Santa Maria Green Hills – Again!

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This topic contains 33 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 10 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #51553
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi everyone,

    It has been a while since my last post. I see that there has been a lot of information posted about this development.

    I have recently been in contact with my lawyer regarding the completion date for our apartment situated in the lower blocks. Amongst other things I asked him about suing for breach of contract because of the delay in completion and got the following reply:

    Dear Gxxxx,

    Thank you for your e-mail from 23rd January.

    Despite the e-mail you sent me from another buyer of the complex I ratify my opinion about the possibility to recover the total paid amount due to the delay of the building Works. Spanish Law requires that there is an important delay and not only a few month.

    The architect signed the corresponding certificate indicating that hte building was finished on the 16th November 2005 which is 16 days later than the date indicated in the purchase contract. Afterwards the developer applied for the “Licencia de Primera Ocupación” at the Marbella Town Hall on the 19th January 2006. Therefore the developer could defend himself saying that they practically finished the building in time and that due to the delay at the Town Hall the property cannot be handed over in time.

    Please find attached copies of the certificates of termination of the building work and of the application for the license for first occupancy.

    According to Spanish law if the Town Hall does not answer this application within three months we can understand that the license has been granted. The proceeding of the Marbella Town Hall in the last years was not to reply to these applications and this means that the license is granted automatically. I don’t know if this will happen in this case but it is very probable and in this case we could complete at the en of April.

    According to your e-mail please also find attached a copy of the insurance policy from Banco Popular Hipotecario who guarantees the return of the amounts paid until this moment.

    I understand your angriness for the delay but I think it is my obligation to give you my opinion about Spanish law in these matters and I think it would be very difficult to recover the whole amount paid until this moment like the other buyer told you.

    Best Regards[/i]

    I am totally confused – Do I accept that the License of First Occupation has been granted because Marbella town hall did not respond to the license application of the developer within 3 months?

    Was the original building license definitely for the upper AND the lower blocks? If so, has the building license definitely been revoked?

    On a paranoid note – Do I trust my lawyer?

    I’d really like to contact other buyers from the lower blocks who maybe in a position to confirm exactly what the position is at this time.

    I have visited the devwatch site….

    Many thanks,

    Greenhill

  • #60862
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Greenhill wrote:

    According to Spanish law if the Town Hall does not answer this application within three months we can understand that the license has been granted. The proceeding of the Marbella Town Hall in the last years was not to reply to these applications and this means that the license is granted automatically. I don’t know if this will happen in this case but it is very probable and in this case we could complete at the en of April.

    …….Personally, I DON’T THINK SO.

    I repeat what I have already posted before when I spoke to the legal department of the Town Planning Office before Christmas.
    Their own lawyer, a Sra. Santiago, quite specifically and adamantly told me that Green Hills is under investigation, the licence is under suspension, and that it will take probably up to a couple of years before it reaches their tribunal for a decision to be made.
    All Green Hills (upper and lower blocks) is all on one licence.

    I cannot impress on you more that we and others have been told so many lies by this particular developer, that I would take anything said by them with a pinch of salt.

    I think there is a ‘slight’ element of wishful thinking (or pig-headed optimism?) – whichever way you want to look at it, with this developer.

    Don’t forget that without the Licencia de Primera Occupacion, no utilities can be obtained.

    What I suggest is that YOU CONTACT SRA. SANTIAGO IN THE LEGAL DEPARTMENT OF THE TOWN PLANNING, AND HEAR IT ALL FOR YOURSELF!

  • #60868
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Greenhill,

    It’s a long time since we “chatted” 🙂 You were the first person that I was in contact with over the “Greenhills” nightmare. As you probably know, there are quite a few of us now in regular contact with one another. I know of one person who keeps in contact with you. A few weeks back we had a flurry of correspondence between us about the possibility of the lower blocks not likely to be granted the License of First Occupation. Sofia found out about this from the legal dept. of Marbella Town Hall. As it has turned out this was spot on info as now, as of the 26th Jan the license has been revoked (at this late stage!!!) on the lower blocks according to http://www.devwatch.com

    My husband(an intelligent guy most of the time!)& I could not understand the letter that you received from your lawyer. It all seems a bit confusing 😕 As Charlie says, we have been told sooooooo many lies by the developer that I would not even believe him to tell me the correct day of the week. If you would like to contact me , I can give you the contact addresses of the people that I know are buying on the lower block. You may have already received some of the info that they had from R?. Either email me if you still have my address or PM me via the forum.

