L.F.O. and errant Architect

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25 Aug 2009 00:00 by Newbie Star rating. 32 posts Send private message

Of an urbanisation of 36 houses, only around 4 (all 1 storey) houses  were presented with a Final de Obra signed by the architect on completion of the purchase at the Notary.   Unfortunately most of the other buyers only realised after the event that they had bought a house described as , nearly finished - in construction.  Not one of the solicitors representing the buyers warned of the possible dangers of accepting a transfer of property under these terms.  Because the houses were deemed not completed, there was no architect´s final certificate attached to the escritura. 

 

In brief, all of the houses without a Final de Obra have now been declared illegal by the local Town Hall because the underbuilds were developed without permission and, in some cases, the houses have been built with many more m2 than permitted under local urbanistic rules.  The owners have been instructed to present a regularisation project for consideration.  We have engaged independent architects to deal with this but they have advised that they are unable to work on the project until they see the Final de Obra certificate signed by the architect in respect of the original project.  As we were unable to provide this, our new architects contacted the College of Architects who stamped the original project  to get guidance and were surprised to learn that our house which we bought in February 2006 does, indeed, have a signed Final de Obra but they refused to give the architects any more details e.g. how many m2, the date of issue of the certificate etc, saying only the original architect or promoter is entitled to know these facts.  Given that we know now that our house does not comply in many ways with the building licence, it seems obvious that the architect has committed professional fraud in signing off the house.  Whilst we are very angry and would like to take legal action against the promotor and/or architect and our solicitor to recover the fines and costs we will incur in regularisation, we recognise this is usually a waste of time . Our main objective now is to try and get things put right and we need to have the signed Final de Obra to enable our new architects to proceed.   My question - as owners, do we have a right to have a copy of this Final de Obra and if so, can someone tell us what the process if for requesting the document from the College of Architects.  Our architects have been endeavouring to speak with the original architect but the director of the Ingenieria where the architect worked merely says said that the architect has gone and no-one knows where he is.   According to this man, he can do nothing more for the owners except to facilitate them with their regularisation projects by introducing them to another architect who can help formulate a group project at the expense of the owners.  Surely he cannot wash his hands of any responsability for the mistakes/fraud of the architect who was in his employ?





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25 Aug 2009 21:45 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9330 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

My question - as owners, do we have a right to have a copy of this Final de Obra and if so, can someone tell us what the process if for requesting the document from the College of Architects.

Yes, you have rights to access the " Final de Obra" certificate. Send a fax to the Colegio de Arquitectos with a copy of your title deed. 

 (...)

Surely he cannot wash his hands of any responsability for the mistakes/fraud of the architect who was in his employ? It depends on who was hired? Was it the company of the said architect specifically? The Colegio de Arquitectos will be able to show to you information on this too.



_______________________

Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA

Lawyer

Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria



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26 Aug 2009 07:21 by Newbie Star rating. 32 posts Send private message

Dear Maria

Thank you very much for your very informative reply.  We will contact the College of Architects asap and hope we can resolve this situation quickly.

 





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03 Sep 2009 12:57 by Newbie Star rating. 32 posts Send private message

Further to last message, we have received no response to our faxed request to the College of Architects for a copy of the Final de Obra.  Apparently our new architects have made a further call to the College to ask whether we, as titled owners of the house, can apply for a copy of this document and have been told that even if we are the owners, we are not entitled see this as it is information contained can only be made available to the architect and/or promotor.  If this is the case, and enquiries made by the owners of the houses on the urbanisation have failed to reveal the whereabouts of the architect or promotor to get the relevant information, how are the owners expected to progress any regularisation project.  

Is it not the function of the College of Architects to ensure that their members work to the high professional standards set by the College and hold them to account if they fail to do this?

 

 

 





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03 Sep 2009 14:44 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9330 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

HAve you requestd the Local Council to ask the Colegio de Arquitectos about it after knowing there is an end of works certificate in place?

Best,

Maria



_______________________

Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA

Lawyer

Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria



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