RSS

Monthly Archives: January 2014

Two Disciplinary Hearings And An Immo Up A Gum Tree!

Tom and I have received two formal, written notifications, as follows:

The first to arrive was from the Ordre des Avocats in Toulouse, equivalent to a regional Law Society in the UK. The writer was the same gentleman who swiftly contacted us when we made our initial complaints about the incompetence of our first avocat, Maitre MA, and about our missing Property Deeds that should have been returned to us, in our file, by our third and last avocat, Maitre AB.

We have been given a Case number and both avocats will face a Disciplinary Board; we will be notified of the outcomes in due course.

So far, so good! Although, it now looks very likely that one of our avocats has lost our Property Deeds! Maitre AB assured the Ordre several weeks ago that our Deeds would be returned to us in our file without delay, she was the last avocat to have our file. Our file has not arrived, our Deeds have not arrived. The ‘pile’ is on the market and we need the Property Deeds!

Some time ago, when we were a couple of years into our house Case, we came to the conclusion that, in France, one often hires an avocat then does the work for the avocat! We reached that conclusion from our own experiences with Maitre MA and Maitre AB.

So, are there any gumshoes out there? We could do with a few handy hints about how to find our Property Deeds!

The second notification came from the Chambre des Notaires in the Cantal, the overseeing body that has been investigating our complaints about the incompetence of the notaire who administrated our purchase and our fraudulent sellers’ sale.

We have been given a Case number, the notaire is facing a Disciplinary Board and we will be notified of the outcomes in due course.

Shame we haven’t been given dates when these disciplinary Hearings will be heard. But, I will be giving both overseeing bodies a shake next week. On Monday morning, I will be posting to them copies of a piece of vital evidence that should have been seen by the justices at the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Aurillac, in 2008, or, as fresh evidence by the Judges at the Cour d’Appel in Riom, in 2009. The evidence bears a September 2007 date and was received by Maitre MA that same month, it was sent to him by…wait for it, Monsieur C! The evidence proves conclusively the following facts and I will be sending copy to FNAIM, too:

1. Our sellers, Monsieur and Madame T, committed fraud against us, vice caché. The Cour d’Appel got that right, the Judges just didn’t follow through – they would have been hard-pressed not to do the right thing if they had seen all the evidence including the document we have to hand!

2. The administrating notaire, Maitre CB, did not follow the full, correct procedures as set down in the French Civil Codes. She failed us and she failed in her duty as an agent of the French Government.

3. The Immobiliere, Monsieur F, knew about the vice caché set-up long before we completed the purchase.

4. The Immobiliere collaborated with the property insurance agent who provided us with our first Buildings and Contents Insurance policy, to ensure that we did not cotton on to the vice caché before the notaire rode off into the sunset ‘en vacance’, after the sale/purchase proceedings were completed. More about that next time!

Yoo-hoo, FNAIM! This piece of evidence was not used in the litigation proceedings. So, you can mediate now, go for it, we are waiting! Monsieur F, you have had over 6 years of swimming off the hook, despite the fact that we and all three of our avocats were convinced that you were up to your neck in vice caché pooh! You can eat your heart out – we’re on your tail! 

In the meantime, for anybody out there who is purchasing a property in France, you are not required to use the same notaire as your seller(s). You can use a different notaire, the fees will be divided between the two notaires and it will not cost you one cent extra. But, using the two notaires method could save you years, or even a lifetime, of heartbreak, discomfort, fear and homelessness. 

Advertisements
 
10 Comments

Posted by on January 25, 2014 in World

 

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

Gone, But Not Forgotten – Not Yet, Anyway!

Well, Monsieur C has removed himself from our ‘pile’, but, he certainly has not removed all of his chattels!

We arrived at the house just after 4pm on Sunday 12th January 2014 – the date was very important to us, our eldest granddaughter’s 18th birthday and our youngest son’s 30th birthday! I’m so proud of my beautiful daughter, she chose to produce our first granddaughter on a January day that had already been ear-marked as a good ‘un by her mum! You can’t get more loyal and trusting than that, chuckle! 

