My situation

Firstly, hello to every body on the site. I currently live back in UK . I have owned a property in the southern tip of Centre, Cher 18 since 2004. Lived there for 3 years until work dried up. I put it on the market late 2012. Actrim were my estate agents.

Long story short a French pensioner couple said they wished to buy, signed the acte de vente. The notaire called me to ask if they could move a couple of items in before completion to which I agreed being the trusting guy I was, back in the day. When I went over to organise the expertise, found they had moved in more than a couple of items. Couple weeks down the line the notaire calls me to say their sale/chain had broken down and asked if they could rent my house. I said yes as they stipulated a sum I was agreeable with on condition they paid the fonciere and habitation impots too. All this through word of mouth via the notaire. They also emailed me insurance they took out.

They paid on time initially, for the first eleven months, then an email to say they could no longer afford to pay in December of last year, since then zilch. Have asked them to move now on three separate occasions which they are refusing to do ; despite having their own property in Dordoigne.

Perplexed, mystified and at the end of my patience, I want to sell and move on with my life is all. Question 1: When I get a huissier involved does it have to be one from the local area? 2: Do I go to the same notaire to start an action to evict and claim? 3: In what order do I do this please?

All advice, suggestions welcomed, thank you in advance. Brian

Well done Brian.

Great news

Hello Tobias and all here who gave their advice. Yes they are out of the house thank goodness. Have it on the market again. Seems the letter from my avocat did the trick and scared them sufficiently to vacate. They left it in a bit of a mess, in that they left a lot of their junk and did not replace my wood burner that they took out and left it in the basement. 14 kw and extreme heavy. They left the gardens in a state too.

Thank you to all who replied to my predicament. I wish also to thank John Dislins @ for his services, reassurance, linguistics. He has been in contact with the tenant and is trying to extract some money on my behalf; though not holding my breath, we''ll see. I cannot recomend John Dislins highly enough, easy to talk to and extreme knowledgable. Just wish I knew of him earlier. Would have saved me a great deal of stress, not to mention money [2000 euro for three letters avocat].

I was wondering if you have had any joy in this? Did you get them out?

Cod help us! enough already.

Pollocks !

A bit like the Norman saying of "Tomber dans les pommes" which translates to fainting, weird to us but seems to make sense to the locals.

Enough kippers already! This conversation is floundering. My sole contribution to this debate.

Jan i'll have you know I was born and spent my early years in the ex herring capital of Europe (Gt Yarmouth) ! i'm a Yarmouth bloater so I don't need any kipper lectures thank you :-)

The kipper stitch up saying is one of those weird anglophone expressions which doesn't really make any logical sense but then says it all when analysed !

The notaire 'should' act equally for each party but actually the notaire primarily acts for him or herself. This may come as a shock Peter but not all notaires are squeaky clean and some clearly work in favour of one or the other parties at times. Notaires are both businessmen/women and government tax collectors and like some businessmen/women they are not always honourable.

Jan again

I am not a lawyer but in my business career ended up in litigation through many countries in Europe. If there is one taker away lesson for me at least is NOT, not ever, NEVER, no way assume that your legal adviser is always on your side, or assume that they are always right or indeed even know the law as well as they should.

I learnt from bitter experience to trust nobody in the legal profession, always check with disinterested 3rd parties, such the Internet, get on the blog sites, such as SFN when people have different experiences.

As an aside I am researching the possibility of investments and so far I am waiting for each advisor, including so called tax experts to give me a consistent story. And every time I turn over a stone I find another wrinkle that nobody has so far got around to mentioning even though when I look it is all in the literature.

I am not suggesting that these people are dishonest, just subject to the usual frailties of being human (incompetent and avaricious) but the key point being that you are potentially the loser and the person who picks up the tab.

Jan and Brian

The Notaire does not work for either party, he/she is not your solicitor in the UK sense but more like a representative of the French state to ensure that all the paperwork is correctly processed, titles recorded etc.

It is your responsibility to make sure your interests are protected and in that sense it is arguably better but more expensive of course, to look after your interests.

No doubt individuals with more legal expertise than me can add to this comment if they wish, which I am sure would be appreciated.

Thanks Theo, my avocat seems to think it's a verbal contract. Quite how this manifests; seems to be an anomaly in French law. I will hopefully know a little more tomorrow.

Peter, to un-obfuscate matters, I said they must pay all utilities/taxes. I had cancelled utilities previously when house was empty. The house is furnished; [minus my 2 leather sofas, armchair]. The way I see it, it's the notaire who has left me wide open to abuse, by her not mentioning a letting contract when she asked on the pensioners behalf to rent the house, their sale having alledgedly fallen through. She too at the time seemed fed up with the way her clients were unable to complete. Even more reason to be concerned on my behalf, I would have thought. I will know the state of play a little better tomorrow, hopefully.

Your education in colloquial terms is seriously lacking Peter, so just for you I'll give a translation......

Stitched up means framed, put in the bag and stitched up so tight so you can't get out of the bag or the frame. It's not just that someone framed you, but it's a tight frame and you're trapped with no way out.

Kippers are usually opened up, not just gutted like most fish. So you are not only fooled, but you are opened up and made vulnerable.

Copied and Pasted :- :)))

Brian what Peter is writing here is exactly the point, there is NO rental contract and the offense of willful deception to achieve its own advantage is here clearly apparent. So, this in turn is not a civil-legal fact but an act of deliberate fraud. French law is very clear in this.

Is it possible to stitch up a kipper !

Your Notaire is supposed to work for you, as mine said to me two days before he stitched me up like a kipper. Facing being forced to sell land to someone I didn't want to buy it I asked my Notaire what about this clause? He said that clause is for the buyer and not the seller and I couldn't use it. The best 250 euros I've spent in France was to an Avocate who perused the contract found 3 different clauses I could use to cancel and then proceeded to write a letter to my Notaire telling why the sale was being cancelled and that he should inform his friend the other Notaire acting for the buyers I would not be bullied into it. I've heard nothing from either party since and I'm thinking of changing my Notaire when I get my Will done or I could wait a few years until he retires and see who I get next.

Maybe you should ask your Avocate to do another search on their property to see if it's rented out which is why they can't move back to the Dordogne, it is very obvious that they are taking advantage of the situation and your Notaire should have advised you against allowing them to move anything in before the final part of the sale. One thing you can find out is if they paid their 10% deposit to the Notaire on the Compromis de Vente and does he still hold this money in his account or has he repaid it to "the Acheter/squatters" as you may be entitled to the deposit depending on how the contract was written, summat to think about whilst you're waiting for the slow wheels of french Justice to turn in your favour..... Bon Chance

No Peter, I'm far too blunt to work for the Diplomatic Service but then again there's no chance of ambiguity after I've said my piece. :)