Consumer Protection Service Q&A

Q : What is an EU Directive ?

A  : This is a legal order from the EU Commission to member states mandating that they transpose the EU law within that Directive into their own legal system by a certain date.

Q  : Why have we only just heard about the CCPS?

A  :  Good question, because the EU Directives normally contain a requirement for states to inform consumers of these new methods of protection!

Q  : Will the Consumer Protection Service (CCPS)  handle all consumer complaints?

A :  The CCPS is not an all encompassing complaints handling agency but is the designated enforcement agency for certain EU Directives (12 in total) and covers only the provisions catered for under those EU Directives. So no, it does not handle all consumer complaints, but just the ones covered by the Directives.

Q  :  I bought from a private individual but have still not yet obtained the Title Deeds, can I complain to the CCPS?

A  : Only commercial businesses are covered by the Directive.

Q  : Can I complain about the Land Registry or District Office or Cyprus Bar?

A  : These are not commercial enterprises and are not covered by the CCPS.

Q  : What can be complained about regarding immovable property then?

A  : The CCPS enforces the Unfair Commercial Practices law and the following areas appear to be covered and therefore may be complained about as far as we are concerned.

1)  Failure of the developer to transfer Title Deeds, regardless of when the sales contract was signed, and whether the developer now has a mortgage on the development, or not.

2)  For contracts signed after 12/12/2007, the failure of the developer or even the buyer’s lawyer to disclose material facts (e.g. a developer mortgage) which had it been disclosed might have affected the buyer’s decision to purchase the property.

3)  For any buyer mortgage agreement signed after 12/12/2007 (even though it may have been signed under a power of attorney) without the bank (and lawyer) disclosing to the consumer any material facts (developer mortgage).

4)  After 12/12/2007, any aggressive unfair commercial practices, whereby the developer can exploit the situation only due to the fact that the buyer does not have title deeds.  These include cancellation charges (which were also illegal under existing law) and other excessive charges such as IPT, Sewage tax, etc.  Buyers may be able to apply to the CPS for a refund.

Q  : How do I put in a complaint to the CCPS?

A  : Refer to the starter templates on the CCPS section of our website.

Q  : What if the CCPS do not respond to my complaint in a reasonable time?

A  : The Cyprus Constitution states that Government departments should reply within 30 days   – after 45 days please email the contacts shown on the CCPS section of our website.

Q  : What if they still do not respond?  Should I complain to the Ombudsman?

A  :  Based on experience, we have little faith in the Ombudsman and this is why we have set up our CPAG complaint logging system in order to give us a comprehensive picture of individual complaints and responses by the CCPS.  The British High Commission have agreed to make representations to the CCPS on a regular basis using this log.

Note : Our log is open to any nationality. Should it be required this log will be used to demonstrate to the EU Commission the failure of the CCPS to enforce EU law.

Q  : What if my complaint is rejected?

A  : Should you feel that your complaint was not handled properly or the CCPS decision did not protect your rights, you can then make a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights. This is free, can be done online if required and CPAG will help if requested to do so.

© 2011 Cyprus Property Action Group