Paying in $ for an apartment still under construction

Murder he wrote

Murder he wrote

Well-Known Member
Hello,

In mid-2018 I bought an apartment. The owner (his first project ever) told me in 1.8 months he will finish it. 2 years has passed and he is still working on it. The work is quite slow due to the shortage of $ and the crazy rates of $.

However, I paid him $40,000 at the beginning as a first payment and we agreed every month I give him $500. Lately, it started to be really difficult to buy $, I mean $500 is equal to almost 2,000,000 LBP with 1 day waiting in front of Serraf. That's my salary.

I asked him and he said he only accepts $. What can I do? I read the contract and it says I have to pay in USD, but never mentioned the type of payment (Cash, check, etc..). So can I pay him $500 by check every month? it will be almost $200 if he wants to cash it. It won't be fair to him. But forcing me to pay in $ it won't be fair as well. My apartment should cost 150,000,000 LBP, not 400,000,000 LBP.

Please advise me. It's my first apartment and I wish I never bought it. I just want to finish the payment and sell it and leave this country (I asked him to sell it, but he wants crazy rate and nobody basically wants to buy anything from him. He is living in lalalalalalalland).

Thanks!
 
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  • Abou Sandal

    Abou Sandal

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Technically, you have the right to pay in Lebanese Pounds, according to the official rate, despite what is written in the contract. That would of course be unfair to the seller.
    Usually, both Parties come up with some sort of arrangement where they both try to cut losses and make it work.
    So the best thing is to contact the seller for that effect, and if he refuses, then warn him that you have no other choice but to apply the law, if he refuses to make a bargain.
    You can pay him with cheques if anything...
     
    Mrsrx

    Mrsrx

    Somehow a Member
    Staff member
    Hello,

    In mid-2018 I bought an apartment. The owner (his first project ever) told me in 1.8 months he will finish it. 2 years has passed and he is still working on it. The work is quite slow due to the shortage of $ and the crazy rates of $.

    However, I paid him $40,000 at the beginning as a first payment and we agreed every month I give him $500. Lately, it started to be really difficult to buy $, I mean $500 is equal to almost 2,000,000 LBP with 1 day waiting in front of Serraf. That's my salary.

    I asked him and he said he only accepts $. What can I do? I read the contract and it says I have to pay in USD, but never mentioned the type of payment (Cash, check, etc..). So can I pay him $500 by check every month? it will be almost $200 if he wants to cash it. It won't be fair to him. But forcing me to pay in $ it won't be fair as well. My apartment should cost 150,000,000 LBP, not 400,000,000 LBP.

    Please advise me. It's my first apartment and I wish I never bought it. I just want to finish the payment and sell it and leave this country (I asked him to sell it, but he wants crazy rate and nobody basically wants to buy anything from him. He is living in lalalalalalalland).

    Thanks!
    Not an expert and i cannot provide any opinions but with the current market i would do my math before striking a deal.
    A lot of desperate sellers out there check if it is cheaper to reneg on the deal and buy another from someone that accepts LBPs/Bankdollars (not cash) vs continuing on this deal.

    When in 2008 the housing market crashed in the US it was cheaper for people to default than continue paying huge amount for houses that dropped in price. We are not in the same type of crisis but prices are going down think if you are overpaying if they are that stubborn.

    I hope you can sort it out and best of luck!
     
    Last edited:
    Murder he wrote

    Murder he wrote

    Well-Known Member
    Technically, you have the right to pay in Lebanese Pounds, according to the official rate, despite what is written in the contract. That would of course be unfair to the seller.
    Usually, both Parties come up with some sort of arrangement where they both try to cut losses and make it work.
    So the best thing is to contact the seller for that effect, and if he refuses, then warn him that you have no other choice but to apply the law, if he refuses to make a bargain.
    You can pay him with cheques if anything...
    Thank you.

    I agreed with him to pay half USD/LBP, So $250 in cash and $250 in LBP (375,000). In that way we split the amount together as long as the official rate doesn't change. If it does, then I have to pay him fully in USD. Now, I tried to pay him half and he said he cannot accept it as they have a new rate in the market 3,900 and I should buy it lol. I said that's not our deal (verbally) but he didn't bother too much and he only wants USD.

    Now, I have lollars in my account. I can just write him $500 and give it to him? I am 10000% sure he won't accept it. What can I do?

    My main problem is the constructor is an amateur. His first project and that's why I took it from him. His work was good, etc..but nobody could imagine this situation.

    as @Mrsrx mentioned. It would be glad if he pays me back the money, even in cheques, I can buy another small apartment or something else rather than to keep paying that much for an apartment.

    I am very fair person in life. I don't want to pay him 1,500 because it's unfair, but dealing with this person is like dealing with a big wall.
     
