September 19, 2006 at 9:37 pm #52257
According to what I have read the average deposit on signing a contract to purchase is 30%. Sitting in a waiting room in málaga this week I was browsing a property magazine totally in spanish and a few were advertising off-plan at 2000 euros reservation and 4000 euros on signing contract, rest on completion. Could it be that all these high deposits (some paying 30% before even a handful of soil is moved) are all aimed at the overseas market?
September 19, 2006 at 10:20 pm #65833
September 20, 2006 at 8:32 am #65841
We have a development near us which attracted a lot of Spanish buyers due to the very good prices of the early stages. Talking to them they all paid on a 30-40-30 basis, have all been 18-24 months late on completion, and have all completed minus FLO’s, BG’s were issued for the first stage payment but not for the second, so it seems its not just the Brits having problems with developers.
September 20, 2006 at 8:46 am #65843
same old story, why on earth should someone complete 24 months late with no BG and no LFO?, is the system so rubbish, that they could not get anyone to protect them from the crooks that force them in to completion with none of the correct paperwork?
i guess the answer is yes!
September 20, 2006 at 11:45 pm #65904
I think the problem here is that Spanish people generally (in my experience) do not use lawyers for house purchase. They regard the Notarial system as enough protection of their rights that they dont need someone to do this for them. Leaves them at the mercy of the developers I suppose but in general they regard it as “Business as usual”.
There is a development of 24 apartments in front of me. Only one English couple who bought – the rest all Spanish. There are problems insomuchas they cannot get an LFO becuase there is a high voltage Pylon electricity line running right through the middle of the two buildings. Iberdrola wont issue a Boletin for electricity, they cannot even get constructors electircity.
You would think after nearly 18 months someone would have made a representation. However the only people who have, so far, are the Englsih couple. Their solicitor was surprised that out of 24 people who could be complaining only one couple did.
Not sure where the problem lies but the architect should have done something before the build start, the developer should have arranged to have this done before the build, and the town hall should have said no until it was done. But this is Spain and it seems the only people who care are the foreigners.
Perhaps therein lies the problem.
But in all my dealings with Spanish clients none have used a solicitor – no matter what you say – they just do not think they need them.
September 21, 2006 at 12:47 am #65909
I bought off plan – I think from the book katy saw!block of 50 apartments and im the only non spanish 😮 I moved in at the same time as the rest in the block(2003) because thats what they said to do!!!!! on builders supply for 6 months and no problems- I think I am lucky as the spanish know the system -accept it as it is and the builders know who they are selling to at the time 😕
only now do i realise how lucky i have been- no lawyer used or anything 😯
September 21, 2006 at 8:09 am #65912
ah, i see, that explains why on the development i’m buying, quite a few people have completed (mostly spanish) with no LFO in place. I can’t help also wondering though, with all the bad experience english people are having with spanish lawyers, if that’s also a good reason for the spanish not not to use them? There has been several posts on here of people taking developers to court over clear breeches of contract, and still not winning the case? I really wonder what chance we stand of getting any compensation for our development being 2 years late and our apartment being 22% smaller than contract?
September 21, 2006 at 8:18 am #65913
there was an article some time ago in the Costa Blanca News, about the Alicante authorities coming down hard on developers for late completion. I have a hard copy if you want it PM your e-mail and I will scan it for you. the archive system on line is not working otherwise I would give you the link.
September 21, 2006 at 8:44 am #65914
I think you do have a valid claim for compensation but you will need to go to court. I would suggest you use an out of town lawyer that has absolutely no relations with anyone where you are buying – try someone from Madrid, Valencia or Barcelona a bit far I know but lawyers will travel. But you will need evidence of the original plans – ie any sales material, memoria de calidad, contracts etc.
Also one thing you may not be aware of, the estate agent is equally liable and have a repsonsibility as much as the developer does, as does any promoter involved. So you may be able to take the estate agent to court as well
A plan of Action
I am not a lawyer nor do I claim to know the law very well but from my understanding you have a case. I suggest the following course of action (and I am sure one of thelegal eagles n here will correct me where iam wrong)
1. Go to the Notary and get the contract invalidated. Then there is no dispute – the Notary has agreed with you it is invalid.
