Is it Legal to pay For works done in the community without a proper invoice being presented?

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22 Sep 2014 6:23 PM by technodec Star rating in Staffordshire &River.... 19 posts Send private message

Hi to all.

I am Vice President of our community and on checking thru the community accounts I found that a considerable payment had been made for some works that we had done €11.500.00 and on asking to see the invoice I was presented with two A4 sheets with just 3 initals as the company and a list of works with prices.

On one sheet the President had stated that he would bring the invoices once all the works had been finished  and had signed to that effect.

It has been more than two weeks since the works were finished and we still have not received the invoices and by continual asking without success to the President he is now saying that I am doubting his honesty in what he is doing for the community.

Can anyone give any advice on this as the payment we made includes IVA and the paper we paid out to this company has no address,tel no.Company deatils of any kind other than 3 initials which apparently are his name.

I told the administration company that they should not have paid out this amount of money without a valid invoice but they say that because the President signed to say that he would produce the invoices at a later date that they are not at fault.

I would be most gratefull to any one that can provide any solution that I can seek.





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22 Sep 2014 9:24 PM by CostaBlade Star rating in Riviera. 115 posts Send private message

I would do Three things.

keep asking for the invoice, They should produce it at the AGM that the accounts refer to.

 

Sack the administrators.

 

Sack the President.

 

You obviously have an AGM coming up, start getting support and force the issue at your AGM. and go to your AGM knowing you will get a mandate to do all of the above.

 

I am a President, (coincedently also in Riviera) and I hate things like this, such goings on make me so angry.

 

Best of luck





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22 Sep 2014 9:36 PM by technodec Star rating in Staffordshire &River.... 19 posts Send private message

Thanks for your reply but unfortunately we do not have an AGM due for 6 months.

On what grounds could we dismiss the admin company?

could you send me a PM to let me know where you are in Riviera?





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23 Sep 2014 8:24 AM by acer Star rating. 1463 posts Send private message

Technodec,

If it's only two weeks and IMO CostaBlades comments are decidedly OTT and this action may well backfire leaving you looking foolish

It's right to be concerned, but far too soon to start sacking everyone.  Having had a conversation with the President you should put something in writing to him, ideally copied to someone else you can trust as well as the Administrator.

The note should be along the lines that whilst you are sure that the omission is innocent but you have concerns that this might be misunderstood by others and "we need to be whiter that white on these issues" etc  Then leave it for a couple of weeks.

If after this period the invoice has still not been provided you then remind and escalate the matter by telling the Administrator that they must take action, again in writing.  You must do this as otherwise you will face court action against you for breach of contract if you were to sack the Administrator without proper cause.

You've got to give the President a bit of leeway and give him the benefit of the doubt until such times as it's become clear that there are serious irregularities.  But by putting the matter in writing to him you make your position clear and avoid an uncivilised squabble that might backfire on you.



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



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23 Sep 2014 11:30 AM by CostaBlade Star rating in Riviera. 115 posts Send private message

Can't agree with you acer.

 

Bits of paper with a bit of scribble on them for such a large amount of money suggests to me that something is not right and needs to be put right.

 

In any company if this was to happen there would be heads rolling (look at what is happening at Tesco right now)

size of the operation is irrelevant, if things are not right it needs sorting - especially in Spain where there is so much corruption between (some) administrators and (some) Presidents - it is very tempting - only this week I was offered money after a supplier did some work for the community (I refused), it goes on all the time.

 

Back to the OP, It is possible that the "contractor" in question did a "cash deal" and obviously no invoice or paperwork can be produced in case it is tracked back.

Or maybe the contractor is not a registered company and pays no tax to the goverment (I know at least One company that works like that, and have been doing so for many years.  Nobody likes paying tax, but i do believe you have to put something into the system. I pay tax in Spain, because i use the health service and the Town Hall do their stuff like collecting my garbage ect, and i feel i want to put something back for those services - I know many that don't, they just "take"

 

I stand by my comments, but it can only really be done via the AGM. The OP has six months to gain support, put himself up for President and start to change things.

