BRITISH BUILDERS

For discussion, news, comments, questions and information about Crete & Greece.
Kilkis
Posts: 12760
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Postby Kilkis » Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:30 am

Agreed, John. I was commenting in the context of the exchange between Satcure, Jean and myself.

I am aware of a builder in the Agios Nikolaos area who behaved in a similar way to the one up West, although it isn't necessarily the one referred to in the original post. I don't think he managed to rip off as many people as the one near Chania but his methods were similar and included not finishing properties and not paying IKA even though he had been paid to do so. Again people had to pay again to complete the property and pay the IKA before they had the home they had paid for. I also know of other builders, both British and Greek, who have behaved in a similar way. In one case possibly on a bigger scale than the one who got shot.

While my comments don't relate directly to the original post I think they are a reasonable response to LittleJohn's post. The activity of these builders as a group have a huge negative impact on ordinary people's lives and so isn't "just a matter between the builder and the tax man".

Warwick

LittleJohn
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:36 pm
Location: Belfast

British Builders

Postby LittleJohn » Sun Apr 06, 2014 12:13 pm

In response to Warwicks post, I have no doubt that there are many British and Greek builders who make a very comfortable living ripping off customers. I myself had major problems with my builder who is a very well known and reputable Greek company (my house is still in need of repair for which I am having to foot the bill). My point, that Mr Evans doesn't know whether this builder is or isn't paying his taxes, and it seems to be a very dangerous thing to accuse him of without proof. If he isn't then surely its up to the Greek tax office to pursue, not this forum to make assumptions.

Carolina
Site Admin
Posts: 3269
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: Chania, Crete
Contact:

Re: British Builders

Postby Carolina » Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:19 pm

LittleJohn wrote: My point, that Mr Evans doesn't know whether this builder is or isn't paying his taxes, and it seems to be a very dangerous thing to accuse him of without proof. If he isn't then surely its up to the Greek tax office to pursue, not this forum to make assumptions.


As Warwick stated, the activity of some of these builders as a group have a huge negative impact on ordinary people's lives and so isn't "just a matter between the builder and the tax man".

If a builder is not registered here the only come back someone may have for being ripped-off, faulty work or whatever, is to report them to the tax office.

Also note that mr evans, in his posts, has not named anyone.

john4d
Posts: 503
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 5:13 pm
Location: Near Vamos

Postby john4d » Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:31 pm

LittleJohn wrote quite correctly that it is not this forums business if a builder is or is not paying 'his taxes' ie income tax or company tax, as none of us know if any company we deal with is paying it's taxes. Warwicks response was specifically about IKA, which is a tax paid by the property owner for the labour content of any work done on the property. Reputable builders charge the buyer this IKA tax and pay it to the tax authorities on behalf of the buyer. Disreputable builders charge the buyer the IKA tax and do not pay it to the tax authority. The buyer is still liable for IKA and so has to pay it directly, therefore paying it twice. So both LittleJohn and Kilkis are correct.

Incidentally a scam not yet mentioned, but practised by at least two West island 'builders', including the one who was shot, is to order materials from the supplier but to have the invoice made out to their client. When the builder fails to pay the supplier, the supplier then successfully takes the builders client to court to recover the debt. Another case of the client paying twice. In both cases the 'builder' was English.
There's no such thing as a bad taste joke

Kilkis
Posts: 12760
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Postby Kilkis » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:15 am

I would argue that it is all our concerns if somebody is avoiding paying taxes of whatever sort. The government sets out a budget of what it is going to spend and what it is going to receive in taxes. Every Euro it fails to collect from one group of people is an extra Euro it needs to collect from the rest who do pay, i.e. me and everybody like me. Having extra money taken from me is very much my concern. It's called theft.

The vast majority of businesses I deal with do give receipts and hence are probably paying their taxes. There are a very tiny number who do not. In every case I can think of they are more or less one man bands who are struggling to survive at least in part because the government is screwing them to make up its shortfall. They are good people who offer excellent service at a very reasonable price*. In those cases I make a judgement call that I don't care. It is economic madness to have inspectors trying to find people who are underpaying a few Euro when the same amount of effort could catch somebody who is not paying millions.

Warwick

* I am not talking about the issue of being offered something without a receipt for a reduced price. These are people who offer a fixed service at a fixed price and who simply don't ring it up on the till.

bobscott
Posts: 2915
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:36 pm
Location: Kokkino Horio

Postby bobscott » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:12 am

Kilkis wrote:
The vast majority of businesses I deal with do give receipts and hence are probably paying their taxes. There are a very tiny number who do not. In every case I can think of they are more or less one man bands who are struggling to survive at least in part because the government is screwing them to make up its shortfall. They are good people who offer excellent service at a very reasonable price*. In those cases I make a judgement call that I don't care. It is economic madness to have inspectors trying to find people who are underpaying a few Euro when the same amount of effort could catch somebody who is not paying millions.

Warwick

* I am not talking about the issue of being offered something without a receipt for a reduced price. These are people who offer a fixed service at a fixed price and who simply don't ring it up on the till.


