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Buying disaster in Bulgaria

Discussion in 'Bulgaria Property' started by Maximus, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. Maximus

    Maximus New Member

    Don't know whether anybody can offer some advice here as to the best way forward.

    Briefly:

    I recently purchased an off-plan apartment in Bulgaria. This supposedly was complete in June and all money paid by then.

    On my first trip there it turned out to be not completed and the property was not as described with regard to location and views. I have been totally misled.

    We have complained to the UK company selling it but they have ignored 3 letters where I have demanded a full refund.

    Due to their location within the complex I believe the apartment would be impossible to rent and sell.

    I used the recommended solicitor. Even if I had used another solicitor I would not have spotted the mis-description until my visit and after completion.

    I have approached Trading Standards but they feel they will not be able to help due to it being an overseas property.

    So, where do I go from here. At the present time I have paid all money for the apartment, I have no deeds, no keys and the company (and it's a big name) is ignoring me.

    If I go public and go to the media with it, I scupper any slim chance I might have of selling it.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Unfortunately I cannot be anymore specific with the details as to the development at this stage.
     
  2. deedee1

    deedee1 New Member

    Re: Issues!!

    :) Hi Seti,

    The only thing really is that you need to look at your contract to see if you are covered on any of the points you have mentioned!

    I have recently had an issue with a property I bought off plan as they built it 8sqm less than what I was supposed to get so my solicitor explained the contract to me and I re-read it aswell and now the developers are trying to give me an alternative!!

    They offered me another compleeted property but we did not prefer its location and it was 4sqm still short of what was stipulated in the contract!
    The other option I told my solicitor was to go for the fulkl 8sqm refund on my final payment as all property prices that you pay are based on a per square metre cost-so therefore we have technically paying for the 8sqm price that we did not receive aswell!!

    There were other issues about what and was not included in the price we paid which is in dispute at the moment also as I did not have all these things included in the contract to begin with which means I do not have aleg to stand on as officially I dint have anything in writing and my solicitor cannot help with this!

    RE: site and location really is something you need to visit and do for yourself and not be mis-lead by agents and developers making false promises- sorry to be a bit negative but unfortunately thats the way of the sales agents world and how they spin their webb!

    If you dont get anywhere and you really are that unhappy then the only option I suppose is to try re-sell and buy something else!!

    If you do still have any money to pay at all left then DONT until you can negotiate options!!

    Unfortuantely once youve paid all the money to these people you are no longer in a position to negotiate and reason with them as theyve got their money and are now not interested!
    It when they need your money that you can sometimes reason with them and deal with the problems!!

    Not sure any of this helped- Didnt mean to sound poesimistic about it but unfortunately Im just telling it how it is!!

    Take care See ya D -good luck!!
    :)
     
  3. Jain and Chris

    Jain and Chris Senior Member

    Seti

    When you say it was not as described, are you referring to the brochure / developer’s blurb or what was stated in the preliminary contract?

    I believe UK Trading Standards are likely not to get involved if it is a Bulgarian company who is doing the development as they have no jurisdiction within Bulgaria.

    As a question, if you have completed on this property why do you not have the deeds or keys? Where are they?

    You definitely need independent legal advice so that a lawyer who is acting in your interests alone can look through the contract and determine your best course of action.

    I wouldn’t recommend going to the media with this, you’ll more than likely end up not only scuppering your chances of selling it but if your lawyer feels you have a case, you’ll scupper that too!

    If you need anything else, just ask ... all the best
     
  4. flatron

    flatron Member

    don`t give up...

    My advice:
    1/urgently come here
    2/get independent lawyer
    3/prepare Power of attorney
    4/the lawyer will collect all the information an all the documents
    5/you are on the right side, but if just get original preliminay contract from
    real estate company(company sell to you and have large commission...)
    6/don`t give up...
    7/write to me with all details, I can help you
     
  5. mike123

    mike123 New Member

    and also can you tell the name of the developers!
    It is always good to know these names. This will be the only way for these people to learn how act loyal and to respect their cusomers.
     
  6. Jain and Chris

    Jain and Chris Senior Member

    Afternoon Mike 123

    "Name and shame" is not at all fair nor a good / bad buying sign.

    Most developers anywhere in the world operate through agents and those agents can be good or bad, and even their brokers can be good or bad....