    Orangina

    Orangina

    Legendary Member
    Thank you.

    I agreed with him to pay half USD/LBP, So $250 in cash and $250 in LBP (375,000). In that way we split the amount together as long as the official rate doesn't change. If it does, then I have to pay him fully in USD. Now, I tried to pay him half and he said he cannot accept it as they have a new rate in the market 3,900 and I should buy it lol. I said that's not our deal (verbally) but he didn't bother too much and he only wants USD.

    Now, I have lollars in my account. I can just write him $500 and give it to him? I am 10000% sure he won't accept it. What can I do?

    My main problem is the constructor is an amateur. His first project and that's why I took it from him. His work was good, etc..but nobody could imagine this situation.

    as @Mrsrx mentioned. It would be glad if he pays me back the money, even in cheques, I can buy another small apartment or something else rather than to keep paying that much for an apartment.

    I am very fair person in life. I don't want to pay him 1,500 because it's unfair, but dealing with this person is like dealing with a big wall.
    you need a good lawyer
     
    AtheistForYeezus

    AtheistForYeezus

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Thank you.

    I agreed with him to pay half USD/LBP, So $250 in cash and $250 in LBP (375,000). In that way we split the amount together as long as the official rate doesn't change. If it does, then I have to pay him fully in USD. Now, I tried to pay him half and he said he cannot accept it as they have a new rate in the market 3,900 and I should buy it lol. I said that's not our deal (verbally) but he didn't bother too much and he only wants USD.

    Now, I have lollars in my account. I can just write him $500 and give it to him? I am 10000% sure he won't accept it. What can I do?

    My main problem is the constructor is an amateur. His first project and that's why I took it from him. His work was good, etc..but nobody could imagine this situation.

    as @Mrsrx mentioned. It would be glad if he pays me back the money, even in cheques, I can buy another small apartment or something else rather than to keep paying that much for an apartment.

    I am very fair person in life. I don't want to pay him 1,500 because it's unfair, but dealing with this person is like dealing with a big wall.

    $500 is very cheap for a monthly installment. You won't find anything cheaper than that.
    The problem is the exchange rate and that's unlikely to be solved anytime soon.

    I would definitely not try to get the downpayment back in cheques. You'd be losing half of its value.
    $40,000 in equity is better than a virtual $40,000 on the screen.

    It's better to reach an agreement with your current contractor. Tell him that, legally, you're not forced pay him in USD (as Abou Sandal advised you above). That will urge him to make some concessions.
     
    Abou Sandal

    Abou Sandal

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Thank you.

    I agreed with him to pay half USD/LBP, So $250 in cash and $250 in LBP (375,000). In that way we split the amount together as long as the official rate doesn't change. If it does, then I have to pay him fully in USD. Now, I tried to pay him half and he said he cannot accept it as they have a new rate in the market 3,900 and I should buy it lol. I said that's not our deal (verbally) but he didn't bother too much and he only wants USD.

    Now, I have lollars in my account. I can just write him $500 and give it to him? I am 10000% sure he won't accept it. What can I do?

    My main problem is the constructor is an amateur. His first project and that's why I took it from him. His work was good, etc..but nobody could imagine this situation.

    as @Mrsrx mentioned. It would be glad if he pays me back the money, even in cheques, I can buy another small apartment or something else rather than to keep paying that much for an apartment.

    I am very fair person in life. I don't want to pay him 1,500 because it's unfair, but dealing with this person is like dealing with a big wall.
    Go to the notary and put 750 000 LL and notify him to come and receive his payment. (3ard Wa Ida3 Fe3li)

    This way, you would have fulfilled your obligation whether he likes it or not.

    When he comes back to you crying, tell him that the only thing you would accept from now on, is to pay him in Lebanese pounds at the rate of 3000. You might decide to go to 3500 or 4000 if you want to be generous.

    This, or let him deal with official payment at the rate of 1500.

    He will shout and threaten and tell you that this is illegal and he will sue you and bla bla bla...All this is useless. Tell him you know the law and this is your final offer. Take it or leave it.

    If he accepts, put that in writing.

    If not, tell him you are going to settle whatever is left in Lebanese pounds at the official rate. Period.
     
    Murder he wrote

    Murder he wrote

    Well-Known Member
    Thanks guys.

    I know $500 is not a lot, but for now: I rent another house, I pay all the bills as I am a single child taking care of my mother. So I am the only one who is working. I don't want to pay him 750,000 LBP, because that's not fair to him. But I guess I will give him a cheque of $600 instead of $500 and it's his problem. I tried to find the best solution but he shut down all the doors, while I see my friends paying in cheques.

