Dodgy AIPP regulatory body?

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This topic contains 59 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Inez Inez 9 years ago.

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  • #52629
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    😥 😡

    Google search of AIPP.

    You wouldn’t believe who’s on the Board of this mickey mouse organisation, Martin Gow of Parador Props., R Barrasford of Barrasford and Bird, estate agents and others, and, John Howell the lawyer always involved with some suspect companies.

    How on earth can this org. be independent and unbiased when overseas property agents etc are on their Board, some of which have a history???

    Members include Ocean Estates who were dropped by Your Move last year for constant abuses in selling overseas property, who are constantly exposed in the Press for the same offences.

    I wouldn’t trust AIPP members with a very long bargepole, maybe anyone can buy membership without checks made, another scam I suppose!

  • #69198
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @angie wrote:

    Why do some agents lie continuously?

    Money !

    (not agent-bashing, honestly 🙄 )

  • #69213
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    🙄

    Heaven forbid us agent bashing charlie.

    What do you think of this AIPP bunch pretending to have member agents showing ‘Honesty, Transparency and Integrity’ who clearly have not shown these qualities up to now? I think it’s yet another scam.

    I’ve emailed AIPP’s chief exec. Paul Owen but he’s not had the decency to reply yet. Anyone know his background, is he a Costa Agent too, or an ex agent about to make a quick buck on payable memberships?

    Has anyone out there heard of this guy Paul Owen please?

  • #69215
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Hi Angie – I have heard of him and met him. He doesnt have a background in real estate as far as I am aware, but we refused to join due to the asociation of the big boys!

    I feel they try to get brownie points being joined to these organizations when in fact they either started them, have bankrolled them or continue to bankroll them!!

  • #69294
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Rawlins wrote:

    Llanera is one of Spain’s biggest developers and has recently started to market itself in the UK by sponsoring Charlton Athletic and the London Irish clubs.

    I was recently surprised to read http://www.bluesunworld.com announcing itself as Llanera’s officially appointed agents in the UK. By chance, Blue Sun shares the same address as Llanera in Maidstone, Kent.

    I suspected that Blue Sun World was, in fact, owned by Llanera – and a quick enquiry revealed that this was true.

    The Blue Sun website promises that it would put buyer’s interests first and omits any mention of the fact that all the properties shown are owned by the same company that owns the Blue Sun ‘agency’.

    Blue Sun World also proudly announces on its website that it is a founder member of the AIPP – the Association of International Property Professionals.

    Not revealing a conflicting ownership would seem to immediately violate AIPP General Rules 1, 2, 3, and 4 as well as Sales Rule 1 – and so we have today sent an emailed complaint to the AIPP with a copy to Blue Sun.

    We will now see if the AIPP has any teeth. I will keep forum members posted.

    This is a post I made before Christmas. Still no reply from the AIPP.

  • #69302
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Rawlins, I take it you also refused to join AIPP as we did even thought they kept insisting! 😡

  • #69316
    Profile photo of Paul
    Paul
    Participant

    😳

    I’m embarassed by my lack of ability to copy and paste a reply email here, from Paul Owen of AIPP.

    However to my disbelief he says he can’t stop anyone becoming a member of AIPP just because of Press articles, so despite 5 articles on mis-selling by Ocean Estates (proven articles), despite Your Move dumping Ocean last year for constant negative Press, despite all Ocean’s criticism on here and other websites like http://www.eyeonspain.com, he still wishes to accept their membership and that of similar other rogue agents, and at £1200 a time it’s such good business.

    He also wants to see the logo AIPP on every agents website, printing, shop front etc as a sign of ‘HONESTY, TRANSPARENCY and INTEGRITY’ for people to have complete trust in their members.

    I bet he does at £1200 a time, what a b—-y nerve!

    Don’t trust AIPP members at all.

  • #69420
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @inez wrote:

    Rawlins, I take it you also refused to join AIPP as we did even thought they kept insisting! 😡

    No, Inez, I don’t think we need to pull a shroud of apparent respectability over our names and businesses.

    🙂

  • #69447
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Well you know what they say Rawlins,

    You can fool all the people some of the time, but you cant fool the people all of the time! And the time for the Costa agents is now!!

  • #69450
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Inez – I hope you are not referring to those honourable members of the

    Asylum for Immoral Property Purveyors”

  • #69453
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Very good Charlie, love it! 😆

  • #69457
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    think they might have a related development company?……..

    …….Asylum for Immoral Founders of Outrageous Sharks.

  • #69555
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    😉

    Clearly the AIPP needs an honest rival regulatory body.

    How about AIPS (Association of International Property Swindlers)?

    Honest members need not apply obviously.

    However anyone who has been scammed by an agent would enrol that agent whether they liked it or not. Membership is non-profit making and therefore FREE for scammers.

