My Shocking Story!

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This topic contains 38 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Paul Paul 10 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #51885
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hello everyone

    My name is Carla and I live in San Roque, Spain. I have a shocking story to tell everyone about my house-buying venture which I hope is going to let everyone know just what mess one can get into without any warning or even the possibility of help.

    Last November my husband Wesley and I, and our 14 year old son Ryan bought a beautiful 2 storey townhouse in San Roque. The house was one of 22 new builds, practically a new street, created in a beautiful location high up on a hill. The house cost us over a quarter of a million.

    There were no problems with the house or with the purchase itself. The problem arose soon after we moved in!

    We were told that we would not be able to connect to the electricity/water board for a couple of weeks (not a major thing or unusual in Spain) it meant having to collect water from a bucket outside to wash with and cooking on a gas stove. Two weeks is not a huge deal you say. It was hard but we coped.

    SEVEN months later we are still not allowed to connect!!!! In fact, all the residents that have moved in along the entire street are being denied the right to connect to the water/electricity board.

    Why you say?

    The problem stems from one resident who is unhappy about his house. It was ten metres smaller than what he paid fororiginally. The legal battle that he has brought on with the developers means the local town hall will not issue a licence to all the residents that is necessary for all of them to connect. There is nothing any lawyer can do, we sit and wait. The residents who moved in (including us) all connected their water up illegally. The authorities so far turn a blind eye, because who can live without water? They could get mad and turn off the supply at any moment though. The town hall refuses to do anything about it.

    We cannot afford to rent elsewhere and if we sold up, well who is going to buy here with the legal problems?

    That is the technical side. The emotional problems we have gone through are unimaginable. The temporary supply of electricity that we currently have is not enough to barely boil the kettle most days. And nobody can do a thing. My young son Ryan has cried his eyes out so many nights because the temp elec keeps tripping and he cannot do his homework, lights keep going off etc.

    We live on salads and foods cooked on a gas stove. My husband has missed many days of work because many times I could not get out of bed due to depression.

    I am getting better now and slowly fighting negative emotions. I’m trying to make the best of every day and realise that it was nothing that wrong and that we are not to blame for what has arisen. We moved here for a better life and I just hope no-one ever has to go through what we are going through currently.

    I feel that our only solution is to shout out about it. The more people that know what we are being forced to go through will embarrass the local town hall and then maybe he will resolve the situation quickly. I am going to make this known as far and wide as I can now because I feel it is terribly unjust. Maybe someone out there can advise me?

    You dont buy a 250,000 house and be denied basic human rights for over half a year just because one purchaser next door has problems with his own house!

    I am so sorry this is long. Thank you for listening. I pray no one ever goes through this nightmare.

    If you have any questions I’ll be glad to answer them. Take care,

    best regards,

    Carla

  • #62673
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Yes, it is a shocking story and I can imagine how difficult every day must be.

    My question is – why did you complete on the sale without obtaining a cedula or certificate of first occupation from the local council? From your story, I am assuming you, or your builder, do not have this certificate, and if so, its absence is the root of all your problems.

    Did you have a lawyer? Have you asked him why he recommended you complete without the cedula.

  • #62674
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks for your reply Rawlins

    As we moved in towards the end of November they promised the certificate of occupation (for the developers) would be forthcoming before the spanish festivities. We never bought a house here before, and of course, following our lawyers advice, how could we even conceive that seven months later we would still be waiting? The same lawyer acts for quite a few residents in the street.

    When I questioned the estate agents and lawyer they said that NOBODY had forseen this problem with this resident and his taking the developers to court. All we have ever been told is ‘sorry’. The resident is having a laugh at the whole thing obviously, because our pressure could be his gain? The plot thickens. He is laying more and more legal claims against the developers whilst we are simply fighting for survival.

    I am told to inform the European authorities as many say it is too serious to ignore. I am trying to gather my strength and wits for this, I have no clue where to begin.

    At the moment I am still finding it hard to face reality. Im currently using a low-power laptop which I had to buy because I cannot plug in my main computer. I am a writer and self employed and have lost half a year of income due to not being able to use my computers and being too busy trying to stay sane.

    I have needed support for a good while; if only a sympathetic ear! Now I am coming into the open, as depression is slowly giving way to an anger I have never known before, hence my attack here on the forums!

