November 10, 2006 at 3:37 pm #52436
Helo to the forum, first time posting, I have read some of your posts with great interest.
I think I need a bit of help, I wont mention any names they may be reading these posts.
I went to Spain last November to look for property to buy off plan on an inspection trip with an independent agent ( not a big name player), we found a place near the mar menor,
We sat down with the agent in the hotel and worked out the figures, with the agents advice, all seemed ok, we just needed the the property to be valued at about 210,000 euros or more, purchase price was 189,000 euros then get an 80% or better interest only mortgage, then our Spanish dream was possible.
I was assured buy the agent that a mortgage would be no problem, its different here in Spain he would say. No problem getting a higher valuation, from my contacts.
As I had heard this from friends and others I had no reason not to believe him.
Now the property in question was partially finished and near completion, when we first viewed it. I think they either had no buyer from the off plan stage or some one had dropped out,
We felt it was our lucky day, the builder said it would be ready in late January just 2 or 3 months away, perfect. So we signed and 3000 euro deposit agreement and promised to send the money when we got back to England, which we did.
Then about a month later we sent another 50,000 euros this was to be the last payment before completion in January,
We where told back in November that a January deadline was being hopeful so to expect a February or March deadline.
Which we didn’t mind.
In the mean time the agent made contact end of January saying good news your type of property is now list price at 196,000 so we thought this is all going the right way, we should have no problem achieving the value we need.
Then May went by and the builder had problems with the town hall and they could not get the paper work signed off or something to that effect, so considerable delays in completion.
I did ask the solicitor if it was possible to get my money back and get out of the deal, I got no reply.
We did not mind too much as the longer it went on the property was more likely to reach our goal value for mortgaging. And we could just put off any holiday plans for a month or two.
The builder did say as the property was ready we could have the keys and move in,
There was no way I was doing this until I signed for it and it was legally mine. Others did and have been ok.
August went by unnoticed then, I had had just had enough, so I contacted my solicitor, who was recommended by my agent (possibly a mistake?, I know) to ask them “what are my options for getting my money back as I had waited too long for this property now”, they did not answer that question but came back to me to say the paper work was now ready and the builder could complete,
So I contacted my agent who set about arraigning me a mortgage.
Pictures of the place looked lovely so we decided to go ahead with it.
We now have had a valuation at 175,000 euros from a bank, way below even the purchase price, I know this is only one bank, and others might come good.
But I think that’s a big hope.
I was hoping in view of the delay, in providing the property for completion, I might at this stage be able to get my money back.
And not proceed with the purchase.
I don’t even think I have a bank guarantee, I have not seen one, the contract I have signed (in Spanish) does have a date for completion on it Jan 06.
I have scans of the contract if any one would like to see it.
I know I have broken a golden rule of not using solicitors associated with agents, I have asked my solicitor 2 or 3 times how I go about canceling this contract and they do not respond.
Can any one on the forum tell me if I have a case?
And could I get most if not all my money back?
Obviously I will need another solicitor to act for me if I have a case.
Was hoping to use someone who posts on this forum if that’s ok.
November 10, 2006 at 5:18 pm #67306
Thats disgraceful 🙁 Firstly sack your “Lawyer” and get a new one quickly. I am sure that you do have a case.
November 11, 2006 at 3:16 pm #67323
thanks, but first i need to establish if they are in breech of contract, before i go shelling out more money.
my lawyer in spain told me becouse i let it go on so long the spanish law will asume im happy with the delay, but i asked the lawyer back in may and august what my options where and got no reply.
and now the developer is trying to get me to complete quickly they want to pin me to a date,
November 11, 2006 at 3:46 pm #67324
Your contract gave a completion date of Jan 06. What clauses are there in the contract regarding extensions to the contract period? Were you advised at any time of the delays in completion, in writing or verbally, and the causes of the same? It sounds as if you gave your implicit agreement in Nov 05 to an extension in contract period to take you to March 06. Then again in May? Did you put your concerns/wish to cancel the contract in writing to you lawyer? If not, your ongoing “silence” on the matter could be seen to be your tacit agreement, based on your previous reaction (“we didn’t mind”).
The “problem” with the valuation/mortgage is a separate one, nothing to do with your contract with the builders. There are a couple of other threads going at the moment on this very topic.
The bank guarantee issue is yet another. The developer is obliged to provide this and your lawyer should be able to provide you with the details. Have you expressly asked for it? Check the dates on it. Has it “expired”?
The property is now “complete” and available, with all paperwork in order, yes? When were you first advised of this? Assuming last month (Oct ?), your property has been delivered to you just 6/7 months late (assuming one extension of contract period – to March) which, for Spain, is pretty good!
You sound as if you have, understandably, lost faith in your present lawyer?
November 11, 2006 at 7:27 pm #67325
hillbilly thanks for responding,
in reply to the above,
there are no cluases regarding extentions to the contract period.
i was told 20th april via my agent that the builder was delivering the property in May 06, at no point have the developer contacted me or even informed me of any delay, i have only heard through the agent or through other people i know who where waiting to complete. all the lawyer would say is the paper work should be ready next week, that was back in july 06,
i gave no agreement in nov 05 for an extention to contract that part was a conversation with the agent myself and my wife, when the agent said over a drink in the hotel somthing like “they say it will be ready in jan but that could mean feb or march” thats when we thought to ourselves we did not mind the delay, not to our lawyer or to the developer.
on may 29th i sent email to lawyer stating
“hello. can you tell me what is the reason for delay with xxxxxx, and can i get any compensation for this lenghty delay/
then again in august stating
“hello, this is xxxxx xxxxxx, I am getting quite angry and annoyed at the delay with this property purchase now, I hear nothing from the builder month after month, I would like to know the details of my bank guarantee so I can think about getting my money back with the legal interest witch I am entitled too.
both times no reply
first advised of property being ready on 13th sept 06
would you let me have your thought please
November 11, 2006 at 8:07 pm #67326
Have a read of these previous posts with some similar situations to your own:
and Maria’s info on BG’s
As I see it you must first establish that your property really is 100% complete, with all paperwork in order. Do you know if this is the case?
You must get your BG. If your lawyer has failed to get you one you have a case against him and also against the developer for failing to provide one.
If you do have a BG but the property is now available to you I think you may have a problem at this late stage.
Would you be able to prove that your lawyers received your emails? Did you follow them up with phone calls/letters? Your emails unfortunately weren’t exactly forceful or decisive nor did they give any clear instructions. I don’t mean to criticise, but sometimes you can’t appear to be wishy-washy otherwise people will just ignore you or take advantage. I’m not a lawyer but I do speak from years of experience of dealing with construction contracts in the UK. Phrases like, “can I get any compensation” and “so I can think about getting my money back” won’t wash – you’re being too nice and British and reserved. You should really have said “I want compensation” and “I want my money back” (…and I want it NOW!). Your lawyer may have understood this!
I think you need to get another lawyer onside, a good one, if you are going to extricate yourself from your obligation to complete.
Hopefully one will be along shortly, probably on Monday! I wish you all the best.
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