Return of deposit

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26 Oct 2006 00:00 by Paul Smith Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

I have decided to post my situation on the board to see if any other forum members can provide me with any advice.

I entered into a contract with SIFASA in February 2003 for the purchase of a Penthouse apartment in Los Lagos Santa Maria De Golf.

Essentially I paid a 30% deposit with the balance becoming due on the handover of the keys in June 2005 (anticipated completion date.

As a result of the breaches of the planning rules it has not been possible for the developer to gain an occupation licence. I am left in the position where I cannot complete the transaction and the developer will not refund my deposit.

My lawyers offer no more than vague advice and there seems little prospect of an early resolution.

My options would include raising an action but this may be costly and problematic

Can anyone offer any advice and has anyone already been able to find a solution to a similar problem?

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26 Oct 2006 14:23 by Jwalls Star rating in Scotland. 5 posts Send private message

this may be of interest to you,  good luck.

Best Regards, Jwalls

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02 Nov 2006 21:01 by Basil Star rating. 5 posts Send private message

Yes good luck. We put our first deposit on our new home in El Carmoli in February 2002 and were promised completion within 10 months, after completing all the necessary checks on the builder and contract etc.   Some 18 months later, the house was not even started, so we tried to wirthdraw, but the builder would not provide any refund (we had paid 50%)

After much ado, no permissions to build etc, the house was finally completed 12 months ago (September 2005) but the builder has yet to apply for a habitacion licence, which we understand can take months to be approved.

Problem is with us, he has not built according to the original plans, so we are not going to complete until the licence is granted. I've heard all sorts of stories about whether or not you should complete without, and still not entirely clear on the matter. Are there not any English solicitors operating in Spain, who know how to manage this and can provide sound advice?

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03 Nov 2006 20:18 by fraggle Star rating in Catral / Leeds. 4 posts Send private message

We sucessfully sued the builder the first time we purchased a property as we had a very good and reliable spanish solicitor - they are out there!  The builder was 18 months behind and the estate agent had falsley sent us out twice to sign for it before it was anywhere near the estate agent - although now a PLC company - did not want to know as did not the solicitor they recommended. 

Our bank gave us a recommended solicitor and we have never regretted it - she is excellent at keeping in touch and explaining the process.  we are now three weeks from signing for our second purchase and have been caught up in the problems with Catral and the solicitor is on with the second suing!!!  Hoping for third time lucky or staying in blighty! 

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23 Nov 2006 14:17 by sarahazama Star rating. 11 posts Send private message

Hi Fraggle,


am in the same boat as Paul smith, am in the process of requesting my money back from the developer, due to late completion. my current solicitor claims she's doing her best.......... but things are not moving, I would be grateful if you could send me a private message with details of your solicitor , to see if they can be of any help



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23 Nov 2006 17:30 by rosi n Star rating in Cornwall / axarquia. 119 posts Send private message

Hi sarahazama. From our experience of build finish times they are nearly always late as you can see  from other members it can be as much as two years before you can move in to your new Spanish home after they say it will be finished you are not alone.As regards getting any money back from the agents/developers thats a big problem as they nearly always cover themselves for a big overrun time in legal jargen thats hard to get around but sometimes it can be done by a good lawyer but its going to cost you and it could take some time to resolve and there is no sure way of doing that very easy. There are some very good solicitors in Spain its just finding them for your type of case.The other member asked about useing a English solicitor in Spain I dont think you can do that its something with the Spanish College but not 100% sure about that, if you used a solicitor in the uk they would only pass it to a Spanish firm and pay more. As regards occupation licence/completion theres  many villa/aparpment projects that dont have this paperwork in place but people are living in there property and have paid the builder the final payment and on builders supplies for years sometimes until it gets sorted out with the council, if the project is about finished and you have services connected and its liveable just talk it over with you solicitor first ( We would move in if it was us as these problems can take years to resolve). These are only our views on these new builds but we dont think we are not alone on this . regards rosi n

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01 Dec 2006 21:37 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9344 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

Just 5 or 6 months are enough to ask a developer fopr cancellation and full refund of amounts, interests and expenses. They react to straight fights. The vistory is on the consumers´side. No doubt. Your lawyer just need to be persistent and clear.


