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Monthly Archives: June 2013

24/7 Is Just Not Long Enough…!

Are you retired and wonder how the heck you ever found the time to work?

Yes? Same here!

No? Hang in there, it will come – all things being equal, naturally!

For this past week – you know, that period of time equal to seven days and seven nights – I had set myself the following tasks to complete:

Locate and decode the EU laws we need for referencing in our formal complaint to the EUJ;

Locate, translate and decode relevant EU laws and Napoleonic Civil Codes, the bundle of joy (not!) we need to quote to the European Ombudsman concerning the ineptitude of two avocats and one notaire;

Format, write, proof read and edit as necessary the two formal complaints. Collate relevant documents and post the two packages;

Format, write, proof read and edit as necessary the content for our ‘large shack for sale’ website;

Locate and save appropriate internet links for our ‘large white elephant for sale’ website;

Travel to the ‘pile’, repack the few boxes we unpacked in July 2007, vanquish the tarantulas, hornets and no end of other creepy-crawlies that never fail to arrive to occupy the (many) unused rooms between our infrequent visits. Clean the property throughout – but not Monsieur C’s hallowed areas, ie his apartment, ‘Mon Garage’, etc;

Sort out half a dozen Immobilières (estate agents), including those who have been recommended to us by friends, and arrange for Monsieur G, a super gentleman expert who we know is on the ball and honest, to visit the ‘pile’ and collate all the information required for the Dossier de Diagnostic Technique (DDT report, including the all-important Energy rating, ie the statutory survey required before we can even put the property on the market);

Travel back to the Haute-Vienne to relieve son of childcare responsibilities so that he (son, not grandson) and Tom can return to the ‘pile’, decorate and take several dozen photographs for our ‘large carbuncle on the derriere’ website;

Enjoy myself on the forum, Facebook and Twitter, thereby, maintaining contact with family and friends around the globe.

Sigh – this blog post will be published with my red face expressing my sincere apologies for neglecting my family and friends during the past week.

However, there is an up-side, having tossed and turned during the past seven long nights – my brain just would not switch off – just before 5am today, I remembered we still have our copy of the survey and DDT/Energy reports that were carried out in April 2007 at our request and for which we paid 400€, I think the cost might now be closer to double that amount! The Energy rating was not mandatory at that time, but it was included. Therefore, apart from the termite report that only has a ‘shelf life’ of six months, the rest of the dossier is possibly still current because it’s less than ten years old.

Now, that could save us a few bob!

To clarify. Our sellers’ mandatory survey was fine, but we wanted our own survey to include a full structural report, results of Plannings enquiries, plus other information that we required if we were to proceed with the purchase, eg confirmation that we could install a lift in the garage to take a wheelchair to the apartment on the first floor of the property.

Monsieur G will know if the 2007 dossier is still legally valid, he carried out our full 2007 survey and also produced the DDT report, Plannings etc, for us to consider before we signed the Compromis de Vente. Monsieur G personally took copies of the survey dossier  to the notaire. The notaire was/is also his wife’s close friend. Monsieur G’s Attestation for the Appeal Court supported our Case by confirming all the necessary information and relevant documentary evidence was provided for the justices to examine.

We find it so strange that the Riom Appeal Court justices decided we had not expressed the need to know whether or not a disabled lift could be installed in the property before we proceeded with the purchase! 

How could that happen?

Obviously, the justices did not read all of our evidence, or, they read it and discarded the lot! Certainly, as our third avocat confirmed to us, by email, just a few days before Christmas 2009, our sellers had not submitted any evidence at all in their own defence. Well, they had not needed to, they were innocent unless proven guilty. The justices’ disregard for the evidence presented by our avoué confirmed their innocence!

So, back to this week’s tasks – what have I actually achieved during the past seven days and seven nights?

Not a lot! But, most of the content for our ‘PITA pile’ website is as ready as it will ever be, although, repacking, cleaning, decorating and photography are yet to be done.

As I must now concentrate on finalising and posting our complaints to the EUJ and the European Ombudsman, my next blog post will be written after we return to the Haute-Vienne from the Cantal. By then, we will have Monsieur C’s answer to our question regarding whether or not he is now prepared to vacate our house that’s not our home!