    This is all so frustrating. I don’t know who is worse off…us, Charlie, Sofia, and myself, for not having our appts. built or yourselves for having them built and then not able to complete on them. 😈 We have stress in abundance between us…..and the lawyers have bucket loads of money from us 👿

    Kind Regards,

    Claire.

  • #60878
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Greenhill, the old procedure of the licence being granted if Marbella doesn’t reply does not stand anymore since the junta de andalucia over-ruled everthing. I would query this with your lawyer. If you sign without the licence you are dependent on the builder for water and electricity supplies and they won’t care once they have your money. Katy

  • #60885
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hello.
    I am in the same unfortunate position as everyone else who has paid a deposit to secure an apartment in the Green Hills development.
    Up until recently I have corresponded with my Lawyer there, and trusted that she was acting in my best interest.Now however, I have strong reason to think that she is colluding with the developers to try to persuade me to complete.There is a distinct smell of corruption in the air.
    All I want to do is get my deposit back.I have heard enough to rouse my suspicions about the whole development.However,nobody seems to know the legal position regarding refunding the deposit. Every lawyers’ statement on this site is contradictory, and suggests to me that most of them have a vested interest.The bank guarantees I have, apparently can’t be excercised until July 06.My lawyer says I will lose 50% if I don’t complete very soon. And yet, all I want to do is get my deposit back.The developers have broken contract by not finishing on time.This is not debateable. There is no licence of first occupation from the town hall, and it seems that it is unlikely that a licence will be granted for the foreseeable future. The value of the apartments has not increased in 2 years.Anyway, who in their right mind,given the circumstances, would want to buy one of the apartments now?
    I want to get my deposit back, which has been in the developers bank accumulating interest for 2 years.I do not want to complete.Is there anyone out there who would be interested in getting together as a group and taking a class action against the developers to recover our loses?Can anyone clarify the situation with this development? Does anyone have a decent and unbiased lawyer who can be trusted to act on my behalf?

  • #60886
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Try the http://www.lawbird.com site (Marbella lawyers – the honest ones)!

    Have used their legal services – they are keen, efficient and do not overcharge.

  • #60888
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Mr. Pink

    If you register to get a PM box, I will contact you.
    We are also purchasers at Green Hills (upper blocks), but can help you with some info.

  • #60889
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Mr. Pink – suggest you also look at “AIFOS – signing contract before Licence of First Occupation” by Keith.

  • #60892
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    If you can read spanish look at the following consumer web page:

    http://www.consumer.es/web/es/vivienda/compra/2004/01/16/113525.php

  • #60904
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant
    Mr Pink wrote:
    …..Up until recently I have corresponded with my Lawyer there, and trusted that she was acting in my best interest.Now however, I have strong reason to think that she is colluding with the developers to try to persuade me to complete.There is a distinct smell of corruption in the air.

    ….My lawyer says I will lose 50% if I don’t complete very soon. quote]

    Your lawyer is talking bull.
    Suggest you tell her to contact Sra. Santiago in the Town Hall Planning (legal dept.) who will confirm to her a) building licence is suspended and b) that their own recommendation is not to spend another penny until this is sorted out.

    You can not lose 50% as all the licences are not in place for Green Hills.

    In my opinion, your lawyer is definitely ‘in bed’ with the developer (like our origi9nal lawyer was) and I would recommend it is worth doing what we did – go over there, demand your file returned, and GET YOURSELF A NEW, INDEPENDENT LAWYER. It will be worth every penny in the end.

