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Letter to Marios Karayiannas: 13-02-2006

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Letter

Copy to Marion J Carter – Solicitor
13th February 2006

Dear Marios Karayiannas,

As you are aware, I was in Cyprus last week to checkup on the progress of our house and to be reassured that the mistakes made in the positioning of the downstairs toilet would not cause a future problem to us. There was also the matter of windows cut where they should not have been, and also that the kitchen sink and cooker were both being placed in the wrong areas. Whilst there I discovered the changes you had made to the site plan and after two brief meetings with yourself you asked that I discuss with my wife what could be done to rectify the problems your changes have posed.

Having returned from Cyprus we have discussed your changes and have concluded that we would not have bought this property in the position it is in now.

As you know, an important consideration for us when buying a house was that it must have a private garden. You sold us 30 Ayios Sergios because it was a corner plot. It had a bungalow one side with only one window looking into our garden. The other side would have a road running the full length of the plot. Across the road there was to be two more bungalows. plan1.jpg is the original plan given to us. We were told such a plot was a rare find. It was perfect for us and a sound investment for the future so we snapped it up on our first trip.

We have now made advanced preparations to move to Cyprus. Our UK home is under offer and completion will be soon. We have kept up with stage payments by bank loans and schools and work have been informed of our move.

Now without informing us, the plans you gave us have changed. We now have 3 new houses all of which have 1st floor windows looking into our garden and the nearest two houses have balconies looking straight down upon us. Plot 31 also has a garden adjoining ours. All of this is totally unacceptable. Not only does it breach our important consideration of privacy but it also devalues our home for when we come to resell. With four properties now looking into our garden we are worse off than most plots on the Ayios Sergios development.

We can only hope that this was not a deliberate deception on your part, and that it was in fact an oversight in planning that excluded what was important to us, our privacy. In any event I think you owe us an apology. You totally misrepresented your plans and photos sent to us in November show the foundations for your changes occurred at the same time you started our build.

overlay.jpg shows the plan you gave us with your new plan overlaid. Our plot is marked in blue with the yellow marking the road that should have separated us from the bungalows marked in green.

Last week you gave some brief options on how to resolve my objections. These included buying us out of our contract or giving away land at the side of our house that may in 3 years become available. You were not specific in what can be done but instead insisted I go back and discuss with my wife how we can move forward from the distress you have caused. I have done this and as you see from the attachments a lot of thought and work has gone into the problem. We can see only one clear solution but have listed three others that we had considered carefully.

The only solution we can see is that you build us the same house on a different location with the garden privacy you promised intact. As this will leave us in rented accommodation for months until you catch up with the new build, we would expect a location and land area sufficient enough to compensate. The advantage to you in this scenario is that when you resale 30 Ayios Sergios in this rising market, you will be able to add the extra 6 meters of road area which may come available in 3 years into the new specifications. This solution will also allow you to leave the mistakes you have made to the pipe-work positioning unchanged and sell the house with toilet under stairs and en-suit shower in 4th bedroom.

Another option we considered was similar to your offer of compensating us with extra land on the side of our plot. We considered that if you included the area marked orange on option2.jpg we could plant a tree to gain back some of our privacy. Unfortunately this would not entirely rectify the situation and a large tree placed here would only upset our neighbour and deny them light. We considered your offer of the yellow area coming available in 3 years when the temporary road has gone. But your explanation of your rights to give away this land was insufficient enough to warrant any satisfaction and in any case does nothing to rectify our privacy.

Another option for you is to knock down two of the three offending properties. The two (plots 31, 32) nearest our house will have balconies overlooking our garden and have not as yet had their frame stage completed. (See attachment p31p32p33.jpg) I’m informed the third (plot 33) has been bought and as we can see its build has advanced to the brick work stage we realize it would be unreasonable for you to start again here. In place of plots 31, 32 you should keep to your original plan of bungalows. The garden of 31 should not extend into what was originally a road but instead should be a neutral green area or be given to us so we can insure our original plot area has not been encroached. With plot 33 still having views of our garden your offer of 6m land to the side of our house would be sufficient enough to compensate, because we would have enough land for trees.

The last option we considered was your offer of buying us out at this stage. Unfortunately we cannot begin to put a price on what that offer should be. As you’re aware any deal to buy us out now, would leave us looking to secure a house this year at last year’s prices. Also there are the costs involved to date and it would leave my family in rented accommodation for a considerable period of time.

