RSS

A Good Doctor And A Pleasant Bailiff!

27 Mar

Such a huge relief, Tom’s chest x-ray showed nothing more sinister than congestion and infection, just as the doctor thought would be the current situation. So, armed with a change of inhalers, antibiotics, 5 days worth of Prednisolone pills, and a rather “pleasant fruity decongestant drink” (Tom’s words), he is set to recover from this latest lung infection. Several digits are crossed for that outcome, and Tom will return to the doctor on Thursday morning for an updating examination and assessment. Voila!

So, with a much lighter heart, I telephoned l’Huissier’s office in Mauriac, I was fully prepared to hear news of a less than positive calibre! Almost five years of negative results and lost battles were very much to the fore in my mind, although, nothing could reduce my relief that my wonderful husband will soon be well enough to return to our ‘thought showers’ sessions regarding the house Case. I have used the alternative expression to ‘brainstorming’ because, as a retired teacher, I am aware that the original term is politically incorrect, despite the fact that it is very much more appropriate to what actually happens during the sessions!

The clerk who answered my call struggled with my French language skills, so, I used two of my better stock phrases, told her my name and asked to speak with the English-speaking gentleman with whom I have had several conversations through the years. That gentleman was “out of the office”, but, the phone was passed to the Maitre. Brilliant, straight to the top!

Maitre was very pleasant, extremely reassuring, I really did have the feeling that she is definitely on our side! Using a combination of facts, clear empathy, superbly appropriate humour, and concisely worded phrases that I was able to fully understand without any difficulty, this is what I was told by the Maitre.

Both locataires have been given formal Notice to Quit the property on or before 30th September 2012. If either locataire is still in the property on 30th September, l’Huissier and supporting Gendarmes will carry out eviction processes on 1st October 2012. The Cadastral (Department Land Registry) has been given a Court Order to have the locataires removed, l’Huissier has also been granted a Court Order to ensure the eviction processes are actioned, if necessary. It was l’Huissier Maitre who served the formal Notices to Quit the property.

I tentatively expressed my concerns about the resident locataire, Monsieur C, he is not rational when he feels he is under pressure! Laughing, Maitre immediately agreed with me – she has obviously already had a run-in with him! However, she told me the Court Orders have been issued to a Government Department, ie the Cadastral, and l’Huissier have been granted their enforcement powers as Government representatives upholding the laws of the State. Maitre told me that Monsieur C can object as much as he wants to, nothing will stop the processes being carried through on the dates given. I told Maitre that I felt Monsieur C would not wish to be observed by the neighbours during an enforced eviction, she agreed with my comment and told me his possessions would simply be thrown out via a window, and he would be escorted off the premises by as many Gendarmes as required; that would be explained to Monsieur C by letter before 30th September 2012.

Maitre then explained to me that both locataires will require tenancy references from their former landlords to obtain alternative rental premises. To that effect, the hairdresser has paid l’Huissier to deliver a tenancy reference request letter to Tom and me. Here we go, I thought! I informed Maitre that Tom and I are not qualified or prepared to give references, because the locataires are nothing to do with us. Maitre commented that they require references from us because we are the owners of the property. She then listened, without interrupting, while I briefly clarified to her the facts of our vice caché suit.

When I stopped speaking, Maitre asked, “Did Madame T give the locataires their tenancy contracts?”

I told her, “Yes, and we knew nothing at all about the current hairdresser until months after we purchased the property, despite the conveyancing notaire having presided over the sale of the shop Lease, months before we purchased the property.”

Maitre commented, “Classic vice caché, Madame Baxter. So, Madame T can provide the locataires with their references. I will write to her, today, and I will deliver the letter in person. There are documents here for you to collect, I need your signatures for you to receive them. Documents were also delivered to your property in Champagnac, I understand that you and your husband are happy for your neighbour, Madame ZC, to hold them safely for you, yes?”

I agreed with Maitre and told her we would collect all the documents from her office, towards the end of April, and Madame ZC has already forwarded mail from the house to the address of our friends in the Gers, from where we will collect them when my husband is well enough to travel. Maitre replied that she hoped my husband recovers fully and quickly, and she thanked me for phoning her.

Nothing was mentioned about the hairdresser’s outstanding, unpaid water rates bills!

Well, can’t get more positive than that! Or, should we wait until we have all the documents to hand, translated, read and fully understood, before we celebrate? Family and I have decided the latter is prudent!

Since yesterday, I have received many very kind messages of support, and several comments about us being able to move into our house that’s not our home on 1st October 2012. That can’t happen! Our vice caché lawsuit is designed to return the property to our fraudulent sellers, as though we had never purchased it, to receive a full refund of the purchase costs including all monies spent on improvements prior to the proceedings starting, eg the double-glazing. The vice caché lawsuit was not brought to remove the tenants.

