Farewell message from ‘Charlie’ and ‘Sofia’

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  • #51951
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Many words have been written, often repeated over and over again – but it does not (with great respect) seem to be registering with some people, so am happy, for the last time, to spell it all out again simply:

    1. ‘Administrative Silence’ rule.
    Forget it, it doesn’t exist anymore.
    Like Monty Python’s parrot – it is dead, deceased, it is ‘no more…..’
    Any reference to it now by the developer is irrelevant and rubbish.

    2. Licence of First Occupation/Habitation (LFO)
    The law states you are not legally obliged to complete without one.
    Developers cannot force you to complete without one, or threaten that you will lose deposit/property if you do not complete. That is against the law.
    Any decent lawyer would advise it is insane to complete without one.
    Any lawyer who advises you to complete without an LFO is obviously in cahoots with the developer.

    3. Water/Electricity/Telephone companies
    They will not connect your property without an LFO

    4. Registering your property
    You cannot register your property in your name without an LFO, this is the law, and therefore you will not legally be the owner.
    10/10/2007 – I need to amend this part, apparently you can register your name without a LFO.

    The bank funding the developer owns it and can take it from you if the the developer fails to meet their ‘mortgage’ payments, goes bankrupt etc.
    With all these arrests/court cases/bankrupcies going on, do you really want to take the chance?

    5. Bank Guarantees
    It is law that a developer (and no-one else) must issue you with a Bank Guarantee, free of charge, when purchasing an off-plan.

    Your money will be deposited with the developer’s funding bank to protect your payment, and this bank will issue you a document (called Aval) which is your BG. It must state the completion date by which date the developer must finish the development.
    In the case of the development not finishing on time, or the developer going bankrupt, maybe doesn’t even build anything etc. etc., the issuing bank will then return your monies plus legal interest.
    This will require a lawyer’s procedure.

    6. Your lawyer’s advice
    Any of you who have a lawyer that is advising you any different to the above is working for the developer, not you (because his loyalty is to who has given him loads of business over the years).

    The same goes for your agent (remember, no sale – no commission)

    And if any of you have a lawyer that is advising you anything different to the above – for goodness sake, do what Claire, Sofia, myself and loads of others did –
    GET YOURSELF A NEW INDEPENDENT LAWYER

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………

    Isn’t it worth a few hundred pounds to fly out there and sort this out for a few days like we did – sack your lawyer, get your file from him, and register with a new lawyer?
    You can always get a recommendation from Mark, the Administrator of this forum for a good independent lawyer in the appropriate area.

    Many people spend hours on this forum, asking questions (often the same ones) over and over again. And many people spend hours giving their time to answer them.

    But unless this advice/legal information is acted on, not only are you losing your time, but risking your tens of thousands of pounds of hard-earned money.

    We got off our bottoms and acted (sacked our lawyer, got a new one, took our developer to court, and as you know from Claire’s Yahoooo thread, have just got our money back with legal interest).

    Back in December I posed a question on this forum “Has anyone successfully sued a developer…?”.

    Someone called Dorothy (to whom I am eternally gratefully) took the time and trouble to reply to me.

    She gave me details of a website where I could read about a lawyer who successfully sued the ‘mighty AIFOS’ on behalf of a Danish couple who were in exactly in the same situation as ourselves (and a lot of you..).

    We did not just think “Oh, weren’t they lucky, they got their money back plus compensation”
    They were not lucky, they had bothered to go over, make a fuss (the husband even camped on the plot to make a public protest, despite his wife being pregnant!!), got themselves a good lawyer and FOUGHT THEIR CASE.

    We spent hours on the internet trolling through newswpaper articles of Denmark (and no, we do not speak Danish but looked for key words) and eventually found an article that had ‘Spain’ in it, ‘Aifos’ and a Spanish man’s name.
    We gathered this was the name of the lawyer, we tracked him down through the Collegio de Abogados (who have a list of all lawyers) – and we were on our way – we knew we had ourselves a good lawyer who was not afraid of the ‘big boys’.