You have said to me on all 3 of my visits that it is Karayiannas’s policy to keep your customers happy. Now is the time for you to prove this statement. As I said to you last week your changes have caused us great distress and we cannot see ourselves living with the changes you have made. I leave it now to you to come back to us within the week to see what can be done. Please don’t leave your decision too long as preparations to move are in full swing.

Yours Sincerely

Conor O’Dwyer.

Attachments:-

plan1.jpg The site plan you gave us when you sold us the house
plan2.jpg The site plan you changed to at the same time you started our build
overlay.jpg Both site plans overlaid. The white lines show the original layout. The blue area is our plot, The Yellow strip was to be the road going to the children’s playground. The green area was to be the nearest bungalows across the road.
p31p32p33.jpg A photo of the 3 new houses overlooking our garden.
plot31view.jpg The view from plot 31’s balcony of our garden as it stands to date
plot32view.jpg The view from plot 32’s balcony of our garden as it stands to date
plot31viewfence.jpg The view from plot 31’s balcony of our garden with a fence superimposed. The Vertical red indicator is a 2m marker.
plot32viewfence.jpg The view from plot 32’s balcony of our garden with a fence superimposed. The Vertical red indicator is a 2m marker.

Recorded at the Karayiannas office: 10-02-2006

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Recorded Meeting

Unfortunately, the next meeting in the Karayiannas office was not recorded, the battery failed on the camcorder. Because of the battery failure I had to go back and meet Marios Karayiannas and Michelle to cover the same detail as we had the day before, before my flight that afternoon. In this meeting, they think I’m crazy/stupid for asking the same questions however I leave the meeting reassured that compromises are possible if we’re still not happy we can have our money back and I’m sent away to discuss it with my wife in England.

At the Karayiannas Office Friday, February 10, 2006 around 9am. Present were Myself, Marios Karayiannas and Michelle Anglou.

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Transcript:-

You have 10 minutes?
Yes come in. Yes
The pipe work for the kitchen..
Yes..
I told Michelle it’s in the wrong place it’s where the cooker should be.
We put the drainage pipe in everything when we are ready for the tiles. When we are ready for the tiles we have your order where you want the sink and everything and we bring all the pipes there.
So does that mean breaking down the floor again?
No there is no need to go down to the floor. Out to the side of the bricks. We go out because it is not a big pipe we have to make a 13cm conduit/concrete above from this floor we have 13cm conduit/concrete to put the tiles on. So in this conduit/concrete I will put the other pipe in the position you want.
OK. Because I remember Michelle said it was very important to let her know where the pipes go at the foundation stage, So it’s not so important now it can be a…
We put outside.
Its just less work its less work later on that its not that it cant be done
It just less work later on that’s all.
OK any question?
Yea, yea many.

The toilet, the downstairs toilet. I’m going on site now my flights at, I have to be at the airport at 3 I don’t have long but I’ll have to come back in two weeks I think to see how things are progressing. So the downstairs toilet how is the waste for that…
The waste pipe is going outside again from there to the wall going outside and going down.
I don’t know…are you on site today are you?
Listen it’s my responsibility to where this pipe. If you want toilet over there I put toilet. You understand?
Yea, I understand yea.

Ok, so the plan you had about the road, so I have to talk to my wife about it obviously as we said. Because many things have changed for me you know so on this trip so you have to…
What many things?
Well obviously the road plan changed. That changed since last time I was here.
It is my corner of the road outside from your house.
Yea but it changed from what you said last time.
It changed you mean about the bungalow houses of the bungalows, because I build two storey houses there?
Not only that. The road was to go up. As here. That was the plan that you gave us. The road where I was here was going up. So this has changed.
Yes this has changed.
So you have to go slow with me because as things change I have to then tell my wife what the changes are. So if I…
What you can explain to her about these changes that these thing there, these change because of the permission and the changes of the plans of the outside houses there. Because there this road here. You can explain to her. You have to understand you first to explain to her.
That’s right, that’s right I do. I have to understand it.
Not to go and explain other things.
No no…
You understand.
I don’t understand why it changed.
Why you don’t understand? Why you don’t understand Conor?
Because you gave me this and now it’s this.
It’s not in your house these things. It’s outside of the plot but I have to build some houses that I buy this plot to develop this plot that will to build my houses, in your plot I don’t make any changes. These are the things…in the mind.

So things that you said. Things that you said last time, things that you said last time have changed.
Ok I said these things, I said these things.
So only things that are in writing are good. So when you say that the downstairs toilet can be moved, this is not a problem. Then because it’s not in writing you know I have to know it’s not a problem.
Because you said that this would be a bungalow here and the road would go up there but it’s not in writing and I took that as not in writing and now it’s changed so I have to go a little bit slower. You see, so forgive me if I have to go slow. OK.