Once that is done (and there is no reason why he shouldnt if what you say is written ito the contract and you have all the evidence) then you have a strong case to go to court with.
2. Raise a complaint against the developer and lodge it with theOMIC
I think Charlie but a procedure on here some time ago. Take it to the OMIC. You can go to the developers office and ask for a “hoja de reclamaciones.” It is an offence for them not to carry them and if they dont report it to the local police
Fill in your side of the story and leave the builder with a copy. If they do not respond within 10 days then you go to the OMIC. make sure you state VERY clearly what resolution is suitable to you – ie compensation, an agreed date for completion or whatever.
If you dont hear from the developer within ten days take the white copy to the OMIC – they will investiagte it.
Or make a denunciar to the local police )or do this as well)
3. Get your solicitor to send a Buro fax outlining your dispute over the contract claim and keep a copy of this. A Buro fax is basically a signed for letter which has legal status. Keep this up until you get a response.
4. If after a set peirod of time (say 2 months) elapses without getting a satisfactory resolution then take them to court.
Hope this helps
September 21, 2006 at 9:19 am #65915
thanks for your helpful advice, we fear we may need this, the situation is, our agent and agent recomended lawyer (bit worrying i know) are saying that they are pushing for compensation from the developer, but so far we have no news of a positive result. They have at least said that we won’t be required to complete without the LFO in place, even though the site is finished (as long as the inspectors that issue the LFO don’t find any problems i assume) The build should have been 18 months to two years, but it actually took four years!. Our lawyer has agreed there is a breech of contract, on build time and size of apartment, but the developer is notoriously difficult, so all very tricky.
September 21, 2006 at 11:45 am #65918
From this weeks Town Crier
“One of Calahondas largest urbanisations is still without a FLO after 5 years. Many of the owners are from Madrid…….the Town Hall will not issue the licence because the developer did not build a proper access road.”
September 21, 2006 at 12:33 pm #65921
does it say which one?, could you PM if need be, thanks.
September 21, 2006 at 12:59 pm #65922
September 21, 2006 at 2:25 pm #65925
thanks, it would seem to make sense for a ‘no LFO no completion’ clause to be written in to all contracts and make the administerive silence rule null and void?
September 21, 2006 at 6:31 pm #65932
Whether your lawyer says it is a breach of contract or not you need to get the Notary to agree to it. After that you can decide what you want to do. Even if you go ahead and purchase the project the fact a notary has declared a breach of contract means you may have recourse later.
Carry out the step sabove and whether he is difficult or not things should start to happen. I would be wary about what your agent and his recommended lawyer state as they clearly do not have your interests at heart
September 22, 2006 at 8:34 am #65945
getting the notary to agree to a breech of contract sounds like a good idea, but i fear if i go through my lawyer, we will be advised against this, due to the fact they say they are trying to negotiate some sort of compensation anyway. How would we approach the notary direct with the language thing, should we e-mail, phone, write a letter, or just pass on the e-mail sent to us from our lawyer, stating the two breeches of contract? or must we go through our lawyer so as not to upset them and make matters even worse?
Same old problem, knowing if the peopleand we are using are advising us for the best?
September 22, 2006 at 9:00 am #65948
Hi Goodstitch – you dont need a lawyer to go to the Notary. If you know someone who can speak Spanish then take them with you. Just tell the Notary you wish to anull a contract. They will then tell you what you will need. Generally you will need the contract, any sales material, any correspondence received from your awyer and the developer.
If you dont have any one to speak Spanish drop me a line with where you live and I may be able to find someone willing to go with you depending on where you are
The lawyer is not acting on your behalf it is clear he is in cahoots with the developer and is acting n their best interests – why else would he push not to do anything. If you need a good lawyer I know an excellent one in Valencia – he will be able to help you most of the way remotely so you dont need to have him present with you and he DOES put his clients first. He speaks excellent Englsih and will tell you what charges he will make before you proceed. He will also guide you to a point beforwhand and do as much as possible without charge so he can establish what sort of case you have and if he doesnt think yyou have a strong case will tell you so.
Again drop me a line and I will pass on his details..
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