Following a stress-free, warm, sunny journey from the Haute-Vienne in the Limousin to the Cantal in the Auvergne, we arrived at the house just before 5pm – to find the property unsecured. The lock of the main front door had been broken beyond repair. Great! That’s going to cost a few bob to repair, again! Thank goodness the guy who fitted the double-glazed windows and front door now lives just three doors along the square from our property. Cyril is a super young man and we were his first customers in the village when he started up his small business. He did a wonderful job for us, his small business has grown beyond all expectations, and, Cyril does not forget his “valued customers”.

We both also noticed the three, full rubbish bags that were, still are, parked in the entrance hall. Monsieur C had written in his letter that he would be clearing his rubbish when he returns for his remaining possessions ‘at the end of January’. Well, he “thinks” he will be able to get back to Champagnac at the end of January. We won’t hold our breath!

 

As Tom and I started legging it up the first flight of stairs, we very swiftly noticed that three of the White Oak stair spindles were broken, they had obviously been brutally knocked out of their ‘beds’ in the base rail. I had spent three weeks scrubbing and cleaning the stairs from the top of the house to the bottom, after we initially moved into the property in July 2007, bringing the wood back to near enough its original colour from oily, filthy black. Tom had carefully re-sited and secured two loose, White Oak, acorn-shaped newel caps that were worn only by history, not by ill-treatment. Our architect had wanted to replace the entire staircase with a modern alternative, we were horrified at the thought of replacing such a central section of the heart of our home, a section that remained strong, safe and serviceable after we brought it back to life through hard work, determination and lashings of TLC! Thank you, Monsieur C, not! Grrrrrrh.

So, onward and upward!

We wondered where the keys might have been left by Monsieur C. Silly clinker-plonkers – that’s us! His apartment was securely locked and it remains so. No apartment keys to be found, none left with the neighbours or dropped off to the Mairie.

Up we climbed, to the loft. The door was locked, but we have a key to that section of the property. When we entered the loft, we really were knocked for a six – metaphorically speaking, of course. It’s a huge loft, the ‘tall top hat’ on a large building. The entire loft space is strewn with rubbish. Vehicle tyres and bicycle parts, cardboard boxes, wooden planks, torn carrier-bags, broken toys, piles of shredded material including dirty duvets and pillows, smashed crockery and other ceramics, plus stuff in black bin-liners that we left undisturbed and piles of junk that we could not identify – as the King of Siam said, “Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.”!

We didn’t leave anything in the loft when the plumbing and electrics failed during the winter of 2008 and we had to move out. 

Tom and I were feeling quite devastated by this time, it didn’t help our mood to find a load of dried mud that had been traipsed up the entire staircase – clearly, Monsieur C doesn’t believe in cleaning up after himself. But, in all honesty, we discovered that fact during our brief period of living in the property! So, we locked the loft door and made our weary way back down to the First Floor apartment where we sleep when we go to the house. We manage (just!) with bottles of fresh water that we fill in the shop section and carry upstairs. Electricity arrives at the end of an extension cable, again, the shop section has been the source since the hairdresser vacated. It’s not easy, stairs don’t agree with the health of either of us, but, it’s easier on the bones than sleeping in a tent, especially when the temperature drops to minus values!

Before leaving Champagnac, we placed our ‘A Vendre, la maison + le magasin’ board on the shop section shutters and cleaned up the mud from the stairway – from the First Floor down to the bottom of the house. Tomorrow, I will be writing to Monsieur C to give him a brief outline of what we expect from a human being who is exiting somebody else’s property. The menfolk and I hope he takes it on board…but, we’re not holding breath! Would you?

Monsieur C – you might have quit our house that can never be our home, but, we can’t forget you yet, you have made sure of that!

Right then – we can’t sit around feeling sorry for ourselves, there’s work to be done, property-selling work! Yes! We will also have a lot of clearing and cleaning to do at the end of this month, methinks!

