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Cyprus Eastern Forum Index » Ask Nigel A Question » Legality of Maintenance Fees for Complex Goto page Previous  1, 2
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Post: #21   PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:20 am Reply with quote
nhowarth
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Dear Freddie

If you can't establish a committee (the minimum number of members is one) I suggest you approach the Land Registry for assistance. The following is taken from the Department of Lands & Surveys Citizens' Charter:

"The Director of the Department of Lands & Surveys has the power and/or the obligation to intervene in matters concerning the management of any jointly-owned building only upon an application lodged with any District Lands Office and upon payment of the relevant fees by the applicant/owner of any unit.​"

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Legal Process 
Post: #22   PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:35 pm Reply with quote
neil62
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Dear Nigel

Many thanks fro your reply..

I guess it would be carry more weight if we set up a management committee before we approach the Lands Office? rather than approaching them as an individual



Regards


Freddie
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Post: #23   PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:40 pm Reply with quote
nhowarth
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Hi Freddie

If you if set up a management committee, there isn't any point in asking the Land Registry.

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Management Committee 
Post: #24   PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:52 pm Reply with quote
neil62
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Hi Nigel..

If we set up a management committee is there a legal process that we can use to remove the undesirables from the complex, this has been a problem for the last few years with the developer and i'm sure other letting there apartments to anyone.


Regards


Freddie
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Re: Management Committee 
Post: #25   PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:10 am Reply with quote
nhowarth
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neil62 wrote:
If we set up a management committee is there a legal process that we can use to remove the undesirables from the complex


No - there isn't. You should read the law on jointly-owned buildings at
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If the residents are creating a noise you should call the police.

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Post: #26   PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:10 pm Reply with quote
nikcnet
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linglieglen wrote:
I applaud your tenacity nickcnet in standing up for your rights. Perhaps you should be naming the Maintenance company and their lawyers, so that other committes can steer clear of them.
Linglieglen.


Linlieglen - many thanks for your words of encouraging support. This is much appreciated - and I hope that others will feel encouraged to fight their corner in what seems like the pernicious battle of getting justice for themselves and their families.

From the postings on this Forum across the years, the issue of maintenance payments at complexes seems to be a running sore that blights what should be a posititve experience of living in what I believe is a delightful country.

At this time we have instructed a lawyer to deal with the management company and their lawyers in trying to resolve the disagreement we have about what we believe is the illegal way costs are being shared and consequent demands for payment being made. For this reason I feel it would be inapropriate to name the management company or the lawyers concerned. That said, there are lessons to be drawn from our dreadful experience which has now entered its third year of operation. Previously we 'enjoyed' our maintenance being handled by a family member of the developer - followed by several years of self management by owners.

Similar to the anecdotal evidence of other Forum members, we have suffered from owners refusing to pay anything and disputes arising about operational aspects of what should be routine maintenance at the complex.

I dare say that were the management company and their lawyers named there would undoubtedly be cheerleaders emerging to praise them! I can only go by what we have lived through and suggest that the key is open, regular and transparent communication by your committee about the process you go through in appointing an external management company - and due diligence in selecting any lawyer acting on your behalf.

For example, it is not good business sense - or legal (?) - to appoint a company on the basis of going to just one supplier. You need three to get a measure of what the market has to offer. Also, make sure your committee is acting with the consent and agreement of all owners - and they have fully consulted everyone on what they are proposing to do on your behalf.

We feel that we had no choice and were not properly consulted with disclosure or terms of business or service level agreements being proposed. When challenged, a committee member said that the advice I had been given about cost sharing was wrong and that imposed by the new order was 'acceptable' !!!

The thing that bugs me is that the lawyer that comes in tandem with our maintenance provider is an additional cost . Obviously there may be occasions when the services of a lawyer might be required - BUT this can surely paid for on a 'needs be ' basis from the Reserve Fund?

I know that, in the larger scheme of things, being screwed for a few hundred Euros a year doesn't compare with troubles going on in lands not too distant from this island - BUT it affects our home, how we live and is unjust.

Readers of this Forum will be very familiar with the repeated questions to Nigel about how cost should be shared. We too have asked the same questions but have been at the receiving end of verbal abuse and bullying by one committee member for having the temerity to do so. The unkindest cut of all is being told by that committee member that Nigel Howarth doesn't know what he's talking about and I should effectively 'butt out' and not ask questions of a legal nature. For the record, I know that Nigel is arguably one of the most knowledgeable and experienced people when it comes to matters to do with Cyprus property. Consulted by international bodies for his expertise, I trust Nigel 150%. The irony is that another committee member asked Nigel a question on another topic a few weeks after I was verbally abused.

Having consulted four independent lawyers who agree with Nigel's observations on sharing of costs at complexes, our position is clear.

