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Builder gone bust!!!!


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Still trying to get my head around what has happened this week.  We are in the process of having a house built in Brittany, the house is now up and water tight and have begun second fixing stage (hope thats the correct term).  Anyway, nightmares of all nightmares the builder has gone into administration.  Now the house itself  was always a long term project so am now looking at this as a new part of the adventure, ( well you have to look at the positives!!!!!!!).  My main concern is that I have absolutly no idea how the liquidation, or bancruptcy happens in France.  The building company at present hold the key to the property, obviously for access.  I have spoken to the secretary who is now working for the administartors and although very helpful said that the key and any paperwork related to the house can not leave the offices until they are in offial recievership.  I am hoping that someone might know how I can go about getting the key and  whatever else I may need relating to the house, is it possible that the official receivers ( is this the same in France) will courier these over to me, obviously at my cost but cheaper and easier than doing a dash down there. 


Keep telling myself these things build character.

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Sorry, this will not be much help now... but I was driving along the other day, listening to France Inter and they had this programme on about Constructuers de maisons individuelles and how to avoid them.

What pricked my ear was the mention of this association and their website: http://www.aamoi.info/, which is run by individuals for individuals and, amongst other things, lists building companies which comply with their "charter" according to the problems highlighted by clients.

It might be of interest to someone...?

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Comiserations Thedream. If it's the constructor I have heard of there are over thirty of you in the same situation, though that's no consolation.

If there is no insurance, are large debts, and the constructor has no tangible assets, you could ask him or the administrator to terminate your contract, accepting the building in it's unfinished state. Unless you owe money for the work to date, he will take the opportunity to divest himself of the liability. This is what one proprietor did at the end of August in the case that I know about.

If you don't yet have the contract for your purchase of the land, and the notaire still has it, ask him to send it to you.

Good luck,

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From what little I know, I believe that builders are legally required to carry two kinds of insurance : one against defects appearing within ten years of completion (garantie ouvrage-dommage), and one against failure to complete the building in the first place (garantie de livraison).

I realize that it may not help if the builder failed to arrange the insurance in spite of the law, or if he didn't pay the premium, but it may be something to follow up.  As someone else mentioned, there could be something relevant in the contract papers.

I found the following on a legal advice website.  The last sentence says that you should contact the insurer (if you can identify him).

Good luck, anyway.

Garantie de livraison

Protection et Caractère légal de la garantie de livraison :

Les constructeurs et entrepreneurs sont légalement (Article L231-6 du Code de la construction et de l’habitation) tenus de souscrire une garantie de livraison auprès d’ un établissement de crédit ou d’une entreprise d'assurance agréés à cet effet.

La garantie couvre le maître d’ouvrage contre les risques d'inexécution ou de mauvaise exécution des travaux prévus au contrat, à prix et délais convenus.

Cas faisant l’objet de cette garantie :

-la construction n'est pas livrée dans le délai prévu au contrat.

-les travaux nécessaires à la levée des réserves n'ont pas été exécutés dans les temps.

-le constructeur est placé en liquidation ou en redressement judiciaire.

En cas de défaillance :

Prévenez l'organisme garant par lettre recommandée avec accusé de réception.
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The programme suggests they have changed companies from ** Construction to ** Concept - that would be a cynical approach to their clients needs.  Gives other Brit builders a bad name and certainly makes you consider carefully the advantages (?!) of using a tradesman that speaks your mother tongue in France.
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I did watch that item, en passant.


Sadly, it was the usual scenario: retired/semi-retired Brits seeking their dream abroad, have say £75K in cash and in their naivity attend a "Foreign Property Show" and fall into the hands of a smooth talking fat oik, who proceeds to fleece them. No independant advice taken; no lawyers instructed; no ongoing check on value of work done to date and no system of stage payments. No speaka da French.

What absolutely amazes me is that quite a few of these muppets accepted pictures of "Their" house sent by email to "Prove" it was almost finished and immediately thereafter, sent off all the money! Only to discover when they eventually visited Brittany (well, it had to be really, didn't it?), no doors, windows, ceilings, electricity, water, plastered walls and so on. What they found was just a shell.

Prhaps I am just a professional cynic, but having knocked around this globe a bit and having heard all sorts of wonderful stories from "Experts", Conmen (and women!), clients, suppliers et al, if you want my dough until and unless you can prove that everything and I mean everything is all tikety boo, all the boxes are filled in, all the "i"s dotted and all the "t"s crossed, then you stand no chance!

(Edited 18.28 GMT) Not unsympathetic to you, the dream: Apparently, if the insurance bond is in place you are covered. End of story. If the builder has not taken out the insurance (mandatory) then it's Sing Sing!

My original post on reflection may well have seemed callous: not intended to be; just far too busy earlier on and suffering "Let's Make another TV Programme about Clueless Brits Abroad" fatique!

Strangely enough, my ex window cleaner's younger brother, a rather dodgy man called  Manyard, was one of the early rip off developers and timeshare fraudsters in Andalucia. He was "Outed" by Roger Cooke on one of his programmes a few years ago. Then I gather went back to gaol: once more!

In the early 70s he lived locally (same town), told everyone he was a successful property developer, drove around in a merc convertible: and was in fact a cheque fraudster! That's why he went away the first time!





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