Grupo-Masa and the ILEGAL electricity scam

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17 May 2008 00:00 by bobsmith Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

Hi

I live on CAMPOSOL sector D35, about 3 months ago MIGUEL( the camposol site manager) rang my doorbell, and demanded I pay 100€ within 24 hours or he would cut off the electric! and the same amount be payed monthly until Iberdrola connected us. I told Miguel that what he was asking was ILEGAL,  He replied YES it is, but can you manage without electric? Obviously we cant and for the next 2 months we duly paid the 100€. During this time we contacted local solicitors, who advised us that what Miguel (or Grupo Masa) was doing was totally illegal-----BUT-----  If masa cut of our electricity, with the industrial action of the courts of justice, it  could take months or years to get us re-connected!!!  I share this experience with HUNDREDS of people in the same situation. In a ideal world Miguel would be prosecuted !! For demanding money with threats(EXTORTION) and for illegally charging for BUILDERS SUPPLY electric





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17 May 2008 20:42 by inspectahomespain Star rating in Orihuela Costa, Spai.... 2375 posts Send private message

Vip Supporter

If you are on builders supply and the developer cuts this off they are commiting an offence and yiu can call, and we have had clients do this, the Guarda who will come to site and investigate this for you and take action

You do not have to go to Court as they will, and have acted in the past and you should contact them with this information

Also fill in a formal complaints form, again I know MASA have these available and then OMIC will investigate this

This action from a developer is unacceptable and unless you take a stand they will continue



_______________________
Roy Howitt Independent Property Consultant www.sonrisaproperties.com www.snaggingspain.com WE CAN FIND YOUR DREAM HOME 627 955 748



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17 May 2008 21:12 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4158 posts Send private message

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I don't doubt that the Guardia have done and will intervene in situations like this, but it surely also raises the question of who is breaking the law by living in a property with no habitation licence?

Interesting topic though, especially as there is another current thread about a developer charging extortionate sums of money for water.



_______________________

 

"First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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17 May 2008 21:16 by inspectahomespain Star rating in Orihuela Costa, Spai.... 2375 posts Send private message

Vip Supporter

What makes the act ilegal, or in fact making any charge for utilities ilegal, is the fact that the builder is legaly oblighed to provide water, electricity etc, free of any charge, untill the LFO has been issued

 



_______________________
Roy Howitt Independent Property Consultant www.sonrisaproperties.com www.snaggingspain.com WE CAN FIND YOUR DREAM HOME 627 955 748



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17 May 2008 21:24 by bobsmith Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

Hi Roberto

Thanks for your reply

The reason we dont have Habitation certificates is the council (Mazarron) wont issue because MASA have not done the infrasructure of CAMPOSOL to an acceptable standard, I put this point to the sie manager (Miguel)  That if MASA had built our houses properly, had fulfilled their obligations to the infrastructure of CAMPOSOL, we would now have Habitation certificates, and IBERDROLA would have connected us, The son of a bitch agreed! but still demanded the ilegal payments, from Camposol residents who are mainly retired UK pensioners, you·d think a site manager would have better things to do with is time!





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17 May 2008 21:43 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4158 posts Send private message

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So take inpsectahomespain's advice - call the Guardia and see how Miguel likes that! It's got to be worth a try.

Roy, again, I'm not doubting what you say, but it does seem a bit odd, doesn't it, that a developer is legally obliged to provide any utilities to a property that is not legally allowed to be occupied yet?



_______________________

 

"First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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18 May 2008 09:42 by inspectahomespain Star rating in Orihuela Costa, Spai.... 2375 posts Send private message

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It may be odd but it is the law and I have wriiten a number of advice pieces, that have been published on this forum, and supported numerous customers that have issues with the developers

If there is no LFO then there is no way that the owner can get the utillites connected so it becomes the responsibility of the developer

Sensibiy you should not complete without an LFO however if a person has waited 3 years, and if they are ignorant of the regulations often they do

I personaly have suffered as a result of this, I have a property in Villamartin which I have had 4 years, no LFO still, reliable builders supply which I have never paid for and where the developer has threatened to terminated services

The services are still connected but I am at the start of an action to reclaim all money àid on the basis that he has exceeded the 4 years time limit for the issues of an LFO

 

 



_______________________
Roy Howitt Independent Property Consultant www.sonrisaproperties.com www.snaggingspain.com WE CAN FIND YOUR DREAM HOME 627 955 748



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18 May 2008 12:43 by Poppyseed Star rating. 891 posts Send private message

There's a 4 year time limit for issue of FLO? What happens then?

Thanks.



