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Thegonnec
Thegonnec, Industrial Tribunal Judge
Category: European Law
Satisfied Customers: 1412
Experience:  11 years experience as a judge with Paris Industrial Tribunal
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abuse of trust by our French agency

Customer Question

Living in England with a house in France , we trusted our agency to carry out some light renovation work on our French house in order to make it better presentable for selling it . We sent our payment straight away to the agency when they told us the work had been completely done( just under 3000euros). When the house sold at a much lower price ( we were told on the phone by the agent we were lucky, and we had to sign on line ,a 10 000euros commission for his contribution! ) we went to France ...and discovered that the work we had payed for had partly NOT been done partly done in a way which was positively unacceptable , as a 3years old child would do it..... In any case it certainly was a detriment to the house presentation we had paid for .we took photographs of this ,{ the agreed with us}. and complained to the company. They admitted some of the work had not been done and refunding about 630euros, but said all the rest had ...and refused to admit any grossly substandard work. When I sent our photos , their answer was to produce new ones of the work they had since redone for the benefit of our house purchasers ! saying it was NOW done!...What can we do and what channel to follow? and is there a consumer law in France to use for this 1) abuse of trust 2) obvious mockery of evidence ....now that our house is sold at a lower price / and that we have payed for work which no one would accept as such ...+ some was not done at all...all this on trust. The notaire says that the fees of a French lawyer would be too high to make it worth pursuing them ..but that they would deserve it! Thank you for your help.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: European Law
Expert:  Thegonnec replied 3 years ago.
Hello,
I am afraid the notaire is exactly right. Obviously the agency abused your trust. You would most likely only add legal costs to your loss.
You have no admissible way to prove the abuse of trust in a court of law. Unless you had a huissier de justice (bailiff) assess the state of the house when you discover the work had not been done correctly, or not done at all.
To see if there is really any avenue to pursue this matter in court one would need to see the contract or work-order you signed with the agency regarding this renovation work. See how detailed it was how you delegated this renovation work to them.
The real trouble is that you cannot sue them for having you accept a lower selling price your house as they did not force you to do so and you were free to accept the proposal, or not.
Basically, what you could possibly obtain is a refund for the work not carried out provided all that was to be done was correctly itemized in the contract and the court has means to assess that it exceeds the 630 euros already refunded.
Thegonnec and other European Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello


OK I see that there is no Justice in this case ...so even my photos of the non-work would not be enough? and witnesses ( neighbours , brocanteurs ...even the agent who sold the house (working for them )admitted with embarrassment that <the work would be done next week ..>[..after house sold at lower price+ we had payed for all the work a year ago !]...all this does not count?


Isn't there a WATCH DoG agency abroad for this type of cases ? is it possible to at least SHAME them?


 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

01 July 2014 07:06 EST




Hello




OK I see that there is no Justice in this case ...so even my photos of the non-work would not be enough? and witnesses ( neighbours , brocanteurs ...even the agent who sold the house (working for them )admitted with embarrassment that <the work would be done next week ..>[..after house sold at lower price+ we had payed for all the work a year ago !]...all this does not count?




Isn't there a WATCH DoG agency abroad for this type of cases ? is it possible to at least SHAME them?


Expert:  Thegonnec replied 3 years ago.
I cannot say that that this will not count but you would have to have witnesses testify officially and be submitting to cross examination by the other party and... very few witnesses remember when asked to go through these proceedings.
Then you would have to mandate an expertise to ascertain that the house would have sold at a higher price had the work been done, which will add to your legal costs. With a rather slim chance of recovering this.
To shame them, you need to be able to prove (as detailed above) in a court of law what happened. Otherwise you risk being sued for libel. And in this case would have a high probability of paying them rather hefty damages.
If the agency is a member of FNAIM, you may complain to them though. It will bring you no financial compensation but agencies hate being reported to FNAIM...