Deposit returned

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10 Apr 2007 12:00 AM by patandpat Star rating. 9 posts Send private message

I am dancing for joy at the moment as we have just got our deposit back from Coto Real Development, Duquesa.  We wanted to write this thread as we believe there is a myth bandied about that it is very difficult to get your deposit back - almost impossible the myth seems to say - and the hassle is not worth it.

We were initially very worried about going down the legal route, but having read different threads from Maria de Castro on this forum I decided to contact her.  She assured us we were entitled to our deposit back, with interest, and it was really her confidence  that persuaded us to go ahead.

Maria says "...... there is no mystery in getting deposits back.  It is just a combination of whether the developer has breached the contract and having a good, persistent and INDEPENDENT lawyer."

I think it has taken about 6 months in total.  We could have shortened this period if we had taken earlier offers from the developer, but we believed that we could wait a few months (after all we had already waited 3 years) and were then offered the full deposit plus interest.  It was all very painless from our point of view - Maria handled everything and she was always positive that we would get the money back.

So, if this is the route for you don't be afraid to contact Maria or another independent lawyer and let them do the work for you - it is wonderful to see a good lawyer at work!! 

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10 Apr 2007 3:37 PM by JeansSis Star rating. 2376 posts Send private message

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This message was last edited by JeansSis on 5/17/2007.

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10 Apr 2007 3:44 PM by patandpat Star rating. 9 posts Send private message

We have definitely not gone off Spain or having our place in the sun. However, we would do it all so differently the next time.

  ..... just not yet!

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10 Apr 2007 4:07 PM by EOS Team Star rating in In Spain of course!. 4015 posts Send private message

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Glad to hear Maria was able to help you out.  She's developing quite a reputation for herself.


Schools in Spain Guide | The Expat Files | Learn Spanish | Earn a living in Spain

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10 Apr 2007 4:25 PM by Tish Star rating in Surrey. 833 posts Send private message

Hi Pat,

Congratulations on a successful outcome. Well done Maria.!

Did you get an out of Court settlement from the developer or did a Court hearing take place? Were your legal fees reimbursed ? One final question. Have you got your money in your bank account yet?





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10 Apr 2007 10:50 PM by miket Star rating in La Mairena, Elviria. 371 posts Send private message

"Many Congratulations" for getting your money back, you must be over the moon!!

The reality is though for many is that its very difficult indeed in the current property market to persuade Developers to repay deposits for delays alone without going through the full court process! I would guess that Pat & Pats delays must have been very lengthy to achieve success in 6 months without full court proceedings? Would be interested to hear more about the background to your claim,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


Mike T

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11 Apr 2007 4:40 PM by patandpat Star rating. 9 posts Send private message

Thank you for all the replies and good wishes.

To answer some of the questions - yes, we got an out of court settlement.  We have seen the cheque with our name on it!

Miket - again I must say that you are still perpetuating the myth that it is too difficult to get the deposit back.  The reality is that our solicitor was able to persuade the developer to repay our deposit with interest without going through the full court process - this was on delays alone!!

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11 Apr 2007 4:44 PM by Tish Star rating in Surrey. 833 posts Send private message

My advice for what it's worth Pat is... Get the cheque in your bank account PDQ!

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11 Apr 2007 6:00 PM by alanwspencer Star rating in Hertfordshire/Duques.... 340 posts Send private message

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I think it depends on the circumstances. I got my deposit back on the Las Vistas development in Elviria without a murmer from the developer. As the site was illegal there was little they could do although I have a certain amount of sympothy for them as they were dealing with corrupt officials. However, I would think that if I tried to reclaim my deposit on my apartment in Duquesa that would be a whole different ball game. The development is considerably behind schedule awaiting habitation license, but the developer is claiming this is the fault of the town hall and the town hall say it is the developers fault. My feeling is that they wouldn't settle out of court and it could take a lot longer than 6 months to resolve the issue through the courts.

To Dare Is To Do

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11 Apr 2007 7:08 PM by miket Star rating in La Mairena, Elviria. 371 posts Send private message

Sorry to disagree with you Pat and I´m pleased youve had your success but I can only speak of our development where the developer has refused to pay up to anyone to date after a 1 year delay!! and thats NOT a myth it´s the REALITY.......................


