Just Jump On The Bandwagon!

16 Apr

Today, I am fighting the battle of a lifetime with bureaucrats in our local Trésor Public. They want us to pay over 1,300€ water rates in outstanding bills left by the locataires. Madame S vacated our ‘pile’ on 30 September 2012, Monsieur C vacated on 31 December 2013. Well, Monsieur C actually returned to the ‘pile’ for an unspecified period during January this year to clear the last of his possessions, but, it seems he forgot to remove his rubbish from the loft – the rubbish that will fill two transit vans to the roof, the rubbish that we must fund for removal!

I am not a happy bunny, but I am hopping mad.

The bureaucrats are adamant that, as we are the property owners, we must pay the outstanding water bills in full and fight to retrieve our cash from Madame S and Monsieur C! We know we would not get our money back, even if we had that amount in our bank account! But, the bureaucrats refuse to take on the debtors and have chosen to hang the debts on us. They can, and will, put an Order on our property if we don’t pay the locataires’ outstanding water bills. 

So, fair warning to any and all out there who rent out their properties in France – watch your back when your locataire vacates, s/he might just leave a sting in his/her tail!

Tom and I weren’t having a bad week until the letter arrived this morning from the bureaucrats. We were still feeling pretty good after Tom’s most recent appointment with the Limoges Hospital Consultant last Friday. Medical tests and assessments results carried out in March, just before we bowled over to the Auvergne to pet-sit two delightful puss-cats, HRH and Bibi, proved without doubt that the CO poisoning sustained by Tom in 2012, in the Gers, severely damaged his throat, bronchial tubes and lungs. The damage is only minimally reversible – Tom’s oxygen level read 31% in March, it had improved to 33.8% when he was tested on Friday last week, the Consultant is hopeful that this will further improve to 40% within the coming three months. However, he warned us that 40% is the best prognosis he can offer. Accordingly, it has been recommended that Tom’s condition should be given ALD status as soon as possible. We are waiting to hear further. 

For those who are not familiar with the term, ALD is the acronym for Affection de Longue Durée, ie a long term major illness. That status will ensure that Tom receives the care he needs without us having to pay 200€+ every month, the basic amount we currently pay because we have only hospital in-patient health insurance top-up.

The Consultant asked us if we planned to sue the owners of the property where the CO poisoning occurred, due to the chimney not having been swept for goodness knows how many years. We told him we will not sue, the owners genuinely believed they were helping us. In return for them putting a roof over our heads for that very short period, ie no longer than ten weeks, Paul had re-decorated the rooms they requested to be re-decorated – they supplied the materials, he is a qualified, experienced painter and decorator. Paul had also maintained their property grounds throughout the period that we were there, including strimming their grass – a heck of a lot of grass to strim, each cut took two full days to complete! In all, if he had required payment for his work, the facture would have been for an approximate amount of 1,400€.

When we arrived at the property in the Gers, we discovered there were burst water pipes, caused by exceptionally cold weather and inadequate insulation (that’s what the plumber told us). We called out a plumber who repaired the pipes, four pipes in all. We paid the plumber’s repair bill and we told the property owners not to worry about it as we needed the water in order to live there, allbeit for only a few weeks. Stands to reason, we needed the water, they were in the UK and didn’t need the water!

A couple of hours after we received the bureaucrats’ bombshell this morning, Paul received an email from the owners of the property in the Gers, they are demanding 120€ from us towards their electricity bill!

Is there anybody else out there who wants a pound of our flesh? Just jump on the bandwagon, you might as well, it’s a free ride! 


Posted by on April 16, 2014 in World


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22 responses to “Just Jump On The Bandwagon!

  1. Tottie Limejuice

    April 16, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Putain de merde!!!! That really is not on. So sorry to hear you have yet more merde to deal with 😦 Hugs. T xxx

    • hobosinfrance

      April 17, 2014 at 11:56 am

      Hi Tots, would you be very surprised to know that your words have now become our Hobo anthem? They really fit well! Thank you for being there, folks don’t actually see what you do for us behind the scenes – info, guidance, benefit of your experience, something positive virtually every day. Bless you. Love from me and my menfolk xxxx

  2. Pip

    April 16, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    There was me thinking that you were having a good time down there with the final sorting out of the pile.
    You couldn’t make this up. Talk about kicking someone when they are down.
    I always thought that the powers that be were drastically on the side of the poor down trodden tenants in France but hells teeth this is plain unfair.
    I am pleased that Tom is going in the right direction albeit slowly. But it is the right direction.
    The poisoners seem to be money grabbers as well as fools. Consolation is that if you take the same line as your two sweet previous tenants then they will be waiting a long time for a cheque.
    Keep your pecker up – summer is coming!!

