Limassol - Government-owned holiday homes in Troodos are being used without the permission of the authorities, while even private organisations such as the now defunct Laiki Bank are not paying rent.
Meanwhile, Cyta’s director has a luxury eight-bedroom house at his disposal, equivalent to that of the presidential retreat, as well as two permanent guards.
The president of the House of Representatives is also entitled to a Troodos holiday home, as is his guard, but Yiannakis Omirou has informed authorities that his police guard do not require a home, and it has been returned to the Department of Public Works.
There are currently 54 government holiday homes which are rented out to civil servants, whereas others are used by state officials (some without permission) and police officers.
Troodos homes are used by the following:
- Forestry Department house in the Kalogreon area which is used by the director of the Forestry Department. There is no approval for its use.
- Forestry Department house. Troodos Square, near the police station. Used by employees of the Forestry Department. There is no approval for its use.
- Police house. Troodos Square. Three bedrooms. Used by the chief of police. There is no approval for its use.
- Police house. Used by senior police officers as a holiday home. There is no approval for its use.
- Police house. Used by Limassol police chief. There is no approval for its use.
- Presidential retreat, Troodos. Used by the president of the Republic.
- Four homes near the presidential retreat. Used by the under-secretary to the president, the commander of the presidential guard and two police officers from the presidential guard.
- One house (guardhouse). Used by members of the presidential guard.
- Director of Cyta, one home at Troodos Square.
- Cyta employees, one four bedroom house.
Civil servants remain keen to rent out government homes in Troodos despite the economic crisis and already 50 homes have been rented out for the winter (October 2013-April 2014).
For the winter, rents range from €1,280 to €1,615 which includes water, electricity and other utilities. In the summer rents range from €270-€370 a week.
The annual upkeep of houses ranges from €100,000 to €200,000 in cases whether they need significant maintenance.
Beyond these homes, there are a number of houses which are used by private individuals on a long term lease agreed with the British colonial authorities before independence.
The Attorney General will be asked whether these houses can be returned to state hands before the lease – in many cases 99 years - expires.
State policy as regards leases of forest land and buildings in Troodos, according to Forest Department documents is for these not to be renewed and for this property to return to state hands when they expire.
If the lease agreement provides for compensation, then cabinet should be informed.