How do you get snagging done post completion?

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08 Jun 2009 00:00 by valeriedixon Star rating. 40 posts Send private message

I completed on my property at the end of March despite there being conisderable snagging problems with the property.  Had tried to refuse to sign unless snagging done but was advised by Lawyer that this would not be allowed as developer insisted they would keep monies paid to date and sue for balance.  We were advised to ensure we had all snagging detailed in writing and signed by ccompany at the notary prior to escritura.  We were led to believe that by doing this it would become part of the developers contract with us but when we have tried to enforce it their lawyer helpfully sent us a message saying if we don't like it we could take legal action, but this would be expensive and take about nine months so she doesn't think that we'll go down that route, so basically - tough!!!  We have tried threatening the developer with bad publicity for example printing leaflets and handing them out to prospective clients etc inviting them to visit our property to see the faults but they don't take us seriously.  We have tried getting angry and they just say if we continue to make a fuss then they won't bother doing anything.  We are now deciding that our only option will be to take them to court.

The snagging was supposed to be completed within 8 weeks of the escritura.  They have done a few small items but in doing so have caused even more problems as they are insisting on using handymen not tradesmen for example our toilets were fitted incorrectly so they used handymen to fix them despite us trying to insist on a qualified plumber as a result they messed it up and we had sewage water pour through our celing resulting in that room now needed redecorating and a new ceiling - this happened over two weeks ago and they are doing nothing about the repairs.  Our sewage waste pipes are installed wrong with no fall so the waste is staying inside the pipes and not leaving the house - yep foul smells etc - they dug up the garden leaving the sewers opened up - yep flies and waste everywhere.  They dug up the terrace and have just left a great big hole.  They want to now dig up the inside of the house as it is easier for them to access the pipes rather than go from the outside, as far as protecting our decorations and furnishings they just want to use a thin plastic sheet and as the house is open plan the dust will be horrendous and up until now they have not shown any respect to our personal possessions or made any attempt to restrict dust and mess and I am left to clean up the rubble and waste from the toilets etc.  They say they will come and we have to wait in for days on end but noone comes and we are told we aren't a priority so they will do things when they want not when we want.  We have now had open sewers for over a fortnight the garden dug up and the terrace dug up as well as the fact that the waste from our toilets is just building up in the pipes.  There is also a leak in the pipes dripping sewage in the void under the house.

 

We informed them of most of the snagging a year ago and they had promised to do it prior to completion as they could not complete for a year as they could not obtain the licences so it is not as if they did not know about them.

Our lawyer doesn't seem particularly interested and we feel that they should have protected our interests knowing that the developers were particularly unscrupulous prior to completion.

 

Can anyone advise please.

 





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08 Jun 2009 22:21 by claire T Star rating in Torremendo, Orihuela. 689 posts Send private message

EOS Supporter

Sorry to hear about your problems.  You should name the development and builder here and maybe get in touch with other owners on the same development - if their work is that bad there should be other disgruntled owners out there and you could join forces.

There is a snagging company who post here regularly - Inspectahomespain - who seem to have a good reputation.  You could contact them through their website for advice.

Good luck!



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Claire



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09 Jun 2009 09:15 by inspectahomespain Star rating in Murcia, Spain. 2157 posts Send private message

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I am sorry to hear about your problems when you have actually done everything correct in terms of getting the snagging list as an exhibit as part of the contract

Can you please PM me, not on the forum, with the details of the developer

First of all it would seem that perhaps your lawyer is not quite as independant as they should be as you can refuse to complete based on snagging defects depending on the degree of the problems and they should be supporting you in an action against the developer

One problem here is that they seem to be doing some works even if this is not to an acceptable standard or by qualified tradesman

With any dificulties like this the first thing you should do is involve the Spanish consumer department OMIC, as they will support you in an action and investigate the claims, contact the developer but you have to do this in person visiting the offices of OMIC which will normally be at your local Town Hall and fill out an offical complaints form

If you go to law there is a very good chance that you will win but, as with any contrcatual dispute you will have to go to law and in Spain this costs and takes a long time

Next you need to get an inpendendant report on the problem, produced in Spanish by a qualified architect, this costs money, plus quotations for the works to rectify the damages