  • #60905
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Mr Pink, as a matter of interest is your Lawyer Marbella based. We were completely ripped off by a certain lawyer on our Green Hills purchase. I wonder if it is the same one. They were definitely working with the developer. We stupidly,through trust & ignorance, 😳 used a lawyer recommended by O Estates.

  • #60910
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks for all the info and advice.
    I now have a PM so anyone can leave a personal message.
    Thanks again.
    Mr Pink

  • #60911
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Mr Pink, it would be interesting to know if you tried to purchase directly from the Developer, or whether an agent like the one Claire mentions sold this site to you (or mis-sold it)? They’ve mis-sold to many already including us and often reported in the Press and previous links here.

    I’m sure there must be some onus on the rogue agents involved and maybe a lawyer should be also helping to recover deposits etc from or via them. It’s often overlooked but I think Drakan once mentioned this as an extra avenue to pursue.

  • #60917
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thank you all for the replies and information. I sent my lawyer another email detailing the issues that have been raised over the license being revoked and pointing him towards the http://www.devwatch.com website. Part of his reply is listed below:

    Regarding the building license and the license of first occupancy in your block at Santa Maria Green Hills I also ratify what I said before. According to my information the High Court of Andalucia has suspended the license for the blocks 1 to 5 and for this reason they have not been built. Nevertheless nobody has contested the license for block 6 to 11 and this license has not been suspended and the construction has been finished. The architect signed the certificate on the 8th November saying that the building works had finished and the developer applied for the license for first occupancy at the Marbella Town Hall on the 19th January 2006. If the Town Hall does not state an opinion against this license within three month it can be understood that the license is granted.

    I am trying to ascertain exactly where he is getting his information from. Will keep you all posted.

    Regards,

    G.

  • #60919
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Greenhill,

    This is what Drakan has to say about completing on a purchase without LFO.

    Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 9:17 am Post subject:



    In our law firm we always recommend not to buy a property without the LFO, I’ve posted that many times over. Albeit some clients just wish to plod ahead regardless of our advice.I cannot speak on behalf of other lawyers/law firms.

    And If you do complete eventually without said LFO, we practice a retention. Not only do you not get water, electricity, gas, telephone line etc but you may also have problems with your mortgage because banks reject properties without LFO.

    IMPO..you should ask your lawyer where he got this information from…probably VS, the developers lawyer, who is obscenely negligent with the truth.The whole development was on one licence NOT two. As charlie or sofia says, the only place you will get the truth is from the legal department of the Town Hall. I know who I would place my money on!

    The Town Hall may not pass an opinion within3 months as it has suspended the licence and the courts are taking another look at the original planning application. It could as has been suggested, take up to 2 years. Your lawyers response is pretty much what the developers told the Devwatch team. All these lies from a so called reputable, long established developer…their words NOT mine!

  • #60920
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Claire,

    Thank you for this…. I have done exactly as you suggested and asked my lawyer to confirm exactly where he is getting his information from. I have also asked him to contact Sra Santiago at the legal department of the town planning office. It will be interesting to see what his response is.

    Regards,

    G.

  • #60921
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Excellent! I will be interested to see what his response is too! 😉

  • #61037
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Folks,

    I am a new member to the group. We have bought in block 7. I am getting the same info from my Laywer re completion that was posted by “greenhill” Additionally there are 25000 apartments in the Marbella area without the licence. On a practical sense how could anyone get their ulititiy supplies from the builer long term?

  • #61038
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi MD,

    You absolutely do NOT want to get your utilities through the developer. I was reading about this only recently. If I can find the piece, I will post it here. I’m sure, Drakan or Jose Maria Sanchez, both excellent Spanish Lawyers (who help us immensly with advice) would say not to complete with out a Licence of First Occupation.(LFO) Also, unless you are are a cash buyer, Banks, etc. will not give finance. Obviously MVG are pushing to complete on Block 7. You are one of 3 in the last week or so, to have posted. Have you looked at http://www.Devwatch.com ? They have confirmed that the license is revoked as of 26th January 2006. I personally had a private message through the forum, requesting the telephone number of Marbella Town Hall. This is only helpful if you speak Spanish as they don’t speak English. That is where you will get the truth…NOT from the developers!!!!!

