An interview with H&G
By Gavin Newsham (Editor)
Identity UK (Monarch Airways in Flight Magazine 2014)
Question: How much miss-sold property is there in the EC, in your estimation?
Answer: Far too much.
We believe the figure to be in excess of 1 Billion pounds worth of property. This is all property which has been miss-sold in one way or another in Spain, Cyprus and other EC countries.
While the idea of owning a holiday home is the dream of so many people, occasionally that dream can turn into a nightmare. Land may have been sold to you that you cannot legally build on. The Habitation License has not been granted. Perhaps your house has not been finished on time or to your specifications and the builders won’t budge?
Maybe the Developer has not banked your deposit in the correct manner and you do not have a Bank Guarantee to protect your money.
You may not have received your Deeds, especially in Northern Cyprus.
The reasons are many and varied, however the main reason was lack of due diligence to start with on your part.
Q: Can these disputes be resolved?
A: Yes in most cases.
Faced with trying to argue your case in a foreign language and trying to negotiate your way through the minefield of an entirely different legal system, it would be easy just to hold your hands up, accept there’s nothing you can do about it and chalk your losses up to experience. Our advice is, Don’t, if you can fight then do not let them get away with it. The Legislation is very clear about the Miss-selling of property. You are protected by EC Law, and the Local Laws in the Country that you have purchased in. My one piece of advice is, avoid Nepotism and Procrastination at all costs. There are a lot of Solicitors abroad who will not prosecute friends, associates, or other Solicitors. Ensure that the person looking after you has your best interests at heart and that they are capable of doing the job.
Our advice is thus: When resolving any dispute abroad start with a UK based firm of experts, someone who specializes in property. Ensure that they have the experience required and have trust in their colleagues abroad, good strong relationships with Lawyers in the Country where your dispute will be dealt with is essential. Or you will go round in circles for ever and a day.
Q: If I have been Miss-sold what do I do?
A: Get in touch.
If you think you’ve been miss-sold a foreign property and have come up against a brick wall in your claims for redress or compensation, call H&G first. We will give you good honest advice free of charge over the telephone, face to face or by email. We specialize in acquisition of International property for private clients and property disputes. H&G has the expertise to help you recover your money with the aid of specialist Legal Consultants, Solicitors and Lawyers experienced and qualified to take the case on.
Q: What makes you successful?
A: We are loyal to our clients, positive, brave and knowledgeable.
We are not afraid to upset people, we are also very persistent. We will happily mediate leave the office in order to mediate a case in order to bring a swift and satisfactory conclusion. We only employ experts in their field, and we can call on several different nationalities at any given time.
Most importantly, we have our clients best interests at heart.
Q: How long does the average case take to resolve?
A: How long is a piece of string?
The quickest case that we have ever resolved was an out of court settlement in one week. This is not the norm; the most important thing is to start the due process in your case, get the thing started!
If your case is running you can’t be time barred by the Statute of Limitations, and believe you me, there is nothing more that the unscrupulous foreign developers and their lawyers like more, that making you run out of time to bring a claim. Once your case has started, there will come to a point in all cases when the case will enter a Courtroom should no settlement be forthcoming via mediation.
In our opinion most EC Judges are very bright people. We have confidence in the legal System, and as such if you have been mis-sold or ripped off, or there has been an obvious Breach of Contract, you will normally get the correct outcome in Court. And if you don’t, you can appeal.
Q: What do your services cost?
A: We will look at your case completely free of charge.
We do not believe in charging for consultations. Once we have come to a sensible conclusion about the case, we charge a fixed fee. We do not believe that hourly rates are conducive to good work practice. The only thing that hourly fees promote is procrastination.
Q: How do I contact you?
A: By Email, Phone, Letter or Walk Through The Door.
If I had a Property Problem I wouldn’t hesitate to call this firm. They were very matter of fact, not at all frightened to make some very strong points about the industry as a whole. There does not seem too be many grey areas here. The flat fee is fair in my opinion and is a much better thing than never ending hourly fees.
Non to speak of, if I must isolate a negative they are blunt, very blunt. H&G do not mince their words; they will not flatter your ego. You will know exactly what you did wrong, where you stand and how the problem needs to be resolved. And if they consider all is lost, they will let you know without charging you a fee. This could also be viewed as a positive I suppose.
Gavin Newsham Editor in chief, Identity UK