slapping concrete beam with bare hand and braking

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Re: slapping concrete beam with bare hand and braking

Postby dendijk » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:24 pm

Roger Ramjet wrote:
dendijk wrote:Let my generosity, misplaced trust and outright stupidity be a lesson for anybody in the future.

DO NOT, i repeat DO NOT never ever do anything without a well written contract with all details, timeframes, dispute resolutions etc etc inside.
No matter who it is. Your friend, your relatives or just the nice (business)person who seem to want to offer good services to you.

It's a very hard lesson to learn, especially when you've worked so hard to earn the money in the first place, unfortunately Thailand seems to have a few more (bad builders) than other countries, including Farang "builders" who are only here for the take as well. It's the reason most of us opt for labour costs only and buy the materials ourselves and then stay on the job till it's completed.
I take it from your silence that you had no plans. I would still go to the police, no matter how earnestly the police have earnt their appalling reputation, I have nothing but mostly good contacts with them..... besides the usual fines, bad management and thievery.
I currently have two workers laying sand and top soil around my house and my wife and I came back from shopping to find they were both being detained by the Police patrol (I have a Police Red Box) at 1600hrs one afternoon last week until their story checked out. The Police quietly told my wife the nightwatchman (one of the workers) was a great bloke, but the other was a known thief and also a drunk and to lock-up everything after use. It's surprising what the Police actually do know, that has been reported to them earlier.
Trust me you're not the first Farang or local that has been taken for a ride. I had to change my whole way of thinking - I was raised to take a man's word and handshake as sacrosanct and it was a hard habit to break, but having been in Asia for a while soon scrubbed that notion from my brain - now it's check, check check.



Hi Roger,

we are meeting the lawyers at 15.00 today. I do not want to speculate on anything before that. Thats why i am just absorbing all the the advises and opinions people give me.
Now we just have to wait and see what are the options.

The one difficulty i am finding now already is that the other contractors i am inviting are not willing to just finish this 'job'. Nobody of course wants to take any responsibility for what is their now nor do they want to guarantee anything they build over or on top of it. I fully understand that. But it means we might be heading into a (almost) full destruction of the 'work' done so far and just have to start all over.
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Re: slapping concrete beam with bare hand and braking

Postby dendijk » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:10 pm

Roger,


we had an extensive meeting today with the lawyer.
After going through all the documentations and the according deposit receipts, banktransfers/acknowledgements, quotations, emails etc etc he basically said that with all we have now it is the next best thing to having a contract.

He basically confirmed everything you say. The plans is the responsibility of the contractor who has his company in Thailand(even him being farang) and must abide by thai law in practicing his business.
We will get an official building inspector/engineer licensed to make an assessment/report. This is the person who will eventually also have to come to testify in court. If the outcome of this assessment/report is that there are such structural flaws that it is considered dangerous we could make a report at the police.

He reckons with the clear overview/evidence we have at this moment we could be in court the first time half/late may.
The whole inspection could be done within 3 weeks from now. After that point we are basically good to move on. That is exactly the point that i am looking forward to. I want to get this home finished and we will :)
Surely about 6 months later that we had hoped for but i am glad that we were just on time to stop this madness. God only knows what would have happen in the future when we would have let them finish it.

He also told us that besides the damage of the deposits we are allowed to add on the extra costs that we will face now. As long as it reasonable and founded with the right evidence. Legal costs, paid rents because we cannot move to the home, demolition costs, inspection costs etc etc.

We feel confident enough to go through this process, even if we don't win it all we will find some piece of mind that we at least were able to stand our ground and fight for our cause.
dendijk
 
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Re: slapping concrete beam with bare hand and braking

Postby thailazer » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:54 pm

I am sure all of us on CTH hope the best for your case, as we have all feared those things might happen to us. It is common in Thailand to see things go awry, but you are taking the high road. Onward ever and best of luck.
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Re: slapping concrete beam with bare hand and braking

Postby Roger Ramjet » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:05 pm

dendijk wrote:we had an extensive meeting today with the lawyer.
After going through all the documentations and the according deposit receipts, banktransfers/acknowledgements, quotations, emails etc etc he basically said that with all we have now it is the next best thing to having a contract.