Regarding the lawyer you use, simply exercise the due diligence which, in my opinion, was lacking in our situation. Ask any lawyer you might be considering if they ARE or have EVER been on this list of English-speaking lawyers published by the British High Commission in Nicosia. There are many good lawyers who don't appear but it would be interesting to know if a lawyer who was listed has been removed?

Linlieglen - I hope this somewhat exhaustive response to your posting is of help.
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Problems on Complex 
Post: #27   PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:43 pm Reply with quote
neil62
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Dear Nigel,

Many thanks for your reply,

If only it was just noise the complex has been taken over by Gypies who have stolen water tanks & Solar panels destroyed lifts and basically completely trashed the complex, when owners have called the Police on many occasions the police have had to retreat to their cars after being attached by the gypies, it is no longer possible to even stay at the complex let alone rent or sell or apartment.

Any help is much appreciated


Freddie
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Post: #28   PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:46 am Reply with quote
nhowarth
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Dear Freddie

If the local police are useless, speak with the Police at the District HQ.

Regards,

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Police 
Post: #29   PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:21 pm Reply with quote
neil62
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Dear Nigel.

Many thanks for your reply, i'm not sure even the district Police will be able to help apart from when there is a disturbance, i am really looking for a legal route that can be taken to bring the complex back to some sort of safe community that my family and i can stay in.

Kind regards


Freddie
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Post: #30   PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 3:25 pm Reply with quote
nikcnet
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Nigel ... a follow up question on this topic .....

If the way costs of maintenance have been shared between owners is proven to be incorrect i.e. illegal, what is the position of existing and / or past Committee members who sanctioned the illegal charging ... including those who may have since moved away and are no longer owners ?

In other words, if they did not do due diligence when agreeing how costs should be shared, what is their culpability towards owners who have been overcharged or pursued through the courts and (uncontested) enforcement judgements given?

Thank you for your considered opinion.
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Post: #31   PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 5:33 am Reply with quote
nhowarth
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Hi nikcnet

The major issue with the way communal fees are calculated is that the sizes of the units are not known until their deeds are issued. So in many cases people are charged the same or by the number of bedrooms.

Once the deeds have been issued the Management Committee can work out the correct fees for the units.

The fees could have been challenged at the General Meetings or agreed changes could have been made to the Regulations (which would then have been deposited at the Land Registry.)

You'll have to seek legal advice on whether it's possible to sue current or passed Management Committee members for incorrect charging.

(In answer to your earlier question about lawyers being removed from the BHC list. Yes some have been removed! I asked BHC's Zoe Woodward the reason why one particular lawyer had been removed, but she would not say. Zoe returned to the UK a couple of years ago.)

Regards,

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Post: #32   PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:25 pm Reply with quote
hansen2812
Joined: 20 Apr 2016
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Location: wales

 
I have the same problem as you, only thing is my flat is being sold, I have had enough of these people on our committee. I own a two bedroom flat, I paid for the parcel of land and title in 2014, but I am being asked to pay the same price as the three bedroom, two bathroom, and two balcony's one covered one open. The flat above mine is the same size but the balcony is the size of my flat and they don't pay for the outside area's. (balcony's) I was sent a demand letter this week and the committee are saying I owe 1,200 euro, I don't I have receipts' for some of the years' they have me down as as owing, but I confess the after I paid the Land Registry for my parcel of land, and title I did tell our
committee I was only going to pay as the law 224 of the properties act state's. But I paid another 600 euro yesterday even though I believe I don't owe them money, and the only reason I have paid it is my flat has a buyer. It was bought the same day it went on the market so it's been a shock, but I can't wait to go from here now. I am 73 year's old and have never owed any money in my life before, so when I started receiving demand's it isn't very pleasant. But I will not pay another 600 euro they say I owe, and the Management Company were told this yesterday. If they come after me back in the UK, i WILL take legal action against them.
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Post: #33   PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:39 am Reply with quote
nikcnet
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hansen2812 wrote:
I have the same problem as you, only thing is my flat is being sold, I have had enough of these people on our committee. I own a two bedroom flat, I paid for the parcel of land and title in 2014, but I am being asked to pay the same price as the three bedroom, two bathroom, and two balcony's one covered one open. The flat above mine is the same size but the balcony is the size of my flat and they don't pay for the outside area's. (balcony's) I was sent a demand letter this week and the committee are saying I owe 1,200 euro, I don't I have receipts' for some of the years' they have me down as as owing, but I confess the after I paid the Land Registry for my parcel of land, and title I did tell our
committee I was only going to pay as the law 224 of the properties act state's. But I paid another 600 euro yesterday even though I believe I don't owe them money, and the only reason I have paid it is my flat has a buyer. It was bought the same day it went on the market so it's been a shock, but I can't wait to go from here now. I am 73 year's old and have never owed any money in my life before, so when I started receiving demand's it isn't very pleasant. But I will not pay another 600 euro they say I owe, and the Management Company were told this yesterday. If they come after me back in the UK, i WILL take legal action against them.