    My husband says it is time to stop running away from the issue because of the fact we are foreigners, and to stand up and fight, if only to seek some justice for the harm caused to us and our child, not only physically but emotionally.

    I hope someone important enough in this field might read my posts and contact me.

  • #62675
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Thats awful 🙁 One of the first things I would do is to take out a complaint against your lawyer, report him to the colegio de abogados for letting you complete without the final licence. This is happening all over the spanish costas. A row of town houses near me have been without electric and water for 2 years. Hope it gets sorted soon, don’t get depressed…fight.

  • #62676
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I know from experience that you can never really be sure when a council will issue a cedula until it is actually issued. The builder was probably impatient to get his money and you were all persauded to close the sales in the expectation – realistic or otherwise – that everything would be alright and the cedulas would be eventually issued.

    I am guessing you were using a lawyer recommended by the developers or agents. If so, I believe you all now need another lawyer – although finding one may prove difficult.

  • #62678
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Dear Carla,

    Although the solution eventually is to have normal connections of water and electricity have you considered getting a small generator connected to your power supply? I’m sure if you could find a reliable electricion this could at least give you a solution until you have permanent connection. Similarly, with regard to water, if you have a suitable storage tank you could have water delivered. I realise this is not the best situation but it may help your son with his homework and you with your work.

    Good Luck

    Terry English

  • #62680
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Your best option is to band together as a group. In this way, you should be able to:

    1. Negotiate some practical short-term solutions for your water and electricity with local electricans, and suppliers, etc. As Terry suggests.

    2. Jointly contract an independent lawyer and begin action against your old lawyer and developer. Did you pay your lawyer in cash or do you have invoices?

    3. Lobby the mayor and local political parties for a rapid solution. Contact all local media.

    In short, you must put the developer and his lawyer, as well as the council, under legal and political pressure to quickly resolve the dispute. Believe me, these problems can be resolved very quickly if the political will and economic need is there.

    I don’t mean to frivolous but use this crisis as an opportunity to get out, meet people, and practice your Spanish.

  • #62681
    Profile photo of mariadecastro
    mariadecastro
    Participant

    Contact me if you need it. I am a lawyer in Algeciras. Think I can try to help you out.

    Anyhow, I fully agree with Rawlins´strategy.

    Best regards,

    Maria de Castro

  • #62686
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Personally I am a bit out of my league with the whole spanish thing, i cannot fully understand the legal terms for any of this mess, my neighbour though speaks both languages and i am communicating through him.

    I agree though, I always said it to everyone, we need to act as a group here. But I found out that one of the residents here actually works in the town hall (or San roque adjuntamiento) he seems to be the current ‘voice’ on the subject, and if HE cannot get a response something is truly bad. So far, personally, I am just a ball to kick out of the way. I feel there are some ‘bad dealings’ go on here, nepotism or bribes, something ‘con’ like is perpetrating this whole matter.

    Mariadecastro – there is a meeting this evening in Algeciras, I think a pressure meeting the residents are going to go there together. I hope to find out something more after this.

  • #62688
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    You obviously need legal advice – but if you are able to form a pressure group then I believe you should start getting very close to the developer and very, very personal.

    Who is he? Where does he live? Do his family, neighbours, and associates know what he has done to you all. What other developments is he working on? Who are his friends in the local political establishment (when you know his friends you will know his enemies)?

    Obviously, I am not suggesting anything violent or against law. Simply, put his honour in doubt in front of the whole town and so increase the pressure on him to settle with the litigating neighbour and the local council.

    If you start to put up a fight, I am sure you will find local and influential people volunteering information and advice that will help you greatly.

    Just a thought – did you all pay all your taxes at the notary? If not, you may consider a collective confession at the local tax office. This will put the wind up your developer.

    With a little imagination I am sure you can think of other approaches.

  • #62689
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I am going to this meeting in Algeciras the next hour or so, I want to find out the connecting problem that concerns the following:

    The Resident laying the legal case
    The Adjuntamiento (town hall)
    The Developers (Engraulis SL)

    Yes i need legal advice and a stiff drink !
    Wish me luck, i will wade my way through the spanish language somehow and become the friggin Erin Brockovich of my street….. 😆

    I have an important friend who is trying to escalate the problem to the EU, he is disgusted and charged up like a bull over the matter.

    Shall keep this thread posted!

