Flood of Property Purchasing Raises Spectre of Orams Case

North Cyprus News - Dave and Linda Orams
[David and Linda Orams]
Monday, 11 September 2023

The massive increase in property purchase in North Cyprus by foreign buyers has raised the spectre of being pursued in the courts by Greek Cypriots who still own land in the north, Yeniduzen reports.

In an interview with an expert on EU law, Dr. Latif Aran, journalist Cenk Mutluyakalı asked him about the risks of purchasing property in the north which may still belong to a Greek Cypriot who left in 1974. 

Dr. Aran stated that in 2000, the EU issued a Council Regulation 44/2001 on the easy recognition and enforcement of court decisions on legal and commercial matters given by one member state to another member state.  

He cited the Linda and David Orams case; In 2002 a British couple purchased land in Lapta and built a house and pool on it. The Greek Cypriot land owner sued them, demanding that they pay him rent for the use of his land and further, that they demolish the building and pay his legal fees. The case went to court, which found in the plaintiff’s favour, the Orams appealed etc. Finally, the Orams left their holiday home where presumably it still remains standing. This lengthy story ended in 2010 when the UK Supreme Court decided the Orams could no longer appeal.

Despite this, most purchasers are from Iran and Turkey and now the UK is no longer a member of the European Union, it is assumed that it would be very expensive to sue them for purchasing land owned by Greek Cypriots.

The Orams were liable to being sued because at that time, they were citizens of an EU country, which is how they were pursued through the courts. Because the Orams also owned a property in the UK, there was leverage against their UK home forcing them to comply with the court findings.

However, as most buyers are from non-EU countries, any Greek Cypriot owning property in the north would find it very expensive and difficult to sue.

Who can be subjected to an Orams-type lawsuit today?

In principle, in any capacity in the north of the island, in possession of a Greek Cypriot immovable, such as a landlord, a tenant; Such cases can be filed against anyone who has the legal right to cross from the north to the south under the control of the Republic of Cyprus and who can defend themselves before the court, including Turkish Cypriots. 

“But for the case to be effective, these people must have assets or money in the bank either in the Republic of Cyprus or the EU. The UK is no longer a member of the EU. Regulation 44/2001 no longer applies there. Since Turkish citizens cannot cross from north to south, such cases do not affect them much. The vast majority of Russian, Ukrainian, Iranian nationals do not have any assets or money in the Republic of Cyprus or the EU anyway. Therefore the lawsuit is ineffective”, Dr. Aram said. 

For full interview click here: Yeniduzen

 

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