Two Plus Two Equals Five!

28 Apr

During the past month, Tom and I have wished we were both at least twenty years younger! That’s a first for both of us, we are normally quite content with our ages, life experience, mental and physical capacity, achievements, and our levels of life skills learning and knowledge. So, why the change? It’s simple, we both wish we could walk further than we can, carrying our home on our backs! When our ‘old girl’, aka our long-suffering Citroen Picasso Xsara, flipped her clutch, she left us in a real quandary. Scrap her and walk, or have her repaired and break the Bank to pay for the repairs? We chose the latter because we truly can’t manage without her. She has carried the four of us over 130,000 kilometres during the past four years; Tom and I can’t do that sort of ‘motoring’ on our aging ‘pins’. Simples!

So, we were already somewhat stressed and distressed (and broke!) when we travelled to Champagnac and Mauriac to collect documents from our friend, Madame ZC, and from l’Huissier. We knew the documents would be relevant to the illegal tenant hairdresser’s written Notice to quit our house that can’t be our home, following intervention by the Cadastre (Department Land Registry). But, our immediate concerns were about how Monsieur C might be responding, or reacting! As things turned out, we didn’t need to concern ourselves about Monsieur C, he is definitely a happy bunny! More about that next time.

The documents we received were a revelation! Confirmed within the text, Tom and I were definitely stitched up on 6 July 2007 by the female half of our sellers, and, we strongly suspect she wasn’t on her own! On that day, according to the notaire’s statement, she acted on notification received some time earlier (no date given) from Madame T that Tom and I had agreed to allow the hairdresser to sell on her Rental Lease. Now, why the notaire didn’t demand documentary verification, we have no idea! But, the fact of the matter is that she didn’t demand such evidence. Had she done so, she would have had no doubt that we hadn’t agreed, because we knew nothing about it, and there is no documentary evidence because Tom and I didn’t sign any such document!

On 6 July 2007, several weeks after we signed the compromis (‘promise to buy’ pre-Contract), and three weeks before our purchase was completed, Madame T and the notaire completed their own transaction, and they effectively landed my menfolk and me in the judicial mire that is the French legal system where the hairdresser is involved! Although, of course, Madame T already knew at the time that she was defrauding us by withholding evidence of Monsieur C’s tenancy!

Tom and I now believe the 6 July transaction was the reason why the notaire withheld €2000+ from our sellers on the day of completion. After all financial business was concluded on that day, Madame T looked at her cheque and announced that the cheque was ‘more than €2000 short’. I understood what she said and I looked at the notaire – our Immobilier was trying to hurry us out of the office. The notaire’s face reddened and she told Madame T to telephone her later at her office. Well, that would not ring bells if Tom and I hadn’t been informed, later the same day, that the notaire apparently left her office to go off on holiday immediately after we all left her office!

Strange? Not if the notaire had deducted €2000+ for other services rendered during the sale/purchase proceedings!

The documents contain a number of peculiarities and ambiguities. We know a commercial Tenancy Lease is for a period of 9 years; a residential Tenancy Lease is for 3 years. The original hairdresser’s contract started in December 1998, according to the copy of the Attestation we were given. Therefore, her tenancy period was due to expire on 31 December 2007; she confirmed to us that she had not applied to renew for a further period of nine years because she was closing down to concentrate on extending and raising her family. We wished her good luck, and everything was confirmed in writing between us and the Immo. He confirmed that the hairdresser’s tenancy period had not been extended beyond December 2007. That was further verified in the pre-Contract, and it states that we would have ‘sole use and enjoyment’ of the property.

Of course, that was never going to happen, Monsieur C was skulking in the shadows. But, we were absolutely shattered when Mademoiselle S suddenly appeared in November 2007, and we were informed that she would be with us for nine years!

However, according to the documents handed to us by l’Huissier, the notaire confirms that Mademoiselle S was given a ‘three years commercial Tenancy Lease’, and that it would run from when the previous contract ‘expired in October 2008’. Confused? No more than we are!

Even if we’re wrong about the December 2007 date (we know we’re not wrong, but never mind that!), a 3 years contract would expire in 2011 if it began in 2008. In that case, why is Mademoiselle S still running her business now, in April 2012?

According to l’Huissier, nobody was able to give Notice to quit to the hairdresser until the cadastre intervened, so she probably just stayed put! Well, ok, this is France, so that’s feasible. But, also according to l’Huissier, because Tom and I didn’t sign any documents giving permission for the commercial Lease to be sold by the original hairdresser to Mademoiselle S, the notaire had signed in our absence, as we were ‘in default’!

We left Champagnac thoroughly confused, fed up, sick to our hearts, and that was definitely my lowest ebb since this whole fiasco started. Thankfully, Tom was in British Bulldog mode, and by the time we joined our lads I was over the worst of my ‘blues’!