    There are those on the AIPP who would automatically qualify based on experiences of many purchasers. The AIPP is happy to accept £1200 average membership fees from even the Likes of Awful Estates and although they have been presented with the evidence (and offered more) they still refuse to answer emails ( Paul Owen ), nor de-list such
    companies.

    Don’t trust AIPP but refer to AIPS who will promote ‘Dishonesty, Obscurity and Non-Integrity’ .

  • #69671
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    If you get time Rawlins, can you chase up your email and lack of response to Paul Owen of AIPP about ‘conflict of interests among members etc’?

    I have recently sent him 3 further emails (because he previously said he would answer me) but he has weakly decided against replying it seems, he’d also previously said he would answer Forum questions here but appears to have reneged on that too.

    AIPS (Association of International Property Swindlers) seems more appropriate. He’s just raking in £1200 subsciptions from anyone.

  • #69675
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Can I have a PM of that please – Im sure I will see him in the next few weeks at a show and would love a gentle discussion with it!

  • #69711
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Hi Inez, have just received an email from Paul Owen which says he will address our issues on this forum tomorrow onwards which is a good start. Let’s see what he has to say first, most of us after all just want clarity and honesty in the Spanish market, weed out the sharks, display commissions properly, less stage payment developments (protecting purchasers better) etc etc.

  • #69728
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    I look forward to that.

  • #69747
    Profile photo of Paul
    Paul
    Participant

    Why is Paul Owen keeping us waiting, I thought he was posting here to answer his critics?

    Could anyone really trust an Association that is happy to accept Awful Estates as a Member after at least 5 Press exposes?

  • #69753
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Paul ….. I take it you are NOT paul?? 😯

  • #69773
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hello, my name is Paul Owen and I am employed to run the AIPP. Angie has been in touch with me via email and I have happily accepted her invitation to join your forum. I planned to join the forum on Thursday but have only just received access confirmation.

    You raise a lot of points, all of which I’ll try to answer in one reply today. I’ll try to do direct answers to each of the questions or points (though it’s not easy to keep them short). I believe I can answer all the questions you have raised but I don’t claim to have all the answers of how to make this market the one we’d all like it to be.

    ‘buying membership’?
    Members do pay a fee and it is substantial (from £360 – £3600 a year depending on the size of company). However, we have turned applications down. To end of January 07, we refused 19% of all applications; at our average fee, that’s more than £50,000 worth of income refused. I don’t pretend our membership qualification process is perfect (it’s an easy thing to do in principle, difficult in detail) but the fact that we have turned that amount of income down proves that you cannot buy membership.

    ‘a scam’?
    Nothing could be further from the truth. We are very clear about what we can do and what we can’t. We make it clear to the industry and to the consumer (clearly much more work to do) what our badge of membership means. Yes, I would expect Member companies to get a commercial benefit from membership (practically nobody would join without offering this) but, in return, they have professional obligations. If, and this is a very important point, if they don’t deliver on their obligations (see the Code of Conduct on our website), then you can make a complaint about them to us. Once you have provided your proof, we must investigate. If necessary, you can attend a Disciplinary Panel hearing with the Member about whom you’ve complained and see exactly what happens. If the complaint is upheld, we can take action against that Member. And they have agreed to that.

    We are quite clear where our money comes from (membership fees), we are quite open about who we are (all Board members on the website though there are no details on me; I will cover who I am later and maybe that can be added to the website). We have an office address that you are free to visit though, with only 2 staff, it’s best to call in advance to book an appointment. Typically, one of us is in from 9-5 each working day.

    We will not make this market perfect and we will not make it appreciably better overnight. But we will make significant changes within 3 years of launch (another 2 years time). We’re not perfect but we are definitely not a scam.

    ‘lack of replies’
    Angie, I replied to your first email and offered to join the forum. As I said in my most recent email to you, your reply didn’t address my offer and I took that to be a sign that you didn’t want me on your forum. I would have replied to your second email too, Angie, but I concede that it had been with me for a few days without reply. I apologise for that; it was not intentional.

    As for a lack of reply to ‘Rawlins’, that is not the case. You emailed me on 5 December with your complaint. I tried to call you the following week but was unable to contact you (I think I left a voicemail but I just can’t remember for sure; my notes should remind me but they don’t. My mistake). You sent an email chasing a reply on 13 December. I sent an email on 18 December suggesting that we speak on the phone as I find that more useful when investigating a complaint. I spoke to ‘John’ when I called (not sure if that’s you) and we had a fairly long discussion about the complaint. I agreed to speak to the Member concerned and come back to you before Christmas. On 22nd December, I sent an email to explain that I’d been unable to speak to the Member and I was then on holiday for Christmas and New Year. On 23 January, I sent you an email with the result from my conversation with the Member: they agreed to address your concern. I’m not sure this action was strong enough to ‘prove our teeth’ but your complaint was addressed and action taken to reflect what you thought should be on a company’s website. I received no reply from you. If you didn’t receive that final email, I’d be happy to send it to you again.