    There are a number of us in contact with one another, some from the lower blocks and some, like my husband & I, who bought on the upper blocks 😈

    My advise is to do your own research on this and not to trust the developer AND depending on who your lawyer is, not your lawyer. I am sure you have read the other posts on this thread and especially the one from Drakan about LFO.

    Good Luck. 🙂

  • #61040
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    If you have ‘bought’ in the lower blocks of Green Hills, and your lawyer is pushing you to complete, then your lawyer does not have your best interests at heart.

    In my humble opinion, it is insane to pay any money to complete on this development, as advised to us by the lawyer of the Marbella Town Hall Planning Dept. The building licence is suspended, and no licence of first occupation will be issued (i.e. no water, electricity etc. can be supplied).

    The developers know it, and your lawyer knows it.

  • #61045
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi,

    Just to clear up any confusion, my lawyer is not pushing me to complete. He was saying that the LFO was not important as such. – his opinion. I was thinking from a practical point of view how on earth the builder would supply electricity,water etc on any basis. I will have to wait and see what transpires.

  • #61046
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    my lawyer is not pushing me to complete. He was saying that the LFO was not important as such. – his opinion

    MD, If I were you and my lawyer said that to me, I’d be looking for another lawyer, ASAP! 😯

  • #61047
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I totally agree with Claire and Drakan about the LFO , I always advise my clients NOT to sign the title deeds and pay the balance of the price if the LFO is not ready. I even insist that if my client wants to sign and pay without the LFO they have to sign me a document in which they assume all the responsabilities for doing so.

    I never get tired of telling clients ( and to developers pushing on the other side !! ) that they wont be able to get the water, elec. and other supplies, but also they risk being evicted by the Council , and that is not a joke it is a real possibility, and then start legal actions at the Court to spend lots of money and years. And it is simply not legal, it is estated in at least two laws that the developer HAS to show the LFO to the buyers.

    Also, have you thought of the following : If you want to sell, for any reasons, just after you bought without the LFO, is a buyer with a good lawyer going to sign contracts with you if you cannot show the LFO ??

    I am actually dealing a completion/nightmare with Aifos , they are threatening with making the contract void ( therefore my client loosing all moneys and the prop.) if we don’t sign and pay when they call us to come to a notary. I have told Aifos legal department in Málaga very clearly that if they go that far I will come to the notary and deposit the money which will be paid when the LFO is shown to me.

    The architect’s Certificate of end of works is NOT ENOUGH, buyers are told by some developers that it is enough, do not accept it. That certificate only means that the construction has finished, but you are paying for something not just finished but which you can live in it !, without the LFO you cannot use or live in a property, not legally anyway.
    It is as easy as if you pay a deposit ordering a new car and when you come to collect it to the car dealer you are told that the car hasn’t got a final license from the Traffic Authorities to get out to the roads, would you pay the whole price of that car and take it ? so why would you do it with something worth 300.000 or 400.000 Euros ?

    Sorry for such a long boring legal post, regards,

    José María Sánchez Alfonso
    Abogado / Lawyer
    Málaga, Costa del Sol
    jmslawyer@telefonica.net

  • #61048
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Many thanks for your response. I have to say having read various posts, I am well confused. my only hope is that Green Hills gets it’s LFO licence, and we can complete tidyly and legally.

    Does anyone know if this is a geraral problem how in Andaluthia?

  • #61050
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi MD,
    I get the impression that you do not know the full history of the situation of the Santa Maria Greenhills development. It is quite possible that the LFO may be a long time coming.

    Several buyers that I know of are wanting to pull out of the development. Apart from anything else all of the swimming pools, landscaping etc should be up & running before people start living there. This is what we were told by Eralia when we first ventured into buying there. When my husband & I visited in October it was very much a building site, with far from complete apartment blocks. We took several photographs to back this up. I realise that 4 months have passed since then. It appears that only block 7 is habitable at this moment in time IF the building licence is upheld by the courts.

