What can you do if your apartment is finished but the community areas are in-complete?

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19 Nov 2009 00:00 by Jarvi Star rating in Halifax UK. 499 posts Send private message

We purchased an Apartment in Spain and signed for it in June this year.

The apartment was totally finished and is lovely.

However we were told that the communal areas and the rest of the development would be finished by the end of this year, but when we went to stay in October it looks like they won't complete everything.

We suspect the developer has ran out of funds or is holding off until things pick up, so around 15% of the apartments are not completely finished, and the communal areas although almost finished look a mess.

We are hoping to rent out starting in March, however if things stay the same we cannot see that happening.

Does anyone know if we can claim from the developer for loss of income, or get a part refund on what we have paid, which was for an Apartment in a development which we believed would be finished completely?

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20 Nov 2009 09:02 by claire T Star rating in Torremendo, Orihuela. 689 posts Send private message

EOS Supporter

Hi Jarvi - you don't say where your property is or who the builder is.  If you add these details someone may have more information for you.

Did you get your Habitation Certificate before you completed?  From what you say, this is unlikely as the local council expects developments to be complete before they issue these.  Also, have you formed a community of owners yet?  The community can work with the administrators to try to press for the outstanding work to be done, although this is not an easy task and the administrators are sometimes unwilling to challenge a builder who has given them the contract.

As for money back, I think it extremely unlikely.  The best you can hope for is to get the builder to finish what they promised.

Do keep us posted!


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20 Nov 2009 09:03 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9001 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

Dear Jarvi:

Yes, you can claim compensation against the developer if those facilities were part of the advertisement material.


Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA


Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria

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20 Nov 2009 09:57 by Faro Star rating in London. 1139 posts Send private message

Hi Jarvi

There is a difference between community areas and the " big picture development" as a whole.

Let me try to explain.

If your community of say 60 houses is not finished as per plans then you might have a case?

But what happens sometimes is that vast areas of land are acquired and re-developed and then various plots sold off to individual development companies to build house, apartments, hotels, commercial centres etc and market as they wish then although you may have seen an overall plan of how the area might look in 5 years time then no one is really responsible there

If the hotel, business centre, commercial centre and units are not which were to be built beside your development that who can you blame for that? It was outside the control of your developer?

In the same way if an airport is not built as originally planned or if easyjet or ryanair decide not to fly there anymore etc

This is always the risk of off-plan and greenfield sites.

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20 Nov 2009 10:35 by TheQuietMan Star rating in UK and very occasion.... 535 posts Send private message

My opinion, for what its worth, is that this is a buying off plan issue. There is no comeback in that case as you purchase with the knowledge that the developer can alter and change parts of the development or even choose not to complete parts of the development as per the plans you originally saw.

Our development was supposed to have two shopping/bar/restaurant area's-one at either side of the first phases of building. In some cases people chose their apartments to be in close proximity to those shops but the developer changed their plans and amalgamated these shops into one area more centrally based. They have actually built this new shopping area too so no arguement with that but for some people its at least a 20minute walk  when they thought they would be literally right around the corner. If you dont walk too well and are resident or wanted to use the close proximity in your advertising blurb then thats very disappointing for you. LIkewise people in the apartments now close to the shops and bars may not have thought they would have a car park and a supermarket on their door step.

The original blurb for our resort listed many facilities including a larger public shopping mall as well- all of which were what people bought there for as it would have been amazing for rental income. As yet a number of these facilities are yet to happen- I'm expecting they will happen but at a slower pace, so thats a problem if you were to rely on rental income and are trying to entice renters. However, none of the developers expected the credit crunch and Spain is particularly badly hit- even if you actually had a case, sued and won I doubt there's any money in the pot.

My advice is to sit tight and hope the developer tidies up what they have already started- but dont throw good money into a hopeless legal action.



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20 Nov 2009 10:42 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9001 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct


I agree with you that off-plan purchases are special in terms of safety: that is why contract and consumer Law offers a higher grade of protection to buyers through this system. And Spanish contract and consumer Law has all the measure for this protection. We just need to ask for a correct application of them and do not cease in the fight.



Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA


Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria

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20 Nov 2009 11:06 by Faro Star rating in London. 1139 posts Send private message

Hi Maria

Sorry maybe I was not clear.

I am saying it's one thing if the actual development he has bought into is not completed as proposed - ie gardens not landscaped , no tress, 1 pool instead of 2 and so on.

BUT it's another issue altogether if infrastructure in the area in general is not completed. Becuase in most cases that will not be the same developer. So where someone has bought off-plan becuase they believed a new shopping centre would be built close by, a new airport, a new fast road etc.

Then in these situations you cannot blame your developer since he does not even own that land. These seperate developers may decide to shelve their plans for 5 or 10 years or deide to do something else with their land.

In the same way there might be a green field beside your development - you can't guarantee that will always be the case as the owner of that land might decide to build on it?

Likewise you might buy because there is a doctors surgery down the road in walking distance which if you are old might be a benefit - but what if he closes do you blame the developer for that?

Strange I am actually defending developers!!

So buy off-plan then these are always the risks you face!

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20 Nov 2009 15:25 by Jarvi Star rating in Halifax UK. 499 posts Send private message


Thank you all for the replies.

Just to clear up a few of the things you have discussed.

We did buy the apartment off plan.

The apartment is in Murcia, I'd rather not say who the developer is as they read these pages, and (I think), they have threatened a friend of mine with legal action due to what they were writing on here.

We were told that an habitation certificate had been granted before we signed and we have since stayed in the Apartment.

The first meeting of the community is planned for Dec 21st and although we cannot be present I have a friend that lives on the development so hopefully they will be able to raise some issues.

I realise that the developer cannot guarantee that any shops etc are taken by retailers and that is not an issue.

 The issue is that the last time we were there the lifts kept breaking down, the communal areas had broken and missing windows, the electricity for the building was going off, the corridors etc were filthy as builders were still working on other areas but passed through our area, so the problems as such are more of a snagging type

The point is if we wanted to rent out we would get complaints as people do not want to holiday in place which looks dirty and un-finished. We intend to go to Spain early next year, hopefully when the community meeting is held we will feel more comfortable about everything.

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