    Thanks to all very much xx

    Thanks mariadecastro for your kind offer of help – I may need you….

  • #62692
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Carla

    i can’t help any, but would just like to say we are thinking of you and ‘good luck’ with today’s meeting, you shouldn’t have to put up with this, or sort it out, why the hell don’t the authority’s have more balls to clamp down on this sort of con trick?

    best wishes

    David.

  • #62694
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Carla

    Good luck at the meeting and get stuck in. Although I wouldn’t pin too much hope on the EU. It’s a local problem with a local answer in my opinion.

  • #62697
    Profile photo of mariadecastro
    mariadecastro
    Participant

    Again: please call me if you need my help.
    Best,

  • #62700
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Yes Rawlins – the EU can’t resolve the Gibraltar/Spain border issue which affects thousands, one street has to be as important as an ant in the biscuit tin!

    Here is the update:
    (I have to post this before I go to bed or I will sleep on it with a headache)

    The town hall and the developers are meeting together tomorrow am for a discussion. This meeting today was mostly about arranging that! I offered all my support, but I do still feel like a second rate citizen, naturally, the tendency is to ignore english speaking people somewhat!

    The latest I understand though, is that the bad guy resident has recently been quibbling and laying more claims over the developers. He complains that the pavement outside the street is 50 centimetres less than is legal 💡 To put this right would mean digging up everything and probably removing the only source of temporary supply of elec we have which is the extension box outside.

    The residents are banding together to get it into the spanish publications and TV if possible. I’ll sleep on it and pray for the best i guess.

  • #62707
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Just read your post Carla. It makes my problems look insignificant although we are both waiting for the same thing! Hope tomorrow goes well. Thinking of you.
    Pam

  • #62710
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thank you Pam I sincerely hope my experience will help inform others what to be careful about too, which is part reason why its good to use boards like this.

    I have been told that the “bad guy neighbour” causing the problems has something of an ‘unsavoury’ background – the words ‘jail’ and ‘drugs’ sprang forth in whispers, and also, that the town hall are afraid of him!?!
    What?? Does that make sense to you guys or has the world gone nuts?

    I’m beginning to feel like an insignificant character dragged into some peculiar and unrealistic movie plot 😯

    Coronation street doesn’t get much better than this….

  • #62721
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I cant help at all but I do wish luck keep your chin up and look after yourself.

    Maureen

  • #62788
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thank you Pampas and maureen. I have an update now for those following the saga.. 😥

    The town hall has decided that the developers must correct the faults which the neighbour has claimed against before they will even consider signing the certificate of occupation.

    Dont laugh but this is what they must do:

    Take 20 centimetres off the edge off the pavement along the street, as the neighbours claims were that the road was 20cm shorter than it should be? I dont know how the hell 20 cm is more important than the sorry state in which we live, but there ya go..we have to wait for I don’t know how long again.. weeks? months? I am worried we will face another winter like this, which I cannot do because I have no strength left.

    Today the water has been cut off and no one knows whether it is because of the problems, or a ‘general’ thing which has happened before. I hope the latter or I may just go insane.

  • #62791
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I spent some time putting a gallery of photos of my house together, to cheer myself up and remind me of what i have actually gained even though the elec/water situatoin is dire. I hope you enjoy them friends! 🙂

    http://melodrift.com/house/index.html

  • #62793
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    If you are certain that the only problem is the 20cm and then council will issue the cedula then I suggest that you and some, if not all, of the neighbours consider paying for the job yourselves.

    There will always be one or two who refuse to contribute but that is no reason not to go-ahead.

    Yes, it is unfair but it may be an effective solution – with the appropriate legal advice.

  • #62800
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    We dont have to pay for it (and i doubt that anyone would) as its already going to be done! My point is I dont believe that that is the last issue. I am certain that once that is done, Mr Hellraiser neighbour will find something else to complain about and we will never get the cedula..

    It is in his interest to keep this going because it strengthens his case for compensation. The more we suffer the more he thinks the developers will give in and pay him. To add insult to injury he is going to plead that conditions are too hard to live in here and go somewhere much nicer. Leaving the rest of us to rot of course. He will likely claim compensation for having to do that too.

    Its a hoax, and a money making scheme that was planned from Day 1 according to ‘insiders’. He had this planned long before many moved here. We all know he has a bad history, been in jail re drug smuggling etc…to the extent, ridiculously that they say the town hall are afraid of him. So what can we expect in terms of negotiating with him? Try and reason with the mafia and see how far you get.

