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mangement company. 
Post: #1   PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:00 pm Reply with quote
Philip Hayes
Joined: 21 Jun 2009
Posts: 13
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Location: West Sussex & Liopetri

 
I have an apartment in a small block, and we have one absent owner.For the last couple of years we have paid the absent owners communal fees but I have been told not to pay this any more as the possibility of getting this money back in the near future is nil. Now the management company has given a revised quote putting the absent owners fees onto everyone's fees. Is this allowed.
Thank you in advance.
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Post: #2   PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:36 pm Reply with quote
mouse
Joined: 08 Oct 2005
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Location: kapparis,cyprus

 
Unfortunately this does happen a lot. But why doesn't the Management company take legal action.

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kevin
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Post: #3   PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:44 am Reply with quote
nhowarth
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Hi Philip

If owners do not pay the management fees, the remaining have to make up the shortfall.

When the unpaid amount justifies the costs involved - the committee can apply to the court to have the debt (plus expenses) registered as a claim known as a 'memo' against the title of the defaulter's property. This memo prevents the transfer of the property until the debt has been repaid.

Regards,

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Post: #4   PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:55 pm Reply with quote
snoutintrough
Joined: 18 Dec 2011
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Hi Nigel,

How do I apply to the court? Is there a form to complete? Do I have to attend court in person or can I submit the information by post or email? Do I need to involve a lawyer at any stage?

Your help is much appreciated

Snoutintrough
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Post: #5   PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:52 am Reply with quote
nhowarth
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snoutintrough wrote:
How do I apply to the court?


This isn't something you can do yourself, you need to instruct a lawyer.

Regards,

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Nigel Howarth
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Post: #6   PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:19 pm Reply with quote
snoutintrough
Joined: 18 Dec 2011
Posts: 71
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Thank you for your reply Nigel.

Do you know if anyone has successfully used this approach to stop owners selling their apartment and how long does the court process take of placing a memo on the properties?

A number of apartments on our complex are owned by the bank and, of course, the bank has never paid anything towards the maintenance fees. The complex is well maintained and paid for by many owners but we feel it is unfair that the bank does not contribute to the maintenance of the complex as they will benefit in the selling price if the complex is not looking run down or neglected. What are your thoughts about trying to place memos on the properties that they own?

Kind regards

Snoutintrough
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Post: #7   PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 5:48 am Reply with quote
nhowarth
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Hi Snoutintrough

A few years ago I visited a law firm with an elderly lady I was helping. Her lawyer had a pile (literally) of court judgements against maintenance fee defaulters.

Here's how the process works:

    Registration of Memorandum (MEMO)
    Civil Procedure Law, Cap.6, Sections 53-62

    Where a Court has issued a judgment in favour of a creditor ordering the other party to the proceedings (judgment debtor) to pay a specified amount of money to the judgment creditor, the creditor may register a charge with the Department of Lands & Surveys against any immovable property registered in the name of the debtor as security for the recovery of the judgment debt.

    The encumbrance created upon registration of a judgment is called "memo" (from the Latin term "memorandum").

    A memorandum is registered upon deposit of a certified copy of the Court's judgment with the Lands Office of the District where the debtor's properties are situated. The procedure of acceptance of a memo does not take more than 15-30 minutes. Lands Offices do not accept memos sent by post.

    Form N.56 is to be completed and signed by the creditor, his agent or attorney and deposited with the above judgment. Form N.57 (certificate of registration of "memo) is to be completed and signed by the Lands Officer in charge and returned to the creditor.

    The fees for the registration and issue of the certificate of registration of the memo are payable upon deposit of the memo. Such fees are paid on the same day.

    A memo remains in force for six years from the date the judgment was first registered with the Department and its duration may be prolonged by an order of Court for a further period not exceeding two years each time.

    Applications requesting for a prolongation of the period of duration of any memo must be filed before the Court at least one month before the memo's expiry. The Court's order for prolongation of the period of registration of the memo must be deposited with the Department within 14 days from the date when the memo would have expired. The memo shall be cancelled wholly or partly, upon filing with the Department of Lands and Surveys of a Special form N.58 signed by the creditor, his agent or his attorney.

    All memos shall be recorded in a special book kept at each District Lands Office. The public is allowed access to the records of memos kept with the Department in the presence of the Land Officer in charge.


I don't know how you would go about dealing with the bank, you'll need to take advice from the lawyer.

(Incidentally lawyers fees and other reasonable costs can be included in the court application.)

Regards,

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Post: #8   PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 8:57 pm Reply with quote
snoutintrough
Joined: 18 Dec 2011
Posts: 71
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Thank you Nigel.

Have you heard of any management committee that has actually been successful in receiving unpaid fees in this way and how long roughly does the process take from submitting claims to a court decision?

Regards

Snoutintrough
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Post: #9   PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:01 am Reply with quote
nhowarth
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Hi Snoutintrough

I haven't heard of any management committee that's managed to recover unpaid fees - but the property cannot be sold/transferred until the debt has been repaid.

