November 19, 2005 at 9:37 pm #51369
Having read many of the horror stories,I feel luckier than most…….but could do with some advice…hopefully Mark or someone else can help.
Completed recently but have a few gripes-Quality of internal fittings not the same as promised(especially kitchen)-produced an extensive Snag list(also used an independent prior to completion)-I have contacted my Spanish Lawyer and the developer but everything has gone very quiet(After being all over me like a rash prior to signing on the dotted line, the promises made post completion do not seem to be happening)
What steps can I take to ensure everything is done to my satisfaction?I have sent the new snag list to the developer and lawyer three times over the last week but neither has replied(although I have read receipts).
Are there any steps I should be taking to cover myself?Other than physically going back over to Spain to sort things out in person are there any suggestions/actions to take before doing this?Is email recognised in Spain or do I need to send information recorded delivery?
November 21, 2005 at 10:33 am #59913
We kept a retention of some money due to the number of snagging faults, the lawyer acting for us didn’t like us doing this, (had the agents’ and developers interests at heart, not ours). Any lawyer worth his salt would probably suggest this course, I would have a moan to him and get him to address the problem if possible.
November 21, 2005 at 4:33 pm #59916
Thanks Paul I`ll give that a try.
It`s very disconcerting when you are a UK based buyer and everything goes very quiet-I havn`t got a huge amount of time for lawyers at the best of times and there seems very little policing of this situation.I was interested by one of Mark`s articles saying the developer is legally obliged to put right initial snags indicated by the buyer which are presentsd within 15 days of completion….my problem is ,how do you enforce this?If the developer fails to make good within 28 days in reality what can be done?
November 21, 2005 at 6:48 pm #59918
Take them to court it will only cost about 6000euros and take 5 years!!
November 22, 2005 at 4:32 pm #59925
Spanishfly, you are right in asking how to enforce the snagging defects by the Developer, very difficult to do so and you feel sort of helpless because the lawyer often doesn’t help either. You could try finding out who else has bought or buying which I did and have a bit of people power but it’s still hard.
The only lesson I learnt for future ref. whether Spain or anywhere is to insist in the contract a 5% retention to be held against defects on the property and site, if they don’t agree then say you are not going to buy, but the estate agent, lawyer and Developer need to know this before even a reservation deposit is placed. Obviously in the UK there are better avenues to enforce things, Developers also are more keen to protect their reputations etc.
Suing in Spain would be a last resort though, too costly and time consuming, which is probably why so many cowboys exist and can get away with things. My advice, create as much bad publicity as possible for the agent, developer and lawyer involved in the UK and in Spain.
November 24, 2005 at 4:09 pm #59968
I tried to negotiate a retention, but as you rightly said, because this wasn’t done prior to signing the initial agreement(nearly three years ago!),I was knocked back by both the solicitor and the developer(surprise ,surprise).I suppose I should have smelt a rat then-my faith in the post completion phase was limited, but having been made promises and the fact that I was only in Spain for a limited period of time-I decided to press ahead. On the day of completion the property was crawling with contactors putting right a few of the initial problems-but from what I understand ,very little has happened since.
Good idea about “drumming up” publicity-maybe a warning to other people and could possibly twist the developers arm(especially if I copy them in on the responses!)……….having said that I’m still luckier than many people who are contributing to this site(I think!) having now gone through the process….
1 You can never be too careful
2 Take most things with a pinch of salt(even when they are put in writing)
3 Double/triple check the independence of every “professional” person in the chain……everyone is on their 10%.
4 Although tempting, do not take financial shortcuts…easily done
5 Trust your own judgement…if someone is offering advice…be suitably sceptical but way up the “pros and cons” before acting…listen, evaluate and then act
6 This is a lot of money(sometimes feels like a game of monopoly)…treat the whole process as a commercial proposition and transact in a switched on commercial way…don’t sign until you are satisfied you have covered as many bases as possible….
There are definitely things I would have done differently(probably like most things in life…everyone has 20:20 vision after the event)but all in all I feel pretty comfortable with what I’ve done and look forward to enjoying my holiday home(once I have dragged a few hairy ar**d builders off the site to finish things off)
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