    ‘Who is Paul Owen? Does he have a background in real estate?’
    I don’t recall our meeting, Inez, though I do recognise your name. I don’t tend to regale people with my background when talking about the Association but I’ll always reply if people ask me, of course. I took the job with AIPP from 1st January 2006; this is my full-time and only job. For the previous 5 years (Dec 00 to Dec 05), I worked for VEF, a UK company selling property across France. I started as a salesman and moved into a sales and marketing role. Much of my time was spent talking to buyers about where to buy in France and what to buy in France.

    ‘bankrolled by big agents’
    You claim, Inez, that we are bankrolled by (and therefore, I assume you’re suggesting, reliant on) big agents. This is not true. Our membership fees reflect the size of each Member company; that was felt fair to allow smaller companies (essential in the market) just as much access as larger companies. Also, to make this work, we do need money (a simple fact of life) and bigger companies are better able to pay more money (though this is capped which is absolutely essential). This is far from being about ‘the big boys’. In fact, our membership profile (from the agents and developers, ie not including lawyers, financiers etc) shows 37% are 1-person companies, 21% are 2-person companies with only 16% being larger companies (10 employees plus) paying the maximum fee.

    ‘AIPP keep insisting’
    Inez, I do follow up enquiries from prospective Members; I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t do that. If anybody doesn’t want to hear from the AIPP any more, they only need to tell me. I’ve no wish to chase companies who are simply not interested. We need many, many more Members. With 180 Members live today (and another 13 awaiting checks / references), we do not have enough critical mass to change the market. I see nothing wrong with staying in touch with companies who have enquired about membership. Most of our applications come from me chasing up those people who have just not got around to filling in the forms yet. This market is full of inertia (if that’s not a contradiction in terms) and we have to be proactive to engage people in the changes we’re trying to bring about: no apologies from me for doing that.

    ‘AIPP presented with evidence’
    Angie, you mention somewhere that (I’m paraphrasing a little here) even though we’ve been ‘presented with evidence’, we have still accepted companies that you believe we shouldn’t have. I don’t know what evidence you’re talking about. Please remember that our Members (whatever you may think of them) have voluntarily said ‘We must follow these rules; if we don’t, you can take action against us through the AIPP. And we’ve agreed to that.’ To be clear from the beginning, we can’t backdate complaints; that is to say that from the day they join, each Member is bound by the Code of Conduct. If you allege they’ve broken it beforehand, we don’t have the power to enforce our Code. Not perfect, I know, but we have found no other legal way of doing it. If we were presented with evidence of a company’s unsuitability for membership when they were applying, that could affect the Board’s decision as we are allowed to turn people down if it can be proven that they are not ‘of good standing’.

    ‘independent and unbiased..’?
    I think it’s difficult to claim either of these; I could talk for ages about what ‘independent’ really means but won’t bore you. I don’t think this ‘interest’ in the business means we can’t do the job we set out to do. Yes, our Board is full of agents, developers, lawyers etc, all of whom work in this market. Nobody else is putting their hand up to improve the industry but these people are. In the perfect world (that none of us inhabit), there would probably be a combination of industry and non-industry people on the Board. In time, I think we will have some independent people (certainly involved on the Disciplinary side, as soon as this year I hope) but I also think you have to have industry people involved as they know how it all works. As to whether the Board Members are ‘dodgy’, we’re moving into very dangerous territory there. I absolutely disagree wholeheartedly with that extremely strong allegation. I would have thought that you should either make an official complaint and prove your theories or withdraw them.

    I’m not sure this needs a summary now as most points about us have been covered in the answers above and I’m quite sure you’ve all read enough from me for now.

    I had offered (to Angie by email) to come back onto the forum next Wednesday to reply to your further comments but I will now be away in Cyprus for most of next week. I will be working so may be able to speak on my mobile, should anyone so desire, but will not be online for almost the whole week. I will try to visit the forum the following week (week beginning 12 March) at some stage and look forward to reading your thoughts. It is hard to commit completely to a date, particularly in March, but I promise I will re-visit the site on a 2nd occasion as soon as I can. I will have to make that my final visit to the forum but I am always on the end of a phone. Alternatively, you could of course visit our office for a face-to-face meeting.

  • #69919
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    😕

    Sorry but I’m not convinced by all of Paul Owen’s comments.

    I can see no justification whatsoever for an ethical Association to accept memberships from the likes of Ocean Estates. To forget what they’ve done in the past as if it had not happened and wipe the slate clean is simply not on.