If you have nothing to loose, again I am not sure where you are but this is the sort of story that local UK newspapers love to feature

Through OMIC I would then expect to issue a formal legal notice, giving the developer a set time to rectify the damages and if they fail to that you will then get the works done and sue them for the money paid to the contract plus damages

Fonally I have seen the intervention by OMIC work as the Spanish are ofetn more converned when the Spanish system is involved especially when linked to The Town Hall but you must do what you threaten to do otherwise they will ignore you

 



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



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09 Jun 2009 09:22 by valeriedixon Star rating. 40 posts Send private message

Thanks for your reply Claire.  One of the problems we have is that we are one of only a few who has completed to date and many due to complete are Spanish so wouldn't visit this site.  Also a lot of the problems we have found are only as a result of work being done for other things so they were 'hidden' so it is probable that people wouldn't even know they had potential problems.  We know that a lot of the properties have suffered severe problems with rising damp which has now been painted over to cover it up so new buyers wouldn't even know until next winter.  Balconies that leaked are now 'painted' with varnish and the inside of the properties touched up inside so a viewer would think that the tiles had had a 'glossy' finish etc etc. 

The stupid thing is that all of the problems can be corrected and the resort has the potential to be fantastic but the management are being so stubborn and short sighted. 

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.





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09 Jun 2009 10:01 by inspectahomespain Star rating in Murcia, Spain. 2157 posts Send private message

Vip Supporter

I am a little bit confused here because the post started with the fact the developer had not repaired the original defects and now it seems that the defects may not have been on the original list or prehaps they are new defects that could not be found until the property was being used

The law allows for one year for additional defects to be added howevevr with itens such as the sewage issues, leaking balconies etc this would be covered by a 2 year clause for items that render the property non-habitable

Also if you have open sewers as described the Local Town Hall would be able to help 

 



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



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09 Jun 2009 11:33 by valeriedixon Star rating. 40 posts Send private message

Thank you for your reply.  We will get in touch with the town hall as soon as possible.

To try to clarify the situation a little better -  we were supposed to complete on the property March 2008, this was delayed and the property was finally complete later last year but they could not get the licence of  occupation through until March of this year.  We did a pre-completion snag list prior to escritura and this list was signed at the notary office by the developer and ourselves.  This stated what was required to be done and the timescale for doing it..  Once we had taken over the property we added other items to a new list that was formally presented to them listing items that were found once we were in the property and they accepted responsibilty for doing these additional items - such as the sewers etc.  We have since ended up with numerous other problems that need remedying as a result of the snagging works being carried out.- such as repairing and redecorating two bathrooms etc.

We have given them unlimited and unrestricted access to the property everyday since completion even though most of the time noone turns up!

We have spoken to them this morning and they are in no hurry to do the sewers or anything else they just report that the resort director has stated that they will do it in their own good time.

They did suggest that we could give them a price to organise the snagging and repairs ourself.  We have had estimates for the work to be carried out and overseen and gave them the cost and we stated we would be happy to do this but were not prepared to do it unless they gave us sufficient funds to do the job by tradesmen and we would not end up out of pocket.  The value of the work is around 13,000 they responded that they could get it done by their own people for 6,000 (which could only be done using their own unqualified maintenance staff. They tried this when fixing the toilets and now they have to redecorate two bathrooms and replace a ceiling). We countered that  this price was totally ludacrous and that the offer had obviously not been a serious option but just another method to delay proceeding with the works. We were also told off the record that they knew it could not be done for the amount they had offered!  

We ourselves do not have leaking balconies but we know many other properties do.  

Are you saying that all the time we have open sewage pipes in the garden that the property would be considered to be non-habitable.  We did have two toilets removed and just left aside in the bathrooms for around 10 days but they have now been put back.  However in the one bathroom downstairs we still have the walls and ceiling drying out where the waste from the toilet above poured through. It is an unpleasant thought that this waste is being left to soak into the walls etc and will just be painted over!

Thank you for your time it is very much appreciated. 

 





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09 Jun 2009 13:19 by valeriedixon Star rating. 40 posts Send private message

Sorry have just realised had somehow missed earlier reply from 'inspectahome' - will re-read postings as last posting I made hadn't taken into account these other postings!!

