Real estate prices have risen, but the turnover is much higher in the entire country, and all this is used by various fraudsters.
Judge Ivana Josifović pointed out that the multiple sale of apartments is the most difficult for buyers, but that it has been reduced in recent years. She warned that new types of fraud are current, among which falsification of documents is very common, and that officials from various state institutions can also participate in the chain of fraud.
Ivana Josifović from the Association of Judges and Prosecutors of Serbia confirmed that the multiple sale of apartments is the most serious fraud and that it affects buyers the most, but that the number of such frauds has decreased in the last ten years. He says that the introduction of a software system, in which computer-networked institutions that certify contracts and check real estate, are greatly contributed to that, which reduces the possibility of multiple sales of the same apartments.
Now, Josifovic points out, the most current types of fraud are breaking the deadlines for construction and moving in, quality – one standard is agreed upon, another is obtained, and falsification of documents is significantly represented, given that it includes various institutions and citizens’ trust in those institutions whose public documents imply the accuracy of that data.
He warns that it is therefore socially dangerous when citizens are misled by falsifying such public data as excerpts from the cadastre or falsifying contracts.
– Frauds are, in any case, the presentation of facts as they are not or the concealment of facts that would be significant for someone’s decision regarding the acceptance of the contract. In that sense, it would be a false representation that the apartment is habitable, that documentation and legalization are in progress – states Josifović.
The problem, he adds, is also in the contractual relationship between the owner of the plot and the investor, when it comes to co-investment, ie the owner gives the plot as a share in the co-investment, and the investor will give money for construction. She explained that it happens that the permit for the construction of the facility is taken to the owner of the plot, and then he finds himself in a situation where he is criminally responsible towards the buyers.
Who is all engaged in fraud
– Many people from various areas that come into contact with construction can be included. Agents are the first to be in contact with buyers, they enter, praise the property, it is possible that they represent a lower price than real estate … however, the agent is marketing, and the biggest responsibility is on the investor, he is the one who concludes the contract and who she says what the price is – Josifović warned.
He points out that officials from various state institutions can also participate in the chain of fraud.
– In the first place, I think the cadastre, that is, that there is a connection, you have heard that there is an association for the purpose of committing a crime, organized criminal groups and the so-called construction mafia, where everyone has their role in maintaining or misleading the buyer, to conclude a contract to their detriment – she emphasized.
By the way, the Prosecutor’s Office for Organized Crime filed an indictment against 15 people who used false documentation to register in the cadastre. Josifović explained that there is a special criminal offense of association for the purpose of committing a criminal offense, so in that sense it can be an offense, as well as offenses related to falsification of fraud, abuse of office and the chain can be a variety of profiles and agents, investors, officials from state institutions, experts …
He points out that this is a complex story where customers are misled in an organized way that some facts are as they are presented.
– I don’t know and it’s hard for me to imagine that some excerpts from the cadastre are falsified in such a way that it is done by one of the officials from that state institution. It is dangerous to destroy trust in the work of state institutions, take care of it, file indictments and take measures by state bodies, but the organization of the group can have a higher goal and can be focused on washing new ones. The building, given that it is a large amount, is often used for these purposes – said Josifovic.
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