It has been quite a while since I have posted to the blog so here goes (and I will warn you now you may need a strong coffee to keep you awake):
We are now well into the summer rental season and all seems to be going well. Revenue from visitors is reported to be up 13% on the same period last year although many local ‘businesses’ appear to go out of their way to ensure this years tourists never return to the island. Local taxi drivers are ‘demanding’ that bus fares are increased and service levels reduced so they can fleece more tourists. Lidl’s in Protaras suffered an arson attack a week after opening as it provides value for money goods and the businesses here do not want tourists to have such things. Fortunately it wasn’t closed for long so hopefully not too much damage to the tourist trade despite the efforts of the arsonist.
Most of our guests are now settled into their chosen rental properties as we specialise in 2 and 3 month rentals to affluent families from Nicosia. Below is a list of issues that have arisen with / for guests in recent weeks:
1. ‘Broken’ TV’s – Cypriot digital TV has been running alongside analogue TV for ‘years’ here in Cyprus and the scheduled date for analogue to be switched off was the 1st July 2011. Probably one of busiest days of the year for property rental businesses. Cyprus is not known for adhering to timetables of any nature so the expectation by many was that analogue TV would still be available many months after the 1st July. No such luck and ‘all’ the TV’s on the island stopped working at 1 minute passed midnight. In truth some people still had working TV’s as they had upgraded their TV’s with MPEG4 decoders or bought the very latest TV sets. Until a few weeks before the switch off the decoders were selling for up to €65 and very few people were buying them. Suddenly the price dropped to €29.90 at virtually all stores (probably set by the Government to ensure a smooth transition to digital). On the 1st July many stores were out of stock though as even Cypriots weren’t really expecting the analogue system to end on the 30th June. Very few TV’s have MPEG4 decoders as standard, MPEG2 yes but that will not work here. So if you haven’t already bought a decoder you will need one as soon as possible (plus scart or HDMI cable). I have been quite surprised how many owners have modern, large, flat screen TV’s but neither satellite or local TV aerials. Guests can’t really be expected to watch DVD’s especially if they are staying for 3 months. I advocate dual systems to cater for local (Cypriot) guests and one off payment ‘Nilesat’ type satellites systems for international guests.
2. Keys – guests lock themselves out from time to time and the security feature of the locks here means they will need to be replaced if they leave the key in the back of the door when they lock themselves out. As many guests return to Nicosia on Sunday and return each Friday they sometimes forget to bring the keys with them.
3. Air Con – units should be serviced in late spring at a cost of around €25 per unit. Costs are considerably more if they are serviced / regassed in peak summer. Air con is essential in bedrooms but some guests are happy to rent properties without air con in the living rooms as they can have doors and windows open and fans on during the day. The ElectriSaver 15 units are useless, please do not use them unless you are a scrooge and clearly state air con will run for a maximum of 1 hour within your marketing. Even the Electrisaver 30 units, which run for 2 hours, are frowned upon by many of our guests especially as they pay for the electricity and not the property owner.
4. Water – low pressure or no water at all. Please ensure you pay your water bills (tenants can’t pay water bills in the Paralimni area). If the water is disconnected you may need to pay the 2009 and 2010 municipal tax totalling €200 (plus the outstanding water bill and reconnection fee) before they will reconnect you. Eventually the Mayor may decide to cut off your water supply if the municipal taxes (Council Tax in the UK) are not paid but politically this might be too dangerous for him.
5. Misc – broken kettles, bulbs, hair dryers, sofa beds and remote controls for TV and air con either missing or with no batteries are just some of the other issues we have faced in recent days. Although each in turn is quite minor we are not responsible for these items if you have your own Property Management Company. Please ensure they check the properties over to ensure a smooth transition between rentals.
Title Deeds – if you receive letters or emails from solicitors or agents offering to obtain your deeds for a fee of €3000+ please do not take them up on their offer. This is a service they should have provided when you bought the property and they are offering no timescale to obtain the deeds (and the fees are paid in advance).
Summer Rentals – we still have rental properties available for the summer, please complete the contact form if you are looking to rent an apartment or villa in Kapparis this year.
Property Sales – there are certainly many more property buyers in the area at this time of year. If owners are realistic on prices (and preferably those without Swiss franc mortgages) there are buyers available for properties with AND without title deeds.
The homepage is now back to a PR3 having fallen to zero following the revamp 6 months ago. Over 850 UNIQUE visitors a month and Google Search Engine Rank Position (SERP) of 1 for at least one quite competitive keyphrase. The pictures and videos help achieve this number 1 ranking but unfortunately Internet Explorer takes forever to load some of the pages (pretty poor user experience). Try Mozilla Firefox, much better web browser in my opinion.
Think that is enough for now but please feel free to add your feedback below (no spam please).Tweet Please help us to inform everyone that is thinking of buying a property in Cyprus to read our buying guide by clicking the Social Network buttons above.