It also appears that this and other companies regularly visit, or have contacts within the local communes who inform them of new project applications so that they can then go directly the property owners and pitch their offer of work. While I think this is pretty underhand it seems to be common practice here, as is stating that various works don't need authorisation or planning and that the client is being over charged by the incumbent company and could save money if they moved. The client then only finds out that this advice was wrong when they come to sell or have more work done legally and face a huge cost to get everything sorted out.
We are currently working with a client who after having a property restored 10 years ago has just found out that not only is the pool that he had built, not legal, neither is half the house. We are looking at possibly 18 months to 2 years and a cost of €40,000 to get the whole mess resolved for him.