300 UK, Irish Owners Lose Millions in Bulgarian Resort Bansko
A group of about 300 British and Irish owners are going to lose about a total of GBP 6 M (BGN 13,2 M) invested in real estate property in the Bulgarian mountain resort of Bansko.
The news has been reported by the London-based Bulgarian-language news website kafene.net which cites a letter that the UK and Irish owners sent to its editors.
The owners from the UK and Ireland, who have bought property in the Pirin Park Resort in Bansko, state they are likely to lose their real estate investments because the future of the project is unclear.
The letter states that the unfavorable situation is the result of a bad course of events, mismanagement, and corruption, especially on part of the British real estate company Bulgarian Development UK.
The main issue is that the company has mortgaged the Bansko properties of the UK and Irish owners in question as a bank guarantee without even notifying them about that even though some of the apartments had already been fully paid.
Kafene.net reports that Bulgarian Development UK claims that the present situation resulted from the credit crisis and the corruption in Bulgaria. The company is quoted as saying that it was forced to mortgage the owners' apartments in order to pay the MRI construction firm, which, however, had not fulfilled its obligations, and had terminated the work on the project.
The concern of the owners from the UK and Ireland is that the companies involved in the scandalous development might soon go bankrupt. Thus, the apartments will have to be auctioned, and this will lead to huge losses for the UK and Irish investors.
The owners told kafene.net they were desperate because neither the EU, nor the Bulgarian legislation protected the rights of the investors in many ways. Even the ones who have fully paid for their apartments in Bansko are not certain whether their property would not be auctioned.
The UK and Irish owners have set up the Pirin Park Resort Residents Association which is trying to negotiate a solution with the companies involved. According to the report, they have also approached the EU Consumer Protection Commissioner, Bulgaria's Meglena Kuneva, and the UK Embassy in Sofia but these moves have produced no results.
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