    Those of you interested in the Aifos case that started our ball rolling
    (with thanks to Dorothy) – you can click on below:

    http://www.devwatch.com/events/show/1

    This story proves to those who worry that companies even as big as Aifos, who say they ‘won’t accept any claim against them’ are not above the law.
    They are not people to be frightened of or ‘in awe’ of, because – to quote David Beckham “at the end of the day” – the owners of these companies are just ordinary people like you and me (except for the dishonest streak in them – and are the property version of just plain crooks and thieves).

    All I am saying is that sometimes, people who ask for advice and receive it, also have to ACT on it.
    The money we had tied up with the developer, probably like many of you,
    took a lifetime to save – and represented our future security.
    We have lost three years of our lives, unable to ‘move on’ financially.
    However, from finding a new lawyer until our good news on Thursday took 6 months. Well worth doing.

    We were not prepared to let a few hundred pounds, and one or two quick trips to Spain to organise things, stand in the way of losing it all.

    NEITHER SHOULD YOU.

    In the beginning we didn’t know what a Bank Guarantee was, how they worked, or even that we should have one!
    We didn’t dream that our original lawyer could possibly be working in the developer’s interests, and not ours.
    But we soon learned.

    In other words, we have been in your shoes.
    We certainly didn’t have a clue about Spanish law and our legal rights.
    But with the help of this forum – we asked, listened and learned.

    There are those who get frustrated with the fact that these developers are ‘getting away with it’. If people don’t do anything, they will.

    So the key to all this is:
    Listen, Learn – but for goodness sake – then ACT.

    We wish you all Good Luck, but remember that you need to help that luck along a bit….. 😉

    Best wishes

  • #63257
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Apologies if anyone thought, by this thread’s title, that we were about to commit suicide.

    I also forgot public thanks to Claire and her husband – their tenacity and parallel determination kept us going!!
    Bless ya both ! 😉

  • #63263
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Absolutely Brilliantly writtenClear,Concise and to the point

    Your message should be made available for all to see so that folk in the future with queries on this theme can be referred to it and than as you so rightly say ACT on it.

    All the best

  • #63264
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Charlie,

    Brilliant post. Didn’t realise you had tracked down the lawyer from the Aifos case, just shows what can be done with determination.

    The big boys can be beaten with the right lawyer as you have all proved, WELL DONE. and carry on with your advice on the forum.

  • #63283
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Probably the best post made on the forum.

    As Charlie says, use this forum to get advise and then do something.

    Spain has a legal system that generally works and the country has tens of thousands of honest and hard working professionals – as well as rogues.

    In my book, those who passively accept being victims of fraud are nearly as guilty as those who commit the fraud.

  • #63285
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Rawlins

    well done to charlie, drakan and yourself and others for your fantastic posts, offering very valuble advice.

    The reason is i think, that many don’t act on it, is that when we question our lawyers about various concerns, we are told by our lawyers that they are on our side and doing the best for us. As we are not legal experts, it takes a brave person to turn to a lawyer and say, ‘no we do not think you are exploring all avenue’s and trying your hardest for us’, and then find another lawyer who you don’t know for sure has your best interests at heart, are they taking you on to just make money? Bad dealings can make us very cynical!

    We are in this very position, as you probably know from our previous posts to you.

    The other problem is timing, our completion date will be sent to us very soon we are told, and if it comes and goes while we are in the process of changing lawyer, where do we stand then?

    thanks again to everyone offering genuine good advice, i can’t tell you how much we appreciate it.

  • #63288
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Goodstitch44

    If one has the same legal advisor as the developer/builder then they cannot possibly be working for both sides equally. It’s logical.

    If you are in the middle of changing lawyers when pressure is on to finalise the contract..having taken notice of the CORRECT legal procedures that should be followed….as posted by Charlie….then make them wait.
    The law of Spain is ON YOUR SIDE not the rogue lawyers and developers . All they are doing are stressing you out in the hope you will give in under pressure. And when you do and you are still not legally entitled to utilities. Will they come running to assist ??????? Like hell they will.

  • #63300
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Melosine,

    thanks for info, reading all the advice from those in the know, we feel we need to delay completing until the habitation licence is issued, and then complete with a final reduced sum that at the very least reflects the 23% reduction in size of our apartment. Not that much to ask for i dont think, after 4 years of waiting and no bank guarantee from the developers!

