2 years on and builder not started work!!

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This topic contains 26 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 10 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #51324
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    Anonymous
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    I put a deposit on an ‘off plan’ duplex apartment two years ago and nothing has even been started yet! The company assure me that at the end of NOV I will at least be able to get my deposit and 1st payment returned. There is a clause in contract which states that I would be able to withdraw from contract if this is the case with full payment and interest for legal costs. However, if that is the case how soon do you think the money will be returned or is this going to be a long drawn out Spanish thing???? Anyone experienced such a situation? The company is Atlas International and the builder/ company is Desarrollo y Technologia de Centros Vacacionales SL. Any comment would be useful. Thank you

  • #59399
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi I’m in the same situation.
    Paid 6000 euros initial deposit, then 130,000 euros as 30% payment for an off-plan apartment back in Summer 2003.
    Completion supposed to be now, (contract expires 31st Oct).
    The building has never been built and never will be (on admission of developer!).
    Because my Bank Guarantee enforcement date states September 2006 (why didn’t my lawyer question this at the time????) the developer says I can’t have my money returned now, I have to wait until next September 2006!
    Sitting on my money for a total of more than 3 years.
    I don’t understand why this is not a police matter.
    If I ordered a special (say pink colour) car from a manufacturer, paid a deposit, told it would take two years to make which I accepted. Then after 2 years they said ‘sorry, it’s impossible to make you this car after all’ and I then asked for my deposit back and they refused and said ‘we’re going to hold onto your money for another year’, surely I would be able to go to the police for fraudulently keeping my money.
    WHY ISN’T IT THE SAME FOR THESE DEVELOPERS???

    Sofia

  • #59400
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks for your reply. I agree with you. I can’t understand how all this is allowed to go on. I know it’s another country etc etc but surely shouldn’t companies let people know of the possibility that this sort of situation could happen. I certainly try to put people off if they are buying off plan. Am about to phone Spain now for some more information! I will ask them about ‘Bank Guarantee Enforcement’ – thanks for info.

  • #59420
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Dol53, I think you should be able to pull out and claim whatever amount back that you’ve paid, purely on the lengthy delay.

    Did you pay a deposit via Atlas, if so, I would ask for it back for the above reasons? They have sometimes been mentioned on TV and Press as being ‘hard sell’ and I’ve heard of people experiencing problems before. I wouldn’t use them!

  • #59593
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Dol53, I think you should be able to pull out and claim whatever amount back that you’ve paid, purely on the lengthy delay.

    Did you pay a deposit via Atlas, if so, I would ask for it back for the above reasons? They have sometimes been mentioned on TV and Press as being ‘hard sell’ and I’ve heard of people experiencing problems before. I wouldn’t use them!

  • #59844
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I have just joined this forum, my problem is similar to the above, it is listed as ‘aborted property in murcia link’. We finally requested our money back in January 05 after being given a completion date of Dec 2002. So far we have paid out about £6500 (including depostit for barrister in preparatin for court) in legal fees to try to have our £116000 returned, without any sucess. We have been told now that we will have to sue regarding criminal fraud. The builder is Tecnologia and the agent is Iberian. Because of the amount of money involved we have to try everything we can.

    I would love to hear fom someone who has received a refund from tecnologia. If there is anyone out there please get in touch.

    Thanks,

    Jane

  • #59850
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @sofia wrote:

    Because my Bank Guarantee enforcement date states September 2006 (why didn’t my lawyer question this at the time????) the developer says I can’t have my money returned now, I have to wait until next September 2006!
    Sofia

    This is wrong and misleading.

    You do not have to wait to execute your bank guarantee.

    This has been extensively discussed already in the thread Spanish Lawyers. The solutions to this problem are there.

  • #60104
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Dol53,

    Are you talking Colinas Del Lago, Los Balcones?

    If so we bought there also in Oct 03 for Mar/Apr 05 completion. We bought through Iberian which is sister company to Atlas.
    The promoter has at least 3 other sites in the same position as colinas with no buildung work having started.
    At the end of Oct 05 we have a[pplied to have our money back but from experiences of people on other forums they are having to struggle and fight to get their money back. We authorised an independent solicitor to act on our behalf.

    Bernie.

  • #60281
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Yes this is the site.

    I have been in contact with Atlas who have said their first response is to invite everyone in the same situation back out there in January to choose another property……. no chance!! I have been in touch with the Contracts dept in Dorking and I am just about to employ a solictor to act on my behalf.

    I have a friend who is having a similar property built by this building company and hers is nearly completed. She went out last year in August and its just about finished.

    Thank you for responding to my email. It’s good to be able to discuss the situation with folks in the same position. I will keep you updated on the response I get from the Contracts manger which I doubt will be very positive.

