Homeless in house sale battle
A PENSIONER couple is sleeping in their car after a fruitless effort to reclaim their Boambee home.
Our front page story yesterday highlighting the plight of Jozsef Pall and Rosalie Papp has since attracted national media attention after we revealed the pair have been caught up in a bizarre battle to get their home back.
Mr Pall and Ms Papp said they had run out of money for motel accommodation or rent after being paid only the deposit for a large Boambee property they sold last year planning to downsize to a smaller home.
The couple said the contract of sale had expired in March and they wanted to reclaim the property, which includes two houses and 0.8 ha (2 acres) of land, after months of living on the Gold Coast waiting to receive the full proceeds of their home.
Ms Papp said they had become ill, exhausted and stressed by the month of waiting and simply wanted to return to their home.
But the occupant of the house, Theo Sourios, called police when he arrived to find the couple sitting on camp chairs behind the gate, which they had chained shut behind their car.
When police arrived, Mr Sourios, a Toormina businessman, formally accused Mr Pall and Ms Papp of trespassing on his property and an hour-long stand-off between the elderly couple and the businessman ensued.
This highly unusual story has led to a wider debate about residential property sales.
Caught in the crossfire over the ownership dispute yesterday was Crown Property Sales, which has had the property listed for sale since last October and put it to auction in March on behalf of the Sourios Family Trust.
Crown Property Sales principal Paul Tobias said yesterday before that auction his agency had received an email from Mr Papp and Ms Pall’s family solicitor, Sam Ticli, stating they had not agreed to the auction nor to extend the settlement period to March 31, 2010, 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.”
Mr Tobias said he was aware that the Sourios family had not completed the transaction with Mr Pall and Ms Papp, but prolonged and complex sales arrangements were not unusual or illegal.
Mr Tobias said neither Mr Pall nor Ms Papp had contacted him at any time.
No 142 Ayrshire Park Drive failed to sell at the March auction. It is understood the Sourios Trust wants substantially more than $800,000 for the property.
Coffs Harbour solicitor Sam Ticli said proceedings were on foot for an order for possession of the property in the Supreme Court on May 30.
Mr Sourios said he had paid rent last year and a $25,000 deposit and had paid for renovations.
He said one of the dwellings was an unauthorised structure and they were arguing over a settlement figure. He said he would be seeking damages in court on May 31.