    It’s a shame we feel we have to change lawyers just to try and get that!

  • #63301
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Goodstitch44

    Believe me I understand what you are going through.

    It’s very easy for an outsider to say stand up to them but it’s a scary decision to make but if we let them bully us the situation won’t improve and these rogues will continue to make peoples lives a misery infinitum.

    Because although we took a different route to living in Spain to you and we read everything so thought we were totally prepared …. that’s a laugh….. still things happened which stressed us out but we were prepared to fight .

    Being an individual build we had to go it alone. No back up from other community members. The pressure and fear of losing life savings is enormous.

    Fortunately by constantly making a stand we achieved our goal.

    From our experience I know that we were not allowed to move into our property UNTIL our builder had all the relevent paperwork stamped and recieved our copy of the Premier Habitacion Licence even though we were always a legal build.

    Friends who have been out here 3 years still aren’t classified as legal and are constantly being denied utilities ,so they live with the constant worry that their *asset* may turn to dust. Unfortunately many Brits are in this situation.

    You are one of the lucky ones having found a website to have your concerns addressed. Many don’t and are bullied by the agents and lawyers and live this ongoing nightmare silently.

    Best of British.

  • #63326
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hello all,

    I require urgent help from anyone.
    I have an apartment being built in Palomares, near Mojacar and the problem I am having is that my apartment was due for completion in December 2005, as stated on my contract.
    I have asked my solicitor about a refund and she has been fobbing me off for about 2 months now.
    i received an E-mail on friday of last week which she said “your builders will not offer you your money back” or roughly words to that effect.
    The contract stated that compensation would not be awarded if any delay was due to “Bad weather or industrial action” and neither of them is the cause because I asked Medsea the question.
    My solicitor has told me that it is the Town hall and other official bodies fault that the delay has happened, (I go 3 times a year so I know they are bullsh***ing because every time I go, they are working on them).
    What I need is the name of a no nonsense solicitor who is not going to take this bullsh*t and get me my money back.
    My solicitor told me they will rush mine through so I could sign for it and they could hand it over, sounds good until you realise that the pool has only just been finished and is still full of dust and crap and the builders won’t let you go on the site anyway.
    Any help you could give me would really be apreciated as I have a holiday booked for 13th July and I want to be able to do something whilst over there.
    Thank you in anticipation of your help.
    Many regards.
    Mark.

  • #63331
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Charlie,

    I have been using the Manilva Life site for some time but have only just found this site. However I am buying a property at Manilva Beach through Ocean View properties and went to see the property for the first time last Thursday as I am due to complete in the next few weeks.

    There seems to be some descrepancy between my contract and actual with regard to size, but it seems the wording in the contract allows the developer to build it almost any size he wants and complete it when he wants.

    I really would like some advice, initially, from an independant solicitor so could you advise me of one?

  • #63339
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi tmuk

    re. the wording in your contract:

    “There seems to be some descrepancy between my contract and actual with regard to size, but it seems the wording in the contract allows the developer to build it almost any size he wants and complete it when he wants”.

    Am not sure, but I think if this wording is true, it is ‘illegal’ and regarded as an ‘abusive’ clause.
    I know that developers building a smaller size than originally stated is a common ‘game’ of theirs to squeeze more apartments into the development.
    A difference of 10% can mean ten more (free) apartments per hundred built…….nice ‘little earner’ for the developers 😉

    What does your lawyer say????

    To find a recommended independent lawyer, send the Administrator of this forum a p.m. (Mark) – he has a list.

  • #75520
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hello, with relation to this thread can anyone give me the details of the lawyers mentioned in the post by Charlie and Sofia (the one one used by the Danish couple who successfully sued the developer?) or alternatively has anyone recommendations for a good lawyer with experience in dealing with Aifos? yes, we are one of the many having an Aifos nightmare!. We are in the process of sacking our lawyer who is definitely not independant or working for our benefit 🙄

    Many Thanks
    😀

  • #75521
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Bettlee – am sending you a pm

  • #75526
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    Inez
    Participant

    Charlie – a fabulous posting. WOuld you mind if I copied and pasted it to send to people I am trying to help and also to put on other forums and my own site?

