining period. Bear in mind however that in order for you to have some sort of success towards your claim, you must prove that you have taken reasonable efforts to let the property, but you did not succeed. This means appointing estate agents, placing adds (2-3) in the press, “for let” sign on the premises etc, but you did not succeed. Having said that taking legal action with the legal system that we have and the legal fees involved, you must weigh the rent loss and the legal action cost. If it is a small rent do without dear reader, since you might find at the end that the costs involved is more that your loss!
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1898
Q.: We are told about statutory tenants and their overprotecting rights which protect the tenant towards rental increases and possession.
Does this apply to all properties?
Marie Briton

A.: Statutory tenants refer to certain properties i.e. properties which were completed prior the year 12/1999. It also applies to all type of properties other than hotels and land and it also refers to specific areas as they are stipulated by Governmental orders – e.g. Platres is included in the statutory areas and nearby Omodos village is not.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1899
Q.: We have a “blue tooth” for our mobile in our car. We changed the phone and suddenly we found out that it does not work. It does not make sense to us and we hate to think that each time we change of mobile phone we have to “change the central computer brain” (as we were told by the car people) which costs (the recent estimate €1.200)!! Surely there is a mistake somewhere or are we being taken for a ride?
Antis Telax

A.: Bad advice I will say dear Antis. Some mobiles do not coincide with some car blue tooth. Check through the internet to see if the one mobile you chose is compatible. If not find one which does. A straight forward and easy to do. The advice you got is more “brainless” than what you have been told about the computer “brain”.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1900
Q.: We have applied for a town planning permit and we were charged €200. Then we have applied for a building permit and we were landed with another fee (both by the authorities) for €120. We ask you dear Mr Loizou should this service not be free?
Mr & Mrs Island

A.: Not really. What the local authorities charge here is next to nothing in relation to what actually cost them to examine both applications. I cannot agree with you that your potential development should be funded by the remaining tax payers.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1901
Q.: You must have seen the reports of an office building bought by a foreign investor for €11 mil. which is let to the Government for €500.000 p.a. this shows a return of 4.5%, much lower than you referred to in your previous articles for 5.5%-6%. Comments please.
G. Harilaou

A.: The return (yield) depends on many factors including the security of the tenure i.e. who the tenant is, the length of the contract, quality of building etc. In the above case it is appreciated that the tenant being the Government is better (more secured) than private Cos. In addition in this case the lease period is for 15 years and with periodic rental increases. So the more attractive is for an investor the lower the yield required. On the other hand the sale of the two Nicosia malls showed a return/yield of around 7% - quite reasonable bearing in mind the nature of the property investment involved – a higher risk. Another factor to consider is that the 5.5%-6% referred to was during the year 2014. With the improvement of the economy and its positive signs, investors feel more comfortable lowering their risk factor (yield).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

A.: If we are to let or sell our property we must provide the buyer/tenant with an energy certificate. Does this make sense to you especially for properties of some age?
Christos Romanos

A.: It does in the sense that this is the law, be it not adopted by the public at large. I agree with you that if you are to let your apartment for say €300 p.m. you will need a certificate which costs approximately €1.5-€2.0/sq.m. – in this example around €150. So there is a problem – of course the certificate is required only once and not each time you sell/let your property. Bear in mind that it is your legal responsibility to provide the certificate and this might give an opportunity to your tenant to break the contract if not provided (not 100% sure mind you).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/36770-td
23.11.2015

No.1903
Q.: Your article on the yields of offices required by foreign investors is most interesting.
Why not sell Governmental buildings with say a 3% return when the Cyprus Government is borrowing at 4.5%?
George Bezkos

A.: I have submitted in another article the same question showing that it pays the Government to sell its own offices and remain as tenant rather than sell the “fillet” land properties for which there is no demand.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/36785-td
26.11.2015

No.1906
Q.: What your Q+A column reports in Cyprus Weekly and what I read in your website is not the same. There is so much more information that I urge the readers to pay a visit to your website (press section).
Allan

A.: Thank you Allan. Cyprus Weekly publishes approximately 3-5 letters per week and the website number is approximately double.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/36799-td
2.12.2015

No.1904
Q.: We want to save in the pool expenses during the winter months when we have no use for it. Any suggestions please Mr Loizou?
Hanna Stige

A.: When you decide to place the pool out of use, I suggest (without being an expert mind you) use the winterize chemical which limits evaporation.
Cover the pool with a manual plastic cover or could you afford it with an electrically operated cover. The first will cost you approximately €800 and the second more than double (4 m. x 8 m.).
This will save you in water consumption, electricity costs and chemicals to go, let alone the cleaning. Bear in mind during winter months you should place the circulation working approximately 1-2 hours per day, no or little chemicals and of course no cleaning. At the end upon reuse you will be faced with cleaning of the pool and use of chemicals to bring the pool to the state that it was.
Having tried this myself dear reader it is worth it.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1905
Q.: We saw in the Greek Phileleftheros paper a whole page about your firm and we were delighted to see some sort of recognition.
Kerry & Anna Shell

A.: Many thanks dear readers. I must thank Phileleftheros paper for hosting our firm.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

3/36800-td
2.12.2015

No.1907
Q.: The House of Parliament is not all the best by far. Yet they came up about the overcharges by charging interest on less than the 365 days a year.
N. Parask.