Thank you.





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09 Jun 2009 13:32 by valeriedixon Star rating. 40 posts Send private message

We have a meeting with our lawyer this afternoon and thanks to your postings can now go with more confidence.  We will post back with how the meeting goes.  Thank you.

Would the house be deemed non-habitable due to the open sewers in the garden even though there is no swage in the house?





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09 Jun 2009 13:44 by inspectahomespain Star rating in Murcia, Spain. 2157 posts Send private message

Vip Supporter

Easy answer yes as thes items will directky effect the Health and Safety of the property and result in the fact that the property cannot be used, especially of the local Town Hall issued a Certificate of Habitaton for the property



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



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10 Jun 2009 10:15 by valeriedixon Star rating. 40 posts Send private message

We met with our lawyer yesterday afternoon and explained the situation -

With regard to the open sewers we were told that the Town Hall would do nothing and would not be interested as it is on our property - that they issued the licence of habitation and so as far as they would be concerned that is where their responsibility ended.  We did have the option to go to court and providing that we got the court papers in before they finished the snagging we would be able to claim our expenses back regardless of whether or not they completed the snagging before the case was heard..  However we were advised by someone else that his lawyer had stated that we would not get our expenses if they completed the snagging prior to the court date (even if the court papers had been submitted) and even then regardless of whether they had completed the snagging or not thejudge would not necessarily award costs.  The only thing that every one is sure of is that we absolutely have a contract with the developer that they are clearly in breach of and that everyday that they do nothing (in particular with regard to the sewers) that they strengthen our complaint against them.

We are staggered that the spanish legal system seems so loaded in favour of the developer and leaves consumers so vulnerable and that local authorities have no power to ensure that basic regulations are enforced. 





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10 Jun 2009 10:21 by inspectahomespain Star rating in Murcia, Spain. 2157 posts Send private message

Vip Supporter

Please be very carefull when you get information that varies form lawyers and I am sure that Maria  could comment on this

In parallel to this activity what about approaching OMIC with the formal complaint, did you discuss this option withe the lawyer

The other question is was the lawyer the same one that you used when buying the property and originally recommended by the agent who sold the property

Finally where is the property, general area



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



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10 Jun 2009 10:34 by valeriedixon Star rating. 40 posts Send private message

Firstly the lawyer was independent of the developer and agent recommended by a friend who lived locallly.

We spoke about OMIC and was basically told that they wouldn't be interested and wouldn't do anything.

We are on the Almeria Costa.

 

 





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10 Jun 2009 10:43 by inspectahomespain Star rating in Murcia, Spain. 2157 posts Send private message

Vip Supporter

I suggest that you go back to OMIC as you are a consumer with a valid consumer problem and they have a charter to support you in these types of actions

In the Murcia area, specifically with a couple of large local developments they were responsible for getting serious matter resolved which were very similar to your problem

The first stage is to ask them for an offical complaints form which they should help you complete and this has to then be investigated by OMIC

I believe that you may have to be a littke more direct with OMIC

 



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



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10 Jun 2009 11:03 by valeriedixon Star rating. 40 posts Send private message

Thank you for your advise we will certainly follow this up with OMIC.  I don't suppose you know that the position is regarding costs when taking someone to court?

Luckily we are aren't feeling too despondant about our situation just frustrated at the lack of support available but for other's in the same situation I can understand how people give up trying in the end.

Since we posted we have heard from the developer that they want a meeting at the property as the senior management want to see for themselves what the situation is as they have been led to believe by their staff that we have exagerated the problems - boy are they going to have a suprise when they realise that we haven't had to exagerate and that there is also a lot of stuff that we hadn't asked them to do as we didn't want more damage done and were going to do ourselves. I have a feeling that someone is going to end up with egg on their face and it certainly won't be us!! 

Also we have been very thorough and have been taking photographs of everthing at all stages.  We even have documentation illustrating that we informed them that there was a problem with the sewage pipes month's prior to completion and put it in writing that it needed changing and were told by the resort director that he would not accept it on our snagging list and took it off as he did not believe there was a problem and if we wanted anything done to do it ourself - by the way he has a backgound in finance and no actual building/construction experience at all! 





