Ayamonte late completion nightmare

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 11 years ago.

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  • #51395
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    In January 2003, I saw an advert in a Sunday newspaper placed by an estate agent in South West England They were advertising properties in the Costa de la Luz and I was interested as I have taken quite a few holidays in this part of the world. I sent off for further information and thought to myself this is a superior estate agent, not like others I had read about. In February 2003 I went over to Ayamonte and met the then manager who was a really good salesman and had the gift of the gab. What I was looking for was a buy to let property which I could use myself a couple of weeks a year. Having visited an off plan development of villas and townhouses near Ayamonte the then manager of this superior estate agent told me the best buy was a 4 bed detached villa which I would have no problem letting. In fact he said it would be occupied most of the year by tourists in summer and golfers in winter. As the agents had an in house property management department I put down a £2000 deposit. First payment was paid punctually and I received a contract from head office signed by the Chief Executive Officer of the company which said completion would be July 2004. By January 2004 they were 2 months ahead of schedule and I had paid this superior estate agent 75% of the asking price in cash. Then it all started going horribly wrong. Easter 2004 I sent e mails and telephoned the office in Ayamonte asking for a completion date and these calls and e mails went unanswered for days so the alarm bells started ringing in my ears. I went over unexpectedly in July 2004 and presented myself in their office in Ayamonte much to the staff‘s surprise. When I visited the villa which should have been completed I found a shell with no windows, bathroom, showers, toilets, kitchen and tiles. Our supposedly superior estate agent was now full of excuses saying a land survey of some description had taken place and all work was halted on the site so of course the builders left to find employment elsewhere. When the go ahead was given to resume work there was no building staff available so more had to be found and the property was behind schedule even more. I returned to UK and kept in contact with the agents in Ayamonte but return messages were few and far between and I spent pounds trying to glean information. I eventually made friends with someone in the area who visited the villa on a regular basis to keep me up to date. These messages were never the same as the ones I received from the agents in Ayamonte who of course I thought were superior people running a superior business. November 2004 came and went and the villa was now 5 months late and was there any compensation offered from the agents for late completion and loss of rental income? No, of course not. I visited the villa again and stayed in a hotel at my own expense in December 2004 and still no windows, interior doors, tiles, kitchen or toilets so back to the Ayamonte office only to be told there was a shortage of tiles. As far as I am aware Spain is one of the biggest producers of ceramic tiles in the world and they could not find another supplier of tiles or would this mean a reduction in their profits? Spring 2005 and a call from the Ayamonte office asking if I would complete the transaction without a kitchen if they gave me 5000 euros refund, to which I said two words the second being “OFF”. I signed a contract to have a fully fitted kitchen and that is what I wanted. Next thing a letter arrives from head office in South West England asking for the final payment on the villa. When I informed them there was no kitchen they said it would be started very soon to which I replied when it is finished I will go over and inspect it and if all is ok you will get your final payment. They said it would be completed in a couple of weeks and I was to go across for an inspection to which I replied I will be out of the country so, as I have had to wait 9 months for you then you will have to wait a few weeks for me. This went down like a lead balloon and they kindly informed me if I do not pay pronto they will confiscate the villa and I will lose my £96,000 pounds under breach of contract. At this point I was fuming and told this supposedly superior estate agent that they were in breach of contract as I had a contract from their CEO saying the property would be complete by July 2004. After that conversation I decided to get myself an independent lawyer and as soon as he started acting on my behalf head office ceased communicating with me. Now I started investigating a few things and my lawyer advised me to part with no more money until the kitchen had been installed. I was eventually informed the kitchen was complete and the escritura ready for signing so I booked flights and went over to Spain and again had to find my own accommodation. I met my lawyer in the notary office and had my final payment in the form of a draft. Then the bombshell, the promoter of the development said he was owed money and refused to sign the escritura. Needles to say I was fuming as I had a wasted journey from UK and my lawyer was also fuming as he had a wasted journey. Did they offer compensation, you decide. Before I left Spain I walked around the development and spoke to numerous people who had already moved in to the phase one houses and do you know I could not find one person who had a good thing to say about this estate agent. One couple sold up in Wiltshire when they were informed their villa was complete only to arrive and find no kitchen, no electricity, water or gas. They had to stay in hotels and relatives’ property with their furniture in another house. Other residents still had snags outstanding from 3 months ago and decided to do the work themselves. I left power of attorney in the hands of my lawyer and returned home, eventually the escritura was signed a couple of weeks later. Whilst I was in my house in Spain I made a snagging list which I presented to the staff in the Ayamonte office who informed me the work would be carried out. After I had returned home and the final payment had cleared the bank an e mail arrived from the estate agents saying the snag list would not be done and I had to sort it out with my lawyer. I returned to Spain a couple of months later and the villa was exactly as I had left it so I did the snags myself. When the water was turned on I found a leak in the kitchen and reported this to the Ayamonte staff and credit where credit is due the new manager of the estate agent sent one of the office staff to the villa to help with the problem. Eventually I paid a builder out of my own pocket to carry out the work.
    If I can offer any advice at all it is this, from day one, if you are buying a resale or off plan get yourself a decent lawyer, one who speaks English and Spanish and is in no way at all connected to the builder or estate agent. Make sure if you are buying off plan to get a late penalty clause included in the contract and a bank guarantee in case the builder goes bankrupt. I have kept hard copies of all correspondence between me and the estate agent, saved all e mails I have sent and received and most importantly I have recorded all telephone conversations with the estate agents in Ayamonte and head office in UK which may be required pending a court case if it gets that far. I would not recommend this estate agent to anyone, not even my worst enemy. In my opinion their service and after sales service leaves a lot to be desired. It would be interesting to hear if anyone else has suffered at the hands of this or any other estate agent.

