Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The Flat That Isn't There...

When you have finished building your building you have to apply to t'Council for a 'Certificate of Completion', notwithstanding that the Cypriot understanding of the concept of finished is somewhat variable. However, both the builder and the architect reckon our building is finished so we've applied for The Certificate. Sadly, the bureacrat at t'Council does not consider the project to be finished according to his rules.
First, the builder and architectect have not submitted the correct form of the Journal of Works. The tatty photocopied pages Marinos gave us are not acceptable to the Powers That Be; apparently there is an agreed form of Journal published by the Cypriot Association of Builders and Architects (or somesuch edifice) which must be used. So after much back and forth, including a shouting match between the architect and Jobsworthopoulos at t'Council, we must now wait whilst the architect assembles the correct form of Journal.
Secondly, our planning permission was contingent on there being a parking space for one car - otherwise we would have to pay €5,000 to t'Council as a kind of parking tax even though the payment would not actually provide an actual parking space. We therfeore negotiated with El Prez's uncle to allow us access to the rear of the building so that we could nominate the yard at the back as a parking space. Much back and forth to the Land Registry and expenditure followed to get the respective Title Deeds amended accordingly. But Mr Jobsworthopoulos insists that a parking space must actually be built - this will involve making a small ramp, dismantling a fence and installing a gate. We said "Ho hum. We just haven't done it yet; we'll do it on our next visit. Isn't that enough?" Nope.  This guy is at the opposite extreme of the spectrum to the majority of Cypriots when it comes to the concept of finished. Everything's got to be just so. No Certificate of Completion!
Well, so what? The problem is that until we have the Certificate of completion we cannot amend the Title Deeds via the Land Registry to reflect the fact that there is now a one-bedroom flat and a roof on the building. This means that we cannot either sell the building or transfer ownership to anyone. Officially, the flat does not exist. So, is it finished or not finished?

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