Copy to Marion J Carter – Solicitor
13th February 2006
Dear Marios Karayiannas,
As you are aware, I was in Cyprus last week to checkup on the progress of our house and to be reassured that the mistakes made in the positioning of the downstairs toilet would not cause a future problem to us. There was also the matter of windows cut where they should not have been, and also that the kitchen sink and cooker were both being placed in the wrong areas. Whilst there I discovered the changes you had made to the site plan and after two brief meetings with yourself you asked that I discuss with my wife what could be done to rectify the problems your changes have posed.
Having returned from Cyprus we have discussed your changes and have concluded that we would not have bought this property in the position it is in now.
As you know, an important consideration for us when buying a house was that it must have a private garden. You sold us 30 Ayios Sergios because it was a corner plot. It had a bungalow one side with only one window looking into our garden. The other side would have a road running the full length of the plot. Across the road there was to be two more bungalows. plan1.jpg is the original plan given to us. We were told such a plot was a rare find. It was perfect for us and a sound investment for the future so we snapped it up on our first trip.
We have now made advanced preparations to move to Cyprus. Our UK home is under offer and completion will be soon. We have kept up with stage payments by bank loans and schools and work have been informed of our move.
Now without informing us, the plans you gave us have changed. We now have 3 new houses all of which have 1st floor windows looking into our garden and the nearest two houses have balconies looking straight down upon us. Plot 31 also has a garden adjoining ours. All of this is totally unacceptable. Not only does it breach our important consideration of privacy but it also devalues our home for when we come to resell. With four properties now looking into our garden we are worse off than most plots on the Ayios Sergios development.
We can only hope that this was not a deliberate deception on your part, and that it was in fact an oversight in planning that excluded what was important to us, our privacy. In any event I think you owe us an apology. You totally misrepresented your plans and photos sent to us in November show the foundations for your changes occurred at the same time you started our build.
overlay.jpg shows the plan you gave us with your new plan overlaid. Our plot is marked in blue with the yellow marking the road that should have separated us from the bungalows marked in green.
Last week you gave some brief options on how to resolve my objections. These included buying us out of our contract or giving away land at the side of our house that may in 3 years become available. You were not specific in what can be done but instead insisted I go back and discuss with my wife how we can move forward from the distress you have caused. I have done this and as you see from the attachments a lot of thought and work has gone into the problem. We can see only one clear solution but have listed three others that we had considered carefully.
The only solution we can see is that you build us the same house on a different location with the garden privacy you promised intact. As this will leave us in rented accommodation for months until you catch up with the new build, we would expect a location and land area sufficient enough to compensate. The advantage to you in this scenario is that when you resale 30 Ayios Sergios in this rising market, you will be able to add the extra 6 meters of road area which may come available in 3 years into the new specifications. This solution will also allow you to leave the mistakes you have made to the pipe-work positioning unchanged and sell the house with toilet under stairs and en-suit shower in 4th bedroom.
Another option we considered was similar to your offer of compensating us with extra land on the side of our plot. We considered that if you included the area marked orange on option2.jpg we could plant a tree to gain back some of our privacy. Unfortunately this would not entirely rectify the situation and a large tree placed here would only upset our neighbour and deny them light. We considered your offer of the yellow area coming available in 3 years when the temporary road has gone. But your explanation of your rights to give away this land was insufficient enough to warrant any satisfaction and in any case does nothing to rectify our privacy.
Another option for you is to knock down two of the three offending properties. The two (plots 31, 32) nearest our house will have balconies overlooking our garden and have not as yet had their frame stage completed. (See attachment p31p32p33.jpg) I’m informed the third (plot 33) has been bought and as we can see its build has advanced to the brick work stage we realize it would be unreasonable for you to start again here. In place of plots 31, 32 you should keep to your original plan of bungalows. The garden of 31 should not extend into what was originally a road but instead should be a neutral green area or be given to us so we can insure our original plot area has not been encroached. With plot 33 still having views of our garden your offer of 6m land to the side of our house would be sufficient enough to compensate, because we would have enough land for trees.
The last option we considered was your offer of buying us out at this stage. Unfortunately we cannot begin to put a price on what that offer should be. As you’re aware any deal to buy us out now, would leave us looking to secure a house this year at last year’s prices. Also there are the costs involved to date and it would leave my family in rented accommodation for a considerable period of time.
You have said to me on all 3 of my visits that it is Karayiannas’s policy to keep your customers happy. Now is the time for you to prove this statement. As I said to you last week your changes have caused us great distress and we cannot see ourselves living with the changes you have made. I leave it now to you to come back to us within the week to see what can be done. Please don’t leave your decision too long as preparations to move are in full swing.
plan1.jpg The site plan you gave us when you sold us the house
plan2.jpg The site plan you changed to at the same time you started our build
overlay.jpg Both site plans overlaid. The white lines show the original layout. The blue area is our plot, The Yellow strip was to be the road going to the children’s playground. The green area was to be the nearest bungalows across the road.
p31p32p33.jpg A photo of the 3 new houses overlooking our garden.
plot31view.jpg The view from plot 31’s balcony of our garden as it stands to date
plot32view.jpg The view from plot 32’s balcony of our garden as it stands to date
plot31viewfence.jpg The view from plot 31’s balcony of our garden with a fence superimposed. The Vertical red indicator is a 2m marker.
plot32viewfence.jpg The view from plot 32’s balcony of our garden with a fence superimposed. The Vertical red indicator is a 2m marker.