So you were proposing yesterday then, that because we are not happy now, that you said that this 6sq meters in 3 years time maybe you could give to us, did I understand that correctly?
Yes.
But that isn’t your problem though is it. That is neither here nor there to you. Your problem is the house there. It’s the road… So that really is no issue for you.
The issue is now being overlooked, when we bought the property…
What Marios is trying to explain is that he been given permission to change…
If I said to you because sometimes these are my. these are my problems sometimes when I or for example when I say some thing and change. I say to you I build bungalow. OK.
When because they change the plan, the permission of the government to me I build a 2 storey houses. OK. I mean I build a 2 storey houses. I don’t have a place here to build a bungalow if I build bungalow here I loose 1 house. You understand me now. A 2 storey house. If I say to you. You understand that?

You understand for me that only having one window here looking into my garden was not a problem now having two balconies coming down looking into my garden, that to me and my family was problem OK you understand the difference?
Yes I understand the difference.
Good OK.
OK. Discuss with your family what is your feeling and what is Sit down to think about it and we wait the answer from you. And this is your problem the 2 balconies looking into your plot, discuss with your family and come back to me say to me Mario’s this, this, this, this, advisor or say to us what we can do.

OK, so I will come back to you within 1 week by email and then I will return here within 2 weeks do you think any of the pipework will be done between now and 2 weeks.
The pipework, No.
What about the windows being blocked up.
The windows being block, Yes.

Let me just have a think now what else was different.
Do you have that list that we did the other day (to Michelle)
Of all the things that were going to be done.
You mean the form?
When we first sat here the other day
And we wrote a list of all the different things.

So you’re going up here are you are you building here now.
This road goes somewhere yep?
Yes it’s going out here
Yes and have you bought this land to build on now?
Listen It’s my…
I know it’s yours
Its my job if I buy this land for example.
Of course it’s your job. As a developer you want to make money you want to build it.
But it’s just nice to know.

Here is the area of the agricultural land. OK. Everywhere here.
I know it is at the moment.
We don’t know what is happening after three four years.
Right
If somebody come and build here understand or the zone change. They allow in this plot. Conor to build 1 house in each plot for the moment.
yep
After the changes of the zone. maybe somebody come to build houses the same like here.
For example I have the land here at the front now. In my plan to buy it to build houses to plan
You understand?
I go over in this area, I build all this I plan this houses. Now all the developers because (un-audable) everybody try because they hear from other people that they sell many houses many property, everybody come here to this area. The developer…
They might not build now. The zone might now be able to build now But they buy for the future.
For the future.
Do you understand?
Because you buy also this house for £163,000 now this house in this area is £180,000
This is why we rush to buy it. We knew this. This is why we rush to buy it.
Bravo, its good moving but I don’t understand your wife that is worried about the changes outside of your plot.

Well the difference is Marios
If I don’t make
Things that you say…
If I was not me,Conor. I don’t understand these things, because every time this is happening to me, from my experience you are not the first one, you are the 100 one. Do you understand?
Yea you’ve heard it….
You have your thinking about this. It’s good to don’t have other people to look into your property but I have this type but it is £300,000 each.

The trust between us Mario’s has been bruised. It has been bruised OK. What you said last time has now changed. OK.
We will go back and within one week I will see what my wife and me we can come up with and maybe we can come up with a solution, But I think the onus is on you and Karayiannas to rebuild that trust.

Listen my opportunity is to keep my clients happy always. You understand?
Well I’m not happy.
This is a family business, I’m not a big business and I want to loose clients or to send you back for example or to give you your money back like that. I don’t use this way. I don’t want to use this way.

But these are the people who don’t understand Conor. And I speak with them a lot of times.
And sometimes I have not very respectable people to me and because of one thing that I did change in the area or outside of the plot or because their neighbour they have dog for example they came in my office and say “Why these people they have dog in their own house”.

Sometimes. You understand that. You don’t have to do anything in your neighbours house.
Or one people for example want to run the plot without clothes????
This is their own problem. You understand?
I understand that Marios. The difference is that you said things yesterday that if it isn’t down on paper…
Some people because you say to me another one Some people they try to reduce the price of the house remember they came to me (speaking to Michelle Anglou) Remember that time?
Because I build not a house a bungalow…err..apartment. The next plot I build apartment for example another area. they buy the house for 180,000 from me and I buy the next plot 300,000 one piece of land to build apartment I pay 300,000.