    • hobosinfrance

      April 17, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      Hi Pip, I’m so pleased the lovely weather is here to welcome you and Kim, I’m ever aware that we are not the only family who are gingerly moving forward using stepping stones. I think about you and yours every day, also Tracey and her family. My goodness, we are a team with missions that sometimes look impossible, but we know that nothing is impossible when strength like ours is in abundance! Yes, “the poisoners” are definitely fools! They clearly did not take into consideration the length of time we have lived in France, the huge amount of legal knowledge we have accrued through experience, the ease with which we can now deliver the good old Gallic Shrug and our unlimited belief that everything comes to those who wait! Peckers are up, Pip! 😀 Love from us all xxxx

  3. Jean

    April 16, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    I would be inclined to send your friends in the Gers a bill for the plumbing repairs, gardening work and decorating, deducting the electricity costs from the total.
    Then you could mention that your consultant has advised you to sue them.
    That should pin their ears back.

    • Pip

      April 16, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      I like that idea, especially the mention of the consultant’s advice!!
      Don’t know about ears but it might have them looking for a clean pair of pants.

      • hobosinfrance

        April 17, 2014 at 12:37 pm

        😀 Ditto, Pip, we like it too! xxxx

    • hobosinfrance

      April 17, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      Hello Jean 🙂 That’s the route we’re taking, exactly as you have laid out! Thank you very much, your input and support are much appreciated. Chrissie and menfolk xx

  4. Sophie

    April 16, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    They want money for the electricity?! Pay then then sue their bee-hinds for the CO2 poisoning!

    • hobosinfrance

      April 17, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      Hi Sophie. 🙂 We are going to deduct the amount they want for electricity from Paul’s re-decorating and gardening factures! 😉 xxxx

  5. kathythesane

    April 16, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    I am speechless, I know, unusual for me….but I am so angry I will swear, so best to remain speechless 😦

    • hobosinfrance

      April 17, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      Wow, Kathy, that’s a first, lol! 😀 Your message made me giggle, you’re a gem, thank you so much. C & menfolk xxxx

  6. judith lea

    April 17, 2014 at 12:20 am

    You have been through so much, this is just another test, you WILL get through it, nobody else could, but you will xxx

    • hobosinfrance

      April 17, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      Hi Judith, yes, it’s a bit of a double whammy! But, we have been there before – allbeit, not for a while – and, sleeping on it last night gave us fresh thinking minds today! Thank you, you are another super friend who supports us far more than is actually seen, we really do appreciate you. Love from us all to you and Edward xxxx

  7. Sue

    April 18, 2014 at 10:11 am

    You are amazingly strong people. I would not have coped with half of what you have. I feel for you so much and am constantly amazed at how shockingly bad the system works against the good and honest people in France. I cant make anything better for you, but know I admire your courage and strength to take on these people day in day out, and still come out with a smile in your posts and such a positive attitude to it all. xxx

    • hobosinfrance

      April 19, 2014 at 11:13 am

      Hello Sue, very many thanks for your comment, your support and your encouragement. Without folks like you, we know we would have found this tiresome war far more difficult! Yes, the legal system in France really does need cleaning up and updating, all aspects. We know from the many off-screen responses we receive via Facebook and Twitter, specifically, that several families have withdrawn from their plans to purchase properties in France. Most of those families have actually glimpsed the potential for issues arising with their proposed purchases! That’s reassuring for my family and me – every recognised potential vice caché Case that is averted and nullified means less heartache and misery for somebody. We can’t put back the clock, even if we could have seen what was coming when we purchased here, but we can ensure that the warnings travel far and wide through my blog and, ultimately, through the books that I am writing. Onward and upward! 🙂 Warmest regards from my menfolk and me, Chrissie & family xx

  8. Ura

    July 25, 2014 at 7:08 am

    I started to read your blog but you are such a moaning old fart I gave up. You obviously do not fit in in this wonderful Country so go back to the UK and you really will have something to moan about.

    • hobosinfrance

      July 26, 2014 at 6:54 pm

      Hello Ura. Thank you for your comment. I just hope you can take it as well as give it, not many trolls can! Try reading the entire blog and learn at least a little something. France as a country is beautiful, I wouldn’t disagree with you. Unfortunately, corruption and fraud are rife – top down and bottom up! Sad, but that’s a fact. Enjoy living in your own perception of Utopia, but, remember, nothing lasts forever – whether it’s good or bad. Kind regards, Chrissie

  9. Joan

    October 6, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Where did everybody go? I’m curious to know if there have been any further developments…

    • hobosinfrance

      April 6, 2015 at 11:18 am

      Have replied today, Joan, to your most recent comment. Thank you very much for bearing with me. C X

  10. Joan

    April 4, 2015 at 9:53 am

    What happened? Where did everybody go?

    • hobosinfrance

      April 6, 2015 at 11:16 am

      Hi Joan, not much has happened – we have been in limbo for over a year now! Nothing changes quickly in France! I’m afraid most of my time has been taken up looking after Tom, he is now definitely at level 4 COPD, life and living are becoming very difficult for him and he needs a lot of help to get through each and every day. But, our ‘pile’ remains on the market, we have had a few enquiries, although, a number of them were the nasty work of a time-wasting stalker who we have now chosen to ignore. The world can well do without such evil folks, that’s for sure! I’ll be back on-line and blogging during this coming week, hope to e-see you then. 🙂 Kindest regards, Chrissie & menfolk


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