    I never wanted to buy a house but I had more than $50k in the bank and it was an investment. Buy a house, live there and stop renting and sell it later in the future. But the owner is a wall, he just doesn't want to negotiate and just want to keep his profits. I am sorry, but we are in a bad times right now. I explained to him many times that I will help you but I need his help. Just he's greedy. It's his first project and his lack of experience make me really angry.
     
    Abou Sandal

    Abou Sandal

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    And bu the way...You can postpone payments until the end of July...So Jamme3lo yehon and pay him all of them in Lebanese pounds at the official rate of 1500.


    Sent from my iPhone using Orange Room
     
    Murder he wrote

    Murder he wrote

    Well-Known Member
    And bu the way...You can postpone payments until the end of July...So Jamme3lo yehon and pay him all of them in Lebanese pounds at the official rate of 1500.


    Sent from my iPhone using Orange Room
    Actually I paid him April, May, June ($250 and 375,000). I wanted to buy him $ so I asked for his ID to go to Serraf and he said, he wants $500 now. I said our agreement was half/half. He said from now on, as you can buy $ you have to bring it to him. But our agreement was half/half till the end of the year as long as the official rate doesn't change.

    He is just crazy and weird. I like people who respect their words.
     
    Abou Sandal

    Abou Sandal

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Actually I paid him April, May, June ($250 and 375,000). I wanted to buy him $ so I asked for his ID to go to Serraf and he said, he wants $500 now. I said our agreement was half/half. He said from now on, as you can buy $ you have to bring it to him. But our agreement was half/half till the end of the year as long as the official rate doesn't change.

    He is just crazy and weird. I like people who respect their words.
    Forget from now on about ever chasing USDs to pay him. Pay him only in Lebanese pounds, at the rate you believe is equitable for both. If he is not ok with that, then let it be at the official rate. His choice.
     
    oldschool

    oldschool

    Active Member
    This is the problem with a lot of lebanese. You try the logical mutually beneficial way and they try to eat you alive. Dont give him 600 cheque. First tell him you will give him 500 or 750,000 and leave yourself room to negotiate.

    I know you want to be fair but doesnt work with the people here. 3mol mnih w kebb bel baher
     
    Abou Sandal

    Abou Sandal

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Thanks guys.

    I know $500 is not a lot, but for now: I rent another house, I pay all the bills as I am a single child taking care of my mother. So I am the only one who is working. I don't want to pay him 750,000 LBP, because that's not fair to him. But I guess I will give him a cheque of $600 instead of $500 and it's his problem. I tried to find the best solution but he shut down all the doors, while I see my friends paying in cheques.

    I never wanted to buy a house but I had more than $50k in the bank and it was an investment. Buy a house, live there and stop renting and sell it later in the future. But the owner is a wall, he just doesn't want to negotiate and just want to keep his profits. I am sorry, but we are in a bad times right now. I explained to him many times that I will help you but I need his help. Just he's greedy. It's his first project and his lack of experience make me really angry.
    The guy doesn't sound reasonable, but that's not a reason for you to submit to his wishes. Don't be more lenient on him than on your own self.
    Why should you for example give him a cheque for 600$ while you owe him 500$. That's not how it works. You're showing him that you are at his mercy, ready to satisfy his greed, just because he says so.

    Here are your options:

    Option n.1: You want to be more than fair and avoid any sort of losses to him: You just hand him over a 500$ cheque. The cheque is a legal mean of payment and he can't refuse it.
    Option n.2: He wants cash, and you want to indulge him. You propose 500$ in Lebanese Pounds, at the rate of 3000. (That's the bank rate, and you are not supposed to be charged more than what you need to pay. He benefits from having cash)
    Option n.3: He wants cash, but in USD, and you want to indulge him, and can do it without too much hassle or trouble. You propose 220$ in cash. Final.

    Notice for third option: That's the market rate for cash against cheque in usd. Meaning if you have 220 usd in cash, anyone would take them from you against a cheque for 500 usd. Meaning also that when you're giving him 500$ in cash, it actually means that you're giving him the equivalent of a cheque of 1200 or so, in usd. In other words, he is laughing at you in your back when you hand him that sort of cash.

    Now here are your three (more than) fair options above.
    If he accepts any of them, and you're fine with it, then fine.
    But if he wants to play rough and cocky and uncompromising, then you should knock him down with 750 000L.L. and tell him to enjoy being an idiot.
    If he comes down to his senses and tries to re-negotiate, NEVER accept less than any of the three options above. Be firm, decisive and final, from the start, till the end.
     
    cedarheart

    cedarheart

    Well-Known Member
    I understand that so far you have honored your part of the deal, paid him every month.
    But what about his part? Is the construction progressing? You mentioned he is late on delivery already but how far is he from completion ?
    This could be a bargaining card for you...
    His delays are causing you financial losses since you have to pay your current rent plus the installments for longer than expected.

