December 18, 2005 at 4:26 pm #51447
Has anyone ever successfully sued a developer in Spain for damages/compensation/breach of contract etc. over a property purchase that goes wrong when their developer fails to deliver for whatever reason?
Would love to know if the judges in Spain are generally on the side of the developers or the purchasers who have ‘been wronged’.
December 18, 2005 at 6:06 pm #60373
January 13, 2006 at 10:07 pm #60524
Just thought I would let you know the result of your kind help in replying to my posting nearly a month ago.
As a result of reading the devwatch article you put me onto, I was so impressed with what this lawyer achieved when he ‘took on’ the great Aifos that I decided to track him down.
After a bit of detective work, I found him and this week have been out to Spain to see him.
To cut a long story short, he is going to start proceedings against our developer next week!
No procrastinating, no waffling, every question answered with clarity and to the point – oh how different to our original lawyer who could barely answer a single question with a straight answer.
Our developer, who took nearly 100,000 pounds from us 30 months ago, has never built a brick, expects us to wait ’til next October when his bogus bank guarantee expires despite admitting they never will build a brick, and who is very kindly now offering to return our money if we accept it with no legal interest (!), is finally going to have a nice post next week.
As Claire writes, how disgraceful that despite breach of contract, we have to go to these lengths just to get our money back.
But at least, if one can find a good lawyer where you have faith, it gives one encouragement to do something. The satisfaction alone now is worth the money.
So Dorothy, a big thank you for the lead, at least now I some ‘fire back in my belly’ for a fight, instead of depression and desperation.
And who knows, our developer may actually one day in court just have the ‘financial slapping’ he deserves.
January 14, 2006 at 12:54 am #60528
Good luck Sophia .
all the best
January 14, 2006 at 1:40 pm #60529
He thought you were firing blanks,he is going to be in for a big shock,well done.
January 14, 2006 at 3:27 pm #60530
Well done Sofia, and the VERY BEST OF LUCK. About time some of these developers got their just desserts.
January 14, 2006 at 5:16 pm #60533
what is the name of this great lawyer please were is he based
January 14, 2006 at 5:23 pm #60534
If the guy is from Lawbird (Marbella lawyers) you can be sure you’ll get the best deal you can. Dealt with them myself – can’t fault them on cost, effeciency of effectiveness!
January 14, 2006 at 6:24 pm #60535
OliverB, thank you for your praises. Although we are representing a large number of clients (around 20) in court cases against various developers (Aifos and others), I am sure Sofia is dealing with another lawyer, Mr Carlos C. – Mr C. managed to settle out of court and secure a good compensation for the Danish couple mentioned in http://www.devwatch.com/events/show/1 . This was possible some months ago, when getting bad press was something Aifos still feared. However, today the number of people seeking compensation from Aifos has increased dramatically, and I’m afraid they are not willing anymore to give away compensations. It’s cheaper for them to fight compensations in court!
I’m sure our colleague will be able to deal with this matter effectively. Good luck Sofia!
Nice article about a court case against Aifos for alleged swindle (in Spanish)- http://www.andalucia24horas.com/textoLoc.asp?id=246055&prov=7&loc=15
January 14, 2006 at 8:08 pm #60536
My thanks to Dorothy, Axwhale and Marios for their good wishes.
As our lawyer says, when going to court nothing is guaranteed, but he feels we have a good chance.
OliverB, we are not with Lawbird (wonder why you assumed?) and our developer is not Aifos.
January 15, 2006 at 2:27 pm #60538
My friend went through the courts to sue a developer over very major faults. They won! the developer appealed, that was 18 months ago and nothing has happened yet. It has cost them 25000 in lawyers fees up to now.
January 15, 2006 at 2:50 pm #60542
Dear Guest – am sorry to read about your friend, that is a terrible story.
However, am hoping my situation might be rather different. It is not a case of suffering ‘major faults’, my developer hasn’t built anything to have a major fault on!