A.: Yes it is one plus point but the House has failed in so many matters based on small politics that I wonder if this good point will make good its mistakes.
Regard,
A.P. Loizou

3/36802-td
4.12.2015

Νο.1908
Q.: We have this lovely new measure to ask for a title deed transfer notwithstanding any mortgages etc. How long do you think this will take Mr Loizou bearing in mind that the 50% transfer fees ends on 31.12.2016?
Hanna Shouller

A.: At this point of time it is estimated that it will take 6 months – with the increasing applications (now 5.000) I estimate 8-12 months. Having said that, I am sure that the measure of 50% will be extended since the Government itself is in need to achieve transfers.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1909
Q.: Yes we have the go ahead to transfer without property taxes, mortgages etc, but then what about the Municipal and sewage taxes. Can we transfer regardless?
George Hach

A.: A mistake by the law and what you refer to is not included in the release. I wrote a letter to the Minister of Interior and let’s hope that something will come out of it.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/36803-td
4.12.2015

No.1918
Q.: I am aware through my U.K. lawyers with whom we are involved in a divorce case that most lawyers they spoke to in the U.K. say “use Antonis Loizou & Associates” as a joint independent expert.
Is there a catch Mr Loizou?
(name withheld)

A.: Not at all – no catch and no back handed deals. We have built a name of ourselves with approximately 15-20 cases per year in the U.K. divorce courts. It is a most unfortunate event (divorce) but it happens (Cyprus approximately 20% of the marriages end up in divorce). If one is correct the recommendations should be in line with our name.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/36819-td
9.12.2015

No.1919
Q.: Going through my files I noted a comment you made about a Pissouri beach restaurant which had “steel” music instead of the local/Greek culture. You complained to the C.T.O. 2 years ago and yet we visited the same restaurant last week and “steel” music was on.
Mark Philip

A.: I am glad that you have me in file but sleeping C.T.O. is still sleeping. However I will pass on your letter to C.T.O. so that they know (I don’t expect any results however). Having said that I suggest you pay a visit at the Italian restaurant and the Asian one (the latter appeals to those who have an acquire taste for spicy food – For me it is lovely).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1920
Q.: We have read about soil subsidence at Pissouri. Shall we not try to buy at Pissouri?
Nina Vorveck

A.: There are a couple of localities that Pissouri has a problem. Otherwise it is fine. Look at the immediate neighbourhood area as an indication should you be in doubt.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/36834-td
9.12.2015

No.1921
Q.: I love your letter to the Minister of Interior published at Phileleftheros newspaper. Can you come up to it, against the financiers and the Central Bank?
Stelios Ioannou

A.: I have come across many others dear Stelios, against many people and corporations. This will be one of many. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that our report will come to a result. Wait for it 30-50 days. I have the option to report the same to the House mind you.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1922
Q.: I understand that you lost a case against the Government for a property held for 30 years with no rent. Your claim for a compensation for deprivation instead of the Lands Office assessment (based on rents) is a point to be noted.
N. Carris

A.: My point was that is if the Government occupies illegally a property for 30 years with no rent, it means that it is deprivation of property, as Turkey occupies for 40 years the northern part of Cyprus. The European Court decided on a % of rent based on the market value ranging from 5%-6% not a rental basis as such. The judge in his wisdom in this case decided otherwise. This is justice I must say and accepted as such. I can analyse this but this is not the scope of the Q+A column.
No.1923
Q.: I understand that if you have a plantation of say olive trees etc we can get a subsidy for the purpose. We have 40.000 sq.mts. of land and a plantation to go. Can we apply for a E.U. subsidy?
Michalis X.


