Q: I’ve discovered that my property is being rented out to other people for their holidays without my knowledge. What should I do?
A: The approach you can take would likely depend on whether there is a letting and management contract in place between you (as the owner of the property) and the developer (or a party related to the developer, etc - for short we refer below to all such as the developer). In some such cases, the developer has the right to rent the property out.
If there were such a contract, and it entitles the developer to act as a lettings agent, then you should look to the contract to claim the rental income back from the developer: as an owner you would generally be entitled to it by default. If you would like letting without your prior consent to stop, then you need to request and negotiate an amendment of the contract in this sense.
Where a developer, etc, has no contractual right to let your property or the occupants have not been let in by such a letting agent acting on your authority, you should give notice to the occupants to vacate the property and we can advise further on the mechanism involved. In case any occupiers fail to comply, you may apply to a court to evict them and claim compensation from them via the court for the unlawful use of your property.
An ~€1M claim on behalf of real estate consultants
NBLO’s dispute resolution lawyers represented UK-based real estate consultants who had structured a € 40-million-worth commercial property project on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. In breach of an applicable contractual obligation, the consultants had not been paid the agreed success fees for their services. The then director of the defaulting party had been tragically shot dead in the meantime.
Following a hotly contested first instance, with below-the-belt attempts by the other side (the least untypical perhaps being the claim that the contract had been a forgery and a trial-within-a-trial on the issue), our team succeeded in obtaining a judgment at first instance. The parties were then able to achieve a significant settlement.
The key skills we were able to bring to bear in providing a solution included searching for solutions across the problem domain; appropriately involving representatives of Bulgaria’s EU partner member-states to buttress judicial independence; and resourcefully dealing with heterodox approaches by our judicial opponents.
© New Balkans Law Office 2017