Property management / rentals at St Nicolas Development in Chlorakas

Discussion in 'Cyprus Property' started by Twiggy, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. Twiggy

    Twiggy New Member

    Are there any owners at the St Nicolas AP Development in Chlorakas who have started using ROPUK Aftercare for management of their property / rentals since the demise of BHI (Bridge Holmes International)?

    Just wanted to find out if (a) they are any better than BHI (b) you are happy (or not) with the management service they provide (c) they are managing to come up with any rentals?

    Also, I understand there are other property management and rental companies looking after some of the properties at St Nicolas - any feedback about any of those? (Paul Burton, PPP?)

    Our AP property should be finished next Spring ( or Summer or Autumn!!) and we will need some sort of management service - not sure whether we'd just be better trying to get rentals ourselves though

    Any honest feedback or unbiassed advice much appreciated (I know there's been a lot of debate / ranting about AP & ROPUK on this forum - don't really want to start all that up again - just wondering what the best thing to do about management / rentals is to avoid throwing good money after bad.)
    Twiggy
     
  2. Gee

    Gee New Member

    Hi Twiggy. We now use ROP UK who initially seemed promising. However they are only getting a few rentals in. Did I see you in a previous thread about defaulting on mortgage? If so did you get any advice??
     
  3. Twiggy

    Twiggy New Member

    Hi Gee,

    Sorry to hear you're not getting many rentals in - it's probably the worst year ever to start trying to rent out a holiday home though so maybe things will get better.

    Have you any idea whether other owners at st Nicolas with different management companies or doing it themselves do better than those with ROPUK?


    In terms of defaulting on the mortgage - I don't think anyone knows what would happen really - depends if the bank / AP decide to pursue it in the UK. Personally, I wouldn't want that hanging over me so I think we'll probably try and stick it out for the longer term if poss and hope for the best - difficult for "investors" who bought several properties though.


    Twiggy
     
  4. Veronica

    Veronica Administrator

    I would recommend that even if you use a management company you do not rely on them to get you rentals.
    There are several websites where you can advertise your rental property and you would know exactly what is going on with your property.
    I have heard stories from people who have rental properties who have been told by neighbours who live full time that their properties have been rented out quite a lot but the managment companies have been telling them that they had few bookings.
    One couple we know came to stay in their apartment only to find that there was someone in it although they had been told there were no bookings for it. They asked their neighbours if there had been many people in it and were told it had been heavily booked most of the season.
    I am sure that the majority of management companies would not behave like this but you should find a way of ensuring that you know exactly what is going on with your own property.
    There are plenty of people who will clean for you if you do your own bookings.
    Another thing I would strongly advise is that when you take possession of your property you change all the locks as some unscrupulous developers will keep a set of keys and rent people homes out when they are not there and not tell them.
    I know this for a fact as I know several people it has happened to. Again I will say that it is only a handful of developers who will do this but people should be aware that this can happen and take their own precautions agaisnt it.

    Veronica
     
  5. Lysos

    Lysos New Member

    Hi Twiggy,

    My friend has a detached villa on a large plot in the Eastern Algarve & advertises it on Owners Direct and Holiday-Rentals. This year so far, she has let 21 weeks between May & September (it could have been more but she 'booked' 4 weeks for family use). However, pleae note that she has a 50% mortgage and the rental return just about covers that plus running costs; there is no extra 'profit'.

    To let yourself you will need someone reliable to do cleaning, laundry, handover plus an emergency point of contact. All this costs money, in addition to your council tax, service charges and on going maintenance (furniture & decoration etc.).

    I have just checked the two sites (& there are many others) and both have @ 800 properties in the Paphos area; I had no problem finding numerous vacancies for this month - peak season !. The busier properties tend to be the larger, individual villas. There is an absolute glut of properties to let & for sale in the Paphos district; a lot of developments are on hold and tourist numbers are way down; this is not going to change any time soon. I infer from your latest post that you bought more than one property. Ouch !. I hope you have deep pockets. As for waiting for things to improve, properties quickly deteriorate if not regularly maintained (especially if not all the development is sold and not everyone is paying the service charge - happens !). In February I went back to Larnaca to look up the 'new' flat I rented in 91 & 92 - the block looks like a slum now.

    Think very carefully before you 'invest' any more money in this venture. Agents will tell you that now is a great time to buy for investment as prices are being reduced; they'll need to be reduced a lot more to have any effect and location is paramount; any ad that says 'x' minutes drive to the sea, simply means that a car is essential i.e. more expense.

    Anyone thinking of buying for their own use (and there is no other valid reason in the forseeable future) should look at resales, with title deeds; there are thousands of them, and an awful lot of desperate sellers. Don't even think about buying off-plan, with no guarantee it will ever be finished, and as for blandishments that the development will have loads of facilities e.g. pools, tennis courts, spas , restaurants, shops etc., well, easy to promise but will they be in your sales contract ?. Of course not. This applies anywhere, not just Cyprus; I actually came across a completed development in Spain that had 'Golf' in the title - guess what ?. Nearest golf course 20 miles away !.

    Blinkers off, folks !.
     
  6. Twiggy

    Twiggy New Member

    Thanks for the advice

    Lysos you misunderstood my last post - thankfully we're in a position to treat this as (a rather expensive) holiday home and put it down to experience.
    We only have one property which is a villa and we're fairly realistic about how much of the costs will be covered by any rental income we might get ( not even thinking it will cover mortgage).
    I am aware though that a number of other people have several properties on these developments and that is a concern of course.