A.: I suspect that you can but get in touch with the Ministry of Agriculture to be sure.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/36850-td
15.12.2015
 

No.1917
Q.: I note that on the one hand you represent Greek Cypriots for real estate compensation for claiming against Turkey and also I note that you represent Turkish Cypriots for the European Court for compensations against the Cyprus Government etc.
Don’t you think that you are acting as an antiphasis?
Stelios Ioannou

A.: Not at all. Each party has its claims and if justifiable we will support them. We are one country Stelios and I cannot discriminate based on ethnicity and politics.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/36817-td
9.12.2015

No.1918
Q.: I am aware through my U.K. lawyers with whom we are involved in a divorce case that most lawyers they spoke to in the U.K. say “use Antonis Loizou & Associates” as a joint independent expert.
Is there a catch Mr Loizou?
(name withheld)

A.: Not at all – no catch and no back handed deals. We have built a name of ourselves with approximately 15-20 cases per year in the U.K. divorce courts. It is a most unfortunate event (divorce) but it happens (Cyprus approximately 20% of the marriages end up in divorce). If one is correct the recommendations should be in line with our name.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/36819-td
9.12.2015

No.1924
Q.: Rarely I meet a truly professional person in Cyprus. Most of them, advocates, agents and others, seem to be misleading and most of them are related with the seller/developer or otherwise. My experience with your firm is quite different and a breath of a fresh air in this unacceptable situation. In order to register my property through your Pafos sales team, I have asked your firm for a detailed analysis regarding capital gains and other information. You reported next day with full details. Yet and I must admit, I have applied to other agents with no reply. Based on this and your prompt reply I know that Antonis Loizou & Associates is serious firm to deal with.
(name withheld)

A.: I have followed your requirements and I am glad you are happy. Estate agents in Cyprus are not all the best, but there are many good ones.
I thank you for your preference also.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

3/36851-td
16.12.2015

No.1925
Q.: We took our dogs to a park where we should accompany them with a leash. Once we open the car door the dogs shot off and we called them repeatedly and within 2 minutes they were with us. Alas, a Municipal chap was there and duly fined us (with the leash in our hand) for not having the dogs on the leash.
I find this unreasonable.
Nicos & Varvara

A.: I appreciate the subject and you must have came up with a non-understanding employee. But having said this, dog owners can offer all sorts of excuses genuine or not. This is the reason why I do not take my dogs in public parks etc. I would suggest however that a bit of understanding by the Municipality employees would help.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1926
Q.: I was studying the net metering for the EAC consumption and I wonder if you have any views on this.
Hanna Jack

A.: No I do not, but if it is a permanent residence it seems that it is worth it and not if a holiday home. Bear in mind the location of the panels and the overall home appearance (should you so care).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/36848
16.12.2015

No.1927
Q.: Here we are dear Mr Loizou trying to turn Cyprus into a “Green” development, yet we have brainless MPs advertising the eating and of course by projection catching the small migrating birds with no case for legal action - Per our Attorney General.
I note your comments on the Green party regarding development but surely you do not agree with this sort of provocative actions.
(Please do not publish my name)

A.: I share your views on this point, my dear reader. It is shocking indeed. I have not had for the last 10 years this “delicacy”, but there is still a lot of locals who are not happy with the situation. This sort of thing has been going on for over 50 years and old habits die hard I am afraid (the money income alone).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1928
Q.: We are at a restaurant while you were there and a police car drove in with 3 police people (2 women and 1 male) upsetting the clients since everybody was asking what was the reason for the visit. The police people duly sat down had a meal using the police car – Are police cars to be used by the police members for dinners etc?
Stelios Agapiou

A.: I wrote a letter to the Police Chief who has investigated the subject and called me to say that he has made the necessary representations to his staff. I am happy that he has responded and I left it at that. I do not think it will happen again.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


No.1929
Q.: You referred to your monthly newsletter of an Iranian buying 20.000 sq.mts. of land at Protaras and he is building a house on it. I thought that non E.U. members cannot buy land in excess of 4.000 sq.mts. and not in agricultural areas. How can this happen?
Phil. Pilliman

A.: Difficult to answer. What you say is right but then the Iranian might have acquired a Cypriot passport and/or through a Cypriot Co he can do it, thus by passing the regulations. There are all sorts of ways in addition. Having said this and referring to this case, it is a good investment for the Protaras area, upgrading the area and giving a boost to the local building industry.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1930
Q.: We had an accident dear Mr Loizou and we needed to replace the driver’s door. The Insurance Co reported that since our car is 10 years old, they will replace the door using a used door, but duly upgraded to look as new. We have objected to it and our lawyer says we are in the right – Your views please?
Kevin Down

A.: Without being an expert on the subject dear Kevin, I think that the Insurance Co could have a point. It is a similar situation regarding house insurance – replace to the standard and quality that the house is at. I repeat that the door must be replaced as good as new and not a used door etc with its ageing etc to be placed.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou



No.1931
Q.: House help (foreign ones) got an increase by the Government without asking anyone, the consumer. Is this logical since there are thousands paying all sorts of bribes in their own country to come here?
Nico Lellos