Spot on Warwick. Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

bettyboo
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:48 am

BRITISH BUILDERS

Postby bettyboo » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:32 am

Its a shame that a couple of bad apples could spoil the reputation of some genuine Brits who are proper tradesmen and do good work. The disreputable ones seem to be those that weren't builders in the UK but decide on the plane on the way over that building is the way to go for them.

I've heard of lot of cases this area (east) of customers giving money to a `builder` for IKA and it is not paid and the customer has to pay twice. Surely this is fraud?..how and why do people get away with it, the authorities must be aware this happens and if a customer says the money was paid to the builder for IKA why can't the authorities start looking into the builders activities? Its a scandal that it is allowed to happen and you aren't talking small amounts of money in many cases either.

I've heard of the scam mentioned in earlier post of the `builder` taking money for materials but not paying for them, keeping the cash and the customers name is on the invoice, gets chased up and ends up paying twice although I think this happens less now as suppliers are demanding payment when the goods are bought.

I've also heard of builders using the tax number of people that aren't the customer and they get chased up for a bill that has nothing to do with them. Tax number fraud surely?...if there is such a thing. These `builders ` do it because they know they can get away with it , nothing seems to be done or if legal action is taken it takes years.

Ann McCallum
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:46 pm
Location: Agia

Postby Ann McCallum » Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:40 pm

wow! i didnt know all of this. money truly is the root of all evil. sigh.

my other thoughts are wow, i am surprised that someone would come to another country and do illegal business. it is one thing to do it in your own country (doesnt make it right) but to go to another country, i would be afraid of how the locals would receive that. i remember years ago when i was a tourist in hania, there was a young tourist girl who called a young greek man a 'malaka', he threw her in the harbour! that was when i learn keep your nose clean when on someone elses turf. lol!

YoMo2
Posts: 1274
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:07 am
Location: Milatos, Lasithi

Postby YoMo2 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:21 pm

A couple of posts have referred to customers having to pay twice for materials because their name was on the invoice, even though they had paid the builder.

This is not necessarily the case. I know of a couple of situations where the case went to court and the customer was judged not liable. It basically depends on whether you can prove that your payments to the builder included sums for the materials in question. (Usually this would be where you have a tightly drawn up contract for the work).

I know Greek justice is flaky, but it's not always as bad as is made out.

Andrew

evansmr1
Posts: 347
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:00 pm
Location: Pirgos, Kalo Horio,

Postby evansmr1 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:49 am

This is not necessarily the case. I know of a couple of situations where the case went to court and the customer was judged not liable. It basically depends on whether you can prove that your payments to the builder included sums for the materials in question. (Usually this would be where you have a tightly drawn up contract for the work).


Reading this, I wish I had gone to Court for non payment of a bill. My Builder did not pay the Cement company. The Bill was in my name. Not wishing to start my retirement life being dragged through the courts I paid the bill,1,500 euros. Fool that I was.

I also paid the IKA bill, but do not think that the Builder charged me IKA.

As has already been pointed out, a few bring shame to many. I have since found some very reliable British Tradesmen & Women. But they do get tarred with the same brush.
Mike
=============
Sic parvis magnaike

Kilkis
Posts: 12760
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Postby Kilkis » Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:21 am

evansmr1 wrote:...Fool that I was...


I wouldn't say that you acted foolishly. For a bill of €1,500 I would have paid up as well. While YoMo2s statement that, "This is not necessarily the case" is true and you might have won if you had taken it to court it is also true that you might have "lost" in the broadest sense of the word.

1 Cases have been known to drag on for years, even up to a decade. Do you want to spend such a large part of your remaining life fighting a case for that length of time?

2 There is no guarantee that you would win however justified you believe the case to be. I understand that there was one couple who paid the infamous west end developer in-full, up-front for a house and got nothing. They went to court and lost. I don't know on what grounds they lost but courts don't always do what you expect.

3 Even if you win there is no guarantee that would get any money out of the builder. He probably has all his assets held in someone else's name. I know people who won court cases but never received a penny. Even when bailiffs were sent in there was nothing that they could identify that belonged to the offender with 100 % certainty so there was nothing they could take.

4 Your legal costs might have been more than €1,500 and even if you win there is no guarantee that costs would be awarded to you.

5 The builder might counter sue you for an even bigger amount on some trumped up action on your part. The fact that it is trumped up doesn't necessarily make it easy to defend and could escalate the legal costs even more.

Personally I would avoid court action more than I would avoid an open plague pit anywhere in the world. In Primal Fear, hot shot lawyer Martin Vail, played by Richard Gere relates two quotes his law professor had told him on his first day at law school. The second was, ""If you want justice, go to a whorehouse. If you wanna get f*&#@%d, go to court." Works for me.

Warwick

YoMo2
Posts: 1274
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:07 am
Location: Milatos, Lasithi

Postby YoMo2 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:01 am

Most of what you say is quite true, Warwick. And as I said, it does all depend on the circumstances. Of course, in the context of being asked to pay a bill you reckon you do not owe, the length of time involved works in your favour. The longer it takes to get to court, the better!

Andrew


Return to “General Discussion & News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 61 guests