Maria L. de Castro


Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA



El blog de Maria

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02 Dec 2006 13:57 by miket Star rating in La Mairena, Elviria. 372 posts Send private message

We are a Group of investors have been working together most of this year to resolve a delayed development project on the CDS. We found an experienced and independant lawyer who has had success with other cases similar to our own. We are suing for breach of contract and the court submissions are about to be lodged with the courts. Its been a lengthy process but we now feel confident of success!

Should you want any further details please email me at



Mike T

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08 Dec 2006 12:32 by sarahazama Star rating. 11 posts Send private message

Thanks Everyone for your reply,

Miket: Nice talking to you last nite, your were helpful and I have again drafted an e-mail to send to my lawyer question that i need answers to, also I have e-mail Justin if he know of any probelm regarding my development




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19 Mar 2007 18:53 by lesleyhedison Star rating. 12 posts Send private message

For all of you who are in need of a good lawyer then just type in Lawbird Marbella,they are our lawyers for our problems with Aifos and our development Hacienda Marina.


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06 Apr 2007 15:17 by barry12 Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Hi Just a few words on return of deposit; I asked my agent and the builder in 2005 july to return my deposit , we sent letter and e-mails and there answer was they would return my deposit in three weeks,2005,2006 and now its 2007 and still no deposit.   I started court action in 2006 been to one hearing but we now have to wiat till 2008 before we get back in to court.

barry 12.


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13 Apr 2007 20:59 by Jerry Star rating. 74 posts Send private message

It is possible to get deposit back without going to court.   We had apartment in Duquesa area and we applied for full return of deposit and were waiting for less than five months on the basis of late completion.     The first letter from Solicitor to Developer went missing in the post and this delayed it for a month.   We agreed to forego interest in order to speed up the return of funds.    We got bank draft in the post.     The development was about a year late when we took the action.    It proves you can get money back if you are determined and persistent.

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17 Apr 2007 16:32 by joycem Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Just to let you know we purchased property April 2003 from a company called Tecnolgoia Urnanistica but the property has not been  built and we have not received our deposit back dispite going to court and the money being promised.  Any ideas?  Our lawyers are still trying to get our money back.  

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17 Apr 2007 17:07 by JeansSis Star rating. 2376 posts Send private message

JeansSis´s avatar

This message was last edited by JeansSis on 5/18/2007.

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26 Apr 2007 13:24 by Gherold Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

Gherold´s avatar
We paid forty thousand euros to Palmera Properties on June 2005.  I refused to sign the contract when it arrived in Nov 05 because planning hadn't been agreed and demanded  a full refund.  It still hasn't been agreed and building has never started.  Palmera Properties in Murcia are refusing to deal with our British & Spanish solicitors.  They now tell us they have passed the money on to the builders, Palmera Murcia SL.  It is unlikely that this development will ever go ahead as less than 10% of the plots have been sold although they told us more than 70% had been sold in Feb 05.  The agents we used were Simple Palmera from Ireland.  They too are washing their hands of it.  Can anyone help!!!!

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26 Apr 2007 13:33 by JeansSis Star rating. 2376 posts Send private message

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This message was last edited by JeansSis on 5/18/2007.

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27 Apr 2007 16:15 by sunnymim Star rating. 34 posts Send private message

Hi Gergold,

I also used Simple Palmera (now Simple Overseas Properties).In  March 2004 I paid £45,000 (pounds) deposit on a property in Benalmadena.The development should have been finished in Feb 07 - long time even by Spanish standards!.During that time not a word of apology or anything else, from the developers,Cogilco,that the completion is running late.In addition a new development has been started in front almost completely destroying the views  which were described in the sales brochure as having 'fine views' across Arroyo,Benalmadena and the mediterranean.Have now put my faith in Maria whom I visited personally and would have no hesitation in recommending.


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27 Apr 2007 17:45 by 669076 Star rating. 22 posts Send private message

Yep,Maria got our deposits back for 3 apts in duquesa village

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