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Property Developer HORROR in Lodz


lostinlodz 2 | 13
27 Feb 2014 #1
Good Evening may I enquirer for help.

My patience has dried up and now have to go the extra step what most people fear doing and take the issue to court, not something we wish to do. What should be a plain simple transaction has become a real life horror for us and I need some help or advice. Without naming names I will tell the story only to get some recommendations / advice from people who may have had similar experiences and without prejudice.

Two years ago we purchased a apartment in Lodz for rental income and still the only thing done in the townhouse was the apartment spaces and not the building. To make things worse a year ago I lost my job and as you know you do not get any help from the UK government if you have assets worth more than 16k. We decided to leave the UK and go to Poland and complete the apartment inside, the alternative was spending the last of our savings in the UK with no help and still stuck with the apartment. The plan was to complete the developer stage flat and put it on the market and return to the UK or start renting it out and get something going as for money. The developer kept telling us the property will be complete before the end of the year. So no problem packed up the family and headed out.

We finished the inside of the apartment but the developer left us without hot water and power, in fact the whole process was made very difficult but two months later we completed the inside of the apartment. Note there are other people living already in this building with similar problems. We are then forced to by a electric boiler and heaters, after already spending 2.5k on radiators meant for city heating.

Comes Christmas and snow, we still have no heating. Winter in a cold flat with a baby while Ice is forming inside the windows of the apartment (causing more damage) and still no sign of workers doing anything to the building or heating. They did managed to give us a few more lights and electrical sockets (75% working but still wrong) before the snow started. We also now have growing amount of penalty charges with the electrical company as they developer has not paid them to repair our power issues. Yet the electrical company charges us penalties because the developer has not sent the electrical certificate for the change?

My other half has managed to find work (2k peanuts) , but as for me and the recruitment companies they don't even reply! They don;t even reply for English speaking positions with correct qualifications! The one or two lame English companies are afraid my qualifications are too high for the lower position! So as a skilled professional I am keen to GET OUT. This when Lodz is so keen to attract skilled people to Lodz and investors???? What is wrong with Lodz?

We are still living of our savings and nothing seems to change here except the excuses.
It seems the government protection scene when purchasing property is nothing but hot air and worthless.
We only purchased the apartment after been told this protection is there to make sure the developer finishes. It seems the developer and his solicitor have found a away around this protection. So take note if you are a new buyer.

So we estimate the value of the apartment as it is now to be 1/3 of its purchase price if we are lucky. But of course the UK wont accept this as its still underdevelopment. The developer tells us he is struggling due to the slowdown in the market, but it seems all the money is pouring into other projects and did not stop him buying more townhouses for a few million, and we are just left on the sideline. Wham bam thank you mam, got the goods and off they go. We feel cheated and its starting to feel like we have purchase a extremely expensive wreck (lemon)

Please if you know of any good lawyers/media/reporters post the detail below. please thank you.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
27 Feb 2014 #2
If you lost your job in UK and couldn't find a new one, then why do you expect to find it in Poland, where unemployment is substantially higher and you don't speak local language? As for good lawyer in £ódź I cannot personally recommend, but perhaps you can check these search results:

google.de/search?q=dobry+prawnik+nieruchomo%C5%9Bci+%C5%82%C3%B3d%C5%BA&oq=dobry+prawnik+nieruchomo%C5%9Bci+%C5%82%C3%B3d%C5%BA&aqs=chrome..69i57.8132j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
f stop 25 | 2,513
27 Feb 2014 #3
That's a cautionary tale about buying unfinished property.
You did not have a choice in developers here, but if one is building a house, choosing a builder is a most important decision you'll make.

I know a little about builders in the Caribbean, and it is worth waiting for a year or two for the one you want, one that is recommended by previous customers, and their work seen with your own eyes.

And, never let the builder have all the money before the job is done.
cms 9 | 1,271
28 Feb 2014 #4
You have had some bad luck and made some bad choices but its really up to you to resolve, not the government and not any journalists. The time to get a lawyer would have been before you signed the contract.

Where you may have a case is in the developer not switching on the power, but even that is contentious.

