LeaseLegal

Vicky Ford MEP Represents UK French Leaseback Owners

Update  from Vicky Ford’s office, 30 May 2017:

As you are aware, on 6 April Mrs Ford sent a letter to Commissioner Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Consumers, explaining the experience of victims and asking the Commissioner to investigate. Specifically examining the possible infringement on three aspects of EU Directives:

1.            Mis-selling of the properties

2.            Unfair contract terms

3.            The necessity of more communication between Competition and Consumer Authorities across Europe

Commissioner Jourová’s services alerted the relevant national authorities asking them to assess complaints received by property owners. Please see: http://www.vickyford.org/communications/latest-news-from-your-mep/inquiry-into-french-property-scams-launched/887

 

Having been approached by fellow UK owners, UK MEP Vicky Ford has liaised with Irish MEP Brian Hayes and has lent her support to UK owners caught up in the French Leaseback quagmire. She is Chair of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee at the European Parliament.

Vicky has sent a letter to the European Commissioner Vera Jourova requesting a full investigation as to whether the selling of these constituted a violation of EU directives governing consumer law. Commissioner Jourova is Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. She attached also an outline of the issues prepared by Brian Hayes.

As Chair of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee and as Member of the European Parliament for the East of England, I have been contacted by constituents regarding problems they have experienced in relation to lease back properties they have purchased in France, which has caused great distress. They believe they have been treated unfairly by the leaseback companies. I am asking you to investigate whether or not this is in contravention of EU law and what action the Commission intents to take to prevent future occurrences and to make sure consumers are treated fairly.

Vicky refers in her letter to the petition on Change.org (which now has over 1,300 signatories) and requests that the Commissioner Jourova brings an urgency to the investigation. She goes on to describe the mis-selling that owners feel was involved and the EU directives that were referred to by Veronical Manfredi:

  • Mis-selling of the properties, which violates Directive 2009/29/EC on Unfair Business to Consumer Commercial Practices (UCPD)
  • Unfair contract terms, which breaches Directive 93/13/EEC on Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts (UCTD)
  • the necessity for more communication between Competition  and Consumer authorities across Europe, including the French DGCCRF, as stipulated in Regulation (EC) No. 2006/2004 on Consumer Protection Communication (the CPC Regulation)

We welcome Vicky’s support on the issue.

15 thoughts on “Vicky Ford MEP Represents UK French Leaseback Owners

  1. Great to hear that something is beginning to happen for UK owners now too. I am in a Facebook group where there are other owners of French Leasebacks. Is there anything we can do to support this cause apart from sign the petition?

  2. Hi All,
    As an Irish victim of this scam; I notice it refers above to stopping such practices in future do they not intend to do something for the present victims of this fraud such as declaring leaseback agreements invalid and prohibited.

    1. Hi,

      the submission to the CCPC is with the aim of providing consumer protection to those in Ireland that have already purchased. The course of action to be taken next will be determined by the response from the CCPC and their view on whether consumer rights under the specific EU directives have been violated by the way these leasebacks were sold to us.

  3. I and a co-owner in Ireland represent around 80 UK, Irish and worldwide English speakers. We have a closed Facebook group, but I’m happy to give you access if you contact me directly. We really appreciate the support you’re giving to this issue. Most of us feel utterly helpless and infantilised by this situation – but are compelled to continue bailing out the failing management companies, for fear of being pursued by powerful French banks if we default.

    1. Hi Ben,
      as the owner of a French Lease Back scheme in Grasse I’d be interested in joining the Facebook group. Could you tell me the name so I can locate it on FB?

    2. Ben

      Would like to join your Facebook group of affected leaseback owners. We bought in 2006, the leaseback company went bust a month after our build was completed, we had to accept much reduced terms with a mother company, who then sold us on to a further company who stopped paying at all. Two years and a large legal bill later we have been advised that unless we want to pay huge eviction indemnities to the crooked leaseback company we have to renew the lease (at much reduced terms). Oh and the building was never built as per permissions so we are still pursuing the insurance companies to rectify the many issues. What a complete nightmare Franch leaseback is!

  4. There’s a large group of Irish and U.K Owners similarly affected who purchased in a Portuguese Complex- a nightmare that goes on and on.

  5. Irish owners of failing French lease-back resorts have been sent the following, see below.
    From the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) regarding a recent complaint about the French leaseback scheme. The commission is now actively encouraging complainants to fill out a standardised form (attached) – and to do so by August 22nd.
    But this form is only for Ireland residents, is there a form for UK owners which we can use to respond with our complaints if not can one be created?

    1. Hi Mark,

      you could use the CCPC one as template for the CMA also. If the CMA require further details they will get back to you.

  6. I am a UK citizen and have completed the CCPC complaints form. Where do I send this form so that it comes to the attention of the CMA?

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