So hoping as nothing has been built, never will be built, and breach of contract etc. there is nothing for them to appeal about.
25,000 euros sounds a lot of money – couldn’t they have done it on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, or rather ‘a minimal fee’.
Do hope your friend gets a result soon.
January 15, 2006 at 6:40 pm #60545
Hola Sofia – sorry you thought I assumed you were with Lawbird and Aifos was your developer.
Having dealt with Lawbird and knowing that they have acted for clients who have had problems with our own Agency/Developer – thought you might also be benefitting from their services.
Good luck with your “legals” – keep us posted on how it goes.
January 15, 2006 at 8:20 pm #60548
that was a bite sofia i think the guy was only presuming, he obviously got it wrong
January 16, 2006 at 11:01 am #60551
OliverB – thanks for your wishes of good luck.
Don’t worry, when I wrote ‘wonder why you assumed?’, it was written with a smile, not anger.
Guest – don’t upset yourself. Am sure OliverB is perfectly capable of defending himself if required without your twopence worth.
I don’t bite, I am saving that for my developer when I get to court…. 😉
January 16, 2006 at 9:44 pm #60565
I have read your section with interest as my developer is in breach of contract. I have had to write to the Company (Atlas) to formally inform them of the developer’s breach of contract. It sounds as if you have gone through something similar. Please keep us updated as I will find all comments useful plus information re: spanish lawyers being able to help with suing in relation to devlopers being in breach of contract. The off plan property I was purchasing was in torrevieja and I feel the pursuit of my deposit is going to be a long drawn out affair.
Well done for finding a lawyer to help you and good luck.
January 17, 2006 at 10:25 am #60568
Dol 53 – Hi, have replied to you on your original October 2005 post ‘ 2 years on and….’
January 30, 2006 at 4:13 pm #60728
what is the name of the solictor you used against aifos
January 30, 2006 at 4:20 pm #60729
Sofia is not taking an action against Aifos. It is against another developer…the same one as my husband & I.
February 1, 2006 at 10:13 pm #60758
oh ok well if anyone has any info on aifos i would appreciate knowing it
February 2, 2006 at 11:47 am #60761
What sort of info?
Check out the forum on rivieradelsol.co.uk..plenty of complaints there.
Legal proceedings against the company….see page 2 revistaelobservador.com
February 2, 2006 at 12:44 pm #60763
February 2, 2006 at 7:41 pm #60769
thanks have looked on devwatch, does anyone know of any up and running aifos developments
February 7, 2006 at 1:42 pm #60815
i am still reading everything i can to help me make the decision on whether to keep my apartment bought from aifos 4 yrs ago or just try to get my deposit back. the latest thing i have read is all the info on spanish lawyers being dodgy. when i spoke to my lawyers secretary she advised me to keep hold of the apartment but also that aifos could make me pay up on completion even without an occupation licence. Any comments anyone. does anyone know how to find out if your lawyer is trustworthy?
February 7, 2006 at 2:30 pm #60817
is your lawyer linked to the developer ,how can they say the developer can make you cough up with no occupation licence, mad or what?
February 7, 2006 at 4:29 pm #60820
Translation of what is normally written into the Aifos contracts…..
“The purchaser has to take charge of the flat in a maximum period of 15 days, counting as of the certificate conclusion of construction issued by the director Architect or as of the notification of the hand over to disposition of the flat.
The aforementioned act will coincide with the conferring of the title deeds of the sale which will be authorised by the Notary in Malaga.”
Perhaps one of the lawyers on here could comment as to the legalities.
Court case pending ..see revistaelobservador.com
February 7, 2006 at 5:01 pm #60822
Thanks for the above link Dorothy, seems the spanish have been scammed by Aifos too. Maybe something will get done now.
February 7, 2006 at 5:11 pm #60823
Guest, you’re welcome.
