Trevor’s Tips – October 2013

By Trevor Hughes

MOT’s

Standards of MOT testing here are quickly coming in line with the standards set in the U K. For all too long we have enjoyed lax testing over the years and even joked about the fact that the testing station technician takes a leisurely walk around the vehicle and may even kick a few tyres in the process. Well, for the moment at least, that form of testing is over!

I know there are anomalies, but that’s the charm of the TRNC for you. The MOT testing stations are now keen on testing the vehicle’s lights, tyres, mud flaps, cleanliness of the vehicle, wheel alignment and wheel balancing. There are also the usual checks on engine and chassis numbers.

This month, as a gesture of goodwill, I managed to get the garage who undertakes accident repairs for us, to get a customer’s car through the MOT for him. Well, to cut a long story short, when the vehicle wasMOT Test Centre taken to the testing station, they found the engine number did not tally with the number on the log book. If the driver had not known the technician personally, they would have considered keeping him in custody overnight, pending an inquiry.

The said vehicle has been owned by the current owner since 2008 and previously been put through the MOT procedure twice before without any difficulty, but this time, a more complete test was carried out and the anomaly came to light.

The engine must have been changed by one of the previous owners who failed to notify the Authorities. This is a criminal offence and punishable by a custodial sentence and large fine.

The problem the current vehicle owner now has, is that he cannot get his vehicle MOT’ d and cannot drive his car until the matter is resolved. In the meantime you can bet your last pound the fine is increasing at an alarming rate.

I have encouraged readers many times before to be vigilant when purchasing a used vehicle, because road traffic offences follow the car and not the person. This applies when buying a car either privately, or from a dealer!!

The person who owns the car needs to take it to the Customs and Excise and may have to re-import the car, with some additional cost.

Please be thorough when making that purchase and carry out all necessary checks before handing over money to the seller, this may avoid pricey rectification. Take your prospective purchase down to an MOT station and request they do the necessary checks for you!

DEATH DUTIES

In the event that either of the home owners passes away and both names are on the Contract of Sale, there is Tax due to be paid by the remaining partner. Probate must go through the court procedure via your chosen solicitor. The going rate for this privilege is around £1800.

Tax due is calculated at a rate set by the Land Registry Office. The valuFive percente of your home is taken from your Contract of Sale, minus the contents [if applicable]. If there are two names on the Contract of Sale, the value of the taxable item, is 50% each. A 5% tax levy is then calculated on the 50% value.

For example, if the house is valued at £100,000. Each name on the Sale of contract owns 50% each. Tax due at a rate of 5% = £2500. Cost of solicitor = £1800. Total cost, £4300.

Of course, if there are more than two names on the Contract of Sale, say four names for example, tax is calculated as 5% of a quarter of the value, as each own 25% of the property, and so on.

Why, when coming to the TRNC to retire, don’t we go straight to the Government Offices and hand all our cash over to them? It would save a lot of time as they will get your money at some time in the future anyway!!!!!!

PASSPORT RENEWALS

The renewal procedure of British Passports has been altered slightly.

When you have completed your renewal form [with photographs of British passportyourself, if applicable] the said form and your old passport is now sent directly to Dublin and not the UK via Madrid. The safest way to post your application is by DHL, the agent being Café Boss in Girne town centre.

Now here’s the change. When your new passport is ready for despatch, DHL [if you have chosen them as your preferred carrier] will carry your new passport to the TRNC. Upon arrival here, they will telephone you and arrange for the passport to be delivered to your home. Your old passport [if you have requested its return, on the application form] will go through the same delivery process the following week. Both new and old passports will not be delivered to you at the same time.

Remember, when completing your passport renewal form to put on the form your contact number here, otherwise they will not be able to make telephone contact with you for delivery.

HOME SECURITY

I have needed to attend a couple of break-ins recently where homes have been burglarentered by an opportunist. The sliding patio doors were the point of entry as they are easily forced open if they are the kind having centre point locking handles.

I had security locks fitted to the doors and windows in my home making it virtually impossible for thieves to break in! There have been several burglaries in the Turtle Bay villas recently and all but two were broken into, the two exceptions being the two who had these security locks fitted.

The telephone number of our security man, is Paul on 0533 887 9661. The cost of supply and fitting is only £20.00 per lock

TRNC/CYPRUS BORDER CROSSING

I am reliably informed that motor vehicle crossing points on both sides ofTRNC Border Crossing the border are being more thorough. You must park your car outside the control office enabling the officer to see the passengers in the vehicle and for them to check your vehicle number plates. You will also need to take the ORIGINAL car related documents, as they will not accept photocopies. The Authorities are endeavouring to reduce the number of car thefts. Don’t forget your passport[s]!

It may be wise when going over the border in your car, to go early as queues are getting quite lengthy.

BAYRAM HOLIDAYS

Please be aware of the Bayram holidays this month. Banks, Government Departments, and Local Government Offices will be closed on the following days.

14th October, closed for the afternoon
15th October closed in the afternoon
16th  October, closed all day.
17th October, closed all day.
18th October, closed all day.

Republic Day 29th October closed all day.

CHEMIST ROTA

Due to late printing this month, we cannot supply the late night chemist rota as usual. As soon as we can get a copy, we will send you the rota. Sorry for the delay, but it’s something out of our control.

ELECTRICITY POWER CUTS

Over recent weeks the Karsiyaka area has been plagued with power cuts. Is it me, or am I getting cynical in my old age, but during the run up to the election we had a complete period free from electricity cuts. Don’t upset the voter, you may need them!!!!!!!!!!!!