    Merry Christmas

  • #60314
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Just to let you know that I have been informed today that

    ‘yes, I can withdraw from the contract and you will receive your deposit’

    !!! But how long will I have to wait………….. ????
    I believe from the conversation I had that there will be at least a six month delay. And I can imagine probably longer if there are loads of people withdrawing.
    Atlas seem to have washed their hands of the situation and now , not suprisingly, this is all the fault of the builder.
    Watch this space. I will keep you informed of any useful information. Likewise if anyone reads this message and has any useful info to pass on re: retrieval of deposit e.g solictior advice, things definitely not to do etc all info will be gratefully received.
    Cheers
    Determined ex Atlas customer

  • #60566
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    DOL53 –
    Hi – I thought we had ‘met’ before!
    Thought I would reply on your original topic regarding your Bank Guarantee. Re-reading this original posting, your situation really is so similar to ours.

    We have had 3 trips out to Spain in the last 4 months, and in a nutshell, these are some of the things we have learnt:

    1. As your developer is in breach of contract and has not built anything, you need to obtain a Requerimiento Notarial to make the contract null and void.
    As your development has not been built (as ours wasn’t), the notary will actually go on site to take photographs to officially prove that nothing has been built.

    2. This will enable you to approach the bank who issued your Bank Guarantee with the proof that the contact is null and void. Even if your Bank Guarantee is post-dated, like ours, it doesn’t matter – you can demand your money from the bank now.

    3. However, here is the catch, the bank will probably fight/delay/find all excuses not to pay right away, even though you have the R.N.
    Apparently these ‘delay tactics’ are common/normal. We were told that even if we waited until next September which is our Bank Guarantee’s enforcement date, the bank will more than likely still play the delay game for a month or two.

    4. Therefore, there is nothing to lose by starting the procedure now to enforce the Bank Guarantee to get the return of your money plus the legal interest as stated on the BG.

    5. We are lucky and have found (we hope!) a great lawyer. When we asked him what he would charge to undertake pursuing/enforcing the BG on our behalf, with all the ‘fighting’ that may be needed, he told us 1%.
    In our case, that would be around 1,300 euros which – if we were going that route – we feel it would be well worth it (bearing in mind the cost of keep going out to Spain as one trip wouldn’t do it, and our Spanish language and ‘push’ etc. would not be as good as a lawyers.

    6. So, my recommendation would be to get a good lawyer.
    Mark the Administrator is very helpful and is worth contacting if you need help to find one, and see if he would act on your behalf to enforce your Bank Guarantee for 1%.

    Hope this is of help and wish you lots of luck.
    Sofia
    P>S> Sounds like Atlas need a rocket somewhere!

  • #60574
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thank you so much for your comprehensive reply.

    On applying for a Requerimiento Notorial do I have to do this through a Spanish lawyer? I guess the answer will be yes as my command of the spanish language is minimal.

    At present all my contact is through the agent – ‘Atlas’ and they have passed all information to the builder.

    I think, as you suggest Sofia that the best option is to get a good lawyer. How do I get a good lawyer and I would imagine I would need a lawyer from the Torrevieja region? When you suggest Mark the Administrator- is there a direct email address for him?

    Many Thanks,once again

    DOL53

  • #60579
    Profile photo of flw
    flw
    Participant

    Sofia,

    I have a question, are you seeking any sort of compensation from the developer or are you only trying to get your money back (plus interests) before September 2006?

  • #60586
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    DOL53
    – wish you lots of good luck and a happy (quick?) ending to your story. Would be most interested to hear how you get on.

    flw
    – in answer to your question, we are seeking compensation as well as our money back plus legal interest. (The current offer from the developer last week when we were in Marbella was we could have our money back ‘now’ but without any interest!!
    Don’t you love these people – they’ve had 64 peoples money for more than 30 months, and obviously regard us as ‘free finance’.
    The reason we are not asking our lawyer just to go for enforcing our Bank Guarantee (as I recommended to DOL53) is because our particular story has a small ‘twist’.
    The developer, having had the building licence suspended in Autumn 2003, kept the fact hidden from the buyers. Throughout 2004, they continued to build a lower-level ‘part 2’ phase of the development, meanwhile re-applying for the b.l., but still got turned down.
    Beginning of 2005, they decided they had to let the cat out of the bag, and informed all the purchasers of the higher level that the development wouldn’t be going ahead.
    However, they forgot to tell one purchaser on the list. Me.
    So, believing I was going to get the keys end October 2005, we sold our house in the Summer (this was a permanent move for us), put all our furniture in (expensive!) storage, and moved into temporary accommodation ready for the ‘big move’.
    In September I telephoned to see if it was not too late to choose our kitchen units etc. and a surprised voice told me ‘…..but you must know, everyone has been informed – nothing has been built…’.
    They since have fully admitted they have no record of informing me back in February.
    Obviously if we had known of the problem in Feb, we would not have sold our house, put all our belongings/furniture into storage, and endured eversince living in temporary accommodation in a tiny flat plus 2 dogs, plus 91year old Mum. To get to the shops, I have to drive past my lovely Victorian House that now belongs to someone else!
    Knowing, because of their failure to inform us at the beginning of the year that we are now in this position, their attitude/offer of returning our money without even any interest is particularly galling. It was almost as if we should be grateful that we could see our money now as against end of next September!
    They boasted to us that they have settled with two purchasers recently in this way, with no interest.
    This is why, last week, we took the step to do something. We are so angry that they are getting away with so much, and we feel it is about time that someone took a stand. Especially in our case as we sold our house unnecessarily.
    Having said that, I am in touch with other buyers, and one for instance, has a very bad heart condition – imagine what all this stress has done there. It doesn’t bear thinking about.
    So everyone has there own story/stress/despair.
    And even though in spain many people tell us ‘it is not worth suing, it can take years, can be horrendously expensive etc. (this is why these developers are getting away with blue murder) – we have decided that, whatever it takes, we want to give them a hard time and some stress for a change.
    Sorry, I’ve gone on a bit, havn’t I 🙄 …….so in answer to your question, yes, we are going for compensation, and because of selling our house – our lawyer feels we have a good chance. He is hoping our hearing could be before the ‘August break’ (when the courts close for the month).
    P>S> Over the years, my friends have always accused me of being a lousy letter-writer. I’ve written more words on this forum in 3 months than I have to friends in the last 30 odd years!!!!!

