T.R.N.C: Expatriates’ Property Secured.
Big win for expats, auctioned properties returned to the rightful owners
The expatriates who bought their properties on the island and due to some reasons and now then COVID-19 faced uncertainty of losing their hard-earned assets because of unpaid loans taken out by a developers have won a legal case and their properties have returned. Retired soldier David Eacock, 73 and wife Margaret, 75, said they were “overwhelmed” by the verdict announced by Presiding Judge Aysen Toroslar at Gazimağusa District Court .
Expatriates have won a legal case that reverses a 2016 court order for their homes to be auctioned.
The couple bought a property off plan at a site in Yarköy — a £122,000 four-bedroom villa on the Ersav development – in 2008. The Eacocks, from Devon, paid Ersav Construction a total of £96,000 but stopped further instalments after discovering that a“memorandum” had been placed on the property over a £500,000 debt owed by the developer.
Advocate Hasan Alkan represented the couple and another expat property buyer on the site, Ray Hinks and his wife, Patricia. Mr Alkan said: “The judge canceled the court order allowing for a public auction. A new legal process will now be started that will include the property buyers.”
Mr Eacock said: “Myself and Margaret are very relieved. It has been like a legal rollercoaster ride for the past 10 years, not knowing what will happen to our properties, for something that has happened out of no fault of our own.“It is indeed a fresh start for us. We were never aware of the existence of the memorandum.
“We wish to thank Mr Alkan for his tireless efforts in helping us. He has a long and successful track record supporting expats and is a much-respected advocate both within the legal profession and among the countless clients in need of good support.”
Mr Alkan said that the basis of the case is “the 2007 Estate Agents Law making it obligatory for homebuyers to register their sales contract against the title deed. But the law does not set out the rights of buyers thereafter, which have been left to the courts to decide.“The title deeds office has informed me of many more auctions, mainly [relating to] foreign buyers who may not even be aware that the properties they bought are going to auction.
“This was the case [for the Eacocks] and it is important that foreign property buyers seek legal advice and apply to the courts to get declaratory judgements, because the title deeds office is not competent in determining the rights of buyers.“In the Eacocks’ case . . . we had contended that the contract of sale was registered way before the memorandum was placed on the property and that the title deeds office, by accepting this [memorandum], had made a mistake.”
A relieved Mr Eacock said: “We registered our sales contract under the Estate Agents Law and did everything properly. Then a memorandum was placed on the property. Isn’t the whole point of this law to stop all of this from happening?”