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Off-plan house over 3 years late

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Off-plan house over 3 years late

Postby lucylaverda » Tue 6 Apr 2010 07:28 GMT

I'm looking for advice please. We bought an off-plan house in Avren in 2006 and with hindsight (a great thing) we mistakenly gave Power of Attorney to the owner of the estate agency we used in Varna. We had a contract drawn up with the schedule of payments, registered a company and all appeared well when we visited the house in 2007 and apart from a few bits and pieces the house was complete.

Then we stopped hearing from the agent, the guy we were liaising with left the agency and the owner started fobbing us off with excuses. One of which was a problem the builders had with access for services, this issue was shown to be a local council corruption issue and the person involved was jailed. However that did not resolve the buiders problem of getting the water to the property but our understanding now is this is completed.

Because of the dreadful delay we took on a local lawyer in Varna and they successfully had the Power of Attorney transferred to them and then discovered the estate agent had taken all the money we had deposited in our Bulgarian bank in readiness for the final payment, and also made several suspect deposits and withdrawals.

Eventually bothe the builder and the estate agent stated the final payment had been paid and received despite the contract not being completed with a certificate of habitation. However both have now withdrawn that statement and the agent says he is withholding 13000 Euros as 'compenstaion' claiming we had asked him to sell the property and we then withdrew from the deal after a buyer was found. This was absolute fantasy on his part but now the builder is saying we still owe him this money. Our lawyer is saying we have 'only words' and nothing in writing so we seem to be left with no money and no house.

The builder seemed keen to resolve the problems at first but now seems intent on hanging on to both house and money.

The lawyer says we should go to court but says the police will not be interested despite the agent having stolen the money from our account. She also says we can't be guaranteed to win any case. So where do we go from here, I know we are not alone but by now we should living in Avren but that has all gone now.

Any ideas? :(
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Not positive

Postby thetravelbug » Fri 30 Apr 2010 07:38 GMT

Sorry this is not going to be positive but from personal experience I would absolutely NOT go to court in Bulgaria. I faced a similar problem. I employed a building firm from Varna to build my house, I had a proper contract, archiect etc, lawyer and did it all properly. But around 6 months into the build they suddenly started demanding more money even though I had a contract for the full build down to tiling bathrooms and light fittings etc. There were numerous problems and they basically walked off the job until I paid them more. I refused and sent them a notary appeal, and after several meetings and getting experts involved, they agreed to carry on under the contract. However, a couple of months later I terminated the contract as they were making such a terrible job - tiles were put on upside down, wires were exposed in the bathrooms, the flooring was laid so badly the doors would not open, they had missed out several layers of bricks so house was lower than it should be and could not get a kitchen fitted....list goes on and on. They had taken money for really expensive tiles and doors I had chosen and then fitted really cheap ones.

I was advised to take them to court and did so. Over the next two years I was slapped with several law suits by them, their relatives, their lawyer...all in an attempt to bully me into dropping my case and paying them money. I went through 2 years of hell and court appearances. The court system is a total farce. I lost the court case and also another they had slapped on me and lost thousands on the build, court fees, lawyers fees, fines....

I am not sure of the state of your house but if you have the title deeds and keys etc, I would just put it all down to an expensive learning experience and try and get your house finished and move on.
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