  • #75546
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I find this all rather embarrassing 😳 and apologies for bringing this to the top of the pile again.
    It seems some people don’t realise this is an old thread – Summer 2006 – resurrected by bettlee yesterday.
    To those who kindly wrote, no I am not leaving the forum (apologies to those who would love to see me disappear 😉 ) – I wrote it in a ‘fit of finality’ after winning our case last year because at the time the same questions were coming up almost daily re. BG’s, LFO’s etc.
    Inez – you are welcome to do with it as you wish, but please get it double-checked with a lawyer! Majority of info. was gleaned over time from Drakan, but just to be sure I didn’t misconstrue any facts/points of law….

    As my old ‘signature’ used to say under my name:
    “Beware – no legal qualifications! Just speaking from experiences suffered on the Costa del Sol…”

  • #75587
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Quote: ‘ 3. Water/Electricity/Telephone companies
    They will not connect your property without an LFO’

    This is no longer true.
    Warning to new buyers – there are many properties in Spain with no LFO, which are connected to Utilities, so this is no guarantee of legality.

  • #75600
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @charlie wrote:

    1. ‘Administrative Silence’ rule.
    Forget it, it doesn’t exist anymore.
    Like Monty Python’s parrot – it is dead, deceased, it is ‘no more…..’
    Any reference to it now by the developer is irrelevant and rubbish.

    The ASR does exist and it is legal. It cannot be used however to legalise illegal properties such as in Marbella because that is not the purpose of the ASR.

    Some people hace claimed in this forum they had a LFO by ASR and still the property was illegal and so the LFO was wet paper or useless. The simple fact is that they are wrong and they never had a LFO in the first place.

    The only LFO which are valid for Marbella are the ones granted normally, not by ASR documents.

    @charlie wrote:

    2. Licence of First Occupation/Habitation (LFO)
    The law states you are not legally obliged to complete without one.
    Developers cannot force you to complete without one, or threaten that you will lose deposit/property if you do not complete. That is against the law.
    Any decent lawyer would advise it is insane to complete without one.
    Any lawyer who advises you to complete without an LFO is obviously in cahoots with the developer.

    Again in law not everything is black and white, there are several shades of grey. It is absolutely legal to complete without a LFO and the property will be lodged at the Land Registry under your name legally.

    Another different matter is that it is not advisable to do it and your lawyer should tell you so, but there are exceptions and I have completed many times without a LFO because it was in the best interest of my clients.

    If in the private purchase contract it is not specifically worded that completion will not take place until the granting of the LFO then you cannot refuse to complete even though there is no LFO. Another different matter is if your lawyer knows for sure the development has planning issues or is illegal in which case it would be justified to refuse to complete without a LFO.

    @charlie wrote:

    3. Water/Electricity/Telephone companies
    They will not connect your property without an LFO

    The utility companies should only connect your property if you have a LFO by law. Now there are exceptions, such as in Marbella, in which developments which are illegal have been connected to the utilities. This is an exception to a general rule. It has been done because the properties are finished and there are people living there and the LFO could take years to decide and so they have connected them so as to avoid them further harm or because the developer simply managed it illegaly by reaching a private agreement.

    Only because a development has proper utility connections doesn’t make it legal at all and should never be taken as a sign of legality. There are over 130 illegal developments in Marbella alone and you would have absolutely no idea if they are legal or not (the do have utilities, they have golf courses, they have mature gardens etc…) unless your lawyer carries out a due dilligence on them. Only then would it be apparent.

    And then on talking of illegal developments not all of them are equally serious. The worst case would be one such as Banana Beach or Casa Blanca and then there are other developments which will have to compensate with some land. So when we talk about illegal developments one shouldn’t think that it is going to be pulled down, because this is not the case. Illegalities vary widely with different consequences that range from demolition to imposing some fine and have it “subsanado” /fixed.

    @charlie wrote:

    4. Registering your property
    You cannot register your property in your name without an LFO, this is the law, and therefore you will not legally be the owner.
    10/10/2007 – I need to amend this part, apparently you can register your name without a LFO.
    .

    As I’ve posted previously, you can register a property without a LFO without any problem. A LFO is absolutely unrelated to this and bears no importance on registering the property.

