General Meeting

06 March 2007

MINUTES

 

Committee Members:                           Peter Davis

                                                             David James

                                               Patricia James

                                               Marian Stokes                                               

Minutes                                                Sheila Vango 

The meeting was opened at 7.30 pm by Marian Stokes, who welcomed all members, it was nice to see so many members turn out to air their views to the government speaker due that evening, unfortunately he was no longer attending. She said that she had a received a call from the Prime Ministers Office yesterday to cancel the regular monthly meeting with the government, which is to be rescheduled. The reason given was that an extraordinary meeting of Parliament had been called. Upon making further enquiries about the attendance of our guest speaker it transpired that he would not be able to attend tonight. After such a positive couple of weeks these two events were a particular blow as it seemed we were being taking seriously for a change, one step forward, two back as usual. However, not to be too despondent as at least a foothold had been gained in the last month. 

Database Forms

When the group was formed 18 months ago, a member’s database form was designed to capture as much information as we could concerning the type of problems we were encountering – over time this form is no longer adequate as we have gained more insight into the type of information we need. Coupled with this the Director of the Public Information Office has asked us for some statistics surrounding the whole purchasing process. Realising that the forms we have do not contain all the information we need, a new form has been designed asking the questions required to answer the governments questions as accurately as we can. So we need to ask you to complete it again please.  

You will notice that the form asks questions about your solicitor – like how much you paid and in what form or country. The reason they want this information is so that they can see what solicitors earned and to ascertain if they declared the same and paid their taxes on said sums. On our simple sums, 7000 properties bought over three years at approximately £1000 a throw, equals £7,000,000 – mostly in the hands of half a dozen solicitors, who in the main do nothing to protect our investments! Let the tax man have them! 

Likewise the questions about building permits etc, will be used to see which builders are short circuiting the system – and again information provided by you about the monies collected from you for shoddy work, or under false pretences will be used by the tax office to ensure the builder is paying his dues, to see who builds without permission and who carries on building when building permission is denied but still takes your money! 

Are we snitches –maybe – but lets be fair here, this is a poor country who could do with their fair share of the wealth for the schools, hospitals and other infrastructure projects, if the information we provide can help the government to improve the lot of the foreign investor and the local population at the same time, it can only be good! 

All the information we collate will be put on a database, which has been designed by Kim Pavey (thanks Kim), at no time will you be identified, you will be represented by a member number only.  From time to time we may have to ask you for additional information – but hope never again to have to ask you questions you may have already answered – apart from your name! Please print these forms and hand them out to neighbours etc as even if they have no problems that they are aware of, this form goes so much further than that, it goes a long way towards helping the government understand what is really going on in their building sector. 

Essential Government Forms

On the website there are now copies of forms you should have in your possession when buying property in the TRNC and before you part with a penny. 

These are:

If the solicitor, builder and estate agent cannot show you these – walk away, save yourself heartache and financial loss. Only by educating each other and potential buyers that these documents should be attached to a contract, drawn up by an independent solicitor, will we get practices changed here. 

Alternatively, you could chase around the Island yourself ascertaining if these permission or processes have been applied for – and even that is preferable to taking anyone’s word for it! 

Future Actions

Since cancelling the demonstration that had been planned in February, the group has been looking at other actions we could take to draw attention to our situation. 

Obviously the completion of the new database form is something everyone can do and encourage others to the same. 

It has been suggested that the group should have T-shirts made – saying something like  I am a Homebuyers Pressure Group Member, and on the back – thinking of buying in the TRNC? Talk to me – we shall look into costing etc and get back to you. It is at junctions like this we realise Homebuyers Pressure Group is a very long word to fit on a T-shirt!  

We have ascertained that to file an injunction with the local court, on your property or plot (large plot if not divided) costs 33ytl. We are going to find out if you can complete and file this paperwork yourself (as you can in the UK) because if that is the case, we could have a mass filing of injunctions to protect the investment of all those of us who still do not have a title deed in our own names. 

There are other ways in which we can support each other, some of our members court cases are reaching conclusion, insomuch as a trial date has been set. Nearer the time, details of dates and times will be sent to you all, please come along and show your support for these members.

Please note – the only way law is changed are by the following 

We are fighting on both fronts to get things changed for our members and future investors. 

The other way in which we can help each other is in gathering information for ourselves about our own situation – if you need to know how to find out if your builder obtained building permission, had his plans passed, has applied for division of your plot, has applied for electric to be connected – we know where to go, we can either give you directions and a name in the office concerned or go with you, We are all keen to help others with residency and driving licences, so why not with this stuff! The more of us who know where to find these places, who to see and what to ask, the more of us that help others. If you have any of those essential documents (above) missing and would like to have them, please contact us and we can help you obtain them, it only costs time, we do not charge for helping you. 

The evening was rounded off with some general discussion at the open forum.  

The meeting closed at 9.30 pm.