Mike T

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11 Apr 2007 7:15 PM by patandpat Star rating. 9 posts Send private message


Have you tried asking the advice of an independent solicitor?

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11 Apr 2007 7:40 PM by miket Star rating in La Mairena, Elviria. 371 posts Send private message

Yes Pat we did "In the End ,

We appointed an independant firm of litigation specialists after forming an action group last April.  Our developer sadly isn´t as receptive to negotiations(But they are Great liars) and we have lodged our case now in court. Around half of the investors are in a similar situation. Have corresponded with Maria and was very impressed with her but after interviewing half a dozen lawyers we chose a firm with much proven success with full court actions.

Have learned a lot about litigation in the past 18 months but fell for the Viva Estates charm offensive 3 years ago and used their recommended solictors who didn´t even mange to obtain bank guarantees for most of us!! When will us Brits ever learn?

Incidently, how long was your property delayed Pat?


Mike T

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15 Apr 2007 4:59 PM by patandpat Star rating. 9 posts Send private message


From some of the replies I have received it seems that we have had a more straighforward case and as you say our developer seems to have been more receptive to our solicitor.   Our developer was about 9 months late.  Also, a swimming pool that was supposed to be at our apartment block was not there. I was also horrified at all the development all around the area - it was hideous. Our apartment was supposed to have uninterrupted sea views and we had to stand on tip-toes to see the sea! So, all in all, we decided to cut our losses and try and get the deposit back. Everyone advised us against it - saying that the developer had a strong case for being late and we wouldnt have a chance of getting a refund. We found Maria's name on this forum and decided to take a chance on it. She was so positive all the time.

I do wish you well in getting yours sorted. Hopefully you will win in the end it will just take a bit longer.

I also feel like you - I have learned so much about estate agents, developers, the law, mortgage brokers etc etc etc.

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16 Apr 2007 1:52 PM by dogs Star rating. 42 posts Send private message

Congratulations Pat,

I am over the moon to hear that you were successfull. We are thinking of going down the same route but very nervous. Same as you everyone seems to say that it is nearly impossible. Would like to talk to Maria. I assume you found her helpfull. do you have any contacts for her?


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16 Apr 2007 2:03 PM by JeansSis Star rating. 2376 posts Send private message

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This message was last edited by JeansSis on 5/17/2007.

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16 Apr 2007 5:41 PM by tommy Star rating. 7 posts Send private message

Hi Pat , Many congrats. getting your deposit returned, we did the same at El Soto, it's a wonderful feeling but I think we are definitely in the minority.

Hi Miket, Think your development is Marbella Hill View and having had a look around it last week I can understand why you are so upset.  It's unfortunate that you are having to take the developers to court but I cannot see how you could possibly lose given the so shoddy workmanship and the delay.  Also had a look at El Bosque de la Mareina from 215,000 euros, unbelievable how prices have dropped in the area and still another three phases to go which will ruin the area even more.  Good luck getting your money back, how long till the court case?

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17 Apr 2007 11:14 PM by miket Star rating in La Mairena, Elviria. 371 posts Send private message

Thanks for your comments Pat &  Pat and I'm in awe of your very efficient solicitor!!

Tommy, Nice to hear from you again and your support for our cause. We have submitted our claim and it will be many months before it hits the first hearing in Marbella but at least we are committed to taking the barstewards on!! Its frightening to learn how much prices have dropped in parts of la Mairena. 215,000 euros is unbelievable at the Bosque develpment, if thesame happened at MHV at would have 320,000 euros at risk!!! Dosn't bare thinking about does it?

Mike T


Mike T

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22 May 2007 7:57 PM by Hutch1 Star rating. 12 posts Send private message


We have bought in almeria and are trying to get our deposit back due to inactivity from the  developer. We've changed solicitors twice but they still seem to drag their feet.

Has anyone any advice or know of an organisation that can help like an Ombudsmen?

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17 Aug 2007 4:23 PM by emmie Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

Dear Pat and Pat,

What  a wonderful result - I am so pleased for you!  Could you give me contact details for Maria de Castro?  We are over a year beyond our estimated completion date at Polaris World and would love to terminate our contract before we are forced to complete on a property that will be on a building site for at least another 9 months and probably longer!  There will be no golf course, no shops and no facilites - Polaris World just say "you have paid for a completed apartment, not a completed resort!"

Thanks for your help!

Kind regards

Anne Smith

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