    The best way I can personally cope at this moment in time, is shove loads of chocolate down my gob! Hurray chocolate. It never lets ya down. 😈

  • #62801
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Have you considered bringing in the local press and getting some publicity for your story – it doesn’t sound as if your situation could possibly get any worse!

    There is a report on on of the Spanish news pages about a development where the Habitation Certificates have not been issued and the residents can’t even send their children to school!

  • #62802
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    BRITS FALL FOUL OF
    BUILDING REGS

    No water or electricity and the council won’t help

    By Tom Cain
    Living the good life in Spain has become a nightmare for around 30 families, mainly British, who purchased properties on the Pinar de Río urbanisation on the outskirts of Tibi.

    After two years of paying exorbitant charges for water and electricity supplied by the constructor and after two years of waiting for habitation certificates from the council, they have been left high and dry by the constructor who has pulled out, taking with him the generator that supplied the electricity and also removing the water supply.

    Since then they have been reduced to collecting water from a stream so that they can flush toilets and for those that can afford it to invest in their own generators.

    Despite their desperation, Tibi council has told them there is nothing it can do because the constructor still has one year left before he is obliged to hand over the urbanisation and that there is no possibility of a fresh water supply because the infrastructure has not been put in place. On top of that, the council says that without habitation certificates they cannot register on the padrón and children can’t be registered in the local schools.

    The residents claim that despite the problems the constructor is still trying to sell unsold properties on the urbanisation at reduced prices.

    tomcain@costablancanews.es

  • #62804
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Carla wrote:

    The best way I can personally cope at this moment in time, is shove loads of chocolate down my gob! Hurray chocolate. It never lets ya down. 😈

    Put the chocolate away and and start doing something to get yourself out of this mess. ❗

  • #62884
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @tilly wrote:

    BRITS FALL FOUL OF
    BUILDING REGS

    No water or electricity and the council won’t help

    By Tom Cain
    Living the good life in Spain has become a nightmare for around 30 families, mainly British, who purchased properties on the Pinar de Río urbanisation on the outskirts of Tibi.

    After two years of paying exorbitant charges for water and electricity supplied by the constructor and after two years of waiting for habitation certificates from the council, they have been left high and dry by the constructor who has pulled out, taking with him the generator that supplied the electricity and also removing the water supply.

    Since then they have been reduced to collecting water from a stream so that they can flush toilets and for those that can afford it to invest in their own generators.

    Despite their desperation, Tibi council has told them there is nothing it can do because the constructor still has one year left before he is obliged to hand over the urbanisation and that there is no possibility of a fresh water supply because the infrastructure has not been put in place. On top of that, the council says that without habitation certificates they cannot register on the padrón and children can’t be registered in the local schools.

    The residents claim that despite the problems the constructor is still trying to sell unsold properties on the urbanisation at reduced prices.

    tomcain@costablancanews.es

    Not exactly comforting is it!

  • #62895
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    King Juan Carlos is by all accounts a decent chap. How about we all write to him individually and tell him exactly what we are all suffering at the hands of these corrupt Agents, Lawyers and Developers. …and I ain’t joking!

  • #62896
    Profile photo of Paul
    Paul
    Participant

    🙂

    I love the suggestion Claire, I’d sign up for that, and, help if anyone can produce a REAL ‘name and shame’ website that would include all the rogues as well as their staff.

  • #62903
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @paul wrote:

    🙂

    I love the suggestion Claire, I’d sign up for that, and, help if anyone can produce a REAL ‘name and shame’ website that would include all the rogues as well as their staff.

    I’ve been thinking for some time about creating a website as my husband is a web developer and I have all the resources.

    He has offered to create a website for all of us to help our case. I currently own a music news website which runs on a database where people join and post their music news. How about similar for posting property nightmares.

    I dont mind creating the site and doing the legwork. But what I do need is a bit of support here from you guys!!! At least in giving me suggestions on how and what you would like to have on the site. I dont want the site to be just for my sorry tale but for everyone on here who’s being messed around badly!

    I hope that when I get my own story in the news (which is gonna happen sooner or later) hopefully it will lead the public in there. Chance for you all to get your stories in too.

    How about pics of the developments where the things are going on?