 

Just as a footnote. Three years ago (next week I will be entering my fourth) I became President of our community. We had no money and couldn't pay all our bills - that has changed.

 

The owners wanted to sack the gardener/handyman, I said "give me this year to sort him out and if i can't then we sack him" now my gardener/handyman is my most trusted person on site - he is my eyes & ears and everybody loves him - tha's called "man management"

 

I did the same to the Administrators, I gave them 12 months. It soon became obvious that things were not right, so at the next AGM i had them fired - much to their amazement.

Now we have what i believe to be one of the best administrators in our area (Calahonda), all the accounts are online and up to date evry day for me to view. I rarely need to speak to the "main man" unless i need advice or just a catch-up as to where we are. In other words "I run the community & he does the books and legal stuff"  Only once have i had to remind a member of his staff that "you work for me, not the other way round, that's how it should be, and i work for the owners.

I see our bank account (and check it every day) so i know where the money is going, incedently our administrator, never takes an invoice without IVA on it, unless it is for a small job such as paying for "pool cleaning when our man is on holiday.

 

Three years later we have money in the bank, we have spent 75,000 euro on improvements this year to satisfy the Town Halls "health & safety" issues around swimming pools, many urbanisations on the Costa del Sol have had their pools closed by the Town Hall because they have no money to bring their "Urbanisation health & safety" issues up to date.

 

So nobody will tell me "it can't be done" and to generate paperwork explaining the problems, yes sometimes it is nesessary to keep records for owners to see but sometimes you need to just "kick peoples backside" (towards the exit door).

 

And just for the record I did used to run a company in the UK.

 

Rant over. 





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23 Sep 2014 11:35 AM by technodec Star rating in Staffordshire &River.... 19 posts Send private message

Hi Acer.

I have no intention of sacking the administraters with reference to this matter as I accept that misguided as it may have been they were carrying out the Presidents orders.

I have to apoligise as to the time I stated that we had been waiting for these invoices as they were paid  out over two months, one was paid out on 1-8-14 and the other was paid out 1-9-14.

Every request to him (president) to produce the invoices has been put on email and copied to the admin accounts and the community vocals but the only response I get back fom him is that he is having the invoices prepared for an expert to make a claim against the insurance company.

These works that we have paid this money for are for problems that have existed in the community for a long time and a previous insurance company refused our claims for repair costs because they were construction defects and so he decided to appoint a different insurance company and then tried to get them to pay for the repairs.

That insurance company did not want to pay for the repairs because these problems were there before they agreed to cover the community and they made a token gesture of € 1000.00 which I thought was good as in my opinion they were not obliged to pay anything.

The President decided that this was not good enough and decided to employ a lawyer to go after the insurance company for the full amount and then whilst this is going on he decides to cancel their contract and move to yet another insurance company.

Now the works have been done and paid for without a valid invoice and he keeps on saying that he will produce them for this expert that he claims needs them done in a special way so that the lawyer can go after the insurance company for full payment.

My response to him was that the company who has received the money should provide us with a valid tax invoice for the money received and then he can do whatever else he needs to do for the expert as a separate matter if he still wants to persist in his claim ,I personally have advised against this action as I cannot see any insurance company paying for something broken before they agreed cover but this is Spain and I may be wrong in thinking that.





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23 Sep 2014 12:35 PM by acer Star rating. 1463 posts Send private message

Hi CostaBlade,

Thanks for yours - your style is different to mine and may work some, or even most of the time.

Totally agree that the situation is unacceptable, but I'm not sure your swashbuckling method would work for me.  I'm a great believer in avoiding direct conflict whereever possible.  You never know how others will react and if I were Technodec I would not want to unnecessarily stick my neck out and possibly end up with an even worse situation.

It is likely that at some point in the future a court, or an AGM will pass judgement and at that time it is vital that you have good documentation to prove your case.  Just short messages that you can prove were received is fine, but these must be in place before any decisive action is taken.

Incidentally as a Tesco shareholder sad I've followed the fiasco there, but I heard that 4 senior finance people were suspended yesterday, not fired.  That would have laid Tesco open to unfair dismissal claims as no doubt the 4 employees will have their own ideas on who was to blame and these days you must get all your ducks in a row...!