A.: I think the Government is treating foreign home help correctly in an effort to protect them from some exploitation that it exists especially in certain quarters. The cost of house help is as expensive as using a local (with all included – accommodation, food, social security, medical care etc). Alas locals are nowhere to be found. Bear in mind that Cyprus emigrating workers were in the same position post the 1974 invasion, without any protection and with the exploitation to go.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1932
Q.: We are involved (as owners) in a building development and one of the workers was hit by a concrete pump pipe and died. Very-very unfortunate and we regret it deeply.
We then received a letter from an advocate stating that the contractor was not insured and asked all of us who did not have any direct involvement in the building works to contribute “something” towards the family of the dead worker – stating in addition that any contribution will not count as an acceptance of any liability by the contributor. We do wish to participate but we are afraid that we might be getting involved in a damages case for which we have nothing to do.
(name withheld)

A.: Provided the advocate is an honest one, I would go for it since you feel the way that you do (and bravo for your human feelings). A difficult question requiring an advocates advice, but then, it is better than do absolutely nothing. I would do it with a letter to go as a contribution without any responsibility on your part. The addressing advocate to sign and confirm.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1933
Q.: What are these “Municipal Groceries” that they give out free all sorts of vegetables, potatoes, bread etc to whoever asks for it? We were invited by some of the residents as a project committee to participate with a monetary or product contribution to help out. Is this a con job, since we think that allsorts of people not necessarily eligible get their free packet and in addition Governmental help and some of them even work.


A.: What a lovely suggestion as a project committee. Do it my friends and well done for the committee’s initiative. Yes there might be crooks, as there are everywhere, but do not opt out for this, leaving out the needy. There are now new regulations checking the applicants but what you say it will still happen. Do it my friends.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

3/36875-td
22.12.2015

No.1934
Q.: I have a most interesting proposal for a shop at Ayiou Andreou Street (Limassol) approximately 40 sq.mts. plus mezzanine. Asking sales price €200.000 (subject to negotiation). This pedestrian street is full of tourists and locals at all hours, being one of the most tourist side roads. My idea is to buy the shop and use it during morning hours as a croissanterie, including the local food such as halloumi pitta, eliopitta etc and with a coffee to go.
After day hours I plan to use this as a wine bar with a lot of dips using bar stools etc. What do you think? Myself and my wife who (we think) are excellent cooks and P.R. persons should we go for it?
R & B Love

A.: With such a surname dear friends you cannot go wrong. Bear in mind that your idea should be explored with the local authority in order to get the necessary permits since a shop and a “take away” (at least) entails a lot of requirements and a somewhat crueling process, so that you may find at the end of the day what is your total cost. From there on and should you examine your working hours (do not depend only on staff) since this is a cruel job. It is a good idea pavement food to go on the side street etc – See Nicosia example.
Warning - If you are not personally involved it may become a disaster mind you.
I could give you a historical analysis of my own idea at a souglaki shop at Protaras.
Get your costs, maths and your time/cost. For me it sounds as a good idea should you be up to it yourselves. As an investment in terms of own pleasure it is lovely.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou


3/36884-td
23.12.2015

No.1935
Q.: I understand that if we have no titles we can apply to the Lands Office directly to have them issued. I also understand that if our purchased property is blocked by mortgages etc, the transfer can take place regardless.
It seems to me to be too good to be true – But please could I have your opinion on this?
Barry K.

A.: You can indeed apply to the Lands Office for the title issue, but the Lands Office will follow the procedure that the developer etc must follow. So if there is red tape, procedures etc, it will not be of a great help, whereas the developer/seller is in a better position in my estimation getting title issue. With the Lands Office procedure I suspect it will take longer but no harm in applying.
Once the title is issued yes you can apply for a direct transfer regardless mortgages etc.
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

No.1936
Q.: We seek to be experiencing fires in houses etc eminating from the wrong or otherwise installation of an open fireplace. Only this month we have had 3 house fires. Do you have an opinion what to watch out?
Socha Fisher

A.: A wood burning fireplace is not as innocent as it seems and during its operation it must be watched at all times. I am not an expert but I suggest that you note the basics:

  • If a builder is building your fireplace, this must be tested prior to delivery.

  • Ready made fireplaces are also available (usually Italian make), follow the same procedure.

  • Get your chimney clean every year since the muck tends to block the airflow.

  • Always and always place a fire guard.

  • Make sure that your chimney is duly insulated with asbestos pipes or otherwise plus other insulation materials.

  • Place a gadget on top of the chimney exit which restricts sparks coming out of the chimney.

  • Do not use old wood from furniture etc which have chemicals. Use firewood instead, be it more expensive.

  • Do not leave your fireplace operating when you are asleep or away. Place water on top so that the fire dies out. (It happens that the fire revives if not enough water is placed).

  • Use firewood from licensed wood traders so that you do not get into trouble since various cowboys cut just about everything in order to sell.

  • Etc

Use the service for advice of the local Fire Department who is most helpful I find (there is a certain publication on the subject).
Regards,
A.P. Loizou

3/36906-td
31.12.2015
 

 

 

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