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Poppyseed




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18 May 2008 13:58 by inspectahomespain Star rating in Orihuela Costa, Spai.... 2375 posts Send private message

Vip Supporter

Yes there is which is why my lawyer is bringing an action for a refund of my money and compensation agianst the builder for failing tp honour the contract

_______________________
Roy Howitt Independent Property Consultant www.sonrisaproperties.com www.snaggingspain.com WE CAN FIND YOUR DREAM HOME 627 955 748



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18 May 2008 16:19 by Gypsy Star rating in south shields/formen.... 206 posts Send private message

Gypsy´s avatar

I dont know if I am sounding "THICK" here BUT what is the

difference between license first occupation and the

habitacion certificate. ARE THEY THE SAME THING ?????



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GYPSY




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18 May 2008 16:24 by inspectahomespain Star rating in Orihuela Costa, Spai.... 2375 posts Send private message

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They are the same thing

They can be called License of first occupation or Certifcate of Habitation



_______________________
Roy Howitt Independent Property Consultant www.sonrisaproperties.com www.snaggingspain.com WE CAN FIND YOUR DREAM HOME 627 955 748



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18 May 2008 16:40 by Gypsy Star rating in south shields/formen.... 206 posts Send private message

Gypsy´s avatar

to inspectahomespain.

Thanks for the reply, it can get confusing with all the paperwork

needed in Spain.



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GYPSY




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20 May 2008 18:32 by bobaol Star rating. 2261 posts Send private message

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It is easy to get confused here.  Our flat, near Torrevieja, was on builders supply for nearly 4 years.  I assume we didn't have the LFO (not that I knew what that was, then). BUT, we were told by agents and solicitors that this was normal.  We didn't pay for water at all during this time but had to pay 17 euros a month standing charge to Iberdrola to provide electricity to the area and this was taken out by standing order from my bank so I must have signed something to authorise it.
We've now had mains water and electricity for 2 years but still no deeds due to the builder not paying off the mortgage on the land the house stands on.
The solicitors told us this was no problem as the land and house were registered separately and there was no way we could lose the house.
Fortunately, this has all now been resolved and the courts sequestered the funds from the builders by forcing them to sell land they were going to build on.  My deeds are now with the notary and will be signed in the next week or two (our solicitors alone have 75 appointments with the notary to do this) but we always had water and electricity, albeit rather prone to short (sometimes up to 48 hours) periods of cut-offs.
There are thousands of properties in this area in the same boat.  People have been living with builders supply for years and some are still not on mains supplies.  The street behind me, built just one year after mine, are still on builders supply,  My point is, if you can't occupy a property without a LFO, how come solicitors say differently?  Even with my new house, built by a reputable builder who got mains electric and water supplies before we completed, have said there could be a 3 month delay for the LFO and escritura.  Does that mean we shouldn't have completed? 
Are Grupo-Masa the same company as Masa international?  If so, I can't see how they are getting involved in the provision of electricity as they are simply agents for the builders whose responsibility it is to provide utilities to homes until they hand it over to the utility companies.  If they aren't the same company, maybe recourse to the Guardia could be the only answer.  I'm sure they wouldn't like the attention of that particular group of people.



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20 May 2008 19:14 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4158 posts Send private message

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Quote Bobaol: "....this was taken out by standing order from my bank so I must have signed something to authorise it."

Not necessarily. All it means is, you maybe inadvertantly gave someone your bank account number. Unbelievable as it seems, as far as I can make out, companies can claim money from your account without your signed authorisation. You have a certain period in which to contest it. I believe the withdrawn funds are held in a holding account by the bank during this period, so if you do contest any such payment, there is no problem getting the money back - but it's up to you to claim it before it's too late. 
I recently renewed my car insurance, and managed to negotiate a substantial discount due to the fact a rival company had offered me a better price. The discount was offered on the condition that I paid by debit card rather than direct debit. The reason they gave was that with a card payment, they get the dosh immediately, whereas with DD payments, they have to wait a month before the bank passes the funds on. (Does kind of raise the question of whether my insurers have cash flow problems, but that's another story for another thread!)

Quote: "......I can't see how they are getting involved in the provision of electricity as they are simply agents for the builders whose responsibility it is to provide utilities to homes"

I don't know, but surely Masa are the developer, who simply employ the builder, but are the actual owners of the land? Therefore, the responsibilty would be theirs, not the builder's? 