  • #60083
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I placed a deposit for an off plan resale townhouse on Costa Esuri with this very same agent. Saw the almost the exact same property 30,000 euro cheaper with another agent. So I withdrew from the deal, got my deposit back within 3 days. Seems like I had a lucky escape.

    BTW, I decided not to buy the other townhouse either, in fact decided not to buy in Spain at all.

    Regards
    Kevin

  • #60084
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I wonder who the agent is? Any clues? 😕

  • #60086
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Claire wrote:

    I wonder who the agent is? Any clues? 😕

    The name of the agent is in the article, just read between the lines.. Be careful as I see you are from across the pond and this agent also deals in USA, Florida in particular. Do not touch them with a barge pole. Since the escritura was signed in May the villa has been empty, I am now trying to let the property or sell but it really has caused a lot of stress and sleepless nights. It is now on an estate agents books in Spain who want 8% commission so if it is sold the profit made will be about 4000 euros, not one of my better investments. I just hope someone from BBC watchdog could cotton on to these practices in Spain and expose the culprits.

  • #60088
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Phantom,

    How did you deduce I am from USA? 😕 I live in the South of England! 🙂

    Sadly stories like yours seem to be happening more & more. I think many of us who post here are beyond being shocked by anything we read!

  • #60090
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi – I see the agent is in the south west of england – well i live in Devon, am good at doing Sudukos 😉 but can’t ‘crack’ this puzzle of ‘reading between the lines’ – go on, give us a clue……(does the ‘superior’ have anything to do with their name????) ❓
    Sofia

  • #60092
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    It’d be a lot easier to read between the lines….

    If he’d used paragraphs. 😥

  • #60095
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I assumed the agent was ‘Superior’ which makes a change from Awful Estates who almost have the sole mis-selling rights there!

  • #60096
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    never heard of them – so checked their website = heres one for your Paul.

    They dont have the estimted “Bentley” award but the “mercedes” one – I still think this isnt a property care and service award – but relates to the number of Posh cars the owners of the agency can buy with our commission payments! 😈

  • #60097
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @sofia wrote:

    Hi – I see the agent is in the south west of england – well i live in Devon, am good at doing Sudukos 😉 but can’t ‘crack’ this puzzle of ‘reading between the lines’ – go on, give us a clue……(does the ‘superior’ have anything to do with their name????) ❓
    Sofia

    It has everything to do with their name. Just have to careful with libel laws these days. My apologies Claire, the Santa Maria threw me as I have visited a place of the same name in USA

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