 
18 Comments

Posted by on January 15, 2014 in World

 

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

For Sale – With Vacant Possession!

Well, we can now see light at the end of the long tunnel! Although, we are far from naive, we know that selling our ‘pile’ could take years and it’s a buyers’ market, with a deep recession to boot. But, here’s how the latest event came to pass.

I sincerely apologise for the delay in publishing this post, I wanted to be able to offer a link to our house sale website. Paul, thank you very much, I am so very lucky to have such a wonderfully gifted techie wizard son. Bless you.

After offering Monsieur C first refusal, we received a steady stream of letters from him. Always polite, always positive, he was adamant that his interest in buying the property was sincere and he had waited since 2007 for the opportunity to have his ‘rights’ recognised. Oh, wow! We had no idea that Monsieur C was in the same boat as us as we fought for justice through the French Courts, how blindly self-centred we have been. Sigh!

At the beginning of December, we received a rather disgruntled letter from Monsieur C. In his ramblings, he claimed that he had twice contacted the notaire we had named, in order to get the buying processes under way, but she had blatantly ignored him! We knew that would not have happened, we had hand-picked the notaire following several recommendations from British folks who had moved into the area after our house Case started.

The menfolk and I sat down for a pow-wow and I suggested that Monsieur C was just having a laugh at our expense and we should call his bluff. I’m usually the one who urges caution! But, I could foresee, without a crystal ball, that Monsieur C would lead us up the garden path for at least a couple of years!

However, the menfolk said we should wait a little longer, we couldn’t afford for Monsieur C to throw one of his infamous wobblies and withdraw from the purchase proceedings for several weeks, or even months!

They had a very valid point. But, I was certain that Monsieur C had absolutely no intention of buying ‘the pile’! So, the reply that I sent to him dripped with empathy, although, it was laced with iron filings!

I was very apologetic about our notaire’s alleged tardiness and I told Monsieur C we would not tolerate it, he had obviously suffered greatly (yuk!) during the years since Tom and I had purchased the property (heave!). I confirmed to him that we would collect him from the house on Thursday 23rd January 2014 at 2:15pm, so that we could all attend a 2:45pm meeting, together, with the notaire. I reminded Monsieur C that he had received all the necessary property Reports, also, that he had expressed his satisfaction and readiness, formally in writing, with regard to proceeding to signing the compromis de vente and paying the deposit.

Bearing in mind, I went on to say, that the notaire did not appear to view his offer as sincere, Tom and I would accept a very low deposit of just 2000€ as a measure of our faith in him. I asked Monsieur C to confirm with us by return of post that the appointment time and date were convenient to him and I posted the letter with just a tiny flutter of a qualm. I was determined that Monsieur C would not add more misery to the lives of my family.

But, I am not a naturally dishonest person, I swear. Throughout December, all through the festive season and into 2014, I waited and suffered! My blood-pressure rocketed, my beta-blocker medication needed to be doubled and my menfolk thought I had turned into a mad, maudlin banshee! What if……?

On Wednesday 8th January, the lovely La Poste lady delivered Monsieur C’s latest missive to us….oh boy, I was shaking when I recognised his beautiful, copperplate hand-writing and opened the envelope. What if……?

The first sentence hit me straight between the eyes, quick translation – ‘It is done!! I moved out of the Champagnac rental property on the 31st December 2013.’ Monsieur C went on to offer his unconditional support and said, ‘In my humble opinion, you need to pursue the notaire (who administrated our purchase of the pile), concentrate your efforts on that quest….I will give evidence in support of you.’

Hmmmmmmm, right then!

Needless to say, we took steps to confirm there was no doubt that Monsieur C was not bluffing again – confirmed, he has gone, he is now living in Mussidan, in the Dordogne.

So, here we go, this is just the start, all contributed suggestions will be gratefully received and acknowledged. Tomorrow, we will be heading to the pile to batten down any open hatches and to take a lot of photographs!

http://frenchvillagehouse4sale.weebly.com/

 

 
12 Comments

Posted by on January 12, 2014 in World

 

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