    To have members on your Board who have also been over zealous in hyping off-plans abroad and critizised in the Press and on forums is no way an unbiased association.

    Forget about us giving you the proof, just read all the Press/media links as well as the many forum links here and elsewhere.

  • #69952
    Profile photo of Paul
    Paul
    Participant

    I would still wish to see AIPP be bold enough to make agents commissions more transparent in property details, I mean why hide them if they are reasonable?

    On another note, John Howells a lawyer often involved with larger (IMO less reputable) agents, on tv’s channel 287 MRI I believe, at no point does he warn viewers not to pay Black money in Turkey, he virtually endorses it by stating it’s the norm. Same John Howell who is on the Board of AIPP.

    So could not trust AIPP as a regulatory association.

  • #70170
    Profile photo of Paul
    Paul
    Participant

    😡

    Firstly, I see Paul Owen has not re-visited this thread and answered the questions put to him.

    To make things worse now, is that on last night’s tv prog. about people with property problems abroad, is the mis-selling agent responsible for marketing an off-plan new-build development WITHOUT planning permission was none other than Parador Props., not only a member of AIPP but also on their Board I believe.

    Answer that please Paul Owen!

  • #70172
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Saw the program.
    Disgraceful behaviour and not how Parador normally would treat clients 🙄
    Just wondering though why these folk didn’t check on the situation prior to selling their UK home,surely that’s the logical thing to do, and then were allowed ?? to move into a unfinished build.
    The tv progs are good to a point but wish they would tell the whole story.

  • #70211
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Melosine, why do you think Parador sold these off-plans without planning permission in the light of all the problems aired over the last few years, and do you think AIPP will truly live up to it’s motto of ‘Honesty, Transparency and Integrity’ and deal with them? Makes it look decidedly dodgy having Martin Gow of Parador on their Board at one stage.

  • #70216
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Angie,
    IMHO any regulatory body will always protect their members first. The consumer is way down the pecking order. Like (inclusive and free) 10 year guarantees just ain’t worth the paper their written on.

    During our time of house hunting in Spain my husband and I heard many a sales pitch, in bars, directed towards other people in areas ,such as Albox, by these big boys. It was common knowledge then that there was an big issue with building licences in Almeria .
    We felt guilty because we really wanted to tell these wide eyed folk but if we knew how would they have believed us ? Doubt it.
    People seriously under estimate the psychology used in selling.

    However even if I had fallen foul of it I would have wanted constant updates on the progress of the build. This apparently was not an issue with the couple portrayed on the tv programme and therefore made them appear foolish and Parador got off lightly with just a humble apology .

    Why do I get the feeling that the media are not really on the side of the consumer.

  • #70218
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @melosine wrote:

    IMHO any regulatory body will always protect their members first.

    ….and the ‘Ilustre Colegio de Abogados’ is a prime example.

  • #70220
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Just an aside, seen on another forum:

    “What qualifications do I need to get work at an estate agency in Spain?”

    Answer ” An ability to look people straight in the eye and lie through your teeth”

  • #70221
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Katy – as per my posting on the Bloomberg thread, our guy was GOOD!

    Quote 2003: “I make it a rule never to get involved in purchasing in Spain personally as all my equity is in South Africa, but Green Hills is so special I decided to break my own rule and have purchased two penthouses. One in my name for our family use, one in my wife’s name to rent out”.

    Quote 2005 (when the no-build issue came up and I caught up with him working back in London and asked him what he was going to do):
    “What, two penthouses? I don’t know what you are talking about, I have never purchased anything at Green Hills. It’s a rule of mine not to get involved personally in property investment in Spain”.

    I know, with hindsight and now insight, it was the oldest trick in the book – and back in 2003 on us it certainly worked. Top reputable company, charming mature guy willing to invest his own money – what a comfort zone we found ourselves in!

    Now, personally, I wouldn’t believe anything printed/quoted, comments on the state of the market etc. such as the above that comes out of the mouth of an estate agent – because in my opinion they only want to get into print to further their own self interest/business.

  • #70224
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Once upon a time……folk would be aghast at the thought of being dishonourable and deals were settled with a handshake…….and alas for those of us, me included, who still believe in the true meaning of “my word is my bond”

  • #70226
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Thanks Melosine for your views, I totally agree with the ‘my word is my bond’ and a ‘handshake’. It appears to be rare nowadays, and almost non-existant in Spanish Property deals it seems.

    I still think AIPP should show some b—s and reprimand Parador and investigate agents before allowing them to be Members or on their Board, easy to do undercover.

    Just found out that AIPP have an ex Ocean Estates guy actually on their Board too, he was with them in 2001 when much of the mis-selling was in full swing. Says it all about dodgy AIPP I suppose.