I hope you have copies of all that documentation you gave the lawyer? And I hope your lawyer is Thai and on the up and up. If he's Farang make sure he's registered in Thailand as a lawyer and make him show his registration of his Thai company with acreditation to appear before a Thai court of law.
I've been to a Thai Arbitration Court with a Japanese friend who was sacked illegally and we took along a Thai lawyer and a translator (brothers). All the documents we supplied in Japanese and translated to both Thai and English and they got "lost" by the court from one court date to the next, so we had to supply duplicates and we are still unsure if it was our side who lost the documents or theirs or the courts.
If it's a criminal court make sure you have photos, Police reports (get them around there now, tomorrow at the latest) and make sure they write down everything. You can call the police station and have the "watch police" (the ones who sign security sheets) come around immediately. Do not wait for the engineer's report, do it now and get them to make notes and take photos, then go back to the police station with them and get their supervisor to write the whole complaint into the police log (they'll give you the duplicate copy of the log/complaint), and make sure they get copies of the photos if they don't take them themselves. Make sure if you give them a SD card from your camera they record it in evidence and that you have the same photos on another SD card. Your priority is the police report no matter what the lawyer says.
The case may come to court quickly, but I can assure you it will drag on and on. You'll get a "black case number" if it's a criminal court and you'll probably get a different judge each time who will want you to sign his "summing up". If you disagree with what he says don't sign it, dig your heals in, but do it politely. Make sure your Thai translator has been in a Thai court before and acts for you and you alone.
I'm pleased you have taken this step, now is the time for quick action, followed by slow and agonising court procedure that can take many trips to court and can run for over three years.
When you give evidence be afraid. If you are not sure say you are not sure. Take notes to court and ask the judge if you can refresh your memory using the notes. Nobody remembers dates, times and monetary amounts exactly so normally the judge will allow it. Reference everything and if the builder has a smart lawyer and asks trick questions just be truthful, your lawyer should note the trick question and get you to clarify it with an explanation later.
Stay on your lawyer's back. Make sure he's working for you and you alone.
It doesn't take weeks for an engineer to write a report, nor does it take weeks for him to inspect the building. You can look on the internet and find a certified Thai structural engineer within minutes who can be at your place within a couple of days. He'll know he has to go to court (if he's called) because that's his job and that's what you're paying him for. Just make sure he's licenced and he'll show you his licenced certificate (an ID Card from the Thai Engineer's Society) that says he is a structural engineer certified in Thailand.
I hope the lawyer didn't ask for a huge deposit, most of the time they will take the case on a pro rata basis and whatever you are awarded they get (I think) a percentage, something like 3 percent of the award handed out by the court.
You are entitled to extra costs, things like hotel bills, travel, but not inconveinience, also to charge interest at the MLR (Mean Lending Rate) which is about 7 percent until the matter is settled. Make sure you have all the receipts and do not go overboard. I can't remember about meals, but if you can claim on them make sure you remember this is Thailand and meals are dirt cheap.
dendijk wrote:We feel confident enough to go through this process, even if we don't win it all we will find some piece of mind that we at least were able to stand our ground and fight for our cause.

That's the spirit, just remember there are a lot of people here and everywhere else in Thailand rooting for you and cheering you on. If you get down in the dumps unburden on us here, it's always good to know that you've got it off your chest and there are many people here with the knowledge to guide you on this "quest for justice".
Perhaps if you started a fresh "My building story/nightmare" the moderators could move what has been presented so far to that new thread.
Once again I salute you. It's about accountability, justice and your peace of mind. I wish you the best of luck on this quest.
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Roger Ramjet
 
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Re: slapping concrete beam with bare hand and braking

Postby dendijk » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:17 am

Hi Roger,

again we will follow your suggestions. We will goto to the according police station today and to get a report filed.
I will start looking immediately for a suitable engineer/inspector.
The lawyer is thai but speaks very wel english. Yes he told us that the first court date could be soon but the whole process could take upto 1.5 years.

Yesterday we spoke for 1.5 hours and we will hear from him shortly after the weekend regarding fees and procedures.
Thanks for pointing out that MLR, we will definitely add that in. I am not sure if i have the energy for starting a whole topic on our expensive nightmare. The only thing i wanna do now is get the legal procedure going and start working on the real renovation of our home.

Again i want to thank you for all the useful information you are giving me. We don't know each other at all but it feels somewhat as if you are fighting the fight with us. Very motivating. Thank You!

I will keep you updated.
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Re: slapping concrete beam with bare hand and braking

Postby Roger Ramjet » Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:01 pm

dendijk wrote:Again i want to thank you for all the useful information you are giving me. We don't know each other at all but it feels somewhat as if you are fighting the fight with us. Very motivating. Thank You!

I will keep you updated.

If you every get the time, read a few of the building stories here and you'll see why not only myself, but all the other members are cheering you on. Anyone who has built a house in Thailand has faced adversity, a few have fallen by the wayside, but the majority stuck with it through thick and thin. I used this forum as a sounding board, an unburdening board and a place to come to when my spirits were a little low. It is a great board with a wealth of experience from the lurkers, to the posters, to the actual builders and if you look at the thread itself, you'll see how many people have read the thread each day.
I appreciate what you are doing for the rest of the "farang" in Thailand. It takes guts to do something like this and I wish you the best of luck.
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Re: slapping concrete beam with bare hand and braking

Postby textalk » Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:19 am

Hi dendijk, I have been reading these CTH building threads for years now and have mixed feelings about dealing with Thai builders. I’m aware of the horror stories so your thread is captivating like no other and to be allowed to follow along while you share this experience here is special like a book you just hate to put down. I sure hope there is a happy ending, I'm looking forward to it.
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