Flying Sporran Consumer Enquiry
April 27 2012
I guess it’s never too much to issue another warning but it’s too late for Jim King who essentially got ripped off on a house sale in Buri Ram.
Actually this is quite interesting for a couple of reasons. For a start it's off the well worn beaten track.
But, as we all know many foreigners have been buying up properties for their Thai wives in Isaan for years.
Personally if I bought property up there for my wife and girlfriend I would not expect to see any return. (In fact for all I know I may already have bought a little pied a terre somewhere up there).
But sometimes couples break up amicably and luckily for the foreigner they agree to sell up and split fifty fifty. That was the case with Jim King (above right) and his girlfriend.
So they contacted Buri Ram’s one and only British run estate agents where they met Welshman Hywel Williams (left), fresh in from dealing in property on Koh Samui.
Now personally the idea of an estate agents office in Buri Ram is a great one.
Here hopefully one could get due diligence done to avoid those situations where the house one is buying for one’s true love is not actually already owned by one’s true love or family.
In fact the announcement of this new venture was made on Thai Visa along with a recommendation – from the guy who did the very basic website.
Anyway Hywel soon had a buyer for Jim and the price was agreed at 2 million baht.
The buyer, a rather rough cut Brit called Barry Stones apparently (right), had ‘loadsamoney’ and, said Hywel, it would be a very straightforward sale.
Stones and his Thai wife had visited the house, seen the chanote, and agreed to buy. So off they trotted to the land office to complete the deal.
Up until now there had been no paperwork for Jim. He was taking Hywel at his word.
Then suddenly Stones and his wife announced that the size of the land was not what Hywel described it to be. They insisted on withholding 500,000 baht against a survey.
Well of course the money never came, and Stones’ wife has been boasting to the neighbours in Banhusapan, Lam Plai Mat, about what a good deal she had got, according to emails Jim has been receiving from old friends in the village.
And Jim, who paid for the survey, has not even been told the results.
Meanwhile the much empowered Mrs. Stones has announced they had more cash to buy more houses.
Not surprisingly Jim King is upset. He had left everything to Hywel Williams and feels he has been shafted. That's why he called the 'Flying Sporran'
When he asked Williams to recoup his 500,000 baht, Williams, he said, had replied that he should do it himself as he had been physically assaulted by Stones the last time he asked – and had witnesses to the incident.
Jim King has sent numerous emails to Hywel Williams but has received no answers to most of his questions. He also wanted to know what the business relationship was between Williams and Stones as Williams had announced he had done several deals before with Stones and hence could confirm that he was a genuine buyer.
Jim King wants to know how Williams represented his property to Stones, and more to the point why he did not support his client.
As the new owner Barry Stones' wife elected to answer 'Flying Sporran' on his behalf. I think a fair translation of her remarks would be that Jim could take a running jump.
FS tried to contact Williams with great difficulty. Eventually Williams however did email to say:
“Every other customer without exception are (sic) fully satisfied with our professional services. With some of your questions we would have to break client confidentiality which we cannot and will not do.
“Please ensure you have the full and correct facts with regard to Jim's situation as our lawyers will take action.”
And at that I have to sadly tell Jim that the sugar cane has entered the elephants mouth.
So here’s the deal. If you are doing deals like this without a lawyer, or even with one, make sure that at the land office the buyer comes with a banker’s cheque.
And be cautious of estate agents who do not even provide a telephone number or office address on their websites.