3rd November 2009 at 8:29 pm #19453wiserMember since: 24th September 2009
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A couple more thoughts for anyone who has suffered aggro and heartbreak at the hands of any (totally hypothetical) British-based property company, and has failed to get redress.
If you are planning a trip back to the UK at Christmas, it may be worth pre-booking an appointment with a solicitor there – to see whether you have grounds for seeking damages in the UK courts, or even for reporting the company to the British police for fraud, if you believe yourselves to have been defrauded.
As I understand English law, if you paid deposit monies from your UK bank account to their UK bank account, this could well act in your favour in this respect.
This advice applies regardless of whether you have already joined the queue to sue them in the Greek courts.
Also: if you believe that this company has not played straight with you, it is possible that their questionable attitudes extend to other areas of their operations. Tax, for example. A Greek lawyer is the best person to investigate the compamy’s tax declarations here, but as regards the UK, any citizen is at liberty to report any business which they believe may merit investigation. This is a useful link:
http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/tax-evasion/index.htm1st January 2010 at 7:16 am #19913
A good will thought for the new year, to those people having problems with "builders, "agents and all else that think!! they "know it" all!!.
May the fleas of a thousands camels infest the arse of
anyone who f##ks up your year and may their arms grow too short to scratch it!
HAPPY NEW YEAR
:D1st January 2010 at 11:59 am #20179thebigbluecheeseMember since: 10th September 2009
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Lol Lol Lol….. Brilliant saying!!! I truly hope the builder gets the comeuppance he deserves:)
A Very Happy New Year to you, and good luck for the future.11th January 2010 at 11:58 am #20363
When a couple had signed and sealed with Cretanagora, they become aware of problems of others that signed "agreements" with Cretanagora.
The couple had started looking at forums on the web, on BritsinCrete they noticed that Cretanagora were always in the front line of big problems.
So they asked Cretanagora to tell them "what problems", so this is the story Creatanagora told the couple!.
They said they went into partnership with a civil engineer & architect in Perama, Creatanagora acting as agents, they stated that after a year or so they realised that it was a wrong decision as the architect & civil engineer were not using the money properly, they then told this couple that the engineer had run off with the money & had disappeared & that no-one can find him.
This is so untrue the civil engineer is still in the same office in Perama, the engineer is working from his office in Rethymno.
Both the civil engineer & architect said it was Creatanagora who had done the dirty & taken so much commission from these joint ventures, the problems were very apparent to Creatanagora who told us and others its not themselves to blame.
So Cretanagora were told to leave the rent free office,
we texted Cretanagora a few weeks after they were told to leave.
Asked why they were taking 15 per cent commission straight away from deposits, the reply given’ "Prove It".
One of the brothers was the elected Mayor of geropotamos area, both have families in Choumeri and Rethymno.13th January 2010 at 8:15 am #20498adminKeymasterMember since: 1st January 2005
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It is not for me to advise you what you can and can’t write. If it is legal and within the scope of the law, then you would not face any problem.
But in legal jargon what you wrote in your post of January 11th appears to be "hearsay" i.e. what another person told you.
You quote "other" people verbatim.
You should always have hard copy proof to support any statement you write.
May I caution you that if you live in Crete or have property in Greece, you are well and truly exposed to the Greek legal system. Greece’s laws on libel are tough.
If you feel safe in your anonymity in writing in this forum, you are mistaken.
For your own sake, be guarded against the consequences.
Admin13th January 2010 at 9:34 am #20604
I apologise, if I stepped over the mark did not mean to.
Yes it was hear say but I do trust this couple, if the couple
would reply to my post of January 11th confirming the conversion did happen.
Then it should I hope, not leave me open to a libel suit.
Regards, boot sale.14th January 2010 at 7:43 pm #20687anne-marieMember since: 18th October 2009
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And even if you don’t hide behind your anonymity boot sale and write under your own name as I did, obviously having enough WRITTEN proof and witnesses of course to sink a battle ship, admin can still delete your comments for ‘Legal reasons’ LOL because may some-body doesn’t like the truth being told and wants the comment to disappear !!
Yes I know this comment is bound to upset some-one!!15th January 2010 at 11:18 am #20758
I wonder how many disappointed folk complain on UK based forums when a builder fails to meet their expectations?
I personally don’t see the sense in hiding behind a made up name, unless that is you’re embarrassed because you got conned, failed to do the necessary research before handing over monies etc.
Building a house, whether here or back in the UK is probably the biggest financial undertaking most of us will take on. If you treat it like a business (rather than a dream) and ensure you have a notarised contract (in both English and Greek) before work begins this will help avoid some – although not all – of the pit falls which will and do arise when building a house in a foreign country.
The most obvious thing is to find a good independent lawyer who speaks and writes in English so you can communicate with and instruct them to act on your behalf. You should set milestones for the release of funds e.g. payment once the concrete frame is completed, payment when the tiles are laid etc. I’d also suggest you set aside several thousand pounds for trips out to your build site so you can see for yourself that the work has been done to your satisfaction. If unsure, you can also hire an independent architect to check measurements, check the quality of work etc.
