Property

Property – The Long Arm Of The TRNC Law


Property – The Long Arm Of The TRNC Law.‏

 

 By Chris Elliott……

Cyprusscene.com  receive many helpful comments on its articles which we publish for the benefit of our readers.

We have just received the following letter concerning a property case which should give great comfort to those who may be having property purchase issues here in the TRNC.

Dear Chris,

You are probably aware that our court case has now finished and through the legal process we have fortunately received our Kocan and a suitable amount of compensation.

Mary and I thought it may be useful to share our experience in the hope that it will inspire others to have confidence in the TRNC legal system.

Our dream was to live in a warm climate and Northern Cyprus was the ideal location to retire to, so in May 2006 we Property for salesigned a contract with a UK/TRNC developer and we waited patiently for our villa to be built.

Having been informed that our villa would be completed in September 2007 we sold up in the UK, packed our cases and with great excitement looked forward to our new life. We cannot describe the frustration and anger when we arrived at the site to be greeted with a concrete shell and a barrage of excuses from our developer. The next 24 months were horrendous as we battled with our developer on a daily basis to finish our villa, which eventually he did.

The next battle was the parcelisation of the site and the transfer of our Title Deeds. The broken promises and excuses continued, despite giving our developer a further 15 months to deliver the terms of our contract. So reluctantly in May 2012, we took out litigation for breach of contract. We also put in a compensation claim for the money we had spent trying to get the villa up to standard.

Initially, the legal process was extremely slow as our developer, through the pressure of the court, began the parcelisation process. Sadly, our developer continued with his excuses and delay tactics. Then two years into the case and 30 court hearings, our solicitor chose to place a freeze on the developer’s Gavel and hammer imageassets and within 9 months the parcelisation process was completed and our Title Deeds were available for transfer.

The next stage was our compensation claim, which clearly our developer was unhappy about. Thinking that we should just be grateful to get the deeds, our solicitor was persistent and using the freeze order as leverage, he successfully negotiated a satisfactory amount of compensation. Within a week, the compensation was paid and our Title Deeds for both the land and property were transferred into our name.

Our case lasted 3 years and I attended court hearings on 43 separate occasions. During this period, we had two judges presiding and we were on one occasion warned off and subjected to intimidation but we didn’t give in. Despite the length of time it took to complete our case, we found the system to be fair and both judges were extremely thorough and professional.

As for our solicitor, his fees were reasonable, he worked to a strategy and he always found time to meet us. Nothing was too much trouble and he was highly professional.

I hope our story gives some hope to those going through the same process as we did, as we realise that many others have had awful experiences but there are some success stories which rarely get published. Our solicitor also informs us that 80% of the cases registered at the court are settled without going to a full trial which was happily our outcome.

Art and Mary Watson”.

Art and Mary Watson

 

9 replies »

  1. We too have a nightmare with our developer not paying his share of the tax consequently we are still without our kocan eight years later. But what a nightmare you went through to get justice, I am sorry to say but I don’t think 43 court hearings is satisfactory or fair, what a stressful time for you, after all you are the innocent party here. It’s about time the law in the TRNC got it’s act together as to me this is not acceptable.

  2. Really sorry to hear about your issues and sincerely hope that one day soon you will get your Kochan.Your comments are 100% right and hopefully the law will change but in the meantime keep battling on.

    Best of luck.

  3. Whilst I agree with the sentiments expressed by julesdarling, the fact is that adjournments are standard practice in North Cyprus courts. One friend of mine (a British Cypriot by birth) travelled form London to Kyrenia on many occasions, specifically to attend a court hearing in which he was the plaintiff, only for every hearing to be adjourned simply because the defendants (Turkish nationals) had not turned up. This contrasts with the system in England and Wales, where the default position in respect of an application to adjourn is that the application should be refused without a strong reason being given. The non-appearance of the defendant, or the defendant’s case or solicitor not being ready are not such reasons and the cases go ahead, often with no evidence being given on the defendants’ behalf, thus finding them guilty. As for hoping that the law will change, sadly, the law in Cyprus HAS changed, from British Law to the charade that we have now.

  4. I understand that fines of 1200 euros are now being issued to the solicitors who do not turn up for the hearing. In our case the defendants solicitor turned up for every hearing but the parcilisation process is extremely slow.

  5. Hi Pauline,

    Thank you for your kind words it’s very much appreciated.

    I read your article in the North Cyprus Free Press and I would like to clarify a couple of points as again I believe you are trying to misled its readership.

    – Our developer decided to pay us the compensation because our solicitor placed a freeze on his assets.This was a carefully planned tactic which quickly led to the parseliation of the site and prompt compensation payment.

    – Out of court settlement is quite common in the TRNC and in our case was driven and encouraged by the presiding judges Yes it took a long time but this was mainly due to the parseliation process being lengthily and burocratic.Without this hurdle my case like my neighbours case,which incidentley was satisfactory settled out of court ,would have been finished in less than 12 months.

    Understandably you are grieved with the length of time your particular case has taken and by the looks of it will continue to take but I really do think it’s important to publish a more balanced view rather than keep knocking the legal system which for many does in fact work but is rarely published .You may know only one person who has obtained their Kochan through litigation but I know at least 5 .Either way it doesn’t mean the legal system is perfect but in our case it was very effective and one thing is for certain our developer would never have freely transferred our Kochan so rolling over was never an alternative.

    Art.

  6. Actually what I said was ” It is now the second truly successful case I have heard of in ten years”. The first was also a Breach of Contract where the purchasers received their money back and some compensation. The builder kept the property.

    As for trying to mislead readers, I think not….I put a link to your exact words and people are canny enough to make up their own minds.

    I wish you and Mary a long and happy retirement in your dream home.

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