The court decision should take no longer than a day or two. There isn't a hearing as such - the lawyer acting on behalf of the committee states the case in front of a judge and a decision is taken. It takes a day or two to issue the judgement.

There is (or used to be) someone on this forum who has gone though the process. And someone else managed to get the defaulters who were living in the UK to pay by using bailiffs.

Regards,

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Post: #10   PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:02 pm Reply with quote
journo
Joined: 22 Mar 2009
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Hi,

I'm on several Management Committees which have successfully taken individual non-payers to Court and as a result have collected the outstanding Common Parts payments plus fees.

We've also successfully had Memos put in place (and renewed). And collected on one pre-sale.

We are now facing a problem regarding one particular Memo.

The property has been reposessed by a Bank.

The previous 'owner' (now deceased) had defaulted on mortgage and personal loans, owed some 20,000 euros in Common Parts, had not paid any local charges/taxes/local or national IPT etc for years and had numeous other debts Sad

His surviving family members claim they have nowhere else to live, and the estate has obviously not been put through Probate.

So, the chances of us getting money back (despite the legally valid Memo) don't look too good at the moment, also bearing in mind the 'pecking order' for Creditors.
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Post: #11   PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:30 pm Reply with quote
snoutintrough
Joined: 18 Dec 2011
Posts: 71
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Nigel / Journo

Thank you both for your reply. Much appreciated

Regards

Snoutintrough
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Post: #12   PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:30 pm Reply with quote
snoutintrough
Joined: 18 Dec 2011
Posts: 71
Pictures: 0

 
journo wrote:
Hi,

I'm on several Management Committees which have successfully taken individual non-payers to Court and as a result have collected the outstanding Common Parts payments plus fees.

We've also successfully had Memos put in place (and renewed). And collected on one pre-sale.

We are now facing a problem regarding one particular Memo.

The property has been reposessed by a Bank.

The previous 'owner' (now deceased) had defaulted on mortgage and personal loans, owed some 20,000 euros in Common Parts, had not paid any local charges/taxes/local or national IPT etc for years and had numeous other debts Sad

His surviving family members claim they have nowhere else to live, and the estate has obviously not been put through Probate.

So, the chances of us getting money back (despite the legally valid Memo) don't look too good at the moment, also bearing in mind the 'pecking order' for Creditors.


Hi Journo,

May I ask you;

- Are your committees officially registered with the local authority and if so, what is the process for doing this?

- Does the committee have to be officially registered to have memo's place on properties?

- How much does a lawyer cost to submit the relevant paperwork to the court?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Snoughintrough
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Post: #13   PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:24 pm Reply with quote
journo
Joined: 22 Mar 2009
Posts: 5324
Pictures: 17

 
Hi, snoutintrough (love your ID by the way!)

Our Larnaka MC's were always registered in the past - however for the past two years when forwarding all the previously-required paperwork, the MCs have been told that registration is no longer a legal requirement - and no longer offered.

In Agia Napa, the committees I work with still request, and are given, registration.

So in my experience, there's no 'single' answer to that question.

Since Larnaka no longer provides registration of the MCs, the Committees there have not needed registration to go to Court for a memo (though, as for signatories at the banks, the MC always provides the Minutes of the AGM at which the Committee was elected - with all the names and contact details of elected MC members.

As to the fees charged by lawyers - we've found substantial variations; we've always invited 'quotes' but haven't always gone with the cheapest. We continue to work with lawyers we trust to get us the best result.

Which to date means we've always had positive results.

Cheers, and good luck
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Post: #14   PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:28 pm Reply with quote
snoutintrough
Joined: 18 Dec 2011
Posts: 71
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Hi Journo,

Thank you for your reply.

Just a few more questions:

- You mention previously that you have successfully taken non-payers to court. Was this in Cyprus or the UK and were these non-payers Cypriot or non-Cypriot or both? If you pursued this non-payers through the Cypriot court, how long roughly did the process take from submitting the papers to being heard in court to obtaining the funds? Did any committee member have to attend court or was this all done through the lawyer?

- Our complex is in the Kapparis / Protaras area and our committee is not officially registered even through we have been managing the complex for several years. Just to be clear, you are saying that we can engage a lawyer and arrange for memos to be put on properties and pursue non payers through the courts without the need for the committee to be officially registered? If that is correct, I would be really grateful if you wouldn't mind providing me with the name of any recommended lawyers you use / trust that are familiar with this process?

Any help is much appreciated

Snoutintrough
PS: Glad you like the ID Smile
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Post: #15   PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:45 am Reply with quote
journo
Joined: 22 Mar 2009
Posts: 5324
Pictures: 17

 
snoutintrough wrote:
Hi Journo,

Thank you for your reply.

Just a few more questions:

- You mention previously that you have successfully taken non-payers to court. Was this in Cyprus or the UK and were these non-payers Cypriot or non-Cypriot or both? If you pursued this non-payers through the Cypriot court, how long roughly did the process take from submitting the papers to being heard in court to obtaining the funds? Did any committee member have to attend court or was this all done through the lawyer?