And yes, this will add to the overall cost but if building a €200,000 house then another €5000 in airfares and independent checks represents 2.5% of the overall build cost. Some may think this is too much to pay but when one considers the alternatives it seems a small price to pay for peace of mind.
And when choosing a builder, what should you be looking for? The first thing must be their basic solvency i.e. it’s hardly worth handing over money to a builder if he’s going to use it to finish off somone else’s house and then hope he gets more deposits so he can begin work on yours! You should also check the basic build specifications – rather than worry about the type and colour of tiles. Most Cretan builders don’t add a damp course and since Crete gets as much average rain fall per year as the UK – albeit it falls during a three or four month spell. – then this is surely a must? Good insulation (there are different types) is also a must i.e. good insulation retains heat in the winter and keeps the house cooler in the hot summers. If intending year round occupation, central heating is also a must – unless you like huddling around an open fire – and most systems are run by heating oil which is expensive and will become even more expensive over the next year or two. And unless you like sleeping for three months of the year in 25C -35C heat a good air conditioning system is also highly recommended. Close attention should also be paid to the plumbing system and in particular the cess pit – if not on the mains system. You’re going to want water to drink and shower with and will not be too impressed if your cess pit fails to meet your house requirements and backs up, your water pressure is too low, the solar panels aren’t big enough to heat the water etc. etc. You also need to ensure that all the equipment installed comes with warranties, is preferably German, rather than Chinese, and that it can be serviced locally when it breaks – because it will break.
And even if you do treat your house build as a business transaction – which again should be an imperative – you will still have problems but hopefully they will be small and easily fixable.
And don’t be afraid to ask your preferred builder some tough questions before you take him onboard. He will smile, he will promise you anything and everything to get the contract to build your dream house but always remember that it’s a buyers market right now and you can and should be as clear and firm with him as possible re what your expectations are. Get him to sign that notarised contract and if necessary introduce him to the independent expert you’ve hired to ensure he meets those expectations.
The majority of people don’t have problems over here, and a large number of builders are genuine people trying to provide a good product.
The secret is to cover yourself should – after all your checks – you find yourself dealing with one of the cowboys.
Jon15th January 2010 at 11:50 am #20812
It’s all very well saying these things now as we all realize with hindsight what should have been done but this as I recall happened 4 or 5 years ago. I would feel just as bad as Boot Sale if I had lost all my hard earned cash. The main thing is now not to let the builder get away with what he has done and also not let it happen to more unsuspecting purchasers. This being the objective the more publicity the better.
Keep going Boot Sale.15th January 2010 at 12:52 pm #20856
The point is people are still thinking of or are in the middle of building houses today so the information is just as valid now as it would have been four or five years ago.
And whilst I’d agree hindsight is 20/20 it’s surely the buyer’s responsibility to ensure they’ve covered every eventuality when deciding to pay tens, if not hundreds of thousands of pounds into someone else’s bank account.
We all empathise with those who’ve had build problems here on Crete but if you don’t view your house build as a cold, calculated, business transaction you’re asking for trouble.
The magic of Crete and the simpler lifestyle it promises is both alluring and intoxicating. Those who get carried away by the dream can be taken for a ride.
No one wants to admit they didn’t cover all the bases before they jumped in and, whilst their disappointment and anger is understandable, they also have to look at their own actions and ask themselves whether they could and should have done things differently. If the answer is yes, then perhaps the fault is not all down to the building company?
Surely the publicity you speak of should be directed at how to safeguard your money, rather than pointing the finger at one or two builders who may or may not have failed to meet expectations?
Jon15th January 2010 at 2:30 pm #20890
I do agree with a lot of what you say Jon but not all of us are as level headed as you seem to be. It’s not just the dream it’s also the expectation of getting what was promised and what has been paid for. I do feel that prospective purchasers should be warned of builders who have ‘not delivered’ in full the properties they were commissioned and paid to build.
Yes the purchaser should have made sure that everything was belt and braces safe and Boot Sale thought he had from what I can gather.
I still feel that if we are told the truth in the first place we can make up our own minds as to whether we still wish to get involved or not with a particular builder. It’s when we are unaware of problems that we can make the mistake of thinking everything is hunky dory.
These Forums are good for warning us of what can and does happen even if we have done all our research.
Lin15th January 2010 at 3:20 pm #20920FowlesParticipantMember since: 22nd March 2007
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Good for Boot Sale – agree with Eranim – sorry Topdriller you sound like a person who has never experienced the nightmare!15th January 2010 at 3:30 pm #20946
Good luck with your book, no jokes I really mean that.
But please stop teaching people how to suck eggs, as you said in one thread you don’t know what its all about.
So please read and inwardly digest all threads in this section then and only then will you begin to understand.
So please continue with the cost of living thread,as you know the cost of bacon and soap powders so well.15th January 2010 at 3:32 pm #20966
There are many times I wish I had been as level headed as you allude to but most of us have had to learn from our mistakes or, if we’re really lucky, the mistakes of others.