    A LFO main purpose is to verify that the developer complied with the Building Licence granted by the town hall. And secondly the LFO is required to hook you up to the utility connections as the utility companies will request it by law, they are obliged. Again there are exceptions such as in Marbella due to private agreements reached by the developer. But these are only exceptions and should not be taken as a general rule.

    @charlie wrote:

    The bank funding the developer owns it and can take it from you if the the developer fails to meet their ‘mortgage’ payments, goes bankrupt etc.
    With all these arrests/court cases/bankrupcies going on, do you really want to take the chance?.

    @charlie wrote:

    5. Bank Guarantees
    It is law that a developer (and no-one else) must issue you with a Bank Guarantee, free of charge, when purchasing an off-plan.

    Your money will be deposited with the developer’s funding bank to protect your payment, and this bank will issue you a document (called Aval) which is your BG. It must state the completion date by which date the developer must finish the development.
    In the case of the development not finishing on time, or the developer going bankrupt, maybe doesn’t even build anything etc. etc., the issuing bank will then return your monies plus legal interest.
    This will require a lawyer’s procedure.

    The legal interest this year approx 4,5%.

    Just wanted to add my deep respect for Charlie and Claire whom have helped hundreds of people directly and thousands more indirectly by reading their posts at the SPI over the years.

    The latest talks on the matter are that owners of illegal dwellings will be held liable if the developers of illegal developments do not compensate the town hall, as I’m sure you all already know.

    On average it is estimated that each of these illegal dwellings will have a charge placed at the Land Registry of an amount ranging from 20.000 € to 40.000 €. You will have 2 years to pay it and if you don’t, the town hall is theoretically empowered to seize your property eventually (I won’t go into details because this is still subject to controversy and is not final yet).

    I honestly hope for the sake of Marbella and those owners it won’t come to that. This is the most important legal problem there is now in Marbella.

    Owners of illegal properties should all join the existing group led by Mr José Ortiz, president of the Banana Beach Community of Owners that challenges the obligatory compensations to Marbella town hall.

  • #75601
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Great post Drakan. Thank you for taking the time to explain things clearly and concisely….and thank you for your kind words They are very much appreciated …especially coming from you!! 😳

    Kind regards,
    Claire

  • #75603
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Your welcome our SPI’s Jeanne D’Arc along with Charlie.

  • #75604
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    😆 I’m only a little charred around the edges!

  • #75623
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Yes an excellent posting by Charlie and grateful to Drakan to correct the variuos issues.
    As Charlie points out hopefully people will listen and take note but this shows that every case MUST be on an indiviual basis and no one fits all senario will ever work.
    Also shows that all lawyers are not as stated in the posting.
    Think someone needs to clarify who owns what and what happens if you havent completed on a property and the developer goes bankrupt

    “The bank funding the developer owns it and can take it from you if the the developer fails to meet their ‘mortgage’ payments, goes bankrupt etc.
    With all these arrests/court cases/bankrupcies going on, do you really want to take the chance?”

    Now what happens to the deposit paid ?

    Frank 8)

  • #75625
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Drakan – what a lot has happened since that post!
    You’re absolutely right of course to point out that one can complete without a LFO if you want to, but glad it is still law that you’re not ‘legally obliged’ to do so.
    It’s an important point to remember if threatened with ‘you will lose your deposit if you don’t complete by blah blah date’ which our developer did….until OMIC paid them a visit and told them to ‘get their house in order’ over this point.

    Unless of course your contract states completion is when the architect signs his little ol’ End of Works’ cert., a favourite game of ‘SOFIA’ I have come to learn. In which case you had a naughty lawyer who accepted this ‘illegal clause’ and by signing your contract with this clause in it you’ve not only shot yourself (inadvertantly) in the foot, you’ve burned your bridges when it comes to when you must complete.

    You kindly made it very clear in various posts this year since my post that there are instances if the problems delaying the granting of a LFO are minor (eg.a problem drain pipe here or there) where it’s fine to go ahead and complete, but this is rather a different scenario to when the Town Hall deems your development currently illegal and the building licence is under judiciary review for example – a situation I would assume you wouldn’t advise completing on?