  • #70449
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    This is Paul Owen again from the AIPP. I promised to return but have been delayed in doing so.

    There are various points made since my first post and there’s a common thread. On this, my second (and what must be final) visit, I’d like to make clear our position.

    The overseas property market is almost entirely unregulated. If you buy in xxLand and don’t get the property or the service you wanted or receive no property at all, your only recourse is probably through the courts in that country. Legal systems anywhere are expensive and slow; most buyers cannot afford the time or the money (especially with the risk of losing).

    The AIPP has been set up with one aim and one aim alone: to make the international property market better and safer. Better for agents and developers, yes, but also by connection, better and safer for consumers.

    We don’t claim to be a consumer body, a watchdog for you; that would be wrong. We are a trade body and our Members are in the industry. I am employed by that trade body and carry out the work on behalf of Members. However, if we do not deliver a better market for the consumers, then we have no reason to exist. Ultimately, you will decide whether this works or not.

    There are clearly strong feelings about some agents and some of the ones you mention are Members. If companies are not Members of the AIPP, then you have practically no recourse whatsoever; there is no action you can take other than to write about them on this forum or take them to court. If they are Members of the AIPP, then they have agreed that they must follow a Code of Conduct and that you can make complaints to us against them. We must then investigate and can take action if a complaint is upheld (fines, suspension, expulsion and compensation).

    As I said in my first message, I don’t claim that the AIPP cures all ills overnight but people are coming together to make a genuine attempt to improve the market. We have made a difference in our first year (several complaints have been investigated and action has been taken) and I believe that within another 2 years (hopefully 1) we can make significant improvements to this market.

    I sense that some minds within this forum are already made up about the AIPP and some of you will be hard to convince. I understand your reservations; this has not been a market that has covered itself in glory over the years. You could though give the AIPP an opportunity to show you in the next couple of years that we can improve things.

    I have visited your forum twice now and tried to explain what we’re doing, who we are, who I am, how we work etc. I have also invited any of you to call me, to email me direct or to visit me in our office to find out more or to discuss doubts, worries etc. That invitation remains open and my contact details are below.

    I have not answered any of your questions or statements or allegations about Members and I’m sure that will disappoint you. I see little if any foundation in them but, of course, you can make official complaints about any Member if you so wish. We would then have to investigate; again, contact details are below. With non-Members, remember, you do not have that option.

    I’ll leave you all in peace now and will be unable to return to the forum again. You may or may not agree with my thoughts but thanks for inviting me on and for reading my replies.

    Paul Owen
    AIPP, 94 New Bond Street, London W1S 1SJ
    Tel: +44 (0)20 7409 7061 Email: paulowen@aipp.org.uk
    UK Company No: 5677417

  • #70454
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    If Paul Owen is not going to visit the Forum again , then why did he bother to write the above when it will be a waste of time responding to it.!? It’s all very well to say “

    I have also invited any of you to call me, to email me direct or to visit me in our office to find out more or to discuss doubts, worries etc.”

    If he made a statement “in public” then why answer behind “closed doors”?

    If they are Members of the AIPP, then they have agreed that they must follow a Code of Conduct and that you can make complaints to us against them. We must then investigate and can take action if a complaint is upheld (fines, suspension, expulsion and compensation).

    They should be publicly named and shamed. A blacklist should be made available to perspective purchasers.
    With such “shocking” punishment being possible I bet the EAs will be quaking in their offices…NOT! 😯 (Not so much the smaller, independent ones, they are not the real offenders)

    As I said in my first message, I don’t claim that the AIPP cures all ills overnight but people are coming together to make a genuine attempt to improve the market.

    IMHO, too little too late. I think that Joe Public is making the difference by talking with their feet. As I’ve said before, it’s so costly & stressful going through a Court case to get your money back from developers, I cannot imagine anyone will take an EA to court for mis-selling, in the first place.

    I wonder if push comes to shove, the AIPP will be as “effective” as the Collegio de Abogados in punishing their own for dereliction of duty to their client. ❓

  • #70457
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    😕

    Well said Claire, what was the point of him posting if he’s not going to answer some of our points, nor accept that certain members are already flouting the rules of his Association, such as Parador who were exposed just days ago for mis-selling property without planning permission?

    What kind of Association is that?

    He’s ignored my offer to email him with Your Move’s emails to me about ‘dropping Ocean Estates as their preferred overseas partner’, ( ex Ocean employee on their Board etc).

    It appears they are only interested in their rather large Membership Subscriptions (Average £1200 P.A.).

    Would you, could you, trust an Agent who belongs to such an Association?
    I certainly couldn’t.

