Aquagest will not connect us as new owners

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04 Jun 2012 17:35 by CarBillDyer Star rating. 16 posts Send private message

We have a nightmare scenario with our new locale (though not so new now - bought it in Sep 2011 but still have the initial problems).

We bought it as a repossession from CAM Bank. As a large company we believed in their integrity (stupidly we know now) and assumed (because they told us) that we had connection to water, i.e. we had seen all plumbing in place in the locale. When we tried to connect after we bought we were told by Aquagest that there was an agreement between Aquagest and the urbanisation community that they would not connect us until an outstanding bill had been paid to the community.

 

On further investigation we established the following:-

The community (of around 17 properties, several are locales) used to have water from a local well. Several years ago it was decided to install an infrastructure for public water and everybody had to pay an amount depending on the size of their property. The well was de-commissioned. The community paid Aquagest the total amount to do the works. Some owners, including the previous owners of our building) did not pay for various reasons. Afterwards, for other reasons, CAM bank repossessed the property and took on ownership of the debt. They subsequently sold the property to us, stating in the escritura that there was no debt. Note that legally (we have had good advice on this) the debt was not against the property but against the individual and what with statutes, time lapses, etc. the debt remains with CAM - definitely not passed to us.

However, somehow the administrator of the community managed to broker an agreement with aquagest that they would not install a meter to our property until this debt was paid. The community do not care who pays the debt, indeed they are hoping we will do so for a quiet life. However we have been absolutely bled dry by all of the other costs we had to pay because of mis-selling by CAM (electricity etc.) and we simply cannot afford the €5000ish amount that is required. Our legal advice is that the agreement between the community and aquagest is illegal, but Aquagest refuse to entertain us and stonewall us at their office. It is also interesting to note that our administrator is Spanish, is a member of the local council and in charge of the local police and likes to have his fingers in many pies. He has a lot of clout with the local authorities, hence the stonewalling when we visit them.

 

So basically Aquagest are refusing to connect us to mains water because our community has an outstanding debt with a third party. We cannot understand how this is legal. We only want connection to the water supply and are happy to pay our bills, but cannot and will not pay an outstanding debt owned by somebody else that we knew nothing about. It should also be noted that we have tried time and again to contact CAM with regard to this - they ignore everything including the notary papers we served on them. Our only recourse is to take them to court but then we are back to the €5000 as we need to put up a large bond to do this - I presume this is what they bank on (excuse the pun!) to fob off people to whom they owe money .

 

Do our civil rights entitle us to receive water, regardless of the agreement in place? Any advice would be gratefully received.

 

Thnak you.

 





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05 Jun 2012 09:09 by acer Star rating. 393 posts Send private message

Having tried to deal with Aquagest myself on a not dissimilar situation I can understand your frustration CarBillDyer.  I drove a long way to speak to them direct, which I did, but they hardly replied, it was a one way conversation for well over an hour - the guy at the desk just stared back at me with the clear intention of doing nothing. 

The fact that they are in breach of the European Human Rights Act means nothing to these people.

But in Spain there are limited options.  As a first step I would certainly speak to the President of your community and ask for his/her help.  Failing that there may be the Denouncia route against either the Administrator, the President or Aguagest - but hopefully others will give advice on this as I have never yet used it myself, although it does seem to be one device that the locals take seriously.





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05 Jun 2012 11:26 by CarBillDyer Star rating. 16 posts Send private message

Thanks Acer

I don't think the President will help us. Sadly he, the vice-president and administrator are all corrupt. They and 1 other person are the only ones to attend meetings and they divvy out the jobs amongst themselves  - repairs, maintenence, etc. There is a majority of 'old' Spanish and not enough others to swing a majority to get them out. They hate the foreigners with the locales and do not help, in fact they try to hinder.

We have an awful lot of ammunition on these people and they know this, i.e. that all the money they take for doing these jobs (badly) is all black. We will not use this info but keep it up our sleeve. We found this out after much insisting on many occasions to be allowed to see the accounts.

Another thing we found out was that an agreement/action? was put in place to give a water supply from the new infrastructure to a nearby finca and a business development. They supposedly paid for this connection. However the payment is not recorded and has not been used to offset residents payments.

As you say the denuncia may be our only option. We have a reclamation de hojas that we are going to send against CAM if we hear nothing from them in the next couple of weeks.

Living the dream!!!





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07 Jun 2012 00:41 by Jacksonsadmin Star rating in Mijas Costa , Malaga. 80 posts Send private message

 Hi Bill,  A sad tale but one I have seen too many times in my work in 9 years in Spain. You describe the events in some accuracy.

The denuncia route against all 3 parties is your best way forward as this will be heard much sooner in court than any civil proceedings & is free at the moment ( there are goverment moves to allow only 1 per action to be free in the pipeline).

You can make this in English to the Denuncia hotline in Madrid ( 902102112 ) then sign with your passport at your nearest Cuerpo Policia National Station within 24 hours of making the same.It is advisable to have some one Spanish spoken with you if you are not.  

Check into your court case progress & if the court will provide you a free translator ;again take someone with you if a translator is not available free if your Spanish is not fluent. 

F.Parkinson Jacksons Administradores SL

 


This message was last edited by Jacksonsadmin on 07/06/2012.

_______________________

f.parkinson @ jacksonsadministradoressl.es www.jacksons-group.com




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07 Jun 2012 12:19 by CarBillDyer Star rating. 16 posts Send private message

Many thanks for the helpful info.

It is interesting that the denuncia option is free - this nugget of info has not been passed to us by our legal advisor. I will start action on this asap. One question on this - is the Cuerpo Policia National the local police or are they only in the bigger towns?

This is only the beginning of our problems. As I mentioned below, there were also issues with no meter for Iberdrola, meaning we had to have a new one installed thereby needing to conform to new regulations.  We lost income for 3 months and had to mortgage our house to get extra money to pay the bills to carry on with the project. We had no choice as to stop would have meant the loss of everything. We are out of pocket to the tune of about €70,000 and struggling to meet 2 mortgage payments each month now.

Because of stone-walling by CAM including ignoring notary papers that we had served on them, we are left with few alternatives.

One however is the papers. We have instigated talks with the Costa Blanca News. In your opinion is this a good or bad thing for us to do? We're afraid to open a can of worms. Our main issue is that as a locale we should have mains water and Sanidad will close us down if they see us working from a tank (we fill a tank on the back of our truck at home from the tap, transport it to the locale and pump it into the tank there - we do this every 2-3 days), so we don't want them knowing this or our liveihood is destroyed - therefore we will be trying to get the papers to run this without our names attached..

 

Again thank you for your help.





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08 Jun 2012 00:03 by Jacksonsadmin Star rating in Mijas Costa , Malaga. 80 posts Send private message

Hi Bill ; The Cuerpo Policia National are in the large town & the officer in Madrid will direct you to the nearest one to you to sign.

The news papers carry clout particularly the free ones EWN & RTN  but the Spanish regionals are also useful if you can get into one.

Good luck.

 

F.Parkinson Jacksons Administradores SL.

 


This message was last edited by Jacksonsadmin on 08/06/2012.

_______________________

f.parkinson @ jacksonsadministradoressl.es www.jacksons-group.com




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08 Jun 2012 12:10 by CarBillDyer Star rating. 16 posts Send private message

many thanks

 

I will crack on with the papers and the denuncia.

 

Caroline





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