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Flushingly Happy in Rainy Nice

Later today I’ll be winging my way to the Riviera for a few days in my Niçois home-away-from home lovingly called “Le Matisse.” In spite of the predicted rain in Nice for the rest of the week, the temperatures are a bit warmer than in Paris and the sight of the Mediterranean and palm trees are instant happiness triggers.

Every minute of every day between this evening and departure on Saturday has been programmed, as this is not meant as a pleasure trip, but one of business of a serious nature. Of course, it will be dotted with special moments with friends — some who have recently moved there, others who live there and are hosting parties and another who is coming for a brief visit just to party with us.

Nice is simply nice, regardless of the reason for the trip. The moment stepping off the plane, I feel more relaxed and the moment stepping into Le Matisse, filled with color and light, I feel warm and happy. Unfortunately, the main reason for the trip is to meet with an “Expert” appointed by the court along with the seller of my apartment, his attorney, my attorney, the building’s “Syndic” (building manager) and our plumber.  

A SanibroyeurWhat a Sanibroyeur installation should look likeThe Expert is coming to investigate the “canalisation” (piping) of the “Sanibroyeur” toilet in the apartment. This is a toilet that macerates the contents so that it can flush down a standard sized pipe, rather than a large sewage pipe designated for such waste. It was a brilliant invention of Saniflo that enabled homes to have proper waste evacuation even when the property wasn’t fitted with sewage drainage systems.

Parler Paris Apartments - Le ParasolThe Sanibroyeur in Le ParisolSanibroyeurs require electricity and a pump and they are delicate beings. Nothing, nothing, nothing, other than ‘natural waste’ and low-ply toilet paper can be put in, otherwise they risk unpleasant results. I installed one in “Le Parisol” here in Paris and one unthinking young male guest flushed a condom, mangling the motor and causing it to die a painful death. The result was a replacement to the tune of over 700€ and a guest who never ‘fessed-up’ to the ‘faux-pas.’ (Guess he couldn’t bear to be discovered by his parents with whom he was traveling. He also managed to crack the code on the TV system in order to subscribe to X-rated movies for which I paid dearly too!)

When I purchased the apartment in Nice, it wasn’t until the construction was well under way that we discovered the one toilet in the apartment was in fact, a Sanibroyeur. There was no sign of it — no indication from the outside, no visible electrical plugs, no particular sound that was different than any other toilet. The workings — the pump, etc. — were hidden in the wall behind the toilet which was at the back of a closet, behind the hot water tank. My plumber had to refit the apparatus and install a new pump to make it work correctly, which of course, was a large additional expense. There was no possibility of plumbing the unit to a normally large sewage pipe — as the bathroom was far from an outside wall of any kind where a pipe might exist.

Legally speaking, disclosure of the Sanibroyeur is required when a property is transferred from the seller to buyer — meaning that it is supposed to be noted in the “Acte de Vente” (title deed). If it’s not, it’s considered a “vice caché,” or hidden defect, not detected by examination or routine tests. And it wasn’t disclosed to me, nor was it to the real estate agents, verbally or in anyway in writing.

Therefore, I set out to file a legal dispute with the seller, as I would not have purchased the property if I had known. The suit has now gone on for almost two years, and while the toilet has never malfunctioned (which it won’t as long as it’s well taken care of, which I do, of course), the risk remains that one day I’ll be knocking on a neighbor’s door or visiting “La Taverne Masséna” across the street. In addition, if and when I should ever want to sell the property, it will have to be disclosed and it could easily hinder the sale and the price.

Another Sanibroyeur installationThis is the second expert to investigate the Sanibroyeur. The first appointed expert found it swimmingly healthy, to which I exclaimed, “Of course it functions perfectly — I made sure it did!” That doesn’t excuse the “marchand de bien” (property developer/seller) from his non-compliance of the law, and so the pursuit to justice continues!

If I lose the case, I will have lost all the time, money and effort, including the seller’s legal fees. If I win, there will be some sort of settlement based on the case as prescribed by the court. In France this is a long, arduous and expensive process, but the due diligence is thorough and stalwart. One must be just as persistent and stalwart to weather the process. As much as I love “Le Matisse,” it is easy to be a bit of a ‘bulldog’ to see this through to a fair conclusion.

And in spite of the risks afforded by the “Sani,” the apartment is quite the bit of heaven I’d hate to lose…so there are no regrets for having purchased it… but buyer beware! Even a ‘maven’ like me didn’t see the difference. I defy anyone to be able to! On New Year’s Eve, a few friends joined me in the bathroom to see and hear it flush. It was a rather hilarious sight all of us adults standing over the toilet, but they, too, agreed, it was impossible to tell! Now, at every apartment visit, it’s the first thing I ask (!) and at every signing of an Acte de Vente, our Notaire giggles and says, “Yes, Adrian, it’s a real toilet and not a Sanibroyeur!”

Apartment for sale on rue Bonaparte - Nice, FranceApartment for sale on rue BonaparteFortunately, the visit to Nice will not be just about plumbing! It also allows me to meet with a client, visit the apartment on rue Bonaparte* in the Quartier du Port (we recently promoted for sale in a Special Edition newsletter ) to take photos and measurements for a potential buyer and visit a new development in Cap d’Ail that we may be able to offer our readers.

On top of all that a large group of friends will be celebrating the Chinese New Year at a banquet dinner at “Comme en Chine” where we have the entire restaurant all to ourselves!

* The owner of the Rue Bonaparte apartment in Nice we wrote about last week (Special Edition) has decided to LOWER the price to a SHOCKING 249,000€ (from 329,000€) in order to have someone “snap it up” immediately and have enough money to renovate it to the standards we all know and love! If you are a serious potential buyer, contact us immediatelyat [email protected]!

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds - The Adrian Leeds Group LLCAdrian Leeds

Editor, Parler Paris & Director of The Adrian Leeds Group, LLC

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