It has been said that Cypriots eat as if it is their last meal and build as if they will live forever. This is a true reflection of reality and is evident in market behaviour.
Despite this, once a home or building has been built, no particular attention is paid to maintaining it by most owners. As car owners, we seem to look after our cars quite well, when it comes to service, maintenance, repairs and so on. However, regarding a building, whose value is higher, no similar care is shown.
The large majority of buildings are not well maintained, reducing their value and increasing the problem of future maintenance.
The use of durable materials is a way to reduce the cost of maintenance, even though they are more expensive. For example, the use of ‘sprits’ for the external surfaces is much longer lasting as opposed to paint. The former, though not as attractive, lasts for 10-15 years, whereas paint requires maintenance every two to three years, otherwise it peels off giving the impression of neglect.
The various subsidies that are offered by the government for the maintenance of buildings are worth examining as they can be quite generous.
Installing solar panels and using insulating materials is costly but it is worth considering given the savings in energy costs.
The use of security systems is also recommended, some of which include cameras indoors and outside, which you can watch on your mobile phone. As technology improves, its adoption is part of improving maintenance, adding to the property’s prospects and value.
The maintenance of buildings is becoming increasingly important and a law has been proposed regarding periodic inspections by a civil engineer, a measure similar to the MOT for cars.
If you let a property, make sure that the obligations of tenant and landlord are clearly stated in the contract regarding maintenance. Normally, insurance, property taxes and wear and tear are the landlord’s responsibility, but the rest are the tenant’s obligation. Installations such as air conditioning and lifts, fall under the responsibility of the tenant, whereas the landlord must carry out repairs.
Bear in mind that for yearly rental contracts, or less, the contract needs to be witnessed by two persons per party (ie four witnesses), whereas for contracts of more than one year, one per party will suffice.
In ending, when letting a property, pay particular attention not so much to how much rent you can get for it, but to whether the tenant will fulfil their obligations, since with the laws regarding tenants and landlords and the legal delays in Cyprus, an inappropriate occupant could cost several thousands.
Antonis Loizou & Associates EPE – Real Estate Appraisers & Development Project Managers, www.aloizou.com.cy, [email protected]