Even if we were to move into the house, we would still have no electricity and no sanitation, and we would still not be able to legally make good the electrical and plumbing installations.

Yes, after 1st October, we could drop our vice caché Case – would you?

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

19 responses to “A Good Doctor And A Pleasant Bailiff!

  1. fly in the web

    March 27, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Is there provision in this vice cache case to compensate you for hardship and costs of housing and travel?

     
    • hobosinfrance

      March 27, 2012 at 7:25 pm

      Yes, the maximum damages we can claim through the Cour de Cassation to offset our legal costs and everything else will be €4,000, that is the ceiling. There is no provision in French law, relevant to our Case, to compensate us for hardship and other costs that we would not have paid if we had been living in our own home. As this Case cost us €55,000 until we had to claim legal aid for the last leg, €4,000 won’t even cover our petrol costs!! Warmest regards, Chrissie

       
  2. Sarah Hague (@sazen)

    March 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Considering how much money you’ve lost, that is a very good question. Also, would you have all these dodgy people around you, like Mr C and the hairdresser? You life could be quite uncomfortable, yet, if you did drop it, you wouldn’t have to start the whole house-buying process all over again and possibly encounter yet more trouble.

    Also, the previous owners could appeal and stall you for years. You definitely deserve compensation.

     
    • hobosinfrance

      March 27, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      Hi Sarah, yes, the hairdresser is apparently moving into a business property (alongside a small supermarket and a butcher) in the village. But, we don’t know what Monsieur C intends to do, apart from possibly giving l’Huissier a hard time during the coming months!! Their biggest problem will be the rents they will need to pay! Our sellers had not raised the rents since the original hairdresser opened in the late 1990’s, and Monsieur C moved into the property in the late 1990’s! So, the hairdresser’s monthly rent is still €152,45 and Monsieur C’s monthly rent is still €102 plus €15 per month for sole use of the garage! The rent hasn’t been paid to us, we refused to accept it – on advice given by our first avocat, rightly – it has been paid directly to the Tresor Public to pay the building taxes. We understand that it will be extremely doubtful that the Cour de Cassation will permit an Appeal by our sellers – the ECHR is waiting in the wings! 😉 Warmest regards, Chrissie

       
    • hobosinfrance

      March 27, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      Hi Sarah, yes, the hairdresser is apparently moving into a business property (alongside a small supermarket and a butcher) in the village. But, we don’t know what Monsieur C intends to do, apart from possibly giving l’Huissier a hard time during the coming months!! Their biggest problem will be the rents they will need to pay! Our sellers had not raised the rents since the original hairdresser opened in the late 1990’s, and Monsieur C moved into the property in the late 1990’s! So, the hairdresser’s monthly rent is still €152,45 and Monsieur C’s monthly rent is still €102 plus €15 per month for sole use of the garage! The rent hasn’t been paid to us, we refused to accept it – on advice given by our first avocat, rightly – it has been paid directly to the Tresor Public to pay the building taxes. We understand that it will be extremely doubtful that the Cour de Cassation will permit an Appeal by our sellers – the ECHR is waiting in the wings! 😉 Warmest regards, Chrissie

       
  3. Pip

    March 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Reading this episode has given me a very wide smile. Every time I get the notification of a new posting I fear what I am about to read.
    Could it be that the peak has been reached and the downward slope to retribution is arriving.
    I too will have numerous digits crossed that there is a little light glimmering at the end of a very long black tunnel.
    We will be across the water at the weekend and won’t have access to the net until our return just passed the middle of next month. It’s going to be damned awkward doing DIY, cooking and eating with all these digits crossed but they will remain virtually crossed even if temporarily loosened for work purposes.
    Keep the faith.
    And delighted to hear that TOH’s health is on the up.

     
    • hobosinfrance

      March 27, 2012 at 7:59 pm

      Lol, Bless you, Pip, and thank you so much. Enjoy your time on the other side of The Pond, e-see you when you return home. 🙂 Warmest regards, Chrissie

       
  4. andymcneephoto

    March 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    I’d take the money and run and buy a little house in the Gers, much better down here, the only case of house selling fraud I have ever heard about around here was carried out by a dispicable Englishman.

