off plan problem

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 10 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #51713
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    Anonymous
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    Hi,

    I’m hoping for some advice from those experienced in property buying in Spain. We are due to complete next month on an off-plan purchase at Costa Esuri on the Costa de la Luz. We paid extra for a 3rd terrace at our duplex apartment which is the end property in a building of 12.

    When snagging we found that our terrace had a space of approximately the same size right next to it and only separated from our terrace by a low 2 foot wall. In this space was a manhole on the floor, and a large grey metal box. We have now found out that the developer will use this area to house permanent boxes containing the electrical and plumbing equipment for the building. Additionallly, the air-con units for the other apartments will be housed there so that they don’t lose terrace space and to prevent unsightly units being placed everywhere.

    The 3rd terrace is located off our bedroom, so I can only imagine what potential there will be for noise from all these units, never mind the fact that if I sit on this terrace, the main view will be all this equipment. I also believe there is a security issue as it is only a step over the low wall to get from this maintenance area onto our terrace. You won’t be surprised to find out that we weren’t informed about this.

    Apparently, the developer has received over 100 complaints from duplex owners in a similar situation, some have asked for their money back and have been offered 80%. They have said that it is too late for them to do anything about the situation, presumablly because all the ducting is in place.

    I don’t want to complete in this situation, but we have waited 2 years for our apartment and apart from this problem, we are really pleased.

    We have contacted the developer and solicitor and are waiting for a response. Can anyone advise on our best course of action?

    Many thanks,

    Karen

  • #61889
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Just a quick update on our situation. We visited the apartment again last week to take measurements etc, and see how bad the problem really was. From a terrace sold to us as measuring 23m2, we now have a terrace of just over 8m2. We have lost about 9.8% of the total floor space of the apartment (not including communal areas).

    We have asked for all our money back, and have instructed our solicitor to proceed with our withdrawal from the purchase.

    However, the developer, at this stage, will not give us our money back as they siad there is a possibility that they will reinstate our terrace, remove all the electrical equipment etc. We are sure they won’t be able to do this, as it will involve major reconstruction work to walls, roofs etc. We think they are just stalling.

    Maria Luisa de Castro, who regularly posts here with help and advice is looking into this for us and I really hope we can have a successful resolution, but I think we will have to take a substantial loss of the money we have already paid.

    With the benefit of hindsight, I would do things very differently, so my advice is – don’t be one of those who thinks it will never happen to you. It could. Get good independent advice, get your contract checked and rechecked, insert your own clauses if possible, and make sure you only go ahead when your rights are protected in the contract, not the rights of the developer.

    Good luck to all buying in Spain,

    Karen

  • #61892
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    HOW & WHY do these developers get away with this??? 😈 😈

  • #61894
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Maybe as they know you are not there looking over their shoulder all the time… 🙄

    Heather

  • #61896
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    And that’s an excuse? Don’t forget we are not talking a few hundred euros …It is hundreds of thousands of euros we pay these s***developers. They are supposed to be monitored by a site visit every three months during construction to make sure they adhere to the plans & regulations. But then that’s back to the Town Hall, and we know what’s been going on there!! 😈

  • #61897
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Will ‘Operation Malaya’ affect you in any way Claire?

    Can you tell me a bit more about the 3 monthly monitoring? Is this a legal requirement?

  • #61898
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Well Claire, I bet you didn’t swear before you went ahead with your off plan, just like me. It makes you feel very angry, upset, disappointed, made a fool of when dealing with these developers.

    Tilly, I am sure that Maria will assist you with this matter, she knows her stuff, plus her family are very well known in this field. Have faith, it will get sorted out even if it seems like tomorrow, tomorrow will come. The spanish seem like they take for ever to deal with something but it is the same here in the UK..beaucracy…can seem like forever. I wish you all the luck in the world.Stick to your guns and get what you are entilted to. Aim high in your negotiations and you will come off ok.

  • #61900
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Claire, that’s an interesting point about the monitoring. It has really upset me that the building has been up for nearly 12 months, so they must have been aware of the discrepancy between the plans and the actual properties. Did they tell anyone? No… Have the local council acted at all if they have monitored the build. Apparently No.

    They have actually been telling people they do not need to snag before completing as the purchaser has 12 months during which they can provide a snagging list. I know of at least 1 person who has completed without being aware that 2/3 of her terrace has been taken away.

    She was more than shocked when seeing the terrace. This behaviour is totally underhand.

    I’ve found out today that they are not even responding to my solicitor, so what chance do we have of getting satisfaction or even some communication.

    As Claire said, we are not talking about hundreds of euros. We have paid over 130,000 euros so far, and stand virtually no chance of getting it all back.

    And don’t think we have been dealing with some dodgy developer here. This is the 2nd biggest construction company in Europe. We thought we were safe. How wrong we were.

    Again good luck to anyone out there who has fallen victim to spanish offplan problems. Those going to court , do you have an idea of how long it will take to get a final resolution, ie, your money back?