    Really just want to work out the best way of managing it - ideally recommendation from others I suppose.

    I've heard stories before - as Pippin says - of management companies renting out properties and the owner not being aware. I think we will do our own thing for rentals through the various internet rental sites / word of mouth - but we do need a reliable property management service - so any feedback from others who have used such a service would be appreciated.

    Twiggy
     
  7. Lysos

    Lysos New Member

    Hi Twiggy,

    Pleased to hear that your situation is manageable.

    Good luck.
     
  8. Gee

    Gee New Member

    questions questions...

    Hi again guys,

    Rop UK do seem ok. They filled half of July and most of Aug after we joined them in May, however the last few weeks have shown no further bookings for the rest of the year. Do any of you have your own websites? How do they do??

    We bought our 1 bed apartment (with roof terrace :) from AP for £120k, however with interest piling on for the 3 years while we waited for completion, as well as an over priced furniture pack, we have ended up spending over £145k - and still need to spend god knows what on the title deeds... Because of all this we obviously want to rent it out as much as possible and sell when the time is right. What would be the best solution in your opinions? We are planning a private website and already use ROP but someone mentioned VillaRentals. Is this a good site.

    Also does anyone know if Cypriot banks do interest only mortgages, and what the rates are like at the mo????
     
  9. Gee

    Gee New Member

    Hi Twiggy,

    Not sure if other owners use other management companies. We're fairly new to ROP - only 3 or 4 months, afetr Bridge ripped 'went bust'. Would love to know the best rental method though...

    If I were you I'd definatley look into the added interest on your bank account (if you're getting a mortgage for the regular draw down payments, interest will be added from the first instalment. We paid 3 years interest on a late completion - over £11k) AP should pay the interest but never do.
     
  10. Twiggy

    Twiggy New Member

    Hi Gee,

    Sadly I'm well aware that the mortgage is going to be rather more than we anticpated due to accumulating interest.

    I don't suppose AP can be expected to compensate unless they run over the grace period in terms of completion (& I know they always find a way of getting out of it even then)

    Main problem is that the agents selling these properties gloss over this issue and nobody is aware just how much and how soon they draw down on the mortgage.

    We live and learn I suppose.


    Best thing to do is try and come up with a decent rentals strategy though and then in time things will sort themselves out.

    Twiggy
     
  11. Gee

    Gee New Member

    Sounds like good advice Twiggy.

    Have you heard anything about the new Disneyland Cyprus which is all over Google. Seems to have had approval - anyone know if that's true??
     
  12. G99

    G99 New Member

    Hi Twiggy, I just came across your post and thought that you mght be interested in my views. I was with BHI & fortunately dumped them last year when a number of us owners realised what they were up to and it is our belief that some of the employees from BHI are now with BHI and therefore would not entertain them again. A number of us are now using Maggie Moir for management who is very good however I am not sure as to how many more properties that she is able to take on. For bookings, most folks I know are doing it themselves through some of the online specialist sites however a few of us are considering setting up our own website and we have registered a couple of decent webnames. We have just returned from St Nics - our first visit since August 2009 and things seem to be starting on the up, there are a few more shops and the area is improving and so we are hopeful that in the medium term, rentals will increase. Good luck!
     
  13. Lysos

    Lysos New Member

    Gee,

    The idea of a Disneyland Cyprus was just a desperate attempt by developers to revive the property market. The most cursory look at the numbers meant it was never remotely viable.
     
  14. Twiggy

    Twiggy New Member

    Hi G99

    thanks for your response

    glad to here things at St Nics seem to be looking up - sounds like doing your own thing is a good idea - at least then if you do get some rentals you're not giving most of the income away

    Twiggy
     
  15. Natty

    Natty New Member

    Hi Twiggy
    Look for Natty's reply on the forum about ROPUK/Bridge Holmes. They are a bunch of crooks and I will stay away from them!
     
  16. CYHolidayHomeOwner

    CYHolidayHomeOwner New Member

    I thought BHI were still running in Cyprus? Does anyone know how they work and whether they get good returns? I understand they charge you to have your property on their books and if I was to use them I would want to make sure I would get a return in rentals.
    I am also considering advertising my proeprty on websites and have heard holidaylettings uk website are offering 3 months advertising free if you book 12 months with them by quoting 45755. Are they any good?
     
  17. bendybunny

    bendybunny Member

    Hi Twiggy,

    Find an honest english person and do the rentals yourself you will at least know where you stand once bitten etc etc.

    Bendybunny.
     
  18. bendybunny

    bendybunny Member

    According to the papers this is a rumour started by the property developers to try and sell more properties
    Bendybunny
     
  19. bendybunny

    bendybunny Member

    HI I have been with Holiday lettings for the past two years adn so far this year have had no response. ROPUK use this siter as well.

    Bendybunny
     
  20. MicMac

    MicMac New Member

    I am an investor on St Georges and arcadia. Friends of mine are having a torrid time using ROP UK. More to the point they are struggling with no rentals and defaulting on mortgage. There is a group meeting amongst St Nicolas investors in Nottingham Sunday 1st Aug. There is many issues of inappropiate dealings and there is an action proposed which will hopefully go to the European court. PLease contact me on [email protected]
     
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