On our second trip to Poland we found the developer had left the country, taking all the pre-payments with him.
New laws came into force this year to stop anything like this happening again. Even so, a small deposit is only fair if a person wants to reserve a flat in a certain position with a favourable outlook. It is not fair on the developer (who maybe could have sold this flat several times over) to have the client withdraw from buying
when completion is imminent. Some clients who pay a deposit, make changes to the layout as the works proceed, walls not required, boiler re-sited to a different position, doorways moved, plumbing altered for bathrooms and kitchens and doors. This may suit them but not other clients who perhaps would have preferred the original layouts.
A nice couple with two teenage children bought a new flat off me 18 months ago. It was a large flat (120 m2), three large bedrooms, huge lounge, 300.000 PLN, developer standard. In February of this year the buyer contacted me to complain that the flat was very cold this past winter and asked, were the radiators "big enough" for the room sizes. I took the heating installation engineer with me and he showed him the chart with the sizes per room/size of radiators required and that everything was in accordance with the project accepted by the building regulations. This satisfied the client but not me. He had a problem and it was my responsibility. I had the engineer install larger radiators in the rooms where there was a problem, at my cost. (not really a cost to me as I will use these radiators and fittings on another project)
Anyway, the client is happy, I am happy. I had a successful company in the UK and we have a very good reputation. Although I am only "dabbling" here in Poland, I will carry on with the same high standards in my adopted country. Not all builders/developers are the same. People only need to carry out a few simple checks first.
Caveat Emptor seems to be the applicable phrase here.