Few things I would do in your shoes

- get one room fitted up and heated, even if with boilers. you can all live there while it gets sorted
- it sounds very weird that the UK would cut your benefits if you have 16k of assets. I don't think that is right, so you should be entitled to UK unemployment benefit and maybe child benefit too

- maybe your wife is entitled to additional support under the Polish system ?
- I don't know what line of work you are in but could you somehow work on a weekly commute to the UK (your wife would have to stop working and look after the kid) - i.e. find some kind of back office job and do it Monday-Friday for as long as you can bear and fly in and out on Ryanair.
OP lostinlodz 2 | 13
28 Feb 2014 #5
No, if we stay in the UK we use all our savings and then we live on the street because when you own property abroad its counted as assets and if you have over 16k in assets you get nothing, no housing, no benefits.

Thus this developer has locked us out of claiming benefits when needed.
So we had no choice but too move and try move things along so we can sell!

When sold we can go back and get help, but now it seems if they don't get things done by April we will have to spend anouther 12 months in the UK on our savings before we get help from the government.

Sorry the 20+- people who purchased here did not make a bad choice, did the poster perhaps mean the developer made a bad choice what has lead to investor horror?
szczecinianin 4 | 345
28 Feb 2014 #6
If you have got a bad deal then you have made a bad choice.
OP lostinlodz 2 | 13
28 Feb 2014 #7
lostinlodz

- it sounds very weird that the UK would cut your benefits if you have 16k of assets. I don't think that is right, so you should be entitled to UK unemployment benefit and maybe child benefit too

its 16k, they don't give a monkeys uncle about anything else if you are putting in a new application for benefits in the UK.

As for those who own property in Poland claiming in the UK, the benefits office was more than willing to send people to Poland to check the value of the properties we were told when we tried to claim.

We only got child benefit and 6 months contributions JSA
Our bills were 1200 after cutting everything down and income was 600 so do you really think when we finish our savings we going to get benefits when we still have a asset over 16k in Poland?

Since we are forced into this situation and I think its fair someone else pays for their mistakes.

If you have got a bad deal then you have made a bad choice.

How does the victims make a bad choice in your opinion?
If someone shoots a man in the street, was it the the mans fault for walking in the street? Is this what your saying?

Sorry but we did our homework here, everything check out fine, that included people who also purchased there, every buyer does not understand why the developer is sitting on his hands on this building but continues with other projects, and were is the Polish government law developer protection in this? Did the polish government not bring out all these laws to protect investors? So why attract investors and then go around pretending its their own fault?

As for jobs, sorry but if there is English speaking companies and qualified people for them, then UK people should also be entitled to work in these companies and be your boss if the position exists or work mate, not just brush it under the carpet and employ only local. If this happens in the UK you would have 1 million polish out of work heading back to compete for every job. You don't, so I do expect some professionalism, if the job is available I do expect to have equal opportunities.
szczecinianin 4 | 345
1 Mar 2014 #8
How does the victims make a bad choice in your opinion?

How can you 'do your homework' without knowing Poland and Polish?

So why attract investors and then go around pretending its their own fault?

Have you any idea how naive that question is? To make money, why else?

As for jobs, sorry but if there is English speaking companies and qualified people for them

Maybe it should be like this, but it isn't. I'm sorry to break it to you, but life isn't always fair. Just because Poles can get fair play in the UK, don't expect things to work both ways.
OP lostinlodz 2 | 13
1 Mar 2014 #9
I don't understand why it is that you feel it's OK to demonize people who invest in your country?

BTW, I took my polish property investor friend with me, we scoped the place twice and check completed projects, we both are not new to property investment. Sadly you have it wrong, investors, invest to make money, when you cheat investors, they don't invest, no new money = no new jobs, everyone looses.
poland_
1 Mar 2014 #10
So we had no choice but too move and try move things along so we can sell!

Its seems to be a rock and a hard stone you are caught between there.

Have you already signed the act notarial and taken ownership, its not quite clear in your opening post.

If the answer is yes did you stipulate a list of jobs/repairs outstanding at the time of signing?

Secondly, have you considered in Poland it is legal to separate your assets, you could sign 100% ownership of the property to your wife and you would be left with no assets.

I am hoping for you, you did not sign the act notarial without putting any clauses in there for the outstanding work. If you have then you can only rely on the goodwill of the developer.

The normal practice in Poland is the developer will form a new company for each project and then close the company 6-12 months after all the units have been handed over, have you checked the company you signed the contract with is still in business?
szczecinianin 4 | 345
1 Mar 2014 #11
they don't invest, no new money = no new jobs, everyone looses.

