Advice & Help & Services Offered

Advice & Help & Services Offered

Advice on Bulgaria

Due to the huge number of problems I have had with builders, court cases, my aborted purchase from Bulgarian Dreams of an apartment in Bansko and as I have lived in Bulgaria and have had much experience with Bulgaria, both good and bad, I am often contacted by people in various circumstances to see if I can help in anyway with advice on Bulgaria. I get many varied queries and will always answer your emails, but cannot guarantee to be able to help. Often I am contacted by people with properties desperate to sell, who never now visit Bulgaria and who just want to cut their losses and run but I am not an agent so cannot really help.

Of course the most common enquiries I get are from people who have seen a property, or even already bought a property on ebay or from an agent and are looking for general advice and help on how the buying process works, what they need to do, whether the house is a good buy, in a good area etc….I am happy to give a general overview and opinion but please remember it is just that – MY opinion and what I like is not necessarily what you like. And if you have already bought a house, its a little late. If you are considering a purchase around the Kazanlak or Stara Zagora area then we are happy to visit for you, take photos, video and report back. We charge diesel costs at 0.40 E/km and then around 50 levs for the actual work depending on travelling time etc. We can also travel to other areas of Bulgaria if costs are covered, including hotel or camping costs.

If you require documents translating or would like someone to help you in Sofia, I have a couple of good friends there that can help. One lady can drive you around Bulgaria, act as translator and help you with what-ever you require doing – maybe organising renovations, finding property owners etc. The other has a young family and cannot leave the city, but is happy to make phone calls on your behalf, translate documents or paperwork into English or into Bulgarian, write letters for you etc. Both only charge a nominal amount for their time. If you would like more help along these lines please let me know.

To give you an idea here are a few of the cases I have been involved with and advice on Bulgaria:

Bulgarian Dreams – Due to my problems with Bulgarian Dreams I used to be contacted on a regular basis by people who found themselves in similar situations (long delays in completion, apparent breaches of contract, planning permission issues etc). I was often asked if there are any options to get out of the contract and get some or all of their money back. As we are now a few years on from the boom and bust of property here, there are less enquiries from people who have invested in off-plan property as that boat has sailed and the developers are long gone with the profits. Now its more a case of off-loading properties they bought for silly money a few years ago and have not used since and can’t rent out.

BulgarianRealEstate .net – A lady contacted me in autumn 2006 who had bought a house for renovation in 2005 and had employed to over see the project and do the work. A quote was given for the full renovation of 15,000 Euro. Delays came about for one reason and another and it was end of May 2006 before work even started on the house. October brought uncertainty, as she was not getting the updates on the house like before, and had problems trying to find out what was being done. She eventually received photos late autumn 2006 only to find that the house was basically in the same state as in May 2006 but now with no windows and concrete had been laid over wooden floors and other problems. On coming over to Bulgaria she discovered the company had spent all the money and the builders had disappeared, leaving a house in a worse state than when they began. Investigations were carried out and lawyers involved but due to costs, the matter was never pursued.

Platinum Developments/Sunset Resort – In around 2003 a number of British and Irish investors put down deposits on a development being built by a Dutch company. This company then went bankrupt and Platinum Developments (PDI) bought them out and offered investors a rescue package. One option was to receive the deposit back and a large number chose this option and signed all paperwork for this (3rd party agreement) and sent back to PDI. However, the signed copies of these documents were not returned to the investors so they have no proper proof of agreement with all signatures on it. The return of the money was delayed for a couple of years, each time saying development had to be complete etc first. They were eventually promised money in June 2007. But then no money arrived and on pushing the issue, investors were told that never any intention to pay it back and they would get nothing. Legal action was started by around 20 investors. The company behind the development had been renamed, changed ownership, changed share holders and so on numerous times. Likely a tax fiddle. All Irish were paid back but not British. The British served notary appeals on Sunset Resort to request their deposit back. A Norwegian paper covered the story. I went to take photographs for the magazine and to report on findings at Sunset Resort.