    To wimp out saying that some of us have already made our minds up is just ducking the real issues, I don’t believe they are willing to lose certain members whatever they’ve done in the past, nor how they are acting now.

  • #70458
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    There is an article about AIPP in today’s Daily Mail, but it is not included in the online version or I would give a link.

    It is entitled ‘Chasing out the cowboys’ and continues ‘Investing in property abroad? Good news – there’s a new watchdog protecting you from the market’s rip-off merchants’

    If I was one of the people who had bought a property through Parador which did not have a valid building licence, or had used one of their recommended lawyers who turned out not to be a lawyer at all then I would certainly be making a complaint to the AIPP, as suggested by Paul Owen.

    @paul Owen wrote:

    If they are Members of the AIPP, then they have agreed that they must follow a Code of Conduct and that you can make complaints to us against them. We must then investigate and can take action if a complaint is upheld (fines, suspension, expulsion and compensation).

    …. you can make official complaints about any Member if you so wish. We would then have to investigate; again, contact details are below. With non-Members, remember, you do not have that option.

    Paul Owen
    AIPP, 94 New Bond Street, London W1S 1SJ
    Tel: +44 (0)20 7409 7061 Email: paulowen@aipp.org.uk
    UK Company No: 5677417

  • #70461
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    8)

    Thanks tilly for that info, I’ll try and find it but if anyone can provide a link, please post it.

    However, I totally agree with your comments, but I fear that Paul Owen is not really interested as he says in complaints about dodgy AIPP’s members, but only in their FAT subscriptions. After all he Quote ‘sees little foundation in statements or allegations about members’ even though they have been exposed on TV and in the Press.

    Talk about ‘turn a blind eye and cock a deaf un’. I can see no credibilty whatsoever in the AIPP Or AIPS as I think they should be known as.

  • #70596
    Profile photo of Paul
    Paul
    Participant

    👿

    Article in the S. Times recently about yet another dodgy AIPP member, Bulgarian Dreams being investigated by Trade and Industry. Bulgaria is like another nightmare waiting to happen and it seems like AIPP is not bothered about vetting it’s Board and Members.

    Just received a brochure on new development abroad (not Spain) and out pops an AIPP leaflet, so I binned the brochure. I’m not going to deal with anyone who’s a member of AIPP, I don’t trust any of them.

  • #70599
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Paul – did you see the article in the Daily Mail re. AIPP?
    If not, can post you a copy.

  • #70601
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Everyone,

    Have just read the thread re AIPP. This has to be the original Old Boys Club. Isn’t this just a version of the Jaguar Property Awards. I never understood who or what Jaguar are/were. But it is clever PR. How many people are fooled into thinking that something has to be good because it has received an accolade from their competitors. As I understand it AIPP are a private organization. As such they have zero clout. What they are most certainly not is a organization like the bodies which regulate the accounting, chartered surveying, engineering,medical etc professions ( and they are not always without fault). In my opinion it’s a case of smoke and mirrors. Anyone can claim to be an expert but how many really are. I think we all know the answer. One thing you can be sure of is that all the overseas living/property mags will be telling their readers what great guys these are. But the cynic in me reminds me that all these publications live off the advertising revenues of the agents, developers etc. Remember, you read it here first!

    James

  • #70604
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Perhaps if people with a complaint against a member of the AIPP reported to Paul Owen and copied the letter to the Dail Mail reporter who wrote the article – or even better to Mark Stucklin – AIPP might feel obliged to at least go through the motions of investigating?

  • #70605
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    tilly

    i think if Paul Owen gave a hoot, he would have the guts to come on here and defend himself. But how can he defend the indefendable? Just an ‘old boys club’, and if a few of us have rumbled them, what do they care?. As long they feel can fool the majority.

  • #70632
    Profile photo of Paul
    Paul
    Participant

    😥

    Think tilly, goodstich44,casalaloba have also well and truly sussed out AIPP and Paul Owen.

    It’s a membership association that anyone it seems can join by just paying a subscription of £1200 average.

    For your information, P. Owen also says that the so called Motor Manufacturer awards can be bought by any Company wishing to enter a particular category but then allows his members to advertise these bogus awards in AIPP’s brochure on their individual adverts and websites.

    I think it’s all designed to DUPE innocent buyers again into trusting dubious operators if they are members of AIPP.

    ‘Honesty, Transparency and Integrity’ is AIPP’s code of conduct.

    Like hell!

  • #70633
    Profile photo of Paul
    Paul
    Participant

    😉

    charlie, I’d like to see the article if possible, is it online please?

  • #70641
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Paul – I can’t find the article on-line but can post it to you if you want to send me your address in a pm….
    (it’s too long to type it all out 🙁 ).

