The interior ministry is looking to rationalise the rental practices of Turkish Cypriot properties on Mackenzie beach in Larnaca, where holders have been paying very low rent for years.
The proposal, discussed at a meeting of the advisory council for the management of Turkish Cypriot properties will seek to address the problems in rental agreements for 17 properties in the area, the busiest beach front in Larnaca that is next to the airport.
The situation has been chaotic, without proper regulations for those using these properties that were rented out for ludicrously low amounts by the interior ministry.
Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou, also the custodian of Turkish Cypriot properties, presented the proposal last week. The action plan also includes signing lease contracts with businessmen who are active and have invested capital to develop real estate, putting an end to distortions and dubious financial transactions.
The Turkish Cypriot property guardian, the interior ministry, will seek to sign new lease contracts with three displaced businessmen, who are active in the area and did not violate terms of previous contracts with the local authorities. According to Greens member Efi Xanthou, who is coordinator of the House interior committee and informed on the matter, the three businessmen will be given the reduced rental rate.
Meanwhile, another three empty plots on the beach out of the 17 will be put up for public tender at 100 per cent of the market value. Priority will be given to refugees.
Finally, 11 refugees currently subletting their plots to businesses that have maintained them and invested in them will have their contracts terminated .The guardian will instead seek to sign lease contracts with those subletting the properties.
According to information given to the Cyprus Mail, some of the refugee tenants, were paying €500 yearly rent, while they were subletting for €4,000 a month.
Also, to end the illegalities on the beach front, which is also Turkish Cypriot land, the Larnaca municipality will be given control over the area so as to deal with all infringements from the coastal walkway to the shore.
According to the ministry, the plan will also meet modern financial criteria with regard to plot rents and impose compliance with all those conditions that should be met in relation to the activity of recreational centres (town planning and/or building permits, operation licences etc.).
The ministry said that through this plan the Turkish Cypriot Property Management Service will also gain significant revenue (over a million euros per year), which will be used to support refugees.
The plan contains the contractual involvement of the competent local authority, which will monitor of developments, while any revenues that will arise from the green spaces it will manage, will go to projects in the Mackenzie area.
“The implementation of the action plan is expected to contribute to the regulation of all the open issues plaguing the area, including unregulated developments, while it will create the conditions for further development and upgrading of the region’s economic and tourist activity for the benefit of both citizens of Larnaca, as well as refugees,” the ministry said.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the parliamentary parties, rural organisations, the Pancyprian Refugee Union, as well as the shop owners’ confederation. The session was held in the presence of the Mayor of Larnaca Andreas Vyras and representatives of the district administration of Larnaca.
The aim of the meeting was to discuss approval of the ministry’s action regarding the management and leasing of plots and for dealing with unauthorised urban developments, and unlicensed recreation centres. The overall objective was the creation of a comprehensive framework that regulates business activity in the Mackenzie area.