One of the best kept secrets in Cyprus has been the existence of Cypriot laws aimed at consumer protection which have been transposed from EU Directives, and more importantly the government agency which is specifically there to enforce these laws – the CCP Service
To quote from this document, which is the latest biennial report to the EU:
‘The CCP Service (Competition and Consumer Protection Service) is the competent government service responsible for the enforcement of the consumer protection laws aiming at safeguarding consumer interests.’
This statement would appear to confirm that the state is ultimately responsible for consumer protection. We are led to believe that under an EU Directive the state is also ultimately responsible for the consequences of any non-enforcement.
‘The main powers of all CCP Service’s Competent Authorities are either to apply to the Court for the issuing of a prohibitory or mandatory order, including an interim order, or to impose an administrative fine with regard to the transgressions of consumer protection legislations. Where the CCP Service considers that there is a transgression of the law, it may, if it deems to be necessary, apply to the District Court for the issuing of a prohibitory or mandatory order against any physical or legal person who, according to the Court’s opinion is liable for the transgression of any legislation.’
This statement suggests that the CCP Service will take any necessary legal action on behalf of complainants if it accepts an infringement is taking place.
The EU Directive which brought in the Unfair Commercial Practices law (effective December 12th 2007) mandated the Cyprus Government to publicise the law and the enforcement agency (CCP Service) to consumers. This does not appear to have happened.
This website section is designed to give to buyers some common sense advice and guidance on the law and how to complain to the CCP Service – although we must state that we are not lawyers and our guidance cannot be construed as giving legal advice. Nor can we guarantee the effectiveness of the Service.
IMPORTANT : Whether the CCP Service lifts up to its billing only time will tell, however, what we can say is that not until it is fully tested and found to be wanting can we complain to the EU about this lack of enforcement.
COMPLAINTS TO THE CCP SERVICE
In this section of the website we plan to cover various scenarios which buyers find themselves in and develop sample complaint letters which buyers can use as a basis for their individual complaints.
Some situations will only be covered if they happened after the date the law came into force. However, other situations of unfair commercial practices are covered should they be happening now and regardless of when any contract was signed, by virtue of the clause in the Directive which states in Article 3:
‘1. This Directive shall apply to unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices, as laid down in Article 5, before, during and after a commercial transaction in relation to a product.’
Please note that we consider that any buyer without Title Deeds, even after 20 years is still during a commercial transaction as the contract is not completed until Deeds are transferred .
MAKING YOUR COMPLAINT TO THE CCP SERVICE
Please see : Consumer Protection Service Q&A
Types of Claim
1) With regard to buyers without Title Deeds who know that their developer definitely has a mortgage this is a suggested template for your complaint : We suggest you also add the letter sent to the EU Commissioner.
3) Buyers who were tricked into buying a property with a developer mortgage encumbering it after the law 103(I)/2007 became effective (December 12th 2007) can use this suggested template to develop your complaint.
4) Buyers who since December 12th 2007 have been exploited financially by their developer e.g. cancellation charges when selling, excessive IPT, etc can use this suggested template
Note : these templates can be copied and pasted into word documents then tailored to suit.
Send any complaint by registered post together with the relevant documents.
Please let us know ! – Complaints Log
We would appreciate your efforts in enabling us to compile a record of complaints and the responses of the Consumer Protection Service in order that, amongst other things, we are able to modify our advice in the light of their responses if required.
Please inform us when you send your initial complaint and then inform us of any of he subsequent responses as you receive them – this will be a great help to our efforts.
Kindly use this CCPS complaints log form for this purpose.
© 2011 Cyprus Property Action Group