    Karen

  • #61902
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I was looking at a website for LFO’s. This was one of the construction procedures.

    Procedure 4. Inspection during the construction process (1)
    Time to complete: 1 day
    Cost to complete: no charge
    Comments: The law establishes that on-site-inspections have to be carried out at least every three months during the construction process, without depending on the stage of the construction.

    Our Bank Guarantee has been put into the “system” in Madrid. We have a hearing number but I have no idea when we will hear anything. We are hoping they will say the Bank has to pay before the September 30th date, I.E. before the Banks & the Courts close for the summer. (July & August)

    Be sure I will let you all know when ( remaining positive :)) that happens.

  • #61912
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I fully agree with the sentiments/comments of the various contributors, Town halls are the same all over the world.( remember Liverpool, Lambeth, Southwark etc) In fairness to them its not possible to check each and every appartmemt, they must do a sample test.

    Before I get accused of being calous its the buyers that need to check regularly the progress its after all their money/dream.( buyer be aware) I bought from the same builders in Marbella in around 1999. I visited the sight every three/four months before the instalment due date. No instalment was paid until I was not satified.

    Remember in Spain good faith does not allways work. Do not complete until you are fully satified, Its people who give in to them for reasons

    1) They could not be bothered.

    2) Waited too long and dont want to wait anymore.

    3) Feel that they have few years of retirement they dont want to be stressed.

    4) Cost/time of Legal proceedings

    If we all stand for our rights and with the change in the market the builders will take notice.

  • #61913
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Isn’t “Hindsight “a wonderful thing? If only it was a function we were all endowed with at puberty 😉 !

    As a nation, I think British people are too trustworthy…until that trust is so aggresively abused.

    I agree with your last sentence, shakeel.

  • #61914
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Shakeel,

    we fully intend to stand up for our rights, and will certainly not be fobbed off with our apartment as it stands. There is no way in this world that we will complete on this purchase unless we are 100% satisfied.

    Ideally, we want as much of our money back as possible so that we can walk away. If we have to go to court, we will. At this stage, though, we have been advised by our current solicitor that we shouldn’t really consider this as the company will drag this on through the courts for many months if not years. Any prolonged delay inevitably means that we will be unable to move on, and we are still intent on purchasing our dream home in Spain. This places us somewhere between the rock and the hard place.

    It’s so frustrating when we know right is on our side, yet we can’t sort things out quickly.

    You’re right in that these developers have an expectation that us brits will not stand up to them and will do more or less anything for a quiet life. We must stand up for ourselves to change this perception so that we are not taken advantage of.

    Karen

  • #62186
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Wigangirl,
    I may be mistaken but I think that as long as there is a dispute with a builder, they claim to not hand over the entire site.
    Personally I think this is just to put the frighteners on you and stop you claiming anything back against the builders.
    I have bought an apartment in the costa Almeria region and there are 96 apartments on this site.
    Bearing in mind that you only have to pay half now and the other half when built, I worked out that the builders on the site where I am buying one are owed a minimum of £3.8m.
    I am calling their bluff as i think they will want their payments as soon as possible and therefore it may be easier to payback the few people who do stand up to them, rather than have to wait until the legal proceedings are over to get the £4m or whatever we owe them collectively.
    Mine is already 6 months overdue and therefore I have got past bothering as you can’t get information out of anyone anymore.
    They gave me a deadline and blatently lied by constantly telling me they were on schedule, so now I will do everything in my powers to make them pay for this as it makes my blood boil to think about how many people they do this to. 😡
    These companies are quite happy to take your money and if you don’t pay on time, they would keep it.
    Chin up and hope you get some good news soon.
    Goodbye from sunny Doncaster.
    Mark.

  • #62216
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @shakeel ahmad wrote:

    I fully agree with the sentiments/comments of the various contributors, Town halls are the same all over the world.( remember Liverpool, Lambeth, Southwark etc) In fairness to them its not possible to check each and every appartmemt, they must do a sample test.

    Before I get accused of being calous its the buyers that need to check regularly the progress its after all their money/dream.( buyer be aware) I bought from the same builders in Marbella in around 1999. I visited the sight every three/four months before the instalment due date. No instalment was paid until I was not satified.

    Remember in Spain good faith does not allways work. Do not complete until you are fully satified, Its people who give in to them for reasons

    1) They could not be bothered.

    2) Waited too long and dont want to wait anymore.

    3) Feel that they have few years of retirement they dont want to be stressed.

    4) Cost/time of Legal proceedings

    If we all stand for our rights and with the change in the market the builders will take notice.

    Shakeel

    I was interested in your comment about the buyer’s responsibiity to check regularly on the progress of their investment. Isn’t that what we’ve all been doing – through our lawyers and agents – after all they are paid a lot of money to do this for us, including 10% + commission to the agent. I don’t think this is good faith or naievity – it’s professional business practice – which has been outrageously abused. 😡 😡 😡

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