    Administrative Silence Rule dead as Monty’s parrot?…..for illegal builds so it is still a yes then. And I think my post was clear that it was aimed at people like us needing to take court action re. a ‘rogue’ situation. It was what my post was all about. Our developer tried that one recently in court but as you (and OMIC) once confirmed, the Ad. Silence Rule can’t apply to illegal builds otherwise they would all miraculously become legal by obtaining a LFO this way. “We applied, heard nothing for three months, so we’ve got one by the AS rule”. 😯

    As for utilities, which shouldn’t be connected until LFO is issued by law – well, as you point out, regardless of ‘the law’ it has been happening this last year since I wrote that post via ‘agreements’, but these agreements still technically go against the law. There are times even when the so-called utility supply is actually the builder’s, but that’s another story.

    So lesson learnt from all of this, going by your elaborations on these various issues (as against ‘corrections’ 😉 ) – there is the law, then there is what has actually been happening in Spain, regardless and despite the law. And then there are those grey areas we should all be aware of.

    Am ready to sit the exam now, Drakan. 😀

  • #75626
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Drakan , A most illuminating posting , thank you for pointing out some more variations and clarifying some points made earlier , you make the vital point that each case of course rests on its merits and whilst there may be a degree of commonality between cases, the devil is in the detail, clearly one size does not fit all , I am glad that you are around to prevent any misunderstandings from occurring .

  • #75631
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thank you all for your kind words, I appreciate it.

    @Just Frank wrote:

    Think someone needs to clarify who owns what and what happens if you havent completed on a property and the developer goes bankrupt

    “The bank funding the developer owns it and can take it from you if the the developer fails to meet their ‘mortgage’ payments, goes bankrupt etc.
    With all these arrests/court cases/bankrupcies going on, do you really want to take the chance?”

    Now what happens to the deposit paid ?

    Frank 8)

    Unless you have a Bank Guarantee or Insurance Policy securing your stage payments and deposits you lose all your money Frank. No one will come to bail you out.

    That is why I have insited so many times over these years for everyone to make sure they have a BG that is valid (which hasn’t expired as they only secure for a given deadline), that covers all the stage payments (you can have many BGs each securing parts of your stage payments) under your name and surname, with your passport number, indicating the property that is being purchased etc….It goes to say that obviously you are the beneficiary of the BG, not a REA. I write this because I’ve had many queries on BGs under the name of the REA that sells a development and not under the name of the client.

    If the developer defaults, and we are already starting to see high-profile developers going under such as Llanera, the bank obviously seizes the development.

    Just to clarify, the property is never yours until completion, it belongs to the bank really.

    Spain is a beautiful country to live in with a very high quality of life at a reasonable value. Just be sure to do your homework before purchasing here or anywhere.

  • #75632
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @charlie wrote:

    .

    Unless of course your contract states completion is when the architect signs his little ol’ End of Works’ cert., a favourite game of ‘SOFIA’ I have come to learn. In which case you had a naughty lawyer who accepted this ‘illegal clause’ and by signing your contract with this clause in it you’ve not only shot yourself (inadvertantly) in the foot, you’ve burned your bridges when it comes to when you must complete.

    You kindly made it very clear in various posts this year since my post that there are instances if the problems delaying the granting of a LFO are minor (eg.a problem drain pipe here or there) where it’s fine to go ahead and complete, but this is rather a different scenario to when the Town Hall deems your development currently illegal and the building licence is under judiciary review for example – a situation I would assume you wouldn’t advise completing on?

    Exactly. If it’s some minor issue I’m not going to make my client spend another 6 months rental etc… if the LFO is being delayed because the communities swimming pool lacks some security measures or the developer has to build ramps for handicapped and this will delay 4 months. In those cases, minor issues (not severe planning issues) I have no problem completing without a LFO.

    Once more, completing without a LFO is legal and the property will be lodged under your name at the Land Registry albeit it is not advisable for many reasons. I recommend to complete with a LFO but there are exceptions to this general rule. It all comes down to the wording of the private contract which binds the parties.

    Marbella is a special case, and such cases have to be dealt with on an individual basis, case-by-case. It is always dangerous to generalise and give broad statements.