 

Hi Technodec,

Thanks for the update.  Your President is certainly not a team player.  I'm guessing, but there seems to be a breed of Presidents who have little admin experience, yet have time on their hands to take on the job.  I'm sure with a few it's an ego thing and the last thing they want is someone telling them they're doing it wrong!

From what you say I would suggest you stay on the sidelines for a while but tell the Administrator they must obtain invoices from the President or otherwise the accounts will not be signed off at the AGM.  It is their problem to sort and if they don't do so then you start talking about their position - all in writing.

From my limited experience the Spanish seem quick to sue for unfair dismissal, breach of contract etc and I would be keen to ensure that everything is in writing several times over.  Possibly a Burofax summary/demand if you do not receive progress, which will also let them know you mean business.



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



Like 2      
23 Sep 2014 1:03 PM by CostaBlade Star rating in Riviera. 115 posts Send private message

Just to make it clear about my "swah-buckling style"  It isn't really my style, I just play by the rules but at the same time i make sure that people know i am not "a pussy cat" type of President as many are as you have stated.

 

Many owners say i am sometimes "to nice a guy"  - actually, i don't rant and rave at people, very much the opposite, I usually do things "behind closed doors" - and let results speak for themselves. All i would add to that is that i am not (never have been) known to "suffer fools gladly"

 

Back to technodec and his problem !!

 

1st thing that comes to mind is who is getting the commision from the insurance company every time the administrator changes companies ? .....just my inquisitive mind you understand !

 

It is obviously a ver complicated issue they have and i doubt any insurance company is going to pay out with such a scenario they have, but I wish Technodec well, he is right to question such issues and it is right (and other owners right) to get a clear explanation of the invoice and what issues surround it.

 





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23 Sep 2014 2:49 PM by technodec Star rating in Staffordshire &River.... 19 posts Send private message

Hi Costablade.

Is it the done thing for the insurance company to pay a commission out to the community or ?? when a contract is agreed?

If so that would explain something else that has happened.





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23 Sep 2014 4:17 PM by steone Star rating in Santiago de la Riber.... 386 posts Send private message

Hi technodec.

In your comments you have stated that your President put a claim into the then current Insurance Company and it was declined. You stated that after the declinature of said claim he then took out a policy with another Insurance Company and claimed for an event that happened before the policy was in force (this repair).  If this is the case then this is an out and out case of obtaining or trying to obtain benefit by deception. This is a criminal act and needs to be ended at once. My suggestion is to get the necessary signatures (usually 25% of the Owners) and call an EGM. This is done by presenting the necessary petition to the Administrator with a date of the meeting which I would suggest should be within a few days or up to a maximum of 4 weeks. The reason for the meeting is to alledge criminal acts carried out by the President (knowingly putting a false claim into the Insurance Company) and he needs to be releived of his position, immediately. Also on the pettition you can ask for him to produce the correct facturas with all the details on or else this will then become a personal loan to him which the Community have not approved and again, I believe, a criminal act. You need to get proper advice from a lawyer (not your Administrator) who is competent in this type of action.

 

"It has been more than two weeks since the works were finished and we still have not received the invoices and by continual asking without success to the President he is now saying that I am doubting his honesty in what he is doing for the community."

YES, you are most certainly doubting his honesty as he is someone who is knowingly making a false claim to an Insurance Company. The ramifications of this act on the Comunity could be very far reaching and might even mean that you are unable to obtain any cover from any Insurance Company in the future.

I know this seems harsh but I would not trust anyone with MY money who is willing to attempt this fraud.

 

Good luck

 


This message was last edited by steone on 23/09/2014.

_______________________
Stephen



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24 Sep 2014 10:24 AM by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9361 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

Official invoices always!
 



_______________________

Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA

Lawyer

Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria



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24 Sep 2014 12:54 PM by sandra Star rating in . 810 posts Send private message

sandra´s avatar

In a similar vein.

