Saturday, 29 March 2014

Man on the Ground = A Rat up a Drain Pipe

Before local friends came to our rescue.
Thank you to those of you who have contacted me for an update about the situation with our house in France. 

The renovations to My French Folly have been a farce. My Man on the Ground, an Englishman, and his "company" resemble something from a slap stick Laurel and Hardy movie, instead of the slick professional crew that they claim to be. Unfortunately I'm not laughing.

It appears that this husband and wife team exploit the fact that many overseas buyers of property in France aren't on site, can't effectively speak the language or don't understand the French building rules and regulations. Their ability to look clients in the eye and repeatedly lie without flinching, is deserving of an Academy Award. 

Embarrassingly, I am one of many people who have been taken for a ride.  After the damage was done to My French Folly at the hands of this charlatan and his wife, I read that he was taken to court, but suffered no loss for his wrong doings, as the rogue had arranged his finances so he was penniless.  Despite the court proceedings, inexplicably in a country renowned for its officialdom, this English couple are still running the same business,  flouting the law and managing to scramble up the proverbial drainpipe with well orchestrated, emotive excuses when their clients become suspicious. 
Work is now in progress. Mr R is making our 
shutters and a French stonemason (one of our 
local guardian angels) has commenced 
repairing the stone work. The new external 
stairs were a welcomed surprise when we 
arrived last summer. 
Since our renovation debacle, I have learnt a lot about siret numbers, the French building system and French law -   and my language skills relating to renovation and legal matters have improved quickly.
Stairs being rebuilt last year by one of our friends - a true French artisan.

With generous support  from the local community, we are now working with talented French artisans to rectify the myriad of problems à ma maison,  albeit slowly. 
There has been a temporary lull in my quest to make this couple of scoundrels accountable for their actions due to the unfortunate events of 2013, but the chase is not over………..

6 comments: said...

Oh dear, that does not sound very good! We have a house in France (not far from Azay-le -Rideau) and only employed people from the village or the surrounding areas. They mistrust workers coming over to do THEIR job. Our house is not in a prosperous part of France and people were happy of the employment and we are very much part of their village life now.
I wish all the best with your house , it looks like a big project!

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family said...

OMGoodness, Elizabeth!
Your French Folly is amazing!
I am completely captured this Folly tale, with the exception of that terrible English "con" couple! I don't know how people like that sleep at night.
I am so happy to hear that they have been replaced with the artisan and tradesman angels in the village!
Take care!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Keep the faith. Rest easy that God will take care of the English rat. Praises that you have received not only a guardian angel but someone who could become a life long friend.

That's Not My Age said...

Oh blimey sounds like a complete nightmare but at least your local community have helped out and now you've found some proper experts. The French Folly looks fantastic!

Martina said...

Oh my, i wish you all the best - and that with all the loveliness of april, chaos will settle into harmony! Higs from germany!

Josephine Chicatanyage said...

I do sympathise French law can be very strange. i am glad you have found some good "artisans" to fix the problems. I think this is why we chose a sort of new build (a converted gendarmerie) they have keep the look and feel of the original building and it has a 10 yr build guarantee. However we do have problems and I am sure the finish of yours will be much better than ours60 once it is completed.