Because I want to build apartment they came to my office back
And say to me no we want to reduce the price of the house because you build apartment.You came to Cyprus to warrant and have problem with people because you don’t like to be in your house over there it’s not good.

I understand and as a businessman I would be in exactly the same position as you.
You think like me.
The difference for me is Marios when you said something last time OK. We took that and then yesterday you say if it’s not in the contract then there is nothing you can do about it. So I just want to make sure…

You chose the house because I say to you I build bungalow next door?
Yes. Yes because we have a private garden Yes. Otherwise we take our time and we look elsewhere. But because there was no one overlooking us. We said straight away.

Conor, Conor, listen we got to stop because I have to go land registry office.
I understand.
You can discuss with you wife and your family explain to her what we discuss here.

Show her the pictures. I took pictures the other day from here and looking into our garden and the differences in that. My wife is not a difficult person don’t get that, that, because that, that, was not nice. But we are very hard working people and we wanted to buy a place where we could relax in the garden do what we want and not have balconies overlooking us.

If it’s a bungalow that’s next to you Conor when they get their title deeds they can..
They can build a second floor.
Build Above we have no control over that Conor as with this man here in few years time…
I have to go Land registry office.

Thank you for you time.
Discuss with your wife.
I will email you within one week and be back within two weeks.

I don’t have a problem giving you your money back, If you want to buy another place.
I’m not here to waste time in investments..
If you want to buy another place from another developer I don’t have a problem or another country. I will give you your money back.. You see how they work in other place. You see for me I say to you I build a bungalow but sometimes things change to me.

You should let your buyer know that then, you should let your buyers know when you come in that this plan that I have at home will change. You should let people know that, That is the…
I don’t know this Conor before when you close the agreement these thing coming later on.

This is dated 2004 also isn’t it
Yes
October 2004 you know I was here last year

Ok If I say to you Conor I build another 2 storey houses from the beginning before you..
Yep I take my time then and I look elsewhere that what I would do.
No before you book after the booking of the house. These things happen before after you close the agreement. It also happen before you close the house. If I know these things from the beginning I say to you this is the plan. OK.
See you in two weeks Thanks for your time
Have a nice trip

Recorded meeting with Marios Karayiannas: 09-02-2006

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Recorded Meeting

And you remember saying that the only windows looking at us would be this window here?
Marios “Yes”

On Tuesday the 7th February, I had a meeting with Michelle at the Karayiannas office in Paralimni. She presented me with the new site plan. I had it faxed to my wife at home and via a webcam, she was able to send me the original plan that was in England.

Marios Karayiannas was too busy to see me until the Thursday morning when we met on site. He had heard from Michelle that I was unhappy with the changes and you can hear in this meeting that he is now offering extra land (where the road should have been) and even the return of money if we’re not happy. Hit with this new proposal of land I asked for it to be faxed to Michaela for us to discuss.

This audio was captured by my camcorder which was the only recording device I had as all this was unexpected.

window


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On site in Freneros, Thursday February 9th, 2006 around 9am.Present were MyselfMarios Karayiannas and later his father Christoforos Karayiannas.

Transcript:-


Morning Marios

OK
About the plot its here OK the corner.
And around 1.50 – 2 metre here OK
But the road that we have here Conor the road that we have is not permanent road. It’s for the project, for example here with the truck now, we have a road a private road connect the other road over there OK. the road the main road OK but because the land over there where is the water is not belong small piece of land is not belong to me. The other owner OK and because they don’t want to make the road now these people they don’t want to pay. OK. the road is going like this later when they come to build for example the municipality said to give the permission you must make the road, so this piece of land here is going to be a green area OK. but for the moment the road that is to connect the two sites the two roads because another road there straight up.
You understand?
You see the road is coming like that come like this turning here this piece of land is over there you see that the road must connect with the other one you see, here’s my land, from here to there is not my land. Here these two pieces as I say to you, are green area, because its small plot and they cant build here, in these two plots

They can’t build? Or you can’t build?

No it’s not my land but they can’t build the other people here.
And the authority they suggest for a green area these two pieces.
OK.

So the main road that is going down here including through here is owned by another man?

Yes.Another one advantage you have is if later on, in two years for example or three years they come to build this road this piece of land here you see is belonged for example to the house, 6 metre from the boundary Conor to the edging of my plot is 6 metre, from here to here. OK.

And that’s going to be owned by me?

Yes. You are lucky man because this thing is going to belong to this house later on. I mean because the private road is mine for example the private road is mine. Its mine, I own this private road. When they have to build the road the site the ammicipality and the other people this road is not a road I will give you this land for the house and also to number to this house here number 31. It belongs the side also the other six metre. OK.