    In many of those illegal developments I believe it is not the lawyers duty to decide, it is up to his client to take a decision. Our sole purpose is to clearly lay out the different options available to them and the pros and cons of each one. They, attending to their own personal circumstances, will decide what course of action suits them best. Some people are comfortable taking risks others are risk-averse. We all have different risk tolerance thresholds.

    In many of those illegal developments buyers must be aware that a charge will be placed if the new draft pgou is approved as it stands now and in other cases, such as Banana Beach they will likely be demolished. As I posted earlier on, the degrees of illegality vary widely. Only because a development is labelled as illegal it doesn’t mean it is going to be pulled down, these are rare exceptions. Shades of grey.

    In any case I recommend you seek advise with your own lawyers on these matters.

  • #75633
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Drakan. 🙂

    Thank you for the clarity regarding one of the most important statements in Charlies post and what many are neglecting to understand the reality of the situation
    IF THE DEVELOPER GOES BANKRUPT AND YOU HAVE NOT COMPLETED,YOU LOOSE YOUR DEPOSIT AND NO ONE IS GOING TO BAIL YOU OUT. (unless of course its before the property is completed and you have a valid bank guarantee which really is vital)
    This is a vital point in deciding each and every case on its own merit and the one fits all that only idiots or corrupt laywers would advise to complete without say an L.F.O.can be dangerous advice.
    Indeed it may even be that a development may be illegal but as is posted before it may be legal at local level as it has planning but not at another level.
    It is clear and vital that you seek independent advice on your case and not be allowed to be totally reliant on forum advice though as shown by Charlie there are very well informed members that can offer excellent guidence.

    Frank 8)

  • #75634
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    How many large developers have recently declared themselves bankrupt? Some lawyers have precipitated this possibility by putting a charge on properties.
    If you are in a lose/lose situation anyway,ie no BG, then personally, I would rather lose 30% deposit than put in 100% and not be able to sell on or it has devalued and is only worth 70-80% of original value. Many of the properties that are caught up in the illegal scandals were bought in 2002/3 onwards, when prices were highly inflated. These same properties are now worth less than they were bought for.
    The current market is considerably depressed, and awash with 2bed/2 bath apartments for sale.
    It is people who bought multiple properties and for investment or to flip that are likely to suffer most. Others may be able to wait years as they bought for personal/family use.

    Many people cannot get mortgages because of age. They are using their life savings. To advise getting interest only mortgages is of no use to them. Anyway, why increase debt in an unsecure situation? It compounds the problem.

  • #75635
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Claire. 🙂
    Correct and that is a consideration that each must make on an individual basis.
    Developers will indeed start go go bankrupt in the very near future and each must decide on what they consider the best option for them.
    As you say they ARE going to loose anyway so they may consider taking out an interest only mortgage and completing as at least they are the holders of the property documents.
    This may now prove more difficult now that credit is much harder to get but that was their decision not to have completed in some cases by listening to advice they they chose to take.( they will again have no one to recue them,sad to say)
    Completing, they decide if they want to rent/sell/keep as a longer term investment,holiday home.(they may feel happier that they have something tangible and not just a document and a deposit relating to somone elses property)
    It will depend on price paid and variuos issues regarding each property/each development and each area.
    More important as everyone should seek independent advice the advice given may vary even on the same development.
    There is no doupt that to much advice is on a one fits all senario in to many medias and this can only be bad.

    Frank 8)

  • #75636
    Profile photo of Karen
    Karen
    Participant

    If developer who has completed development decides to go bankrupt because of level of debt and interest chgs and you dont have bank gtees
    Would this again mean you lose all deposit. As a creditor would the bank not need legally and certainly morally offer to allow you to complete by paying balance outstanding. If the answer to this is hard luck is there anything else that could be done to protect you if you dont want to complete because of legality problems

  • #75637
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Karen,
    Drakan or Maria would be the best people to answer these questions for you.

  • #75638
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Exellent question and advice. 😉
    This is reality now for many many people that really now need to start looking at reality that effects each one as an individual.
    Think that this thread really has hopefully brought about the realisation that no matter what has happened in the past it shows that no matter how excellent the advice given on any forum as Drakan has clearly demonstrated in MUST be taken as part of each indidual case.
    Would be intersting if both solicitors could reply to this question and then in turn to your own solicitor.

    Frank 8)

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