Is it legal for a company to:-

 request immediate payment and make veiled threats regarding the probable use of the services of a debt collector to secure payment

 BEFORE actually issuing the client with any form of invoice, even when it is four years since any actual work (pre-paid) was done for the client, and when the company are holding advanced  funds to pay for further work?

And then, when the client requests an invoice related to the request, have problems producing the invoice after repeated requests to do so. Is this legal?

 


This message was last edited by sandra on 24/09/2014.

_______________________

  

 

 

 

 




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24 Sep 2014 1:05 PM by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9361 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

Sandra:

It is not legal. Ask for the invoice

Cheers

Maria



_______________________

Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA

Lawyer

Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria



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24 Sep 2014 1:19 PM by sandra Star rating in . 810 posts Send private message

sandra´s avatar

I have done Maria but apparently holidays and sickness are holding up its dispatch. I am beginning to wonder if , in reality, I owe them anything and they were merely trying to pressurize their clients into committing to further services from them! Still, it is only five weeks since my first request and there is no sign of the debt collectors yet!

 


This message was last edited by sandra on 24/09/2014.

_______________________

  

 

 

 

 




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24 Sep 2014 10:15 PM by technodec Star rating in Staffordshire &River.... 19 posts Send private message

** EDITED **

 


This message was last edited by eos_moderators on 9/25/2014 10:10:00 PM.



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26 Sep 2014 8:09 PM by technodec Star rating in Staffordshire &River.... 19 posts Send private message

**EDITED**

I have just come from a meeting with the Admin representative and the President as the admin rep was my  translator  for the meeting and the following is summary of what has happened.

The invoices requested have finally been produced but I have yet to see them but have been assured they will be emailed to me on Monday when the accounts person is in the office to which I have no doubt this will be fullfilled.

He also produced a letter from the lawyers office who is handling some of the court cases against debtors that stated that as long as the invoices had been produced within the same quarter that the works had been done then he was not doing anything illegal and if anyone thought that he was then he (PRESIDENT) would be within his rights to take a court action against anyone who thought he was defrauding the community which was probably directed towards me.

Why do people who have nothing to hide are allways the first to want to threaten the possibilty of legal action?

The President admitted that the way he had gone about doing this was maybe wrong but he says that he had been told by the lawyer that the invoice had to be done in the correct way if he was going to attempt to sue the insurance company to make them pay for the repairs.

I explained to him again that would not be a good road to walk due to the reasons I explained in the previous thread.

He replied in saying that he was only putting the report together to try and basically say to the insurance company that he would take them to court if they did not pay up and hoped that it would not get to that stage but if it did then he accepted that he would have to get that action approved by the community.

I have to say it is like trying to work with a slippery worm with this person.

I have told him that I will draw a line in the sand over this issue and he has agreed that he will work closer with me and discuss things that he wants to do.

As he left the meeting he stated that he had an appointment to discuss the cost of repainting the padle courts with a neighbour in the community who has lost his job with a paint company, I despair!!! this appears to be a leopard who cannot change his spots.

Where do I go from here advice eagerly welcomed.


This message was last edited by eos_moderators on 9/26/2014 9:24:00 PM.



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27 Sep 2014 10:39 AM by acer Star rating. 1463 posts Send private message

Technodec,

As stated before, with respect, you should take on board the fact that we're all different.

I can understand your frustration, but he's unlikely to change.  You've obviously made the point and perhaps a conversation with the Administrator in a month or so would do no harm.  Getting them on your side is probably more productive.

Personally I wouldn't even bother to try and and ensure he is ousted at the AGM as it might well backfire on you.  If he is behaving badly others will get to know.



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



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27 Mar 2015 1:12 PM by sp1946 Star rating in Playa Flamenca, Orih.... 28 posts Send private message

I apologise in advance if this seems like a trivial question but it is this:

What constitutes a proper/official invoice?

If a person is registered & pays IVA is there a legal requirement to put the registration number or reference on the invoice & is there any way of checking that it is genuine?

Anyone can say they are fully legal/registered & can produce 'official' invoices from a laptop.

 


This message was last edited by sp1946 on 27/03/2015.



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