Today, copies of all documents were posted to the Cour de Cassation, and to the ECHR. Tomorrow is another day!



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13 responses to “Two Plus Two Equals Five!

  1. fly in the web

    April 28, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    What a nest of vipers!
    And you notice that no one but you…and a couple of honest bureaucrats…does anything about it. That is truly the dark side of France.
    Fingers crossed for you.

    • hobosinfrance

      April 28, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      Gets more devious by the month, doesn’t it?!! We can’t thank the cadastre, the bailiffs and Regine Cosson (Tax Office) enough for their help and honest support, perhaps the corruption in France will be addressed by folks like them one day – we can only hope our Case will be the start to greater transparency, when it is finally resolved. Thank you for your comment, and for your unconditional support. Greatly appreciated, as always. 🙂 Warmest regards, Chrissie

    • hobosinfrance

      April 28, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      Gets more devious by the month, doesn’t it?!! We can’t thank the cadastre, the bailiffs and Regine Cosson (Tax Office) enough for their help and honest support, perhaps the corruption in France will be addressed by folks like them one day – we can only hope our Case will be the start to greater transparency, when it is finally resolved. Thank you for your comment, and for your unconditional support. Greatly appreciated, as always. 🙂 Warmest regards, Chrissie

  2. AKMamma

    April 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    unbelievable~ I think my hosting company took lessons from the French! They did the same thing to me earlier, HENCE why I am awake and I was before a reasonable hour here in AK!

    • hobosinfrance

      April 28, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      Try to find out if there’s a French notaire working at your hosting company, Kriss!! If yes, you’ll know how the cookie crumbles, ie in everybody else’s favour other than yours!! Hope you get it sorted sooner rather than later. C xx

  3. GaynorB

    April 28, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    This is surely more than just incompetence. It’s seems to be a conspiracy and intent to defraud.
    Good luck!
    With very best wishes.

    • hobosinfrance

      April 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm

      Hello Gaynor, many thanks for your comment and support, much appreciated – there’s more to come, and we are now convinced that we know what’s coming next! 😉 Conspiracy and intent to defraud? Yes, that’s what we believe! Current movement with our Case – clue, our sellers are ‘old French family’ status!! 😉 Warmest regards, Chrissie

  4. Val

    April 28, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Yikes Chrissie, it just goes on and on – I so hope that you can get it all resolved! Everything crossed for you x

    • hobosinfrance

      April 28, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      Many thanks for your continued support, Val. :)) Yes, family and I believe it’s really opening up now, and we’re determined to see it through to the bitter end! Well, we really have no choice in the matter, lol! However, here’s an interesting snippet, Monsieur C (upstairs locataire) told us at the start that the female seller, the notaire, and the Immo were “all in this together”! He doesn’t take any ‘credit’ for himself, of course, lol, but he always reminds us that he gave evidence for us at our Appeal – so true! Perhaps he knows a lot more than has thus far been revealed, we’ll try to find out in June – will be going to pack up the house then. Chrissie xx

  5. Anil

    April 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    We had a house in the mountains in 63480 Bertignat, near Ambert (which we sold in 2003/4, I think) before moving to the SW — and came to learn about you & family through a dear friend of ours near Charente-Maritime. It’s truly heart-breaking to hear of your totally undeserved suffering, which drags on.. My wife & I pray that the matter is resolved soon so that you all can start to have a decent summer (which God knows you all are fully entitled to).

    • hobosinfrance

      April 30, 2012 at 9:21 am

      Hello Anil, thank you so much for your kindness and support, we know who your friend in Saujon is likely to be, she has been our staunch supporter for some time now. We remain hopeful that our Case will be heard in the Cour de Cassation this year, although, that’s what keeps us going, hope! We will probably be saying the same next year, too! We are aware that even a Judgement in our favour this year will very probably not bring much of a change to our current lifestyle this year, it will still take many months for a full resolution to be realised. Perhaps next year. Warmest regards, Chrissie

  6. Sarah Hague (@sazen)

    April 30, 2012 at 9:28 am

    If you’re involved with an ‘old French family’ your plight makes more sense than ever. The revolution might have knocked the aristocracy off but old money is still powerful in France and they obviously believe they can act with impunity.

    I really hope you can teach them that they cannot, that the law applies to everyone, even them (shock horror). It’ll probably be a first for them.

    • hobosinfrance

      April 30, 2012 at 11:23 am

      Hi Sarah, that’s exactly what we’re up against. When this initially started, our first (rather useless!) avocat commented, ‘…the side with the most money usually wins in France.’ We did not believe corruption in France, an EU State, could be that deep! Well, we have spent €55000 on this Case, to date, and, as far as we can ascertain, that’s a drop in the ocean compared with our sellers’ wealth. It seems that our first (rather useless!) avocat got it right, that time! 😦 C x


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