Did you hear the one about the impoverished pensioner who got a block of flats as compensation when his developer didn’t deliver on time? No joke, that’s what just happened in Cadiz province of Andalucia, where a judge in San Fernando awarded 65-year old pensioner Benito González a block of 208 flats, with underground parking for 160 cars, when the notorious developer Aifos failed to build and deliver his off-plan purchase on time.
Back in 2005 González committed to buy a flat off-plan in the La Cala del Sol development on the south side of San Fernando from Aifos, a developer caught up in the Malay police operation into town hall corruption, and notorious for its business practices. Deliver was supposed to take place in 2007, but problems at Aifos meant that building work ground to a halt before completion. Having handed over 60,000 Euros in stage payments to Aifos, González hired a lawyer to take Aifos to court for breach of contract.
In the end the half finished promotion was put on the block at public auction to settle the debt, but with not a single bidder, the judge ended up awarding it to González. The only problem is that it comes with a 20 million Euro mortgage, which González has to return or service interest on within 20 days. González, who needed help from the charity Caritas during his lengthy legal battle, is said to be confident that a solution can be negotiated. “At least I can say that I’ve owned the building for a while,” he told the Spanish press.