Hello all.I, along with a couple of neighbours,&

03/25/2011 - 17:30

Hello all.

I, along with a couple of neighbours, agreed to sell our adjoining plots of land to a developer. The contract was agreed and I alone received a 10% deposit from the buyer. After two and a half years the project finally seems to be off and I have received no further payment. Now the other land owners want to try and sell to somebody else but the geometra involved has informed me that I cannot sell my share to anyone other than the original buyer as he had paid this deposit. He informed me that I also have no rights to claim the land back for my own use. I would have thought that after so much time has passed the buyer would have forfeited his deposit and the land would be mine again? Any ideas to convince me that the wool is not been pulled over my eyes? Thanks in advance. indecision




Presumably the contract into which you entered had a 'time clause' compelling the prospective purchaser to finalise the deal within a specified period of time? I've never seen a similar type of contract without a sell by date - have you got a copy of the original contract?

If you signed a compromesso or preliminary contract of sale it must have an amount, a sell by date and be signed by one and all, or it is null.  So you received 10% as caparra or on account?  He had to complete the sale by...... As he has not done so the contract is finished.  Keep your money and get on wiht your life....  Obviously it will be more complicated than this, but your geometra has to be doubted.  There must be a scadenza for a compromesso to be valid.   If he paid you a caparra confirmatoria or an dposit on account muddies the waters a bit, but basically it is as Fillide says.  If you like send me a copy and Ill try and help.

In reply to by Ram

It's good to see you offer to look over the 'contract' - I'm sure you can give good advice. Thinking about this one (as one does) I'm considering whether Iritalia unwisely granted a delega (or a procura) to the geometra allowing the geometra to 'extend' the scadenza. I'm a nice person (!) but people who I really didn't know from Adam granted me the authority to extend (for about two years as it turned out, it was a complicated transaction) the scadenza on a compromesso. This comes back to the arguments I used to have with Charles Joseph (I think you will remember him) - if there is any doubt about 'good faith' just walk away very fast. I get the impression that you are 'solid' and not someone who wants to get involved with avvocati. 

Its possible I guess.  However, I do nothing without a cast iron procura.  A delega really isnt enough - and fewer and fewer notaios would accept one for a compromesso.  Accepting the fact that a compromesso is a promise to sell and not the ability to sell, technically the geometra wouldnt even need a  delega - I mean, I can promise to sell the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but it doesnt mean I can (see films by Totò) - so nowadays you only really sign the compromessi with the person who has the legal right to dispose of the property, either the owner or the procuratore - for me a delega wouldnt cut it, and has no real legal force.. 

Thank you all for your enlightening responses. smiley Unfortunately I do not have a copy of the contract which I assume is still with the geometra. The contract was signed by my procuratore who is now 83 and has aged somewhat recently so I do not feel I can worry him about this now. I think I will try to "mark my territory" so to speak and see what happens. Just to complicate things even more the original buyer, in order to accommodate one of the other vendors, agreed to them having a piece of my land which adjoined their house. Even though the sale was not finalized they have landscaped this piece of land and it is now part of their garden. I suppose they did it in good faith but I will have to talk to them now which will not be a pleasant experience I'm sure. I have a feeling I may never get to the bottom of this as this is Italy but might get a pleasant surprise if some cash ever does come through. I could do with it as said geometra recently handed me another bill for €18.500 which was a bit of a shock as I had already paid him €30.000 after I bought my house. surprise  But that, I'm sure, is another story.......................................................

Well,............ I fear the worst here; in any other country what would you do ? Get your contract, go to the police, get yourself a good solicitor and prepare for a lengthy court case !!  A sad tale ....... S

Basically, I agree with what Sprostoni says; however, try the diplomatic approach first. Talk to all the parties involved to see whether you can find a solution. If negative, see a lawyer. I do not like your geometra. Careful with him! In any case, I wish you good luck and hope that this is not going to spoil all your dreams about the house.

This seems to becoming more and more common, I get fed-up reading and hearing about this sort of thing. The stunts that Italians seem prepared to go to take money off people. Most are Foreigners such as Brits who are trusting of so called "geometra's" and the Like, these geometra's are a registered body who seem to just do as they want. In the Bagni di Lucca area it seems to now be 'Rife'. You should only hand money over to them when you have had a proper itemised list of what the charges are for, this also applies to a lot of tradespeople who also seem to see Foreigners as just 'cash cows'. Be wary and do not trust any of them!!!!!!  

In reply to by Brianm

I have to say that I am very saddened to hear of this, I actually think that it is not a true representation of all that is Italian. In reality, the people in and around the village that we live are probably the friendliest people we have had the pleasure of living with. Having said that, we were quoted 18,000 euros for the conveyancing on the property that we bought by a lovely chap in Amandola, although he did say that he was 'very good' (!!!!!!!)........... I replied using a two word english expression, the second word being 'off' (mi scusa).  But,............... whilst hindsight is great,  this is indeed a sad tale............ Good luck, S

I would do what your new geometra suggests.  Clear the decks with the first, and then move on.  Dont leave things in 'sospeso' or they will come back to haunt you, and then if you want call the Guardia di Finanza and tell them that your geometra offered to save you the IVA on your work - and then he'll get whats coming to come him.... good luck

Well, I had a visit yesterday from my procuratore and his wife who came to deliver a letter for me which was sent to them. He was looking rather tired and slow so I thought best not to burden him with my problems again. But as chance would have it the subject of the geometra bill did come up so I mentioned the land as well. It was like a red rag to a bull and suddenly he was his old animated self again, shouting and waving his arms everywhere. He assured me he would be talking to the geometra, especially about the terreno as he thought the caparra should not be a block as so much time had passed. He also added that all these problems kept him active and alert. Who would have thought? I will keep you posted...........