Ministers orders probe into development scam claims

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Cyprus Mail
Cyprus Mail

INTERIOR Minister Christos Patsalides yesterday ordered an investigation into allegations made on a youtube video by a British home buyer that a Cypriot developer had sold his off-plan house to someone else and kept his money.

After launching the lyingbuilder.com website to highlight his case, Cornelius O’Dwyer, 37, brought his fight against the developer to youtube, where he detailed his two-year plight on a video blog in five parts.

“We were to buy a four bedroom detached house from them. Unfortunately they misrepresented our site so as to induce us into the contract, then they unlawfully terminated that contract and have kept all our money without delivering us the house,” O’Dwyer said on his website.

He was referring to a house he and his wife were going to buy on a development in Frenaros. However, when they viewed the construction area when the project was coming along, they realised the surrounding homes were not those specified in the original plan.

This would have resulted in a total lack of privacy, as two balconies on other properties would have been looking into their garden. O’Dwyer said the reason they had chosen the site in the first place was for the privacy promised.

“None of the photos they sent showed the changes that happened at the same time as they laid our foundations. It was only when they failed to do the internal changes we requested that I on the first flight over. It was then they gave us the new site plan. We were screwed because of their deception,” he said.

After several run ins with the developer over the changes to the surrounding area, and although the house is registered to them at the Land Registry given they had paid for most of it, the O’Dwyers subsequently discovered that the developers had sold it to another British family, who now reside there.

O’Dwyers has not received his money back and the case is pending at court.

Patsalides said the youtube and website allegations were very damaging and that the issue had been discussed yesterday morning after the story was broadcast on CyBC on Sunday night.

“Already we have taken a decision that it should be investigated and orders have been given to see what measures can be taken,” he said.

“We will examine the claims to see what the real situation is.”

By Jean Christou Published on August 21, 2007