Homeless pensioners find sanctuary

A PENSIONER couple reduced to sleeping in their car after being unable to reclaim possession of their comfortable home have found sanctuary in a friend’s house.

Rosalie Papp said she and her partner Jozsef Pall were offered accommodation by an old friend following publicity of their plight in the Coffs Coast Advocate.

Ms Papp, 70, and Mr Pall, 65, found themselves at the centre of a bizarre real estate drama after their Boambee property was sold and the buyer, Toormina businessman Theo Sourios, moved in but failed to complete the purchase, and has declined to move out although the sale contract has expired.

Among those who contacted the newspaper yesterday to offer a bed to the couple was Coffs Harbour resident Kyra Darcy.

“I’m a widow myself and I wouldn’t like it to be my parents”, Mrs Darcy said. “I feel very upset that these people are in their car.”

After paying rates and insurance on their Boambee house as well as rent on a unit on the Gold Coast for months while they waited for settlement, Mr Pall said the $25,000 deposit they had been paid had been used up and they had no more money for rent or motels.

The property went to auction in March but failed to reach the reserve.

Crown Property Sales principal Paul Tobias said before the auction his firm had received a letter from the pensioner couple’s family solicitor, Sam Ticli, stating they had not agreed to the auction nor to extend the settlement period to March 31, but since the auction had been arranged and might result in completion of the sale, the vendors were prepared to accede to it and would extend settlement to that date, regardless of the outcome of the auction.

“We have complied in every respect,” Mr Tobias said. “We had a contract to market and sell (the property) and had authority from all parties.”

He said he was aware that the Sourios family had not completed the sale with Mr Pall and Ms Papp, but prolonged and complex selling arrangements were not unusual.

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