If you want to look at the Spanish involvement with the company take a look at
February 7, 2006 at 5:14 pm #60824
I’ll leave it to a lawyer to clarify, but you should be warned that in the excerpt from the contract quoted by Dorothy, the handover milestone is the “certificate conclusion of construction issued by the director Architect” (in Spanish it’s the certificado de final de obras), which is not the same as the 1st occupancy licence. However that final de obras certificate should mean that an occupancy licence can be legally obtained.
By the way Sofia, could you send me a PM with more info on the lawyers you are using and how it’s going.
February 7, 2006 at 5:31 pm #60827
Thanks Mark, but I have read somewhere that one development has been waiting 4 years for first occupancy licence.
February 7, 2006 at 5:53 pm #60829
Are you sure that it had a certificado de fin de obras?
February 7, 2006 at 5:56 pm #60830
Not sure Mark, possibly read this on the indymedia site.
February 7, 2006 at 7:07 pm #60831
Please read the following which is lifted off a spanish lawyers website re. building licence, certificado final de obras y licencia de primera habitacion/ocupacion. I don’t think there is any doubt to what Sofia and I were saying earlier in January. You need to have the licencia de primera ocupacion. Otherwise you are risking an awful lot!! …and by that I mean even the building being demolished!
This is not scaremongery and I have been following cases in Malaga, Nueva Andalucia, etc etc and the judges rulings at the moment are rather unpredictable. i.e. fines up to not allowing anyone to live in the buildings!
Also, for the area of Marbella, there are 2 very important points to remember:
1) The town hall is currently reviewing all licencias de primera habitacion dating as far back as 1998 (it started in November 2005). This is to ensure that any licences that were issued on the dodgy criteria of the GIL party will be reviewed and if they found that were not issued according to the law, the owners may face fines or have buildings demolished or contribute to costs of works to alleviate impact on green areas and environment.
2) The end of works certificate may be referred to in a contract as the term of completion of contract on behalf of the developer. However, the certificate of the first licence is what certifies that your electrical, water etc installations comply with the law. Without it you will not be able to obtain the connection of any utilities. It is the developer’s legal obligation to provide you with it.
7.3. The building licence, the certificate of completion of the building and the certificate of occupancy
The builder must have obtained the building licence (licencia de obra) issued by the Town Hall, which allows him to build the house.
The certificate of the building completion (certificado de fin de obra) is issued by the architect once the building is complete. The developer needs it in order to get the certificate of occupancy.
The developer must provide you with the certificate of occupancy, which is issued by the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento). This administrative document permits you to inhabit your new dwelling.
Only when the certificates of completion of the building and the certificate of occupancy have been issued, can the purchase deed be duly finalized and notarised. The developer shall obtain and pay them.
It could be difficult to register the sale if the building does not have legal approval. Other problems could arise; demolition of the property could be enforced.
February 7, 2006 at 7:30 pm #60832
hi good pointe there ,so would I be right in thinking in the contract there should be a clause in it stating licencia de primera ocupacion on exchange or a refund of my deposit?
February 8, 2006 at 12:00 am #60838
The Law 57/1968, Art 4 clearly states that :
Expedida la Cédula de Habitabilidad por la Delegación Provincial del Ministerio de la Vivienda y acreditada por el promotor la entrega de la vivienda al comprador,…..
As I have posted before lawyers advise the following:
A standard contract should include the following:
· The obligation of the developer to refund any all payments paid in advance, plus 6% annual interest, in case the developer does not commence the works of the proposede property on schedule as per the contract signed with the consumer, does not complete the construction of the proposed property on time, or the licence allowing occupation of the property is not granted.
· Reference to the type of guarantee and indication of the guarantor (bank or insurance company).
· Reference to the bank where advanced payments are to be paid in, and account number.
· On signing of the contract (coincident with payment of funds), the developer will be obliged to hand over the relevant guarantee documentation: insurance policy or bank guarantee.
Hope the above helps.
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