  • #60588
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Good luck Sofia! wouldn’t it have been possible to sue as a group?

  • #60608
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Dol53,

    Last week we went to a Notary Public (in England) and signed power of attorney for our solicitor in Spain to take Tecnologia to court. The solicitor has said it should cost about 10% of the amount the builder owes if it does go to court. He estimated that it may take 6-9 months.

    Iberian have admitted that they have just under 18,000 euro of the monies (which they previously said they hadn’t) and if we signed a form renouncing our rights to the property they would give the monies back to us. We couldnt sign these forms obviously as we dont renounce our rights to the property until all monies from both Iberian & Tecnologia are paid back. Dont let them fool you into signing anything that is not clear and precise to your situation.

    I am in contact with alot of people who bought here also and through Atlas. some have been waiting 10-12 months after the 6 month extra written into the contract and still have not got their money back yet. I have to say none of them has gone through a solicitor and are relying on Atlas/Iberian to get it for them. Of the people (1) I know who have had their money back they have not had any interest paid on the monies as stated in the contract.

    If you would like anymore info e-mail me bdet42@yahoo.co.uk

    Good Luck to everyone in getting back what’s rightfully theirs

    Regards
    Bernie

  • #60612
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks Bernie,

    Useful info to know……. did you have a property in Torrevieja? If so who is your lawyer? I have been in contact with a lawyer (recommended from this forum) and he wants me to send the contract to him.

    I just hope everyone that is owed money back, gets it and the interest! It is so disheartening to know so many of us are in this situation and even worse that these builders have OUR money. Were we so naieve to get ourselves into this position. I have found this website so helpful and the recommendations and advice a godsend. Thanks everyone. I will email you Bernie – thanks for putting your contact email on the forum.

    I am awaiting a response from Atlas after informing them I would not renounce my rights.

    Goodnight,

    DOL53

  • #60617
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Dol53,

    We bought at colinas del lago, Los Balcones also. That was way back in Oct 03. We are going with solicitors, West Meds Consulting in Torrevieja.
    E-mail me anytime.

    Regards
    Bernie

  • #60686
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant
  • #60690
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    This story is almost identical to our own situation.(We were in Spain independantly and have parted with a lot more money and the developers have had it for 2 years & 4months!) Well done to the person concerned for creating this website.

  • #60974
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Just last week we have received our money back that Iberian were holding. This was after I informed them that they were illegally witholding our money and that they could not ask us to sign renouncing our rights to the property as our contract was with the builder and not them.
    We said we would sign to say how much we received off of them but they must also state how much they paid over to Tecnologia. This they did and our solicitor signed to say that he held the contract pending court action against the builder. Every little helps in our quest to get our money back but I don’t know why Iberian/Atlas dont give people back the monies they hold when they know how distressing this is and how long people have already waited for Colinas del Lago which still hasn’t got permission to build.

    Bernie

  • #60975
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Well done! You must be over the moon to have your money back. Congratulations! 😀

  • #60976
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks Claire,

    dont know how easy it will be to get the remaining 42,000 euro from the builder though. I have just e-mailed my solicitor as on another forum someone else has just found out that the builder has apparently moved his offices out of Torrevieja to Madrid. I am awaiting confirmation of this.

  • #62792
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi everyone,

    Just to let you know that we too have just had a refund from Iberian after much debate. 😀 😀 😀

    Iberian say their lawyer is talking to TU and they are hopeful of resolving the matters.

    Andrea

  • #63043
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hello everyone,

    Just to let you know I have had half my deposit returned by Atlas International a couple of weeks ago ( 2years and 7 months since the first deposit payment). Really pleased but still requesting the other half.

    Hope I get the rest soon. It’s heartening to hear people are getting their money back (at last!).

    Bye for now,

    DOL53

  • #64266
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hello everyone,

    Just wanted to let you know there is light at the end of the tunnel……………. :D!!!

    I have received all my deposit money.

    This website was a godsend. I have found all the forums interesting and helpful. THANK YOU.

    Regards,

    DOL 53

  • #64267
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Congratulations!!! 😀

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