    Paul – naming and shaming – that would blow the wind in a different direction – but is that illegal online? If I put a disclaimer on the site would this avoid repercussions directly? Plus how do we go about making sure the facts are accurate?

    Please support me guys on this one, and i’ll be VERY glad to do it. Please give me your ideas and let me know your thoughts on a site name:

    i’ll stick an idea in first:

    http://www.scandals-in-spain.com

  • #62905
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Clare what A great idea, I am not very IT literate so cant offer any ideas but I do think it could be A great help to lots of us. Look forward to seeing it if you go ahead.

    Maureen

  • #62912
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Give me King Juan Carlos ‘s address and I’m in.

    Axwhale

  • #62916
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Why start another site, whats wrong with this one ❓ It seems to be working well.

  • #62919
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Katy, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this site. It is the best. 😀 My suggestion was to write to King Juan Carlos. Carla offered to start a website that “names & shames” A great idea, but impossible because of the legal implications. If it was possible, I’m sure Mark would oblige us!

  • #62920
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I wrote to Senor Ramón Luís Valcárcel, Presidente de la Comunidad Autónoma de Murcia on 5 April (no reply as yet) but I’m all for upping the ante. Does anyone have an address for King Juan Carlos?

  • #62921
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I know we are dealing with the Spanish postal system, but even if we got the address wrong there is only ONE King in Spain, and I’m sure it would get there …eventually, providing the correct postage was paid! 😉

  • #63048
    Profile photo of Paul
    Paul
    Participant

    🙂

    Carla, I think this would be good for the property industry in Spain long term, because if the site became well known as it should quickly then all the scammers would start running for cover.

    It should include name of agents, lawyers and developers as headings, plus, and importantly the names of the sales people who move around the Costas selling for different agents because these vermin seem to constantly get away without being exposed. I could give a long list already of those to avoid.

    As for the legals, well if the site accepts no responsiblity for the content (if allowed) and the contributor accepts full responsibilty for his/her comments, and maybe the site does not have an address to refer back to or maybe a P.O. Box number or similar then lets get this going for as long as it lasts. Maybe get advice too from a couple of sites who have managed similar sites like :

    http://www.blagger.com and http://www.crimeshare.com where comments are allowed to rest it seems.

    Hope it happens, I’m sure most of us would help with stories.

  • #63051
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Carla ,

    I was apalled to read your story as I am with many other posts on this site.

    I was only discussing this morning about the possibilty of opening up a web site to name and shame one or two particular agents I have dealt with.

    It would at the very least make people aware of the major pitfalls in buying off plan in Spain.

    How these people can be allowed ,under Spanish law ,to carry on and cause so many problems for others beggars belief.

    So basically a great idea that ultimately will save a lot of people grief and hard earned cash.

    The more publicity for corrupt agents and lawyers better.

    Regards

    JWH

    Good luck

  • #63052
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Paul, the offer is there and i’ll gladly do a site. My own only concerns are the legal implications.

    I don’t want to become the ‘Veronica Guerin’ of Spain 😯 but I think we should definately look into ways in which we can get a site together, and even if we cannot NAME people at least it’s going to be additional exposure. how about a petition on the site where people leave their stamp of support! A pressure group set up? There are many ways!

    My husband is happy to do the template and set up a database but he hasn’t time for content and layout. If you Paul or anyone here would like to work with me on this project then hands up please.

    The more stories we cram in – the more there is for people to refer to – and the more exposure our stories get. And of course a link to this forum also. because it is excellent, and I feel comforted when I come in here(and I know that isn’t the right word exactly) by knowing there are others out there who understand what I’m going through, because they are also going through similar crap.

    It will invite agents and the like to advertise ‘reputable’ services and there is another matter for consideration!

  • #63091
    Profile photo of Paul
    Paul
    Participant

    I’m happy to get involved Carla, although I’m not a computer buff, so PM me and anyone else who could advise us on how to start.

    Ref the legals, on the http://www.crimeshare.com site they have a blacklist of people/organisations to click on and have been allowed to operate ok without the removal of names.

    If this could happen it would help alert others and maybe help to clean things up in Spain, then perhaps their regulatory bodies/Gov’t might start acting on the scammers too.

    As you know, many Spanish Property Info sites are ‘promoted’ or financed by the very Agents etc who are misleading people so they are totally biased to the ethics of their sales information, money does govern many of those sites.

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