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Analitic | Property abroad | Tips


Swindlers trap, or how to avoid getting deceived

Indeed, there is quite a number of books that can be written on the problem of swindlers’ crafty schemes with hundreds examples of witnesses. I truly believe that my articles will shed light upon dark spots of the business and will help our countrymen to avoid difficulties with lease or purchase of real estate objects. For, the more real estate market develops, the more “schemers” in search of “easy money” start to appear. That is why it is essentially important to be watchful and thoroughly check the information when getting a proposal of apartment at low price. Who knows, maybe such an advantageous proposal serves only as a cover for an ordinary fraud and you won’t be able to come to your senses until loosing your money. Let me give an example from my own life when couple of years ago I aimed purchasing an apartment. In a newspaper I’ve read out a catching proposal from a well-known agency. I was proposed an apartment for the price lower than the market average, but the fact that this object was proposed by an agency comforted me. In the evening we’ve arrange the attendance of this apartment located near railway station area. It appeared to be a common “Khrushchyovka” at the low price. Having reviewed the apartment together with agency representatives we sat to negotiate with “pseudo owner”. Of course I asked to show the documents for the apartment and the documents of the owner himself for examination. The documents were beyond any questions, besides, the agency representatives “assured me to have reviewed them also”, but the passport of the owner arouse suspicion as the age of the owner didn’t match his appearance. By that moment we’ve already started prepayment negotiations, but my inner voice told me not to hurry and I decided to postpone the meeting for a day. In the morning, after having received the information on the owner from his neighbors, I discovered that the real owner of that apartment was out of the country. And as he was addicted to alcohol his boon companions stole the documents for the apartment, got a reference letter form PHROC about a family status, and wanted to sell his property. They even could sell this apartment twice at one day. Of course, when the owner’s family found out this situation they contacted the police and this criminal group was neutralized.

Let me give some other examples of real estate objects lease schemes, like reletting out on sublease without owner’s consent. This scheme is effective with those owners, who are often on business trips out of city or country and are unable to do apartment’s control monitoring. Coming home the lessor discovers that totally different people live there. The lessees let it out on sublease and set a half year advanced payment. That is why new tenants assert having right to live in the apartment for this term, which is unsuitable for the lessor, because he didn’t get any money for the sublease. And in case of leasing his only apartment he would have nowhere to live. To avoid getting caught into these traps one should conclude a lease contract with a lessee. If it does not contain a point of possible sublease than a lessee has no right to do that. In that case an owner has a right to turn new tenants out of the apartment.

 The other situation is connected with unprivatized apartments. One needs a written consent of family members, who live together with the lessee and of municipal government, whose interests are represented by housing offices. The problem is that an unprivatized apartment could be privatized by tenants. And it isn’t too difficult to forge a document giving this right. That is why it is essential to take care of apartment privatization before letting it to lease. The owner has more rights and less problems as a result.

The issue of property damage of a leased apartment is essential for all the lessors. However one owner does his best to secure himself, and other lets it develop as it might, hoping that his tenants aren’t capable of doing such a harm. But receiving, as a result, broken furniture, sanitaryware and household appliances, unlucky lessor has to give up a tidy sum for repair services and goods replacement.

Be attentive while apartment acceptance process, because in case of breaking a new sofa or TV-set you have a right to claim compensation for its repair, that is why I strongly recommend to determine an advanced payment or a lea. Then after revealing defects, that is broken goods, you will have money for their repair.

More frequent became the incidents when lessees swindle an owner by asking for a couple of months payment delay. But in one or two months they move without paying anything. It becomes impossible to find swindlers even if the owner has written down all their passport data and place of permanent registration, as many people being registered at one place live in another one.

To my mind all the agencies should be more careful and professional in terms of lease and purchase objects, which they propose, thoroughly check documents, passport, etc., to avoid getting deceived.



Yours faithfully,


Sergiy Forest

General director

“Aktiv Plus”

(real estate agency)