Posts Tagged ‘french law’

15th May
written by bob

From a couple of posts ago, we have a good news UPDATE!

On 05MAY the painters arrived to correct the lead issues with the old paint in the apartment.  Basically, all they need to do is sand down the areas where the lead levels are excessive and then re-paint those areas.  Initially we were told that we could move all of our stuff into the apartment and the painters would just work around them.  That did not sound like a great idea and we opted not to move things in, for a couple of reasons:

  1. We were afraid that the painter would not take the proper care to protect our things.
  2. We sent a registered letter from the lawyer stating that we would like all of our rent money back on the basis that the apartment is uninhabitable since we signed the lease on 15FEB.

The electrician also came 05MAY to correct a few faults in wiring; the important one being the ‘tester’ switch on the electrical panel box.  Definitely, not a good thing to have that broken but at least it’s fixed now!

The week of 02MAY-06MAY, Katherine was back in Los Angeles taking care of obtaining French visas for her and Guilliana.  We were informed that the painters would be finished by next Friday, 12MAY, so great – no problem!  Even though I was back in Los Angeles that week, it was news we were glad to hear.  On 13MAY the lead inspector was to re-test all newly painted areas to be sure they passed the audit inspection.

On Friday 13 May we were given a verbal “OKAY” that everything was good and we could proceed to have all of our stuff moved in on 16MAY.  On Saturday, 14MAY, we were informed that the painters were not quite finished and that they only needed to finish the 16ft shutters (all 8 pairs).  Also, cleaners were scheduled to show up on Saturday and professionally clean the entire apartment since there was lead dust everywhere in the place!

Well, since the painters were not finished the cleaners decided that there was no way they could clean the place with them there.  The abruptly packed their supplies back up and left.  Our relocation company called us to inform us of these events and that the place may not get cleaned until Monday.  Ummmm, well…that can’t happen and the place NEEDED to be cleaned prior to Monday since this past Friday was the last chance to re-schedule the delivery of our furniture and things for another day.  The relocation company was able to get a hold of the cleaners and have them guarantee that they would show up Sunday to clean the entire apartment.  At 9am this morning we walked up to the apartment to check on it and see how the cleaning was going.  The cleaners were still there and had all the heavy duty cleaning equipment with them.  That put us at easy to see that it was REALLY being professionally cleaned. 

The painters finished “officially” on Saturday. We dropped in on the apartment later that afternoon to check on the job the painters had done. For the most part, they did a pretty good job however we had a couple of things in the apartment that we had purchased secondhand; a white chair/ottoman and a rug. Remember, the concerns we mentioned above? Well…we are soooo glad we didn’t move things in. With 2 items in the entire apartment, our chair/ottoman padding is no longer white. They have some nice big black dust stains on them now! How nice! Oh…and our rug (black, red, grey, yellow) – yeah, there’s white paint on it! UMMMM SERIOUSLY? They covered the floors to make sure paint didn’t get on that BUT couldn’t cover the 2 things of our in the apartment!

Well, the movers are coming tomorrow, 16MAY, to deliver all of our stuff FINALLY!  Well, at least that is the plan so we’ll see if everything pans out.

Katherine and I will be at the apartment tomorrow to meet the movers at 9am.  We are hopeful that France will finally start feeling like home.


Keep your fingers crossed!

28th April
written by bob

We arrived in Nice, France on 03MAR. Over the past six weeks, we have seen, walked to, & visited some really neat places here in Antibes and the area surrounding as well; Nice, Sophia, Valbonne, & Cannes. You get the picture. All-in-all our experience here thus far has been incredible! The French culture is very different than what we find in the US; and obviously, there’s the good along with the not-so-good.

So…we were supposed to move into our apartment on 31MAR that we have been paying rent on since 15FEB. Well…we have moved twice since 31MAR but not to our apartment, at least not yet. You see…we did a lot of research on France prior to coming here to help figure out what to expect and what things were going to be like. We researched French laws – auto, housing, etc and discovered a lot of things that were different than the US. On that same note, thankfully we DID do our research prior to coming. Let us tell you why.

We didn’t have any trouble renting an apartment although finding one that 1) we liked, 2) was big enough for our things, and 3) a decent location was the challenge there. We found a great place; built in the early 1900’s – a classic French place – right near Center Ville in Antibes that is about 1500 sq ft (155 m sq). It was prefect…or so we thought. The company that we now work for hired a relocation company to help us find a place as a standard part of the package. Our relocation agent has been EXCEPTIONAL for us, both professionally and personally. The lease was effective 15FEB and a walkthrough was scheduled for the day after we arrived.

Preface: About 15 years ago, France made it a law that an owner had to disclose the lead levels in paint if a place was built prior to 1949. Well, our place qualified for this disclosure. On 08MAR we contacted our relocation specialist and asked where the lead report required by law was in our rental contract, as we did not see it. She contacted the Property Management company, Square Habitat, and asked where the report was. By 15MAR she had yet to receive a confirmation/reply of this email lead inquisition and sent an email quoting the French articles of law that state the requirements for the lead report. Subsequently, we made an appointment to see the Square Habitat agent for 17MAR and she said that she had the report available. Hmmm, really…all of a sudden now you have it but you can’t send it via email?

On 17MAR the PM agent produced a lead report from 2008 and told us that the report was valid for 6 years. The report had been photocopied multiple times so was very difficult to read; also the first page was not included. Our relocation specialist took the report and contacted the audit company directly in order to get a better understanding of what the findings actually meant for us. Upon hearing back from the audit company on 24MAR, our relocation specialist was informed that the reports are only valid for ONE YEAR and the report on our apartment had expired in January 2009. She informed the Square Habitat agent that a new lead report must be done immediately. On 29MAR the audit company returned to do the lead evaluation and completed his inspection by 31MAR.

On 07APR we received a copy of the lead report directly from the audit company that carried out the inspection. Over 30% of the apartment has high concentrations of highly degraded, high concentration lead paint, a “level 3”indication in the report. According to the report, the landlord must, by law, repair the areas of the apartment that are of this level. As of 08APR the Square Habitat agent claimed that she had not yet received the report. As of 11APR, Square Habitat had not yet returned any calls or emails on the matter. Our relocation specialist forwarded her the report to ensure that she indeed had it in hand. As of 13APR we had yet to receive a response from Square Habitat on what they intend to do to repair this issue and when. Our relocation specialist has contacted the agent’s superior to inform Square Habitat that we are going to engage lawyers to solve this problem due to the lack of communication from them. The threat of litigation seemed to have sparked a fire under Square Habitat’s ass as they responded almost immediately. We were told on 19APR that the painter would be finished with the apartment by the end of the week 22APR.

It’s now the evening of the 28APR and we have yet to hear about what the timeline is for repairs to our apartment. We have not heard anything; nada, nothing, zilch! One saving grace is that the lawyer’s of our company are involved and monitoring the situation. We’ll see what happens tomorrow but I can’t say that I would be surprised if this is resolved by the end of May. You heard it here first. Stay tuned…

Au revior!