    (I don't know about the law in Lebanon but here in Canada when I bought my first apartment the builder was about 2 month late and since i had to leave the apartment I was renting at the time (lease was up) I stayed in a nice hotel for roughly 8 weeks all expenses paid by the builder and he even rented me a storage space to keep my things until my unit was competed! Did I feel bad that he lost money? Maybe a bit but at the end of the day it's his problem he couldn't deliver as promised..)
     
    Murder he wrote

    Murder he wrote

    Well-Known Member
    Thanks a lot guys for your input. Thank you @Abou Sandal always useful replies.

    However, if I pay him in cheques now and he refuse to take it, he will break the contract. What if he will give me my money on the 1,500 rate? Perhaps he might give me 50,000,000 which is less than $10k at the moment. Can he do that?

    All my payments has been in USD, the first down-payment was in cheque 2 years ago and after that around $500-$800/month.

    I read the contract and it says he has a limit of 3 years to deliver the project. 2 years has passed since I signed the contract, so I guess 1 more year. But yes, I moved to another apartment and I pay rent because he promised to do it in 1 year and a half. But legally he has the law with him I guess.

    My advice for everyone: NEVER EVER BELIEVE WHAT THE OWNER TELLS YOU. ALWAYS WRITE IT DOWN IN A LEGAL WAY. ALWAYS. ALWAYS!
     
    Abou Sandal

    Abou Sandal

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Thanks a lot guys for your input. Thank you @Abou Sandal always useful replies.

    However, if I pay him in cheques now and he refuse to take it, he will break the contract. What if he will give me my money on the 1,500 rate? Perhaps he might give me 50,000,000 which is less than $10k at the moment. Can he do that?

    All my payments has been in USD, the first down-payment was in cheque 2 years ago and after that around $500-$800/month.

    I read the contract and it says he has a limit of 3 years to deliver the project. 2 years has passed since I signed the contract, so I guess 1 more year. But yes, I moved to another apartment and I pay rent because he promised to do it in 1 year and a half. But legally he has the law with him I guess.

    My advice for everyone: NEVER EVER BELIEVE WHAT THE OWNER TELLS YOU. ALWAYS WRITE IT DOWN IN A LEGAL WAY. ALWAYS. ALWAYS!
    This is where you got it wrong and he is blackmailing you over, and succeeding.

    So again, the cheque is by law, a legal mean of payment. If he refuses to take the cheque, then it means he is refusing a perfectly legal payment. And in that case, he doesn't have the right to break the contract, let alone claim any sort of breach from your part.

    Then again, if you're afraid that he reimburses you on the basis of 1500 in case of termination, (which only a judge can decide) then you understand well that anyone can perfectly pay his USD dues in Lebanese Pounds at the rate of 1500. Which is actually what the law stipulates.

    In such case, just use that fact to your advantage. Go to the public notary, deposit your dues in Lebanese Pounds at the official rate, and notify him to come and cash them. By doing so, you would have legally fulfilled your obligations and he has no legal ground to claim otherwise. He can accept to cash them or not, but that wouldn't change a thing. You would still have legally fulfilled your obligations towards him, either way.

    And if the whole amount that you are supposed to pay him until the end of the contract is not too big, then put all of it at the public notary at the rate of 1500 and notify him to cash it all, with the mention that you have fulfilled all your contractual obligations, absolving yourself from any liability, asking him to fulfill his obligations on due time.

    Understand first that you need to stop listening to the seller and believing everything or anything he says. And stop calling him "the owner". He is not the owner. He is the seller and YOU are the owner now. The property is legally yours unless a judge rules out otherwise.

    Bottom line is: If you fail to reach a fair compromise with the seller, along the lines and boundaries we talked about earlier, then you should immediately do all that is mentioned above, under the supervision of a lawyer, who will take appropriate legal measures to protect and enforce your rights.

    You have the uncontested legal advantage and upper hand on all counts, and you should hence impose your fair solution on him, instead of submitting to his greedy and inconsiderate and unreasonable wishes and claims and demands.
     
    Tayyar9

    Tayyar9

    Legendary Member
    @Abou Sandal said it all and is 100% right. You are in control, not him. The law states that you can pay him in LBP at the official rate, which is 1507. Don't overthink it.
     
    opium

    opium

    Well-Known Member
    Are you the only buyer in his building? If not try to find how the other buyers are paying him. Try to join forces with them and negotiate.

    At the end the situation changed from when you made the deal. Most importantly don't pay what you cannot afford.
     
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