- Our complex is in the Kapparis / Protaras area and our committee is not officially registered even through we have been managing the complex for several years. Just to be clear, you are saying that we can engage a lawyer and arrange for memos to be put on properties and pursue non payers through the courts without the need for the committee to be officially registered? If that is correct, I would be really grateful if you wouldn't mind providing me with the name of any recommended lawyers you use / trust that are familiar with this process?

Any help is much appreciated

Snoutintrough
PS: Glad you like the ID Smile


As as first step, we take the non-payers to court here in Cyprus. [Cypriot and non-Cypriot nationals, Cyprus-resident and non-Cyprus-resident owners.]

In general they have belatedly recognised that they are just going to accumulate monumental bills if they don't settle up 'now' [and will have to pay before they can sell anyway if we put a memo on the property] so are finally paying up.

HaHa, they're paying well over what it would have cost them if they'd just paid the bills at the time Smile

Some are paying by monthly installments since they've run up such large debts 'plus costs'. And are now regretting their in transigence.

Once we have the court ruling here, we are in a good position to pursue non-Cy-resident EU citizens in their own countries. With police/judicial authorities in EU member countries willingly enforcing the Cyprus rulings there.

I can confirm the long-established and previously-registered Larnaka committees have successfully pursued court cases without current registration. The Agia Napa committees continue to be registered.

Sorry, I have no definitive experience of the situation for committees in Kapparis/Protaras.

If it provides any inkling, I can confirm that in Larnaka the Management Committees used to be asked for proof of registration to have communal area electricity bills put in the Committees' names. Now all they need is minutes of the AGMs electing the Committees.

Committee representatives did have to meet with the lawyers to sign paperwork etc. They did not actually have to appear in court.

The time scale (start, to completion of payments) has varied from 6 months to 2 years.

We have also had owners pay up (quickly) after receiving a Lawyer's letter giving them one last chance to settle their accounts before going to court. [But they get the cost of the Lawyer's letter added to their bill - most of the lawyers seem to charge euros50 per letter]
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Post: #16   PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:17 pm Reply with quote
snoutintrough
Joined: 18 Dec 2011
Posts: 71
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Thank you Journo, you have been very helpful Smile

One last question for now, which is really aimed at both you and Nigel. Do either of you know, with the support of a lawyer and without being officially registered as a committee, can we arrange for memos to be put on properties and pursue non payers through the courts?

Regards

Snoutintrough
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Post: #17   PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:02 pm Reply with quote
journo
Joined: 22 Mar 2009
Posts: 5324
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snoutintrough wrote:
Thank you Journo, you have been very helpful Smile

One last question for now, which is really aimed at both you and Nigel. Do either of you know, with the support of a lawyer and without being officially registered as a committee, can we arrange for memos to be put on properties and pursue non payers through the courts?

Regards

Snoutintrough


When Nigel turns up, he will no doubt be able to advise you better.

All I can do is repeat from my previous comments, based on my own experience:

* In Larnaka, Committees are told they no longer need to register. With the help of our lawyers, there has been no problem in committees pursuing debtors through the courts or being granted memos without current MC registration.

* In Agia Napa (where we also successfully go to court and have been granted memos) our committees are still offered registration. I don't know what would happen there if, like Larnaka, the committees didn't ask for - or get- registration.

Island-wide, the most important things seem to be that :

* the block/development (rather than the Committee) has been registered as a 'jointly-owned property' at the appropriate Land Registry

* and that you can produce AGM minutes showing the valid election of the committee (with names of members) taking matters to the courts.
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Post: #18   PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:29 pm Reply with quote
snoutintrough
Joined: 18 Dec 2011
Posts: 71
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Thanks Journo for your reply and await Nigel's advice.

We do have official AGM minutes, documented by the developer, which contain confirmation of the elected committee members when the developer transferred the Complex maintenance responsibilities over to the owners but they are about 4 years old. Would these suffice for this purpose?

We have not held another AGM since then because no one is interested in being on the committee and taking over everything we do to keep the maintenance going despite repeated requests through our regular newsletter for someone else to step up and take a turn in running the complex.

Regards

Snoutintrough
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Post: #19   PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:52 am Reply with quote
nhowarth
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Hi Snoutintrough

The law requires that the Management Committee to "convene a general meeting of the owners of the units at least once year and every other meeting..."

I'm not sure whether the authorities will consider you to be a valid Management Committee as you've been operating outside the law.

You'll need to have your situation clarified by a lawyer.

(The fact that no-one is willing to stand for the committee is not an excuse for failing to hold a meeting.)

Regards,

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Post: #20   PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:39 pm Reply with quote
snoutintrough
Joined: 18 Dec 2011
Posts: 71
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Thanks Nigel Smile

Hi All

Can anyone tell me the answers to any of these questions;

1. If none of the elected committee are based in Cyprus, is there another way that would be legally acceptable to hold an AGM rather than having to be on site?

2. Can memo's be placed on properties for non- payment of fees if a committee is not officially registered in the Kapparis / Protaras area?

3. What is the minimum the committee has to cover in the agenda in order to hold an AGM?

Your help and guidance would be much appreciated.

Regards

Snoutintrough
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