  • #70765
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    cant find the mail article on line but it is quoted here, dont know if this is the complete version.

    http://www.kyero.com/news

    Jim

  • #70774
    Profile photo of Paul
    Paul
    Participant

    Thanks for that jiminspain, makes interesting reading although somewhat conflicting I think.

    Paul Owen apparently talks a good talk in the article but he fails to act on some of the ‘cowboys’ who are members of AIPP. As for Martin Gow of Parador, believe he’s on AIPP’s Board, well, it was Parador themselves who were exposed on tv for selling properties without planning permission so completely untrustworthy.

    Ocean Estates constant bad Press does not sway Owen either even though it was all proven.

    At the end of the day, Owen and AIPP are just raking in high subscriptions from whoever’s willing to pay them.

    What are your views on this, and, wonder why Owen will not address these points publicly on here, but prefers ‘closed doors’?

    👿 🙄

  • #70776
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Paul – Jim’s link unfortunately did not contain the article.
    I posted it to you yesterday – you should receive by Monday if the donkeys have their rollerskates on…….

  • #70779
    Profile photo of Paul
    Paul
    Participant

    Thanks charlie, I look forward to it.

  • #70783
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Also interesting following the Daily Mail article ref AIPP, did anyone realise the Daily Mail were one of founder members of the AIPP

    Jim

  • #70852
    Profile photo of Paul
    Paul
    Participant

    🙄

    Thanks for the article charlie, the donkeys must have ran, arrived on time.

    How right you are jiminspain, the Daily Mail IS DEFINITELY a member of the dodgy AIPP, so b—-y incestuous isn’t it?

    Some other interesting members of AIPP who have also had Press or TV Exposes, and Forum postings, for mis-selling foreign property:

    Bulgarian Dreams
    Ocean Estates
    Parador Properties
    Premier Resorts
    Superior Group

    The NatWest Group is also a member!!!!!!Warning Signs!!!!!

    Add a couple on their Board:

    Peter Robinson (ex Ocean Estates)
    Lawyer John Howell (who clearly advocates B. Money for Turkish property on TV)

    Meanwhile Paul Owen has ducked the questions put to him on this forum and by email.

    Rather at odds with the article headline Quote’ there’s a new watchdog protecting you from the market’s rip-off merchants’

  • #76461

    Hi all,

    I run a property blog and was researching this subject. I just made a post about it and would appreciate any factual information you guys have. Either here, or at my blog as a comment or emailed to me – whichever is easiest for you.

    Thanks.

    IPI
    http://internationalpropertyinvestment.com/association-of-international-property-professionals-scam-artists-or-genuine

  • #76465
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @International Property wrote:

    Hi all,

    I run a property blog and was researching this subject. I just made a post about it and would appreciate any factual information you guys have. Either here, or at my blog as a comment or emailed to me – whichever is easiest for you.

    Thanks.

    IPI
    http://internationalpropertyinvestment.com/association-of-international-property-professionals-scam-artists-or-genuine

    If you are a “writer”, it´s a shame you can´t spell…from your website “Services offered
    Web content, Magazine or e-zine articles, Blog articles, Blog creation and maintainance, Engrish to English final editing. In fact, just about anything that requires writing.”
    😯

  • #76466
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    Just an aside, seen on another forum:

    “What qualifications do I need to get work at an estate agency in Spain?”

    Answer ” An ability to look people straight in the eye and lie through your teeth”

    Do Estate agents in the UK need qualifications now ?

    As Mark writes in his articles there are some very good agents and are some very bad ones.

    At the end of the day its all about trust and protecting yourself. Personally I think the 3 biggest agents in andalucia are probably the worst.

    I also think qualifications arent as important as dealing with an honest person as you should always get a lawyer to confirm what the agent is telling you is the truth anyway.

  • #76468

    @hillybilly wrote:

    @International Property wrote:
    Hi all,

    I run a property blog and was researching this subject. I just made a post about it and would appreciate any factual information you guys have. Either here, or at my blog as a comment or emailed to me – whichever is easiest for you.

    Thanks.

    IPI
    http://internationalpropertyinvestment.com/association-of-international-property-professionals-scam-artists-or-genuine

    If you are a “writer”, it´s a shame you can´t spell…from your website “Services offered
    Web content, Magazine or e-zine articles, Blog articles, Blog creation and maintainance, Engrish to English final editing. In fact, just about anything that requires writing.”
    😯

    Thanks for the positive input hillbilly. 😀 that’s exactly what I was looking for – 500,000,000 words written and you find a spelling mistake. Congratulations – hope it makes you feel good. As my Mum would say – if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Try getting a life.

  • #76469
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    as for the orginization its pointless just make sure you’ve got a good lawyer, a lot of its members are english internet estate agencies who know absolutely nothing about the market in Spain.