    The most important thing for anyone buying real estate abroad is to to their own research and certainly not rely on an internet site for name or shame. Everyone buying in Bulgaria has their own case and story...... there are good and ba
     
  7. Jain and Chris

    Jain and Chris Senior Member

    sorry, internet went off there...

    meant to say;

    there are good and bad everywhere, but you need to check out whether what is said on the internet and what is said elsewhere!

    It is not always good or bad to have people post their thoughts without being factually right - there are many developers and agents who post against each other just to try and do their competition down.....

    If you would like to know about a particular developer or agent, then let me know and, as independent publishers, we will endeavour to find out for you.
     
  8. prettypiggy

    prettypiggy New Member

    Usually no securities are used on Bulgarian real estate market to make sure the buyer gets what he has been promised to. :( For example Bulgarian lawyers usually don’t use letters of credit and don’t arrange the developer to be paid not directly, but conditionally through the notary. I came across a feature giving details about the pitfalls and the legalities on the real estate market. There are also instances of not collecting the proper documentation and that’s relevant if the developer doesn’t honor the contract. There’re a lot of delusions abut buying in Bulgaria circulating and lawyers, agents and developers have fixed themselves very nicely at the expense of buyer’s security. In their web sites they give rosy picture and don’t talk about the real problems. :mad:The persons who sell property in Bulgaria will normally inform you that they provide legal service as part of the deal, however, they often neglect to state that the lawyer who will be acting on your behalf is of their choice. That’s why I liked this feature and I think that it’s of interest to the buying public.
     
  9. prettypiggy

    prettypiggy New Member

    Let me cover one more point. A preliminary contract does not transfer the property, it merely creates an obligation for the developer to transfer it in a certain future moment. The ownership of the real estate is transferred only after the title deed is signed and registered in the property register. Signing and registering the title deed is what is actually meant by buying a real estate. Thus a preliminary contract is binding indeed, however after signing it the developer is still owner of the property and he can sell it to a third person. If he simply refuses to sell it to the buyer who has signed the preliminary contract the latter could sue him and this way the preliminary contract is proclaimed final. This takes effect only if at the time of taking action against the developer he is still owner of the property in question. If he’s not, the buyer will not become owner, but could merely be awarded a financial compensation. This is how things stand by law and the percentage of the deposit has nothing to do with it. That’s what securities are for: to make sure that the buyer will become owner no matter what. Shortly a preliminary contract does not help in all cases.
     
  10. rowlandsbb

    rowlandsbb New Member

    Buying in Bulgaria

    Hi
    Sorry to hear all this but it is not unexpected
    We have had all the problems with Spain which have in the main be self inflicted by buyers not taking enough care about their purchase
    But Spain is a prosperous EU state with a good economy, comsumer laws etc and if you take the same care about buying as you do in UK then there will be no problems
    The emerging markets which appear to be cheap and with lots of profit potential are just that......big profits mean big risks in emerging markets
    I am not a specialist in Bulgaria but I would have thought your first point of call is to a UK lawyer to see if you can have a go at the agents, then a lawyer in Bulgaria
    All cost money so you have to balance this with your investment....perhaps see how it goes and hope for the best
    Others on the development will be in the same position so se if you can get in touch on a forum
    it may end up public in any case so you should certainly threaten them....perhaps send them an e-mail of what you are going to say.....you may get a reaction

    Good luck
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2007
  11. prettypiggy

    prettypiggy New Member

    People like good news. The simple truth is that we all prefer to hear something that makes us happy instead of hearing something that is complex, boring, troubling or not corresponding to our arrangements. That’s why people don’t like to read the small print and like to view nice computer graphics. That’s how people sign long contracts that they don’t read and remember what they have been promised verbally. That’s why newspapers sell more copies than the thick academic books. That explains how come things are so different before and after. It’s like a reverse advertisement. The before phase is when everyone is smiling, there are handshakes and overall atmosphere is sunny. The after phase is characterized with letters that are not answered and the already signed contracts that are read carefully for the first time. At this stage sometimes journalists are involved and sometimes judges. The public opinion could play a role here and it’s formed by the members of the public who, after venting their indignation, will themselves sign contracts without reading them carefully or without consulting with an independent lawyer prior to signing. As always prophylaxis is easier than the treatment. However prophylaxis is not widely used.:(
     
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