In theory, perhaps. Trouble is, in practice, people (particularly in Poland) are out to make a quick buck. Therefore, they are only interested in short term gain.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
1 Mar 2014 #12
As for jobs, sorry but if there is English speaking companies and qualified people for them

But do you know Polish? If not, then you're worse candidate, than someone who speaks both Polish and English. Without knowledge of local language you have to compete for simple physical works with Ukrainian immigrants (who are in better position, because their language is similar to Polish). This is what Poles who don't speak English do in UK - compete for very simple jobs. Of course you have also option of working somewhere, where perfect English language knowledge is main requirement, but this is small fraction of all jobs in Poland.

why the developer is sitting on his hands on this building but continues with other projects,

Perhaps he is short with money and people who payed for other project are actually forcing him legally to continue, while you do nothing.
f stop 25 | 2,513
1 Mar 2014 #13
Trouble is, in practice, people (particularly in Poland) are out to make a quick buck. Therefore, they are only interested in short term gain.

that certainly applies to the lostinlodz's developer here.
Wroclaw Boy
1 Mar 2014 #14
It applies to the entire planet, anybody in a position to make a quick profit and screw over whom ever - will basically do just that. That's what the system teaches.
OP lostinlodz 2 | 13
1 Mar 2014 #15
No sorry folks the UK closed this loophole of transferring assets between partners. Its combined assets my friends.
Just out of curiosity since it seems some of you don't understand UK benefits system anymore, You polish folks in the UK are you aware there are agencies in the UK who check each and every claim for benefits right? They get paid a fee to catch out people over the limits and defrauding the system, so the ones who own house and inherit property it's just going to be a matter of time before they do find you and claim all the benefits back if you are over the limits, if not I bet they will claim YOUR PROPERTY! The laws are already changed so they can check bank accounts in Poland and property deeds.

I know this because my councilor told me, I really hope you did not lie when putting claims in, they work on the same principle as the companies who look for heirs to people who died in the UK and is a very lucrative business, when I heard this I was even interested in starting a business like this myself but then it really is a snitch job.

Anyway, bewared, if you have lied before, you already owe them! There is no such thing as a free ride - that's for sure.

The UK in particular is very keen to get money in. Don't get tempted into fraud its just going to come round 360
Wroclaw Boy
1 Mar 2014 #16
and yet we have banks being bailed out for 100's of billions for fraud, LIBOR rate scandal anybody? War is a fraud, the biggest fraudsters are the governments themselves and as for benefit cheats say hello to the Royal family (the worst of the lot) and virtually every politician in the UK. Lets put things into perspective here.

I find it absolutely disgusting that you had to leave the UK in order to try and resolve a bad luck investment issue and are now living in despair as a result. I don't think you're being 100% honest with your intentions and decision making, it comes across as a tad exaggerated to support your agenda in this thread. Why didn't you stay in the UK and look for another job? surely that would have been a safer option.

If you cant find employment in Poland what are you going to do?

You remind me of the guy who came on here a while ago and said he didn't want to renew his UK driving license as a simple renewal whilst living abroad as he was afraid of a maximum £10,000 fine - it was something to do with an address issue. This sh1t is just fear tactics.
OP lostinlodz 2 | 13
1 Mar 2014 #17
Wroclaw Boy

no, I said I have some savings left over for my retirement one day, but this would have finished fast if we stay in the UK and the problem would continue with the flat seen as a asset.
poland_
1 Mar 2014 #18
Lodz outside the box I am seeing your deal as nothing more than wrong choice, its not a Polish legal requirement,,,,
OP lostinlodz 2 | 13
1 Mar 2014 #19
Its not difficult to calculate

1. Stay in the UK, spend savings fast, get no help, still have issues with apartment and end up on the street or worse after already spending a year looking for work. (Do people actually realize there are homeless people in the UK? Its not just the land of milk and honey where everyone gets a home?)

2. Come to Poland, resolve the problems were the cost of living is 5 -1 so this should keep us going till we resolve the issue and return.

3. Sell the apartment for a loss and return to the UK.

My choice is no 2 resolve the issue recover what I can but it seem the developer is sitting on his hand so I need to take it the next step.

This is a money survival decision and the best option under the circumstances.

Look the way I see it, I have been fair enough waiting 2 years, giving all the chances any moral normal person would. It's not to be nasty its just business. Besides from what I understand allot of people are already starting proceedings. So before all you patriots come running along to save your fellow country man, I wont be the first neither the last. The ripples will be felt from Krakow to Warsaw! This is all I am going to say.

So a good solicitor would be nice to have, if you know any TY
szczecinianin 4 | 345
1 Mar 2014 #20
The people replying to you are generally foreigners living in Poland rather than Poles.