    For what its worth I am setting up my own company and will be covering the whole of Spain and the agents I work with will be by personal invitation only and obviously outside of Andalucia it becomes much harder to verify checks on companies and individuals where in Andalucia I pretty much know the good guys and the bad guys. Ocean, Viva, ADH and Parador are companies who wont be getting an invitation from me.

  • #76478
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    @International Property wrote:

    Hi all,

    I run a property blog and was researching this subject. I just made a post about it and would appreciate any factual information you guys have. Either here, or at my blog as a comment or emailed to me – whichever is easiest for you.

    Thanks.

    IPI
    http://internationalpropertyinvestment.com/association-of-international-property-professionals-scam-artists-or-genuine

    Well I looked at your article and I couldnt agree more with it. While Paul himself is a nice person, cheerful etc, I am not sure he knows what he is dealing with. I actively refused to join this organization – originally the owner of the agents that cannot be named was behind it and I think still is in some way from the rumours I have heard.

    The aipp have tried to gain credibility though offering various positions to people such as Martin Roberts – who at the time I warned saying his good reputation would be used to bolster the group and therefore clean the image of the associated companies.

    There have been many complaints about the companies to the AIPP with seemilgy no redress at all, it just goes quiet after a while.

    Whenever I see the sign I personally think twice about dealing with the agency in any way shape or form – after all, I dont want to damage my reputation in the slightest!

    If you want any further comments, feel free to PM me!

  • #76482
    Profile photo of Paul
    Paul
    Participant

    😥

    Senior Nick, I’m extremely pleased you won’t be inviting the likes of Ocean Estates (aka Awful Estates), Parador and ADH,. IMO others to avoid that have had bad publicity are Polaris World, Superior Estates, Livingston Estates (who hire Ocean staff), H20 who also take on Ocean staff and there is a company mentioned who we can’t post about!!!!!

    From my understanding, Viva are at least trying to become more respectable and have now replaced Ocean Estates as the big player on the Coast. However, Im sure their properties include huge commissions still which purchasers need to be aware of.

    Buyers should not trust ANY Member of the dodgy AIPP which were formed to protect buyers (joke), they take any agent with previous bad history just for the fat membership fee.

  • #76493
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @paul wrote:

    😥

    Senior Nick, I’m extremely pleased you won’t be inviting the likes of Ocean Estates (aka Awful Estates), Parador and ADH,. IMO others to avoid that have had bad publicity are Polaris World, Superior Estates, Livingston Estates (who hire Ocean staff), H20 who also take on Ocean staff and there is a company mentioned who we can’t post about!!!!!

    From my understanding, Viva are at least trying to become more respectable and have now replaced Ocean Estates as the big player on the Coast. However, Im sure their properties include huge commissions still which purchasers need to be aware of.

    Buyers should not trust ANY Member of the dodgy AIPP which were formed to protect buyers (joke), they take any agent with previous bad history just for the fat membership fee.

    Viva used to be the biggest agent down here but like a dinosaur refused to move with the times and Adh took over via internet marketing, I did work for them for a very short time and what I saw was interesting to say the least but there were some very good people there as well. Viva have now closed down a lot of offices and gone to the internet for their clients. I really dont like them as theyve used my house on several occaisions to sell another one, known in the trade as a burn. Our house is (was) on the market with viva and they were charging 7.5% commission wheras everyone else was charging 5%-6% at the end of the day any customer buying through Viva was paying 10k more

    What I would say is the costs of marketing and entertaining is far higher here than it is in the UK and those costs have to come out of the house sales in one form or another.

    If someone could guarantee me 3 sales a month for my new business id gladly do it for 2.5% but they cant

  • #76499
    Profile photo of Paul
    Paul
    Participant

    Interesting insight into Viva and commissions S.Nick, imagine what Oceans and ADH’s are for example?

    I never quite understood why marketing costs were so much higher in Spain than the UK though, especially when in Spain so many agents just produced a leaflet for sales particulars which could almost be for any property in the block. It didn’t seem so taylor-made as in the UK where all properties get their own specific set of details.

    Maybe marketing costs were more down to the FAT commissions inducing ex-timeshare agents/2nd hand car dealers etc to lie through their teeth.

    I’d have thought you were on to a good thing if you only charge 2.5%, surely vendors would love that?

    Warning, do not trust an AIPP Member!!!!

  • #76527
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    We manage on 2.5% – I prefer turnover to the one big deal! After blowing nearly 300k on advertising marketing and media in 2 years, I stopped – now built the brand and ceased all paid advertising since last july!

    All internet based and luckily we get a lot of media interest as well. I find the tradtitional advertising does nothing now apart from generating poor leads and costing a fortune.

    You cant beat referrals – we get loads of those and its the best form of advertising possible!

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