_______________________

 

"First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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20 May 2008 19:29 by bobaol Star rating. 2261 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar
When I took over my house last week, I counted how many times I signed something.  It came to 34.  Bank, agents, developers, notary etc etc  etc.  Hence I thought I must have signed something along the way.  However, you're right.  I have had money taken to pay things which I definitely didn't sign for (all legitimate bills, I hasten to add).
Are Masa the developers?  I thought they just introduced you to the builders or developers, unlike Polaris World and other such companies who are the developers.  Atlas, I think, are also just an introductory agency.  I may be wrong here but, after having just used Masa, they didn't appear to have any input into the building at all, simply introducing us to the builders.  All the things I signed for utilities etc had the builders name on them and Masa weren't even present at the notary.  If they were developers, shouldn't they have been present?  Just the builders, solicitors and bank were represented.  As I say, Grupo-Masa and Masa International may be different entities of a single unit and the ones I dealt with were simply an introductory agency whilst Grupo-Masa may be the development arm.
Anyhoo, everything in my last purchase appears to have gone without a hitch but then, I thought that about the first one I bought. 
Must say I am very happy with the new builders and the service provided by Masa although the bank left a bit to be desired.  The 40% mortgage I took out bore no relation to the quote I was given by post.
I'd been quoted interest only but the papers were drawn up as repayment which almost doubled my payments.  As this was pointed out the day before completion, they sort of had me over a barrel or we couldn't have completed.  Another reason for the hat on Torrevieja seafront (Don't forget a couple of euros each time you all walk past won't go amiss).
I still think bobsmith is being conned and has a good case for reporting "Miguel" to the police.

Edited to add:  Even Technologia Urbanistica didn't have the brass neck to demand payments for utilities they supplied although I think Iberdrola were supplying the community electricity (street lighting etc)from the outset but not to the individual houses and that was what the 17 euros I was paying was for.  I certainly never got any increased bill regardless of how much I used.

This message was last edited by bobaol on 5/20/2008.



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20 May 2008 19:48 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4158 posts Send private message

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Sorry, don't know anything about Masa or Masa - and hey, it was only one euro each time we pass before, now " a couple"? That's inflation for you!

_______________________

 

"First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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21 May 2008 10:29 by inspectahomespain Star rating in Orihuela Costa, Spai.... 2375 posts Send private message

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In Spain If money is paid out form your account by direct debit and you dispute this you have a period, which I believe is 2 months, where you can go to the bank an request that the money be refunded and the debit cancelled and the refund is immediate

It has happened to me twice when I have cancelled insurance policies and they have then still taken the money out and the sytem works very well 

Grupo MASA are the developer and promoter who sell specific developments, via agents, where as MASA International are an estate agent selling new and resale properties 

_______________________
Roy Howitt Independent Property Consultant www.sonrisaproperties.com www.snaggingspain.com WE CAN FIND YOUR DREAM HOME 627 955 748



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23 May 2008 14:32 by bobsmith Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

Many Many thanks To Mr Roy Howitt, The help he has given us is unbeleivable, we took his advise and 9 of MASAs "victims" went to the Guardia and with the help of our translator swore out denuncias against Miguel Torrinto (site manager & director) for demanding money by threat (extorsion) and illegally charging for builders supply
Electric & water, the news that 7 ( yes 7 ) police cars came to his office today and took him away
We are eternally gratefull to Mr Roy Howitt for his invaluable advise and support
Bob Smith




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23 May 2008 15:54 by The Sheriff Star rating in Rojales, Quesada. 32 posts Send private message

Hi Guys

I am new to EOS but have been reading the site for well over a year now etc.  I recently became a man of leisure (forced upon me !!) so have taken the plunge to get involved etc !! but basically have lived and worked in Spain for 4 years and have young kids etc. and live in SCB.

Anyway I have a question regarding Roy's (Inspectahomes) post.  Roy - are you saying that you are suing the builder for the cost of your property because you do not have Cert of Hab Licence after 4 years ??  If you are I would be very interested to talk to you.  We originally moved to Playa Flamanca and still have the house there (long story !!).  We completed in Nov 04 and in the last few months have been put on mains electric and water but as yet no Cert of Hab (although I have seen the application for it which I managed to get from our administrator).

Am I entitled to claim now or in Nov 08 (4 years) for failure to complete the contract as no Cert of Hab has been issued.  This may be a dream come true !!!  Can Maria provide any assistance re this ??

Thanks and keep up the good work one and all !!  Well Done those guys who responded the illegal Masa staff.  For the record as I understand it Grupo Masa is the Developer and Masa International is a Sales Agent.

_______________________
There is only one Sheriff !!



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23 May 2008 16:13 by inspectahomespain Star rating in Orihuela Costa, Spai.... 2375 posts Send private message

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I am asuming that the Sheriff is conected to RTN so known to me

No you cannot clain now as this only comees into effect 4 years after your completion date have passed and now I am waiting to see how long it will take to get to Court

 I have tried to re-finance the property and found my chosen banks, with the best rates, all wanted the LFO befire granting a mortgage

Also I, as well as 30 other owners have filled in complaints forms with OMIC

Please remebr strictly speaking you shouldn´t be using a property without an LFO

_______________________
Roy Howitt Independent Property Consultant www.sonrisaproperties.com www.snaggingspain.com WE CAN FIND YOUR DREAM HOME 627 955 748



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