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Anyone with knowledge of french property/insurance law? Serious problem

(13 Posts)
TheSquatLobster Tue 12-Dec-17 22:28:56

Desperately need advice and don't know where to turn. If anyone can give me any pointers I'd be grateful.
I lived in France for several years, moved back to UK for family reasons a couple of years ago but kept my house and let it out.
I discovered recently that my next door neighbour has since knocked through a gateway in a wall that runs from the back of my house to the back of his. (houses used to be connected by another building, which was demolished years ago, except this back wall). Now I have found a huge crack down my gable end wall.
I advised my insurance company & opened a claim against my neighbour. Also told them what I was doing.
I had a reply from the neighbour saying they simply rebuilt the wall after it was blown down in gales - completely untrue - and denying all liability.
Then I was told by insurance company that I'm not covered by protection juridique as my house was let.
Insurance company is a sister company of my bank, and insurance was set up through my conseiller at the bank. Before I let the house I advised bank in writing what I was going to do, and I have a new insurance contract running from that date. I specifically asked for legal cover for the house being let, and was assured that it was, but this was only by phone and I don't think I have any documentary evidence.
I haven't been working over the last year due to mental health problems. I don't own any property in the UK and have been living off savings which are almost gone so I have no money for legal bills. Can anybody advise? Am trying not to panic but just don't know what to do next.Thanks for reading.

lifeisunjust Tue 12-Dec-17 23:53:49

Read your policy.

Mistigri Wed 13-Dec-17 07:38:12

Yes, start by reading your policy. I think unfortunately if you are not covered, it will be difficult to force the bank's hand, especially from a distance.

If you were in France I would recommend a meeting at the bank, and a visit to the Mairie to find out about free legal advice sessions (which are available in many areas) and also whether your neighbour violated any planning laws.

If your written French is up to it, check out the "net iris" legal forums which are very good.

TheSquatLobster Wed 13-Dec-17 13:00:24

I did read my policy, when I took it out. I queried it because it gave no specific info either way on the protection juridique. Thanks Mistigri, I am going out there as soon as I can. Was planning on visiting the Mairie to check planning permission but will ask about legal advice there too

TheSquatLobster Wed 13-Dec-17 13:01:48

I'll check out net iris too, thanks

lifeisunjust Wed 13-Dec-17 17:59:42

IF it did not mention protection juridique, then you surely don't have it?

TheSquatLobster Wed 13-Dec-17 22:15:46

It says I have PJ.
When I was about to let the house I asked for new cover and specifically asked for PJ. I was assured I had it.
I'm now told the PJ doesn't apply as I let the house.

lifeisunjust Thu 14-Dec-17 00:00:10

What does it say about PJ in the contract if you rent a house?
What does French law say?

clearsommespace Thu 14-Dec-17 20:59:43

Is your house let furnished or unfinished?
Do you have a PNO policy (proprietaire non occupant) or a MRH policy (multirisque habitation)?

clearsommespace Thu 14-Dec-17 21:22:07

Just to clarify: the policy schedule (dispositions particulières or conditions particulières) state you have option PJ.
The PJ is not a separate contract with it's own reference no.?

TheSquatLobster Fri 15-Dec-17 22:33:07

lifeisunjust If it had said anything about letting affecting the pj I would have queried it at the time. I asked all the right questions and I was given all the right answers.
I don't know what french law says. That's why I'm asking for help here. Can you tell me?
clearsommespace Thank you for your pm. It's let unfurnished. I have a PNO policy. Yes, the contract says I have option PJ.
Having now stopped panicking a little, I've looked through all my documentation and I have clear evidence that I changed my policy because I was about to let the house. If I am really not covered, then the error was made between the bank conseiller and the insurance company.As a first step I am organising a meeting asap to put this to them.
And in the meantime I guess I'll have to pursue my neighbour separately. I will visit the Mairie as soon as I get back, to see if I qualify for any legal assistance.

clearsommespace Sat 16-Dec-17 05:55:31

If you have a PNO policy and your schedule states you have PJ then I don't know what other cover you could be expected to take. It would be odd if a PNO policy option excluded letting seeing as PNO policies are designed for Landlords.

Remains to be seen whether the problem you have would be covered by PJ but that would be for the legal team to decide once a claim was put in.

I was wondering if you perhaps had PJ vie privee which has different levels of cover so if you are a landlord you need 'option bailleur'. But that isn't the case.

TheSquatLobster Sat 16-Dec-17 12:13:59

If you have a PNO policy and your schedule states you have PJ then I don't know what other cover you could be expected to take. It would be odd if a PNO policy option excluded letting seeing as PNO policies are designed for Landlords.

Thanks for confirming this clear, you have reassured me. It's what I was told at the time, but I was beginning to doubt myself. My french is good for everyday use but the nuances of legalese are lost on me, so I take what I'm told at face value. (Same could be said of english legalese too, of course!)

Just got to get my big girl pants on now, and start to fight my corner!

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