Cesky Krumlov is a beautiful town in the south of Bohemia. Probably one of the biggest tourist spots in Czech Republic outside of Prague. The old part of the town is built in the middle of a bend in the Vltava River. It is really a fabulous town to visit if you haven’t been there already.
In this beautiful setting unfolds a story that emphasizes the importance of having a team working on your side of a real estate transaction in Czech Republic.
Alan and Eve Hunt had been going to Cesky Krumlov for about 10 years from the UK. In fact Eve was born in Czech Republic but had been taken out of Czech Republic when she was a very small child to England, where she grew up. However, she has always said regarding Czech Republic that she was “a granddaughter of the soil.”
As a family effort including their children, Alan and Eve decided to purchase a house close to Cesky Krumlov and make their trips more pleasant and hopefully to be able to live there permanently sometime in the future.
The Story Begins Summer of 2009…Things Start Well
In the summer of 2009 they started negotiating on a property which they had fallen in love with. The advertising real estate company assured them they would take care of everything. A number of documents were signed and then Eve was asked to wire over the purchase price of 21,000 GBP (about 615,000 CZK or 25,000 EUR) to the real estate agency’s bank account.
Now this real estate agency was not a one-man shop working out of his car. Their website advertises (yes, they are still actively in business) themselves as “the biggest estate agents in Ceský Krumlov and one of the biggest in South Bohemia.”
Alan, Eve and family felt that they could trust this company and especially this agent, who was an owner of the company.
The Horror Begins
Well soon after wiring the money the horror began. They noticed that the house was again listed as being for sale. The agent stopped responding to phone calls and emails.
After exhausting all other means to try to contact the agent they flew to Czech Republic in order to confront him. When they saw him on the street he actually turned and ran away from them!
The Police Get Involved
At this point they decided they needed to get the police involved. After spilling the story the police informed them that this was not the first time this real estate agency and specifically this individual had done this and they wanted to prosecute him for fraud.
We are happy to say that the prosecution was successful and in the fall of 2010 a guilty verdict was given and the agent sentenced to repay the money and to 6 years in prison.
The agent has claimed to not have any assets so to date the money has not been returned to the Hunts.
To add insult to injury the real estate agency continues to function and make money – under the direction of the culprits son!
There is a semi happy ending to this story in that the children were able to scrape together enough money to buy their parents another smaller cottage (with no running water) in the meantime while they try to recover the original funds.
To quote their daughter: “We are heart broken over what that so-called man did. A man with no honor or respect for people and their dreams.”
Hunts’ Words of Advice to Czech Buyers
- Only deal with large reputable real estate chains.
- Never pay any money until all parties have signed the purchase contracts in a solicitor’s office.
CZECH POINT 101 Would Add The Following Best Practices
- Commit all funds to a third-party account such as notary office, bank trust account or attorney’s escrow.
- Have a trusted attorney versant in your native language and Czech review all contracts and advise on the steps of the purchase.
Thanks to the Hunts for sharing their story.
You can also watch this video testimonial from a client who used our firm for a similar purchase in
Cesky Krumlov this year and had a totally different experience.
Incredibly easy…the whole process was very easy…incredibly positive.
Sam Stone – Digital Director at LAVA COMMUNICATIONS
You can ask any questions about this article or Czech property in general, by contacting us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated/Aktualizováno: October 20, 2014,