So the main road is here?
This house is going to own this part?

Yes this part to the side and you own the other 6 meter here. It’s not my responsibility to give you the land but I give to you the land. OK. From now. I mean it’s not necessary to have this land I can’t build, you understand? But I make this road to connect these roads and the other project together. With the permission like this. OK.

When did this all change?
What
When did it all change?

We don’t know when these people come to build in their plot or when the municipality decide to connect the two roads, you understand?

That’s when it all changed?

Yes. Listen, now we have this road we make this road here for my for your house and here but later when its changed its happened this sometimes with people that for example to the edging or to the satellites when we put a corner for example, they have more land to the back or you have more so..

I tell you since I told my wife of this
Yes
and we have been speaking on like a webcam, Overnight she held this up, a very bad picture, the document is obviously at home. This here was our plot, this was a road and then goes in, this was a children’s playground
Yes
This were 3 houses including a bungalow. This was not owned by other people here which we knew. The green area here…
Yes its green area here
Yes that’s right
So you remember all this?
Yes I remember.

Since my wife has now seen this, she is devastated. She hasn’t stop crying. We bought this house so that we would not be overlooked. Our garden, we could enjoy our garden…
why you because of..
because we’ve got balconies here now these are no longer bungalows.
Yes but you understand that I..
And our garden which the reason we went for this is the only window looking into our garden was that window there and now she feels that she won’t be able to enjoy our garden with everyone looking down on us.
I feel if we have to sell this plot now Its knocked 10’s of thousands of pounds off our price Because its so..its not a private garden anymore. We were the corner house along side the road.

It’s a corner house where is the problem? There is balcony’s here they not look into your window. Here the house.

You understand that Conor because that from the first client you came to the property and originally the road was here in it. It was here, now we this design here because the road is stop and we connect this road we transfer the road another plot there. Its look into the plot its not look into the house straight away I mean

I stood there yesterday where the balcony will be here and they can see us all ..
Listen..
That’s really, really upset us.

Your upset, listen, I have to see what I can do if you don’t like the house, I mean the plot this house now is £180,000 you understand that you buy this house originally off plan design, a very cheap price. If you are not happy or you wife is not happy I have to deal with my father and my advisor what I can do, I don’t have problem, I mean I can sell this house like that.
There is no 4 bedroom house here, a villa for example with this kind of land.

We just want it all back as it was, as it was agreed. That’s not what were after I thought I was just coming to talk about the sink and things and to be honest to be hit with that thing there..
Yes, but we inform you when you, we inform you, when about these things? OK the road is here now. It here the road where is the problem is the house?
You thought that here nobody can build?

But the road is there now!
The road is there yes.
Yea, instead of here now!
Yes but originally Conor..
Instead of here now!
Instead of there, why, No Originally the road was here init this is the corner of the site. You thought that I said to you before you sign I said to you that here I build the houses.
This is the design I use
This is the plan. Is the children’s playground still going to be there?
Yes
Here is the playground, here is the green area.
Here is a green area, Here is a green area yes
This piece of land is a green area

And you remember saying that the only windows looking at us would be this window here?
Yes
Yes but I say to you before I have the plans that I’m planning to build houses here.

So when did it change to this then?
When did this change?

Listen I don’t know for the moment we have this road here but I explain to you straight away that If later they come to connect the road because this road not stay like this
It Connects….
You have this land to the side also; I will give you this land to the side. OK this here 6 metre from the house.
But its big land.

If we can go to the office, square off that land and fax it to my wife I’ll see if I can cheer her up a little bit because at the moment she wanted to come over or wanted me back at home and its not … from what was our dream house is now turn into she…
Listen, If your wife not happy I will try to do something for you
If we could send her something today it would be really good

We go to the office and we’ll
Take the car

Morning
Morning
Good to see you yep

This is yours?
Yea

When we also discuss this Marios the distance between …The garden seems to come up half way between this house here
So where does the garden end here now? my garden here.

Greek between Marios Karayiannas and his father

OK here is the land its going straight there
OK, From here.

This is the marker yea?

To there IF..IF later on they connect the road
You have from here, straight away here.
Ok there not here.
Now you have 1.50 – 2 meter there
From here later on it’s going straight away there over there
You have six metre, OK you have around 7.5
And then from here it goes across?
Straight away.there yes

Is that distance still the same?
Yes
Is that distance still the same?
Where were stood were standing here in the old days?
Yes

We go back to the office..

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