Missing Pipes

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05 Sep 2014 22:42 by Grittomum Star rating in Norfolk. 6 posts Send private message

We bought our property on an urbanization, it was sold by the bank as a repossesion from the developer, we have just returned from our holidays where we have been plagued with a problem of leaking water from our shower. Our neighbours below us have been flooded once, due to blockages in the waste pipes concrete and rubble. All damage repaired by the community, however we had only been there a few days when our neighbour said he could hear water in the walls, Insurance co came out and said there was no problem as there was a leak from our shower but only in garage, 2 weeks later neighbour told us his door wasn't closing again, insurance co came out again and after hearing the water in the walls knocked a hole in wall only to find an open pipe not connected to the waste system! just emptying into a cavity. Our insurance co say it is the developers problem and to claim off their insurance, developer gave apartments to bank who say it is a community problem! The community will not answer any emails and we are in process of getting new President etc in. Who should ultimately responsible, I believe it should be the bank. The couple who are in the apartment are elderly and are finding it very stressful, along with the fact that the neighbours have 8 dogs and they constantly bark, we were led to believe they were due to be evicted, but now find they have been there for a lot of years !

Hoping someone on the legal side can tell us who we should be pushing to do the repairs, we really would like to be able to use our shower!

HELP, going round in circles!!


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06 Sep 2014 08:35 by eggcup Star rating. 567 posts Send private message

Hi Alison.

Speaking from years of experience of dealing with issues in Spain I'd say you'll get nowhere with anyone and should get a price to repair the damage, fit the pipes etc and suggest you split it between all parties concerned (and get that in writing and make each one liable to pay the builder their portion separately). It sounds unfair but it's the only way I've found that works in Spain. The sooner you do it, the less damage.

As regards the dogs, maybe someone else has some ideas - whether there is any body the people can be reported to? (police, council?...)

And remember: there is always a solution to everything; it just sometimes takes a bit of time.

You might like to use one this sentence I have pinned near my computer:

'Look at every socalled disaster and ask the question: In five years time will this really matter?'

(it won't if you bite the bullet and sort it out quickly yourself)

All the best.


My account of moving to Spain.  http://www.eyeonspain.com/blogs/olives.aspx"><img


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06 Sep 2014 12:09 by acer Star rating. 1392 posts Send private message

Hi Alison,

I reckon "Eggcup's" pragmatic advice is good.

The insurers are not liable as there has not been any fortuitous event - eg a storm, flood, etc  Also bad workmanship & defective design etc are always excluded from this type of insurance.

However there is a small chance - even though the builder has presumably disappeared they will have been required to effect a decennial insurance policy.  This is a buildings defects/guarantee style of cover.  Your problem will be finding the identity of the insurer involved and even then it might not be covered and if it is there is often an excess which might make it all a sterile exercise.

A couple of years ago I had a similar-ish problem on a property in the UK where there is some useful shared drainage legislation which specifies the individual householder's share of the costs.  But even then it was the devil's own job to get all the involved parties to contribute.  I don't know if there is similar legislation in Spain.  Of course it may be worth talking to a local solicitor, but also you might get some help from the local town hall - they might also have a record of the decennial policy.  Just about worth a try, but I wouldn't hold your breath.

Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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08 Sep 2014 10:43 by hosilverlining Star rating in Property owner in Gr.... 173 posts Send private message

I believe Acer is correct, your only hope is to claim on the buildings guarantee, which should still exist but if the developer has gone bust - you say it is a bank repossession from the developer - could be difficult to track down although the details of the insurance policy for the buildings guarantee should have been issued by the developer.  We have had similar problems on our development, washing machines draining directly into the basement, showers with missing pipes under the tray.  The owners went ahead and got them fixed. We had faults in our own apartment though thankfully no leaks. 

I can't see the community being responsible for anything within your private apartment which is your property, unless any of the missing pipework is on communal property when of course they are liable for that part, if this is the case then put something in writing to the Administrator, if you don't receive a reply notify them that you are getting quotes for the work and make sure any quotes specify the amount which is for repairs on communal property, you are entitled to make emergency repairs (to communal property) if you can prove the urgency.

Otherwise it would be quicker to bite the bullet and repair the pipes, keeping all documentation in case you can make a claim anywhere.

The only other thing I can think of is taking legal advice re the bank's liability in selling you the property with faulty services, though I would think that is a long shot. Ask the lawyer who did your conveyancing if there is anything in your purchase documents that can help, and whether the buildings guarantee insurance policy details are there.

Presumably the price you paid reflected the situation.  It might be worth getting someone in to check that the rest of your apartment is OK, so that you don't have any other nasty surprises in the future.

Good luck.

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