Owners of flats in the Torre Lúgano – Benidorm’s second highest skyscraper – are taking the promoter to court for 28 million Euros over construction faults in the new building.
A recent article in El Pais reports on the problems experienced by people who bought flats in the Torre Lugano skyscraper – the 2nd highest in Benidorm with 148 metres, 48 floors, and 204 flats (it was marketed as the highest residential building in Spain, but has since been overtaken by the Gran Hotel Bali in Benidorm at 186m).
Furious owners claim the finish is far below spec and multiple construction faults have come to light since the building was delivered in June 2008, a year and a half late. A group of them are taking the developer, builder, architect, and technical architects to court demanding compensation of 28 million Euros.
The owners complain that:
– The building standards are shoddy, and corners were cut.
– The developer cut costs using inferior materials to those promised in the spec. For example, chipboard or cardboard was used in place of wood.
– Thanks to poor construction, the stairs to the offices have been sealed off in danger of collapse.
– The fire alarm never worked properly (towering inferno anyone?). Sometime it goes off up to 50 times a day.
– Construction faults in the foundations cause regular flooding in the garage, often involving waste water (sewage).
– Owners have had to spend 600,000 Euros dealing with these and other problems.
Vicente Villalba, the vice-president of the community of owners, says he feels “swindled”. “I was promised a luxury flat but it has ended up a disaster because almost nothing is up to scratch,” he told El Pais.
As a protest, the majority of owners are reported to have hung a for sale sign outside their flats.
Prices range from €160,000 for small lower floor flats, to €710,000 for the penthouses. The symbolic protest aside, 50 flats, or 25% of the building, are for sale, and that’s before counting those still on offer from the developer.
The owners are also suing the developer for building 5 floors more than urban planning laws permit.
The developer is a JV between Acciona – one of Spain’s biggest developers and constructors – and the Valencian savings bank Bancaja.