Commerce and Industry Officer
Ministry of Energy, Commerce,
Industry and Tourism
6, Andreas Araouzos street,
Tel: +357 22867191 Fax: +357 22375120
16th April 2015
RE: The double selling of our house
Dear Ms Sergiou,
Thank you for your recent correspondence where you expressed willingness to reopen an investigation into our complaint. We have copied this letter to your counterpart agencies in the UK and will write to them directly in the hope that you can work together collectively towards a resolution for our case and better protection for others.
Kindly note, that since submitting our complaint in June 2011, we have moved address and it took a while for your letter to reach us.
Since 2011 we’ve proceeded with court action, we are awaiting an appeal and your assistance is still desperately required. So far, we have found no solace in the legal system, the courts have been viciously uneven, the property developer remains unpunished and continues to advertise the same false claims today.
Dangerously, one of our cases outlined below, made precedent at the Supreme Court and has now exposed consumers to a high risk that is unique to Cyprus and which needs addressing. In brief, a contract deposited at the Land Registry, no longer means you are the beneficial owner of that property. It is no longer a criminal offence for the developer to sell that same property over and over again. This is now a civil issue and the buyer must first prove to the civil courts any claim over the property. This, as our plight shows, will take over a decade to resolve and all that time with the buyers funds in the developers bank account.
Following the format of your attached complaint form.
A. Consumer Information
Mr Cornelius O’Dwyer
Β. Company or Trader Information against whom the complaint is lodged
Christoforos Karayiannas & Son Ltd
Karayiannas Shopping Center
1st Floor, Office No.1
152 Griva Digeni
Telephone: +357 23743553
Fax: +357 23730793
Email : email@example.com
C. Description of the complaint
(Please write a clear description of the complaint. Attach additional pages, if necessary)
We bought a house from the above company to be built with a delivery date of July 2006. We deposited our sales contract in the Land Registry for specific performance. The company unlawfully disregarded that contract and kept all our money. The company immediately sold the same house at a higher price to another family without informing them of our existence.
When buying property in Cyprus, we, like everyone else, believed that the deposit of our contract in the Land Registry secured our rights and protected our interests. This is still the message from every estate agent, lawyer and developer in the industry. Here are some examples specific to our case:-
From Christoforos Karayiannas and Son Ltd’s own promotional material
“From the minute your contract of sale is registered at the land registry department the property is officially yours and you can sell your property the next minute.”
From the brochure of the Pittadjis Law Firm of Paralimni. The lawyers involved in selling our house to another without our knowledge
“By having the purchase contract deposited at the L.R.O. The buyer not only secures his interest in the property but he also prevents the owner of land/vendor from transferring the property to a third party without his knowledge”
Dangerously, this rhetoric also comes from the highest levels of government. Mr Neoclis Sylikiotis,Minister of the Interior stated in July 2009.
“It must also become clear that the ownership status of a buyer-owner of immovable property in Cyprus is definitely secured and cannot be challenged, as long as the buyer owner has submitted the buying-contract to the Department of Lands and Surveys”
Had we known that our developer can sell our house to another and keep our money despite our contract in the Land Registry, then we would never have bought in Cyprus.