You can take the developers to court, but most likely by doing so you will simply be wasting time and money, and damaging your mental health in the process.

You have no guarantee of success even if right is on your side.

Unless you have some kind of connection with Poland, there isn't much sense in living here.

Almost certainly, your best bet is to sell the apartment and return to the UK. The longer you stay here, the more money and time you are likely to waste.
OP lostinlodz 2 | 13
1 Mar 2014 #21
Frankly I would prefer not to go to this route of courts, but as I said other people have started and its feared they may completely bankrupt it. What I would like to see happen is a little push to get things moving again.

"A loss is only a loss when you sell" and De-leveraging is not a option at the moment. The ratio of savings / time and selling loss/ time is huge. Hope that made sense.
cms 9 | 1,271
1 Mar 2014 #22
I find it absolutely disgusting that you had to leave the UK in order to try and resolve a bad luck investment issue

he didn't - it was his own choice. Its not up to the government to bail him out for this bad investment.

I know what's coming next - some non sequitur about the banks being bailed out.

Lost in Lodz - you need to confront the fact that you don't speak Polish if you are going to look for a job locally. I employ quite a few English speaking positions per year and sometimes get foreigners applying, but really there is no point adding someone to a team if they do not speak the local language - it will make everything more difficult, they will get frustrated and they have a much higher chance of leaving. That's why I suggested some kind of weekly commute to London.

As for doing your homework, if you found this forum a few years ago you would have found plenty of comments about the doubtful viability of loft apartments in Lodz.
OP lostinlodz 2 | 13
1 Mar 2014 #23
he didn't - it was his own choice. Its not up to the government to bail him out for this bad investment.

Actual it is the governments responsibility to bail out people who pay national INSURANCE.
If your business burnt down due to some electrical fault, I am 100% sure you will be calling your your insurance company while the fireman is still putting out the flames.

But I do understand what you are saying and am I am learning polish at the moment, I just don't see the reason when there is English only speaking companies in Poland as to be as nasty as not to even reply and hide away when a qualified person applies.

Anyway, let the good times role, enough with the negative energy. That is what I am trying to achieve.
poland_
2 Mar 2014 #24
Start looking at your problems through Polish eyes, instead of comparing what could be done in the UK.

I am assuming you signed the notarial act for your property and took full ownership even though the project was not completed. I would also guess your Polish partner was advising you not to move in or sign the act notarial until it was completed in full. You being British decided ownership was 9/10's of the law.

As others have mentioned here it was just a short term investment on your part which has gone long. Accept your loss be a mensch, take your lesson and move on.
Wroclaw Boy
2 Mar 2014 #25
I know what's coming next - some non sequitur about the banks being bailed out.

Indeed, you see the irony here?
OP lostinlodz 2 | 13
2 Mar 2014 #26
Wroclaw Boy

Yes the banks did not have any insurance policy when it came to wild gambling. Hence they should have gone to the wall. But in this lies the problem mentality of too big too fall.

Just goes to show, if you can talk a good game you can charm the socks of a snake.
Wroclaw Boy
2 Mar 2014 #27
But in this lies the problem mentality of too big too fall.

Its not such a case of too big, if those banks had been left to bankruptcy it could have spelled the end of the monetary system. Millions of people missing mortgage/rent payments - the recipients of those mortgage and rental payment not receiving their income, not paying their utility bills, all the companies who had business accounts effectively being wiped out in one blow. The governments had no choice. It will happen again anyway, the current economic system is quite simply unsustainable.

How can the planet owe money to itself?
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
2 Mar 2014 #28
I am assuming you signed the notarial act for your property and took full ownership even though the project was not completed.

It should be in the contract about 'habitable use', something is not right.

We only purchased the apartment after been told this protection is there to make sure the developer finishes.

What were you told?

but as for me and the recruitment companies they don't even reply!

I think I know the answer.
In your profile you have written 'retard' for your occupation :)

Terrible story lostinlodz, if you give us more details about the contract and ownership we might be able to help you more.

One more thing, you are going to be very disappointed when you get a lawyer here, they do not work anything like they do in the U.K.

You must do 90% of the work and tell them what to do and they will do the 10% of the work and it takes a long time, not like the U.K. where you give it to a lawyer and they deal with it.

I have a lot of experience both with real estate here in Poland and with lawyers in various countries.

Understandably you are angry, it shows in your writing but you'll need a clear head to get out of the fix you find yourself in and there are people on here who can help.


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