True horror of foreigners buying houses in Paris Part 15

My full profile, if it was ever disclosed, would reveal all sorts of minority groups starting with my gender and race. Throughout my life, I have been harassed on many levels, but I lacked the stomach and power to carry out revenge.  This was a blessing in disguise because retribution eventually manifested itself which inspired me to share on this blog.  I quote many others before me that ‘True horror is hidden within man.


Mme. HARMONY, a senior she may have been, was not going to concede defeat that easily.  She was, after all, a French and a fighter.  In the previous episode, we discovered that the restaurant from Hell was operating on the illegal ventilation system using the extractor that was attached to the next-door building.   The next-door neighbors did not know about this, so Mme. HARMONY decided to inform them.  She hoped that the rich residents of the large apartment building would sue Mr. PRIDE.  Her strategy worked and the syndic of the next door came to look at the extractor.  They had seen its top part on the roof before but did not know that it was attached to their wall without their permission.  They were duly offended and immediately wrote a letter to Mr. PRIDE demanding him to remove it, but Mr. PRIDE ignored the request despite the threat of legal actions.  He knew they would not do it.

…and in this he was right.  Not all their landlords agreed to spend money on lawsuits because only a few apartments facing the extractor are affected by the odour and the noise.  You would think the landlords of this building would answer the call of Mme. HARMONY, but no luck there either.  The owners of the apartments not situated closer to the restaurant could not care less about my plight.  One French man and one Greek man even went out of their way to oppose Mme. HARMONY, telling her to leave Mr. PRIDE alone, in the hope to get on the good side of this wealthy man.  Paris is the city of love and light, but I had moved into a neighborhood where money talked.

At least, I had Mme. HARMONY and I would do anything she suggested.

‘You must stay home all day to record the noise from the restaurant as proof that later can be submitted to the authority.’

‘What?  But I get sick from noise bashing on my neck, brain, lungs…in less than 30 minutes, I become nauseated, heart beating fast.’

Mme. HARMONY cut me short.  ‘In France, you must prove everything!’

‘But Mr. PRIDE would say I made it all up.’

‘Of course, he would.  That is why we must collect petitions of the residents.  If enough people testified that there was noise, your record of suffering would be accepted.’

So…I stopped escaping to the library which had shielded me until 22:00 and stayed at my apartment.  I battled sickness all day and insomnia every night that symptoms caused by severe stress would appear after three weeks.  In the meantime, I tried to collect petitions.  The tenants of Mme. HARMONY signed, but I struggled with other tenants.  They did not want to get involved unless instructed by their landlords.  I suppose I would have felt the same way...and I was sinking into an abyss of hopelessness.Mirror that reflects your soul

Then one day a man came up to me while I retrieved my posts from the box.  He was one of the landlords who normally resided in the US, but he was visiting Paris.  He read the email from Mme. HARMONY, and offered me his support.  I believe he would not mind if I referred to him with his real name JAMES because I will portray him as a sympathetic person which this American Jewish man really was to the end.  It was liberating speaking English for the first time in a long time and his supportive words pulled me up from the abyss.  For this, I am still grateful, even after all these years because JAMES took the time to visit me from his precious stay in Paris.

I also found out that we shared the same problem: being ignored by the Syndic.  JAMES was a landlord but of a studio.  He was not a big shareholder like Mr. PRIDE.  Thus the CEO of Syndic even ignored JAMES’s proxy which was meant to be given to another landlord at the general meetings.  JAMES was furious that the CEO lied that JAMES had never sent the email with the proxy.  He became so disillusioned that he would later sell his studio in Paris while he would keep his other apartments in Europe.  He spoke of his friend from the UK who also was ill-served by the syndic of another building, while I remembered of this Japanese family who owned an apartment in Paris but never received replies from their syndic.

Owning your own place in Paris is a much-romanticized idea.  The beautiful photos allure you, but one thing all the real estate agents cannot guarantee you is the proper service by the syndic after you have purchased and moved in.  The chances are foreigners will only be billed maintenance fees that pay for the salary of the syndic, but do not receive a good service unless you owned at least 25% of the building.  A house in the suburbs may not pose such a problem and will be more affordable, but such a property may not be easy to sell.  However, if you have children you can pass the house over to, it may be worth it.  Thus many ordinary French folks opt for houses in the suburbs to rid themselves of syndic-related headaches. 

So…foreigners or French, Paris does not smile kindly upon you unless you are wealthy.