     
    • hobosinfrance

      March 27, 2012 at 8:17 pm

      Hello Andy, thank you very much for your support and your comment, much appreciated. We plan to buy a piece of land and have a log cabin built on the land! We have become too cynical, too paranoid, to purchase another ‘ready made’ property in France! Sad, but true. Our biggest problem would possibly be that we will not recover enough of our lost funds to do that, if we call it a day without taking the Case through the last two Courts, ie the Cour de Cassation and the ECHR. But, most importantly, if we do not pursue our Case through the ECHR, we know our nearly 5 years (to date) of hobo life in France will very likely become the lifestyle of other families in the future. We feel very strongly that we must do everything in our power to prevent that happening. The thought of another family living as we have lived, as we still live, increases our determination to ensure that France recognises and repeals her legalised breaching of human rights. BTW, all things being equal, we will be looking to build our log cabin in the Midi-Pyrenees, probably in the Gers. 🙂 Warmest regards, Chrissie

       
  5. GaynorB

    March 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Personally I wouldn’t, but then I haven’t been through the sheer hardship and desperation that you and your family have gone through over the past years.
    As part of your hobo lifestyle you’ve no doubt moved all over France and may have come across places that have happier memories for you.
    Fingers crossed that you are edging towards that happy (?) ending.
    Best wishes.

     
    • hobosinfrance

      March 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      Hi Gaynor, thank you very much for your comment – our sentiments exactly!! 🙂 Despite the often extreme hardship, and Tom’s swiftly deteriorating health, specifically, we are going to carry on – we have two Courts to get through, ie the Cour de Cassation in Paris, and the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg. With Cases filed at both Courts, we feel certain that somebody will recognise the need for a full investigation and a judicial review. That is the only way we will possibly prevent this happening to another family in France, in the future. Warmest regards, Chrissie

       
  6. merewoman

    March 27, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    I’m a bit confused – that’s normal! Are you getting ownership of the house, or you are getting back the purchase price?

     
    • hobosinfrance

      March 28, 2012 at 12:38 am

      Lol! Don’t worry, French law even confuses the judiciary – hence, the Riom Appeal Court justices didn’t know about the vice caché laws when they said they couldn’t find in our favour because France had no appropriate laws in place! Well, that’s what they said after ‘recognising’ our sellers’ fraud! A Cour de Cassation judgement in our favour will return the property to our sellers. In return, we will be refunded the purchase price (but, there is a clause, I will write about that tomorrow as it’s of major importance!), plus the conveyancing fees, plus the cost of any ‘acceptable expenses’, eg our architect’s fees, the double-glazing that we were legally bound to pay for because we had signed a devis before we were told we had to stop the renovation works! Did you ever watch an American TV sit-com called “Soap”? Every programme ended with the same voice-over comment, “Confused? You will be!” Well, I honestly believe that applies to French law! Warmest regards, Chrissie

       
  7. La Petite Anglaise

    March 28, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Hi Chrissie 😀 So happy to finally hear some good news for you!
    Your question was ‘what would you do?’ Knowing me a little by now you can probably guess what I’d do – go for justice!! and in so doing try my utmost to ensure that this nightmare situation could never happen to anyone else. That’s not to say it’s what ‘you’ should do, only you know whether you and your family have the strength to continue this battle.
    You’ve all been through so much over the past five years and collectively you made the choice in the beginning to stay here and pursue this wrong-doing to the bitter end. That end is now a huge step closer. If you were to stop now and move back in would you ever feel that the last five years were worth all the sacrifices you’ve made in so many aspects of your lives? If you move back to the house (could it ever really be a home?) will you have achieved closure for yourselves and the satisfaction that justice has finally been done? More importantly could you ever be happy there? since surely that was the ultimate goal in following your french ‘dream’ this far.
    Whatever you decide, I wish you nothing but happiness in the future. You really do deserve it!

     
    • hobosinfrance

      March 28, 2012 at 4:10 pm

      🙂 All the questions you have asked in your message are the same questions we asked ourselves! We reached the same conclusions that you also clearly reached. We will only feel that justice has been done when we have done everything in our power to at least minimise the risk of this happening to another family, in France, in the future! So, we feel that we must continue without looking back – we have won a battle, but we haven’t yet won the war! Onward! 🙂 xx

       
  8. reluctantmemsahib

    November 1, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I’d love to chat to you regards your vice cache … we are in a similar position. Eur 100 000 down the line. miserable. Can i mail you? thank you

     
    • hobosinfrance

      November 1, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      Hello reluctantmemsahib, yes, absolutely. I’ll send you a quick email now. If you don’t receive it, you can contact me via the Hobos In France Forum, here’s a direct link –
      http://www.hobosinfrance.com/
      Warmest regards,
      Chrissie

       
  9. reluctantmemsahib

    November 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    thanks Chrissie, registered for your forum …

     
    • hobosinfrance

      November 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      You’re very welcome, I have activated your forum account and look forward to hearing from you. Maximum support is available – HIFF is the public platform for all of us who have suffered and are suffering at the hands of the French justice system! Warmest regards, Chrissie

       

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: