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Poland Notary Agreement after a purchase of a property - very expensive!


HeyHo1975 1 | 1
28 Jan 2011 #1
My girlfriend purchased a property recently with a little of my help, although she is the sole name on the banking agreement. We have been to the solicitor in Krakow to have a notary agreement put in place outside of the bank agreement. i.e we are not married so the property will be split 50/50 .

The solicitor charged £50 for advice / getting a legally binding agreement drawn up which we / I thought that would be the cost of drafting the agreement, + a translator cost which I expected to pay when we go to sign the agreement. The notary / solictors have now told us it is £450 as this is the cost of the time to draw up the agreement e.t.c. its quite complex e.t.c ( we have a copy of the agreement which they emailed us though) This seems ridicoulously expensive,why did they not advise of this extra cost at the time of giving the advice? We havn't signed anything agreeing to this amount ? Anyone have experince of these sorts of agreements at all ? Is this common practice ? Whats your thoughts?
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
28 Jan 2011 #2
The solicitor charged £50 for advice

It would be quite reasonable to expect to pay that much for legal advice.
OP HeyHo1975 1 | 1
28 Jan 2011 #3
Thanks for you reply. The emphasis on my question is : shouldn't the notary have made it clear the cost of drawing up this agreement, rather than giving the cost after it had been drawn up? This doesn't sound normal practice? Why would you undertake work without agreeing a fee / give an estimation of the cost? If we won't pay the £450 the notary has wasted their time....
cms 9 | 1,255
28 Jan 2011 #4
Notaries are the biggest racket going - I was charged PLN 2000 for half an hours work on Monday. Thats more expensive than the most expensive lawyers in New York.

It is unfortunately common for them to be unclear on fees and costs until you get there.
Wroclaw Boy
28 Jan 2011 #5
Notaries are the biggest racket going

Not only that the amount of mistakes some notaries make is astonishing, theyve cost me thousands in mistakes alone. My wife has actually flagged them in the office before as they were about sign off a doc which was totally wrong. They think they are the best things since sliced bread ohh and they hate lawyers. Bring a lawyer to a notary appointment and watch them scowl.

Not a big fan of notaries, but like all businesses there are some good ones around.
jonni 16 | 2,485
28 Jan 2011 #6
Notaries are the biggest racket going

Almost. The sworn translators that they demand you have, even if you speak fluent Polish, are a bigger racket. Their tariff is fixed by law, but some of them still insist on billing a minimum of three hours for ten minutes' work
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384
28 Jan 2011 #7
Anyone have experince of these sorts of agreements at all ? Is this common practice ? Whats your thoughts?

expect to pay 4,000zl.

for the time, documents, translation (if any) plus that little 2% of property value.

HeyHo1975, u didn't mention the deposit to secure the deal.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
28 Jan 2011 #8
minimum of three hours for ten minutes' work

travel time?
jonni 16 | 2,485
28 Jan 2011 #9
She lived a short walk away in the centre of Warsaw (and insisted I pay for a taxi too!). And why should the client pay for her commuting expenses, especially in the Central Business District of a city. One with a metro too.

She hardly opened her mouth anyway, since her translation was so bad and her accent so strong that it was much easier to listen to the notariusz read out the original. The exams for her 'profession' used to be much easier than they are now, and I suspect she trained back in the PRL. I sometimes work as a simultaneous translator (in both directions) and do it much better myself. A complete rip-off since I didn't need it but under Polish law still had to pay the fat old scam-artist to be there.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
28 Jan 2011 #10
And why should the client pay for her commuting expenses

Well, AFAIK travel time IS included in sworn interpreting. OK, this particular person lived nearby - but imagine travelling one hour there and one hour back (in Warsaw for example, if you live in the suburbs), effectively wasting two hours of potential work elsewhere.

I suspect she trained back in the PRL

The time someone became a sworn translator is neither here nor there. I am a "PRL-trained" translator myself and I don't think I turned out half bad.

On the other hand, it is a vocation and some "interpreters" just shouldn't ever be unleashed on the unsuspecting public.

I sometimes work as a simultaneous translator

Simultaneous - WOW. My hat is off to you, sir. My brain is not up to that kinda stuff, I am only capable of consecutive interpreting.

The exams for her 'profession'

Don't ever put that in quotes! It is a profession and a very difficult one at that. You should know, if you've done it yourself.

BTW - lots of you guys complain about sworn translators, but do you ever do anything about it? Every sworn translator is on a central register and is answerable to the Ministry of Justice. If enough people filed official complaints against unprofessional, bumbling translators, they would get stricken off or would have to re-take their examination or whatever.
convex 20 | 3,978
28 Jan 2011 #11
Better yet, just draft up a POA and have your lawyer take care of it all.
jonni 16 | 2,485
28 Jan 2011 #12
Well, AFAIK travel time IS included in sworn interpreting. OK, this particular person lived nearby - but imagine travelling one hour there and one hour back (in Warsaw for example, if you live in the suburbs), effectively wasting two hours of potential work elsewhere.

Travelling from Zoliborz on the tube is one thing, travelling from her location of choice is quite another. I get travelling money every few weeks, at a set amount. I can live wherever, but anything above my allowance is my look-out.

The time someone became a sworn translator is neither here nor there. I am a "PRL-trained" translator myself and I don't think I turned out half bad.

The fail rate is much higher since they changed the exams, according to a friend (a language lecturer (not English) at UJ, who recently passed on his third attempt.

Your spoken English, however, if it's anything like your written English, is probably excellent. If I'd been using this forum in those days, I'd rather have PM'd you and asked for a recommendation rather than use the notariusz's buddy.

Simultaneous - WOW. My hat is off to you, sir. My brain is not up to that kinda stuff, I am only capable of consecutive interpreting.

I'm the other way round. It's as if the words pass through me like a river. Tiring though after a short while, whereas at a meeting recently where they were stopping every 30 secs or so for the translation I had a really hard time. My tiny memory can only hold three main points at the same time before overflowing. :-)

Don't ever put that in quotes! It is a profession and a very difficult one at that. You should know, if you've done it yourself.

Yes. The inverted commas were specifically about this lady. She was professional only in her fees. It can be a wonderful job, and people like that old trout (a relic of the days when the zloty was weak and most foreigners were comparatively rich and fair game to be overcharged, like Istanbul taxi drivers do today), can give the rest a bad name.

BTW - lots of you guys complain about sworn translators, but do you ever do anything about it?

The big problem is that we're forced to have them at all. A friend who works as an interpreter between English and Polish at the European Commission registered a company for something not long ago. He still had to pay a sworn translator! A British person with a Polish grandpa and passport who only speaks English, however....
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
28 Jan 2011 #13
The big problem is that we're forced to have them at all

Theoretically, it's for the foreigner's protection. If you misunderstand a legal term or technicality in a contract as a result of the interpreter's blunder, they can be easily traced through the number on their seal, which has to be affixed to the notarial deed or other document along with their signature - and thus be held accountable for any problems which should arise. And as it is not allowed for a sworn translator or interpreter to translate or interpret on their own behalf, they would still need to hire someone to do this for them. I guess this is enforced to ensure objectivity in the proceedings.
jonni 16 | 2,485
28 Jan 2011 #14
Theoretically, it's for the foreigner's protection

That's quite sensible, though the reality is that in criminal cases at court, where people's liberty can hang in the balance, they aren't obligatory; but when buying a few shares in a Sp. z o.o. they are.


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