Cheap-Bulgarian-Properties (Chirpan) – I was contacted by a guy who had seen a house for sale on eBay through this company and had paid a deposit, then come over to see it and had decided to proceed with sale. However, on returning to UK communication with the company stopped and he found out that his company was not yet properly set up and his house not transferred to him, even though he had paid all money for it. I was asked to look into the matter and see what I could find out. I was able to find out personal issues appeared to be reason for no communication but that there were also worrying ways in which the guy had been sold his property. There was eventually some communication but lawyers had to be involved to resolve the matter. A number of other former clients of this company have since come forward and contacted me as they were having trouble getting hold of their company documents, had been left high and dry with tax issues and re-registration of their company and moving the company address and had also discovered they paid rather more for their property than it was really worth. I have now helped a number of former client’s re-register their company and moving their registered company address away from Cheap-Bulgarian-Properties and have dealt with their tax forms. Two other former clients have been in contact with a lawyer in Bulgaria to try and resolve their issues and new property problems are always coming to light from people that have bought from this guy – Stephen or Kevin Brown or Claydon, depending which name he is going by. He did go quiet for a while and various rumours surfaced about his actions and whereabouts. He then popped back up on ebay selling property. A lot of what is in his sales pitch was a complete load of bollocks – for example you do not need a criminal record check to set up a company in Bulgaria, you used to years ago but not any more, there is no way this guy has 4000 happy clients, 40 unhappy clients maybe….certainly does not have several offices, last I heard he had shut down his office in Chirpan and gone into hiding, then all of a sudden he had offices all over the world…..and here’s a good one – BulgarianProperties closed their office in Stara Zagora because they were put out of business by cheap-bulgarian-properties!!! BulgarianProperties office is right in centre of Stara Zagora and still there and listed on their website and I have personally visited it several times…..Voted number 1 agent in area….no such award and if there is, they certainly would never have won it! This guy has threatened me and harrassed me because I helped expose him and mentioned him on here. He has since been taken to court by one buyer and found guilty and told to pay the buyer back the money owed. He is “very well known” in this area for his dodgy dealings.

Search of Notary Registers – I was contacted by someone who had sent money to a Bulgarian colleague to buy land on their behalf. Money and colleague disappeared!. Through notary searches/court searches we discovered the colleague had bought an apartment recently in the city and a plot of land near Gurkovo.

Completion on Apartments/Snagging lists – I arranged for a snagging list to be done on an apartment in Sunny Beach only to find apartment more like renovation project than new build. Advising lady on best option and legal avenues. Numerous enquiries with regard to late completion of apartments, lack of funds to complete due to not being able to resell under contract, get mortgage, rent out etc…

Finding Apartment & Report – In the spring of 2010 I was contacted by a lady who had purchased an off-plan apartment back in 2007/2008. After a long drawn out court case with regard to late completion and specifications of the apartment, she finally got the notary deeds in late summer 2010. She had only visited once in 2008 before completion and as she now wanted to sell, all be it at a large loss, she needed someone to collect the key, go to the apartment and take photos and video. However, it was not that simple. The owner only had a real estate identification number and no actual address or development name. To track down the apartment, we had to contact the local municipality and ask for them to trace it on the cadastral map, track down a relative of the developer (who had gone AWOL) and along with his description and an old Google map, we eventually on the third trip found the block. We photographed and videoed the place for the owner. Unfortuantely the development had not been finished and was abandoned and the key did not fit the door. In the end we offered to buy the apartment from the lady and we took on the risk and issues. She got some money back and had to have nothing more to do with Bulgaria, which was what she wanted.

Sunny Day 6 Progress – I was contacted in the winter of 2011 to see if I could help furnish a studio apartment in Sunny Day 6 that was supposed to have been finished in December 2010, then delayed to April 2011 and then September 2011. We eventually managed to furnish the place in the summer of 2012.

Apartment in Sofia through SelectProperty (Cheshire) – I was contacted by a man who back in 2007 had put down a deposit on an off plan apartment in Sofia, with a long term payment plan. In 2010 the development hit problems and then communication seemed to pretty much stop. We visited the complex he was meant to buy into and ascertained it is now finished and lived in (as is the particular apartment he was meant to buy). The other complex he was offered to swap to is still under construction. The original developer no longer exists. The lawyer who was involved in the case has still not answered our questions or got back to us.

If you have a concern or issue similar please feel free to drop me an email and we can see how I can help and the best way to proceed.