Seven years ago I was nervous about using builders over here and – rightly or wrongly – decided to build my house like a Cretan i.e. hire in the individual disciplines needed to build the frame, do the brick work, plumbing, electric, tiles etc etc. I only managed to do this because I was lucky enough to find and hire a local guy who would look after my interests, keep on top of the contractors, make them do things again if they were wrong etc. etc.
The obvious advantage of this way or working is you could fire someone and hire a replacement without bringing the house build to a grinding halt. What’s more, we bought and supplied all the materials so as long as we hired good contractors in each discipline we could control the costs – at least to an extent.
But this too was a risk i.e. monies were transfered on trust. I set a budget for the house build, based on discussions with architects, other houses owner’s experiences of building a similar sized house in the same area etc.
The advantage – I thought at the time – was we would not have the builder’s mark up to pay i.e. we were going directly to building suppliers and negotiating deals for materials, plumbing, electrical supplies etc at close to building contractor prices. It didn’t always work out this way but you get the picture.
However, the biggest advantage of building this way is you know exactly what’s in your house i.e. the quality and quantity of insulation used, the spec on the bricks, pipe, cabling etc. etc.
We also got three quotes for all the big items e.g. the painter, the electrician, the brickie / plasterer, plumber etc. and could go look at previous jobs they had worked on to see if the quality matched out expectations and needs. We spent a lot of time meeting contractors and deciding who we would, would not use for each discipline. Apart from the brickie – who was far slower than expected – we chose well.
The only way this can work – when you’re sitting in an office in the UK – is if a) you trust your project manager and b) you come out to Crete every two or three months to check on proceedings.
I’m the first to say that not everyone wants, or can do this but it seemed the best way for me to build a house on Crete.
Since moving here three+ years ago I’ve come across three or four local builders who would have built an equally good house – had we gone down that partiuclar route. However, it’s only now I can say that – it was almost impossible to judge the quality of builder when coming across on two x two week holidays a year!!
My previous post outlines what I’d have done now, were I undertaking a similar house build again. I’m the first to admit I was lucky in finding my project engineer – who is now a close local friend – and that not everyone will be as fortunate.
However, the build was done as a business project and I kept a very close eye on all monies that went out, was sent invoices for everything bought, was sent pictures of the materials arriving on site etc. And yes, I could have been ripped off which is why my earlier post sets out a slightly different approach to building a house today.
Having said that, if you want to know exactly want’s under the pristine white skin of your dream house it’s still the only way to build.
Jon15th January 2010 at 3:41 pm #20985
What has this got to do with you!, your are not listening to anybody else.
All you can hear is your own voice, you do not know the full story.
With repect.15th January 2010 at 3:47 pm #21000
I disagree, these forums are not the ideal place to sound off about bad building experiences. By the very nature of the forum, you normally only hear one side of the story and someone like Boot Sale and his version of events will quite obviously be from his personal perspective. If you check out the site of the Company he mentioned there are two glowing testimonials from other Brits who were happy with the build of their houses. There is also a piece on the news page talking about the damage forums can cause builders!
Boot Sale could be quite correct and he was ripped off. Then again, his expectations might not have been met – for whatever reason – and he now blames the builder, rather than what may have been unrealistic expectations. Then again, perhaps he did not understand the system here and found he was expected to pay for IKA payments, connection of electricitry etc. etc.
We just don’t know and because there is so much emotion involved when monies and expectations are dashed it’s hard to say who is right, who is wrong or if there were faults on both sides.
I’m perfectly sure Boot Sale thinks his complaint is justified and he may well be right. But if we only hear one side of the story – and it’s full of emotion and not a little bile – then how does that help someone who wants to know the best way to build a house over here?
Jon15th January 2010 at 4:09 pm #21015
You are so wrong, you don’t know nor care how wrong you are.
Check out the testimonials, you appear to have so much time on your perfect life then see if the testimonials come up trumps
We have done a lot of leg work here since 2005, we now
know how to get the system working.
If your right, you could get the last post in as usual.15th January 2010 at 4:17 pm #21026
The thing is that if it has never happened to you how can anyone know how Boot Sale is feeling. You Jon are presumably happy with your house as am I so we can’t possibly know. Just imagine after doing all the things you mentioned above to cover yourself your house still was not finished. You have been renting for a lot longer than you expected and your funds are running very low. Your money is running out, your house is still not finished and you have been battling with Greek lawyers and courts, wouldn’t you be emotional? I would. We have been lucky and should try to help those less fortunate than ourselves not tell them where they went wrong don’t you think? Because it could have been us no matter how hard we tried to cover ourselves. Even businesses fail through no fault of their owners.15th January 2010 at 4:22 pm #21036
You got any loose change to spare for a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich.15th January 2010 at 4:39 pm #21044
Why place your comments on this forum unless you want to field some responses? You asked earlier, "what has this got to do with you?" I’d ask, what has this got to do with anyone but you and the builder? You can’t seriously expect to post your thoughts on a public forum and then complain because someone passes a comment which you may not like or agree with.
I’m sorry about the predicament you find yourself in but – regardless of who’s fault it is – it was you and no one else who decided to share it with the 3000 or so members on this forum.
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