I had a mate, for this story we'll call him Dave. Dave had been a mate of mine, or so I thought, for many years but little did I realise there was a much darker side to him.
Knowing I was going to sell my house he came up with a wheeze of an idea. He would get it valued, totally refurbish it from top to bottom, inside out and we would then split the profit between us. Sounds great so we agree terms and he creates the contract. There were a couple of, what appeared to be, very minor issues with the contract but he's a mate after all and we did agree everything and the contract more or less represents what we agreed.
Work completed, house valued and price duly manipulated by Dave on the basis you can always lower the price but you can't increase it. This is one of the main keys of the scam!
The house is advertised as agreed and suddenly, BANG! House prices slump as we hit the global recession. Dave now decides this is the time to start pressuring me for 'his' money out of my house but not at the verbally agreed rates, oh no!! This is why the CONtract seemed a little odd, he worded in such a way that he could rip me off at any time he so desired, and rip me off he did, BIG TIME.
As it transpires, not only was I grossly overcharged for the work Dave carried out but the quality of his workmanship is described as 'incompetent' by the builders who are now having to remedy his bodges. It seems that not only was Dave incompetent in his workmanship, he also used the wrong or insufficient materials all over the place.
As I see it, Dave knew what he was doing, he deliberately and intentionally bodged the job because it wasn't on his own property, he deliberately worded the contract to rip me off and he deliberately and knowingly made fraudulent expenses claims. Following this experience, I believe Dave would rip off his own family if he thought he could make money out of it - just to prove a point.
Due to the quality of Daves work, we now have tradesmen in remedying all his bodgery - and at cheaper rates than his!
Moral of this story is, if you're going to 'get into bed' with anybody, including friends, on a money making scheme, make sure there's a contract in place, it represents exactly what you have agreed and the contract is prepared by a solicitor. If any form of construction work is involved, make sure it's carried out by tradesmen and not 'honest John' down the road. If they don't agree, forget the whole idea, it's not worth it!