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Rogue estate agents / suspect practices

Discussion in 'Bulgaria Property' started by Dolphin, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. Dolphin

    Dolphin New Member

    Have gone through a frustrating year of attempting to buy land through a very well known estate agent (Bulgarian real estate Ltd). Catalogue of very concerning practices:-

    :(Land still advertised after monies sent and confirmed through actuary

    :(No progress made with registration of company or purchase of land

    :(Commission taken at source - no way to retrieve this

    :(Slow or no response to emails

    :(Claiming money back has lots of hurdles

    :(Contract confirming refund of money signed by ourselves but gets 'lost' by them even though recorded delivery

    :(Another contract to be sent out but apparently this requires witnessing by another actuary due to 'new' Bulgarian money laundering laws.

    Ultimately this company with web site appears very polished but the end result has been frustrating, infuriating and there appears to be absolutely no way of getting money back. 12 months is a very long time to be constantly chasing our money (4K).

    Has anyone successfully negotiated their way through similar problems to get their money back?
  2. Dolphin

    Dolphin New Member

    I would like to add that Bulgarian people are wonderfully warm and welcoming so they and the reputation of their country is being let down by a few rogue operators. It is ironic because we wanted to test this transaction out before we invested more heavily in the market there. This upsetting experiences have put us off for life.
  3. Lysos

    Lysos New Member

    A few rogue operators ?. Reading all the threads on here would suggest the problem is widespread, not helped by naiive buyers believing all the agents' lies about rental returns & capital growth.
  4. Dolphin

    Dolphin New Member

    Like I say it was a small investment with a realistic appreciation that a piece of land was hardly going to bring us riches. In terms of research we'd met with several people who had purchased in the area so we felt very informed about what to expect. Like in any other country however there has to be some faith in agencies like estate agents with a big international presence. Our biggest mistake though was not checking out what were the regulatory arrangements if things went wrong.
  5. My best guess is that you can get your money back without any problems only if there are such provisions in the contract for purchase you have signed, let's say a clause about default payments or termination and cancellation. If the other party is totally on the opposite opinion you will probably spend a lot more money for attorneys before the court can say anything. I am Bulgarian and in my opinion it is very hard to approach the Bulgarian courts without a good justification. This means that you first have to estimate your chances very well with a specialist in the respective law.
  6. I only want to add that I recently went to a discussion devoted to mediation used instead of lawsuit in courts, where some examples of reaching agreements on disputes out of courts were given. However it was stated that mediation is still new in Bulgaria and can't be practised in all kinds of law. I have previously also heard of other reconciliation procedures used instead of suits. I assume the contact details of mediators can be found in local courts.
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