LeaseLegalNews

DGCCRF to complete investigation by end 2019 – UPDATE

10th Jan 2020 – Update from CMA:

The CMA in UK have indicated to owners that they are due to have a teleconference with the DGCCRF and their Irish counterparts (CCPC). It seems the DGCCRF investigation has not yet concluded…

8th Jan 2020 – Update from CCPC:

Please be advised that the CCPC is waiting on a communication from DGCCRF in relation to their investigation of the issues experienced by Irish property purchasers.  As soon as DGCCRF provide the CCPC with a communication for Irish complainants, the CCPC will advise complainants accordingly. 

Mairead McGuinness, Irish MEP and VP of the European Parliament, requested an update on the investigation of consumer complaints from the DGCCRF in France. These complaints are from Irish and UK citizens and relate to consumer issues, potential fraud, and possible breaches of EU Consumer directives, and were received  by the DGCCRF in France from end 2017 from the CCPC (Ireland) and CMA (UK).

The DGCCRF replied to say that they expect the investigation to be complete by end 2019. Given that they likely close shortly for Christmas, it would seem the investigation should have now reached a conclusion. See below for the response from Virginie Beaumeunier, La Directrice of the DGCCRF to Ms McGuinness:

I am pleased to confirm that the DGCCRF is currently investigating on several
undertakings which are related to the complaints lodged by Irish and British
investors.
This investigation is due to be completed by the end of this year. Should it establish
any breach of law, the DGCCRF would then draft a statement (“procès-verbal”)
and send it to the Public Prosecutor’s office (“Procureur de la République”), in order
for the latter to decide in light of such statement, whether a case ought to be brought
before a criminal court.
Please note that we are very regularly in contact with the Irish authorities, i.e the
CCPC, and will keep them informed of the follow-up of this investigation.

There was no reference to the fact that one of the substantive complaints related to the ‘hidden term’ in the lease contract presented to consumers whereby the contract in fact goes on forever (unless significant eviction compensation is paid). Such hidden terms would seem to be a breach EU Consumer Directives. And this contract is the only type allowed by the French authorities for the tax incentive. Note also that the DGCCRF is part of the same Department of Economy and Finance as those who created this tax incentive to begin with.

But I don’t suppose they will be instigating a criminal investigation in to themselves…

Meanwhile re-possession proceedings continue for many owners caught up in this kafkaesque situation.

We’re waiting on a response from the CCPC.

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