I'm sorry to learn of the distress you are going through. It's cold comfort to know that you are trying to follow the law as it should apply to those who own properties in common area developments.

I can relate to the anguish you describe. I try and keep a detached approach to resolving issues. However, this has all had a highly detrimental affect on my wife, who already suffers from poor health. The subject of 'maintenance' sends her into a spiral of despair, depression and a perhaps understandable wish to quit. That said, this is our permanent HOME ... we have invested a great deal of time, money and energy into a place where we want to live.

In our case it is the committee plus an external maintenance supplier allied with a lawyer who has been removed from the British High Commission listing that has made us feel like errant tenants.

To help us fight our grievance, we have retained the services of an excellent lawyer who does things by the book when setting up committees and maintenance agreements for complexes she represents. Have you asked your lawyer to intervene on your behalf ? I know you are hopefully not going to be here much longer ( ? ) but you express fear about being chased for money when you are in the UK. Taking action now - before you leave - should hopefully remove that potential fear ?

Also, if you are expecting Cyprus law to apply to your maintenance arrangements - and they are not - I would have thought the onus of proof that the law is being followed rests with your committee. If what they are doing is unlawful, they would presumably be hard pressed to go beyond the borders of their flawed thinking.

The common feature of those pursuing wrongful claims is that they are basically nothing short of thugs - ignorant bullies who seem to like throwing their weight around, expecting 'lesser' mortals to cave in and pay up !

I wish you well and hope these thoughts of support and encouragement are of some help.
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Post: #34   PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:33 am Reply with quote
hansen2812
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I own a home in the UK, and I also have an Insurance for legal fees. I have paid this Insurance since being widowed in 1993, and I know they are good. So hopefully I will not hear anymore threat's, but if I do then this committee can be assured I will take action.
I thank you for your kind support and maybe this will be of help to other's, I own mine outright because of the parcel of land and title, only four of us have paid for this, and there are 52 flat's on this complex. But our committee say that the extra money they have put on our fees are for those who won't pay. And our chairman, when I spoke to him say's it is our DUTY!!!! TO PAY THIS EXTRA MONEY. so if someone buy's a new car and can't afford to pay for it that's OK because the rest of us will.LOL. But being serious it have made me sick, and it isn't the money, it's the principle that because I have paid for my title I have other bill's they don't have to pay yet, and they will not believe it when you tell them, of Munni taxes, and sewerage, they still don't pay. Our chairman also called me Dishonest and un-trustworthy, so you can imagine how I feel about him.
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Post: #35   PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:07 pm Reply with quote
nhowarth
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Dear hansen2812

I'm sorry to hear of the problems you are facing with your management committee.

It may be possible for you (or your lawyer) to get information from the Land Registry showing the sizes of each of the units.

Your developer should have registered the building as being 'jointly owned'. To do this he will have supplied the Land Registry with approved architect’s plans of the sectional view of the units and the general alignment of the buildings showing clearly the extent covered by each unit, the jointly-owned spaces or any limited jointly-owned property. This should be sufficient to calculate communal fees in cases where Title Deeds have not been issued.

I'm sorry to say that if some of the owners refuse to pay the onus falls on those who do pay to make up any shortfall in the fees collected.

Regards,

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Post: #36   PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:25 pm Reply with quote
hansen2812
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Thank's Nigel, But I have already got the size of the apartments, and I have it on the paperwork and plan's I have from the Land Registry. And mine is 68 square metre's, those behind mine are 75 metre's so those on top are the size of both apartment's 143 square metre's. Counting inside area's and out, their veranda's are bigger than my apartment. And since we have not received spreadsheet's since 2015, it is impossible to work out how much everyone should pay. It just seem's so unfair. I have tried to follow the law on all I have done, but this committee only want to use the law's that suit them. And I thought if you follow the LAW then you have to use all the law's even if they are not what you want. (WE CAN'T PICK AND CHOOSE)
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Post: #37   PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:02 am Reply with quote
nhowarth
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Dear hansen2812

Is there any way you can send the paperwork you have to me by email?

IF you have the sizes of ll the apartments it's straightforward to work out your contribution to the communal fees as a percentage of the total.

You can email me using the email button below or vial my website at
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Regards,

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Post: #38   PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:09 am Reply with quote
hansen2812
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Sorry if I misled you Nigel, but I got the size of the apartment when I paid for the parcel off land and title. Regards
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Post: #39   PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:33 am Reply with quote
nhowarth
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Hi hansen2812

No problem. If you can send the Title to me I can check if there;s any further info on the DLS database,

I don't need the whole thing just the top part of the page like this:



Regards,

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Post: #40   PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:15 pm Reply with quote
hansen2812
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I think I know which piece of paperwork you need, and I will try and get someone send what I have to you. I am not very good o this thing. I would value your help,when I paid the 600 euro to this management firm they took a copy of it. It looks like the title.!!! Regards
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Legality of Maintenance Fees for Complex 
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