Hopefully, during our time in the Cantal, I will get my head together – my back-up brain cell is at critical overload level at the moment!

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Posted by on June 18, 2013 in World

 

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Stuffed…No Logic!

Included in the parcel of documents that we received from the ECHR, Strasbourg, is a copy of the Riom Appeal Court’s Judgement, dated 17 December 2009.

We had not seen the Judgement prior to receiving our file from the ECHR, as was acknowledged by our (third) avocat during the following email conversation held between us:

Relevant excerpt taken from the email received from the avocat on Tuesday 6 April, 2010 at 18:02:23 –

“You need to provide the tax return, all documents justifying your incomes for 2009, or minimum income and the evidence that the court’s decision has been delivered by bailiff (which actually has not been done).

The solicitor (ie the specialist Cour de Cassation avocat) is asking the legal aid office to give you an additional delay……………”

Excerpt taken from my response to the above, sent on Thursday 8 April, 2010 at 12:42:51 –

“Regarding the tax/income avis, we won’t receive that until later this month! All we have to declare for 2009 is the rent for the locataire and the hairdresser, plus my UK State Pension from October 2009……. (I actually did not receive the latter until later in 2010, due to the DWP losing my documents at least twice!).

When the avis arrives at the house, it will be forwarded to us wherever we are. We will complete and return it. Any tax will then become payable in August 2010. There will be no tax to pay, we do not have enough income to pay tax……..”

Eventually, we managed to send evidence of my pensions, UK State and Government, to the Bureau d’Aide just before the end of May 2010, by which time we had secured a further delay with the Bureau d’Aide until July 2010. We also sent evidence of the locataires’ rent being received by the tax office to pay the property taxes, we refused to accept rent directly from the locataires – following advice given to us by our first avocat.

As always, I have supporting documentary evidence to hand and copies are also included in the file sent to us by the ECHR!

So, there we have it – the Cour de Cassation Bureau d’Aide obviously set us up to fail! As we repeatedly told the Bureau d’Aide (in writing) and our avocat (via emails), we could not produce tax documents that did not exist! However, we did send evidence of our 2009 total global income, such as it was and despite the fact that the Mauriac tax office was actually receiving the rental income that we declared.

It gets better! Well, perhaps that wording isn’t really accurate! But, the following revelation made us smile, ie my menfolk et moi – because it is totally without logic and is typically a product of France!

We definitely won at the Riom Appeal Court! Honestly! We won our claim that the sellers, Monsieur and Madame T, defrauded us when they sold us a property that reeked of vice caché!

According to the Court President’s Judgement, Monsieur and Madame T admitted their guilt. Hang in there and I will reproduce the text with the translation!

But, if we won, how did we lose? Why is ‘the pile’ still hanging around our necks?

Ok, the quick answer is that we didn’t express sufficient concern about being trussed up like turkeys and hung out to bleed until we were bled dry – not until after we discovered we had become bleeding dead turkeys! We didn’t raise questions about the hidden fraud before we discovered the hidden fraud!

Therefore, despite the sellers admitting their guilt to the Appeal Court, we were found guilty of not proving their guilt. Ouch!

‘Owzat?

Here’s that text, reproduced straight from the Riom Appeal Court Judgement documents that I have right next to my Netbook –

<Qu’il y a eu une fraude de leur part pour couvrir le bail à……>

Translation – ‘There was a fraud on their part to cover (hide) the lease…’

<Attendu que les négations des époux T concernant le bail du garage confirment qu’ils ne l’ont jamais indiqué aux acquéreurs….>

Translation – ‘Despite their other denials, the T’s confirmed that they never told the buyers about the lease concerning the garage.’

<Qu’il y a eu un dol de leur part à dissimuler le bail tant à l’agent immobilier qu’aux acquéreurs.>

Translation – ‘There was a fraud on their part to cover (hide) the lease from the buyers and the real estate agent.’