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10 Jun 2009 11:24 by jturner Star rating. 40 posts Send private message

jturner´s avatar

Please be aware that you must be very careful in this situation when you have a team from the developer having a site visit.

If you inform them that you have been doing any work yourself or by others on your behalf it is possible they will inform you that as there has been "third party interference." This is a question they will probably ask of you. "Who did this work?"

Always inform them it was their employees or contractors on their behalf.

Do you speak fluent Spanish? If not have somebody with you when they visit who can tell you what is going on in the conversations.

I hope the meeting goes well for you.

 

 





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10 Jun 2009 11:36 by valeriedixon Star rating. 40 posts Send private message

We haven't actually done any work on the property ourselves as yet as we were very aware that they might use that against us(we were also led to believe that we could invalidate the developers guarantee).    Whenever thay have done anything we have left it as they left it.  We don't speak much Spanish but understand a fair amount - more than they realise anyway which has actually proved useful at times - luckily the people coming speak very good english and the meeting will be held in English. (We are now thinking about getting someone who speaks Spanish to come so thank you for that suggestion)

I have to say it would be preferable to settle this matter quickly rather than go to court but we will have to see - the resort director has taken this all very personally as we have had some quite loud public arguments and I think he would rather do anything than back down regardless of the damage to their reputation etc.  It seems his pride is getting in the way of good business sense!

Just a note to everyone who has replied to say how much your input is appreciated, it makes a huge amount of difference to having the confidence to stand up against the developer.  We will let you know how things go at the meeting tomorrow although they haven't actually confirmed a time yet and so there is always the possibility that it won't happen!


 



This message was last edited by valeriedixon on 10/06/2009.



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12 Jun 2009 11:17 by valeriedixon Star rating. 40 posts Send private message

Meeting didn't happen yesterday but this morning.  They have decided that they will resolve the drains starting Monday and discuss a price for us to arrange for the rest of the problems to be resolved.   We will await to see if they do actually start as promised.  I think that the person who came realised that we had had very real problems and that the drains could cause them a great deal of trouble if we took matters further and the mention of the action that we could be taking against them (thanks to a lot of good advise - thank you folks) has put the wind up them. 

As far as everthing else is concerned we will have to wait until next week to see what happens but we are desperate to get the drains done.  So everything still up in the air.

Does anyone know if it is possible for someone to approach the OMIC on our behalf.

Thanks again

 





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12 Jun 2009 18:44 by inspectahomespain Star rating in Murcia, Spain. 2157 posts Send private message

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Yes somebody can go on your behalf but they must go to the offices in person and have your full details NIE etc and a wriiten authority to act on your behalf 



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



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14 Jun 2009 09:56 by valeriedixon Star rating. 40 posts Send private message

Thank you for that.  Will update thread later this week to let you know our progress - if any!!!





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23 Sep 2009 10:46 by valeriedixon Star rating. 40 posts Send private message

Sorry it has been so long since I last posted an update - so here we go.

Since I last posted the developers have now corrected the problems with the sewer pipes - i am sure they were worried about the consequences of leaving us with open sewers!

As far as anything else is concerned they have not done any other work. 

We have now had an architect who has done a full report on the property including finding more defects and it looks as if the cost to the developer will be double what was originally what we were offering to settle for to do the work ourself.  The report is very thorough and it has now been autorised or stamped by the college of architects or whatever body was needed for it to be official and is with our solicitor for papers to be prepared.  Unfortunately it took longer to arrange as the developer was using delaying tactics by making it appear that they wanted to reach a solution and then the local fires where everyone was tied up for people with property damage and then making sure the report contained everything necessary.

In fact the architect stated that apart from the defects the general quality of what was supposed to be a luxury property is appauling and was certainly not up to the level of finish as specified when we purchased the property. 

We now await our solicitors letting us know when the papers are ready - we know this is a long haul process but think it is worth it.  We just feel that unless people start making developers abide by their responsibilities then they will carry on getting away with treating purchasers like ++++.   

Anyway I will keep you posted as things progress and as always thank you to everyone for your support and advise.

 

 





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