December 8, 2006 at 12:10 pm #52496
If a property agent can hide behind the `law of agency`, and stop themselves having to answer to a court. i.e Claiming that they are not the principal of a contract and therefore not liable. Then the question has to be asked as to wether they are allowed to enforce the terms on that contract, without referring to, or taking instruction from the actual principal (the builder in this case).
Any advice on this would be gratefully apreciated.
December 8, 2006 at 2:00 pm #67725
Hi Tony C,
I think in general a lot will depend on who actually has your money and who it was originally paid to and what papers were signed at the time.
I work in the area you mention and generally in the papers that are signed for a new build reservation etc it would state that the deposit is returned to you when you sign the deeds. Of course, if you decide not to complete you will never sign the deeds. The builders see this as an option you have chosen.
Secondly, generally it will say that if you fail to make an agreed stage payment you will lose any monies already paid or maybe a percentage of the monies paid.
I have had a few clients over the years that have returned to England then given me their deposit. I have always had to pay this on to the builder otherwise the builder considers the property unreserved.
Im only speaking in general terms and different builders will do different things. Maybe you could post some of the Spanish text etc from your receipts so some advice could be given with the legality of the receipts.
December 8, 2006 at 2:38 pm #67727
If a property agent can hide behind the `law of agency`, and stop themselves having to answer to a court
Thats a really good question!@ A CERTAIN well known agent used this excuse to me when the sheet hit the fan with my property. I find it amazing that it appears to be a supportable legal argument in Spain. To hear the MD of said agent telling me that he had no idea what was going on as he “just acted as an introducer” and therefore anything that went on after that was no responsibility of his.
Translation: So basically I just took the commission and never checked any of the facts/lies my company told you, but if I did tell you it was legal/registered/a great investment/ then I was not legally responsible as your contract is with the Promoter not with the Agency. So we can just walk away laughing………
How can this continue to be acceptable in Spanish Law ❓ or is it just as another poster says – they know that the average Brit has no knowledge of the SPanish legal system and they also know that it will take years to get to court and if it does then they will not honor the judgement and appeal and delay it until a decade has gone by???
December 9, 2006 at 12:12 pm #67745
Thanks for the replies.
Bernard, this is really a continuation of the thread `Global Name` company keeps…….., which you had replied to, thanks.
It is the agent who has retained my money. I have e-mailed the builder in Spain but have not had a reply yet. I am trying to establish wether the builder was actually informed about this deposit. Forcing the agent to reveal the builders details (i.e. the principal of the contract) was a job in itself.
Anyway, the money was paid as I signed the pre-sale agreement on a sunday evening before I flew back to the UK. At 9:00am the following morning (mon), I phoned to cancel my purchase. I didn’t think there would be a problem as I had been promised, verbally, that I would have a 14 day cooling-off period, which had seemed a reasonable statement and had no reason to not believe it. The pre-sale agreement, on first view, appeared to be half in Spanish. I realised afterwards that this was a Spanish translation after the English text.
The bottom line here is the agent didn’t need to keep my money, ok, maybe they had incurred some costs with regard to admin, but I offered to cover them anyway.
One of the subclauses reads –
`This reservation is made on behalf of the builder and ***** ************* remains exempt from any responsibility`
This term gives the agent licence to do whatever they please. The agent has retained my money, not passed it to a builder, and yet the court has decided that I can’t take them to a hearing. I issued a summons to the agent under the `Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999`, which I feel I can prove, but if the court has accepted their argument that they are only agents and therefore protected, this term can never be challenged.
Never mind Spanish Law, this is English Law. I find it ludicrous that someone who buys a timeshare property today has more rights and is protected better than a person purchasing overseas property through an agent.
Thanks to all others who took the time to read this thread.
December 10, 2006 at 12:21 am #67748
Sorry not to have dealt with this earlier.
I’m over in London for a few days, and haven’t had time to deal with forum abuse.
We won’t be hearing from them again (there were several commercial messages in this thread, which have now been deleted).
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