However, here’s where we (apparently) went wrong –

<Qu’aucun élément du dossier ne démontre qu’ils ont attaché une quelconque importance à ces locaux.>

Translation – ‘No evidence on the record shows that they (we) have attached any importance to these areas.’

Mmmmmmmm, we obviously should have had our crystal ball primed to tell us all about the hidden tenants and their hidden Contracts before we purchased the property. Clearly, commencing a vice caché lawsuit within hours of discovering the fraud doesn’t adequately express our horror and anger at being forced to attach importance to the tenants!

There’s a lot more, including the opinion of the Court that the justices did not believe it important that we needed (and our architect attested that we had obtained Planning permission for) the disability lift to be installed in the garage because that was the only location agreed by the Planning Office. What! It was certainly important to us that we avoided having a bundle with the Planning Officer before we had even got our feet under the table of Madame France! However, it’s possible that the justices and the Planning Officer eat at the same restaurants. Just a thought!

It’s not worth me taking this crystal ball back to whence it came, French Customer Services staff don’t generally ‘do’ returns!

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2013 in World

 

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Brilliant! A Triple Whammy Red Letter Week!

On Wednesday this week, summer arrived in this tiny hamlet that nestles between the Haute Vienne (87) and the Creuse (23). By lunch time, the clear blue skies were twinned with wall-to-wall sunshine – and the temperature was already at 30°C, plus some! The end of winter 2012/2013 has been a long time coming. Result!

The post-lady arrived with Tom’s health cover Attestation. Despite the CPAM clerk insisting that Tom was required to have his translated birth certificate verified; Tom and our good friend, Kay, insisted that verification is not a legal requirement. Kay had accompanied Tom to the CPAM office in Bellac, she speaks fluent French, and they were armed with the details of the law that confirms no verification is necessary. Obviously, the CPAM assessment team took the facts on board. Result!

As Tom was opening his CPAM envelope, I was opening a hefty parcel with ‘European Court Of Human Rights’ clearly printed on the top, left hand corner. Yes, the parcel contained our house Case file. Result!

Well, each document is a copy of the original. That’s fine, the fact that the ECHR is still holding on to the originals indicates the Court is taking seriously our declaration that we are making formal application to the EUJ, Luxembourg, as we have been advised to do. I will finish checking through the contents of the parcel during this coming weekend and it will be sent to the EUJ on Monday morning.

All afternoon, the menfolk and I were grinning like the proverbial Cheshire Cat! Even the late afternoon appearance of rollicking, growling thunderstorms, clattering, battering hail and bucketing rain did not remove those wide smiles.

We felt and still feel a tad rejuvenated!

Our lovely friend, Cathy, who works and lives in Champagnac (15), just three doors away from our house that’s not a home, was absolutely correct, jumping up and down as her countrymen and women do has worked a treat! Thank you so much, Cathy, I only wish we had left British, stiff-upper-lip dignity behind and had taken up the French stance a few years ago. But, this is no time for regret, it is time to continue moving forward – it is, after all, our very last chance to obtain that elusive outcome that my menfolk and I set out to find six years ago, justice.

In the meantime, if the DWP International office staff members in Newcastle see their bureaucratic way forward to ensuring my (very late) pension is paid to me in full early next week, Tom and I will be en route to Champagnac next Sunday, 16 June 2013. We have a lot to do, re-packing and getting the property ready to sell.

It is very doubtful that Monsieur C will consider moving out of our ‘home’ (a loose term!), although, he has told us several times that he ‘…could move tomorrow. I have nothing against you and your family, I have a problem with Madame T and I want to see her found guilty of fraud.’ That just is not going to happen, Monsieur C, much is the pity. However, let’s see if you offer to quit our ‘home’ (that loose term again!) when we tell you face to face that Madame T will not be made to atone for the fraud she committed against us in July 2007.

Would anyone like to place a bet on whether or not Monsieur C will now quit our ‘home’ (that loose term yet again, so very boring!)? Buttons or matchsticks only, I’m afraid, the DWP has left me rather short of euros! Bless their little cotton socks, they must be trying to encourage us to save during these difficult times that are seemingly governed by austerity!

Oh la la!

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2013 in World

 

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