  • #61052
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Claire,

    Hi thanks for the info. I have some recent photos, that shows that they have made a lot of progress. I will email them to you if you send me your email address

    Regards

    MD

  • #61053
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks MD. I’d love to see the photo’s 🙂 Could you register on the forum please as this way I can send you a private message with my email address. Unless you want to put yours on the forum and I can email you! 😉

    Regards, Claire.

    PS. Are you “Mark” who posted on DEVWATCH about Greenhills ? I’m just being curious!!

  • #61057
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    MD – hi
    just be aware that photos of even a nicely finished building does not mean anything if there is no LFO, as per Jose Maria Sanchez Alfonso’s post.
    This is what is relevant – not how the building ‘looks’.
    I’m not getting on your case, am just concerned that you might not be taking on board seriously enough the importance of having the LFO in place before handing over any more money (this was advised to us by the lawyer at Marbella Town Planning “don’t hand over a single penny until the suspended licence goes to Tribunal – could take up to two years”.
    An LFO is impossible until the building licence is sorted out.
    The Architect’s ‘end of works’ certificate is useless without the LFO.

  • #61058
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Sofia,

    Thanks for the info, regading the LFO, and how important it is.

    All I can do is hope it is sorted sooner rather than later.

    Any updates you have on this will be really helpful

    Regards

    MK

  • #61059
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    MD –

    I think it is going to be ‘later’ rather than ‘sooner’ I’m afraid.

    Hold on to your money.

    We know MVG is pushing hard trying to get the ‘unsuspecting’ to complete.
    They desperately need money coming in.

  • #61065
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Sofia,

    It appears that MD bought into SMGH, following a similar route to me, starting at the NEC! Same type of agent, same type of lawyer…just different names. 👿

  • #61123
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi.
    Could Claire or Sofia let me know the details of their lawyers please?
    It is Jose Maria Sanchez I would like to contact. Or if anyone else can suggest a reputable, honest, trustworthy and impartial lawyer, who can represent me that would be great.
    Also, does anyone have any new info on blocks 8 to 10 ?
    Mr Pink

  • #61124
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Mr Pink,

    The email address of Jose Maria Sanchez can be found at the end of his posts Also you can PM him. Of course Sofia & I can give you our lawyers contact details. I will send them to you.

    As most of the buyers from the lower levels are wanting to change lawyers, it would probably be a good idea for you to contact them and as you are all in the same boat, use the same lawyer to act for you as a group. Also, you could give them the benefit of your professional opinion on the mortgage aspect etc, if a LFO is not granted, and the impact it will have if they were to proceed.At this point in time, you are all trying to find out the true legal situation of the Licence of First Occupation, and whether or not to proceed with the transaction. Because of all the problems that have been encountered so far, it seems most of you do not want to complete on the purchase of your apartments. It is as you said, only half of the lovely development, that was sold to you! The top half is unattractive barren land. Who knows what will happen to that in the future? I will email you and tell you the people to contact.

    At this point in time we have no “results” from our lawyer. He is progressing well for Sofia, but he has not started on our case. Therefore, I cannot and will not give any guarantees as to his abilities!! Sofia has met him and has great confidence in him. He does have a good, successful track record as I am sure Sophia can tell you. He will be the third lawyer for both of us. Let’s hope third time lucky!!

    A big problem in this whole horrible mess is that so many people are not telling the truth. There are too many people involved, agents, lawyers developers and their employees ,where it is not in their best interest to tell the truth. Sofia’s lawyer actually went to see the site of Green hills and asked one of the workmen “Is this Eralia Green hills?” The answer? “No it is Vista Golf” 😕 How many of us , when we went to see sight in 2003 remember all of those Eralia flags lining both sides of the road. At the bottom a big sign saying it was an Eralia development. Now, there is not a trace of the Eralia name. I wonder why? 😉 I’ll be in touch.

    Claire

  • #61126
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks for the advice and update, Claire.
    If there is anyone out there who would like to join forces and use the same lawyer to get our deposits back, I am interested to hear from them.
    Please send a private message and I will reply.
    Mr Pink

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