I Got My Money Back - Margaret's Story

Published on 30/01/2007 in Real Life Stories

Almanzora Country Club, Vera, Alicante

This project was advertised as an off-plan complex with many onsite facilities.

In May 2004 I paid a deposit on a small bungalow, and a further payment  totalling nearly €50,000.    The remaining money was to be paid at the time of completion of the bungalow when papers and keys were to be handed over.

I agreed to use the local Spanish solicitor recommended by the agents (in Spain).    The contract included the date for completion (1 December 2005) and a clause giving a 6-month extension in case of  “unforeseen circumstances”.    Final date was therefore 1 June 2006.

Contact with the agents during the following months revealed that there was no progress in building and finally it was admitted that the project was not legal!

By May 06 there was no change and I cancelled the contract.    The Spanish solicitor finally achieved reimbursement having had to use a litigation solicitor.   Luckily, the contract included a bank guarantee and I received a cheque for the full amount in August 06.

I was asked to pay €1,381 for both the solicitors’ fees which I have not done as the initial solicitor should have known that the project was not legal in the first place.    By Spanish law I should have been compensated with 6% interest on the money already given.    I learned this from elsewhere.

Also, I incurred costs for a UK Spanish notary, power of attorney papers countersigned by the Foreign Office in London which were reqested by the litigation solicitor.    My additional costs were £137.

Almanzora Country Club is still unbuilt although agents in the UK say the papers will be issued sometime this year (!)

I consider I was fortunate to escape with little financial damage (due to the bank guarantee).   However, there are other off-plan projects which have no such guarantee.       

Written by: Margaret Milligan

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Dawn said:
08 July 2013 @ 15:03

My email is dadagys@rogers.com
Thanks, Dawn

Dawn said:
08 July 2013 @ 15:01

Mr Grateful,
Could you please give me the contact details for David Posados at GVA? I am looking for a reputable lawyer to complete a property purchase. I live in Canada, do not speak Spanish and I am afraid of using a crooked lawyer etc.
Any suggestions from others would be so appreciated. The property is in Nerja. Thanks so much. Dawn

Scotlogan said:
07 February 2011 @ 11:16

I won my court case all official in July 2007 and am due around €100,000, but have not seen a penny yet. My Spanish lawyer now has 3 attachments on 3 properties all unencumberred and we are awaiting the outcome of the auctions. We have claimed interest on my monies for the duration and the lawyer is due €16k which will also come from the developer as I was not prepared to pay the lawyer up front as I wanted his full 100% co-orporation. Watch this space.

Angela long said:
13 April 2010 @ 19:36

Good on you for getting your money back I am a simular position paid deposit property still not built builder in breech of contract. I thought becauce I bought through british would be safe. please can I have the name of your lawyer. Email longangela@rocketmail.com

Mr Grateful said:
08 April 2010 @ 17:44

We bought off plan at La condesa in 2003.I cancelled the contract late 2008 after it overran and never looked like being completed .After a court case in fuengirola in oct 09 I received back all the monies I had paid plus 10% compensation plus all legal fees.Took a long time but was worth it.
We used David Posadas at GVA in Marbella .

mike_congress said:
18 November 2009 @ 10:41

Good that some BG's are working. I have a bank guarantee with Banco Popular. My property is now 4 years late and has no LFO, yet the bank are refusing to honour the guarantee. Now on my second lawyer and having spent nearly 10,000 euros, and written to every MEP for SE England, the FCO, OLAF, Bank of Spain, the FSA, etc etc we have made no progress.

lilyflo1 said:
17 June 2009 @ 16:16

Please can I have the name of the lawyer pat.roskell@live.co.uk

lilyflo1 said:
05 April 2009 @ 18:37

Can anyone help me get my deposit back from Mallorca.

sliding doors said:
14 February 2009 @ 23:03

This article is really useful. I should be grateful if you or anyone else could mail (sanjsaab@hotmail.com) me the name of the lawyer used.

We've had one too many sleepless nights!

many thanks

lilyflo1 said:
09 February 2009 @ 17:39

Well done I also have brought off plan in Mallorca and can't get my money back. I would be interested in your solicitors name. Thank-you my e-mail is patroskell@hotmail.com

lilyflo1 said:
09 February 2009 @ 17:38

Well done I also have brought off plan in Mallorca and can't get my money back. I would be interested in your solicitors name. Thank-you my e-mail is patroskell@hotmail.com

lilyflo1 said:
09 February 2009 @ 17:38

Well done I also have brought off plan in Mallorca and can't get my money back. I would be interested in your solicitors name. Thank-you my e-mail is patroskell@hotmail.com

R2008 said:
12 January 2009 @ 01:12

Same story here with Polaris World. Can you please post more information about this spanish law entitling you to 6% interest on returned funds. This is of great interest to me and many Polaris World owners who have cancelled contracts due to late delivery. Margaret, can you give me the name and adress of your lawyer please

bestsisters said:
10 March 2008 @ 13:15

welldone margaret at least you`ve got deposit back.
i am still awaiting for my almost 5 years.
would you please send me a details of your lawyer.
my e-mail.Moscas@hotmail.co.uk

bestsisters said:
10 March 2008 @ 13:05

Hi All, I believe I am in a similar situation to a lot of currently El Zoco buyers. I am having many problems in getting my deposit back. Nobody at my initial estate agents is accepting responsibility for the loss of my deposit, as are Palmera Properties, who do not accept responsibility either. The builder has also apparantly not been in touch with Palmera for around 3 months. It has been recommended to me by Palmera Properties, that I seek legal representation- and so I was just wondering if anyone is in a similar situation, and what their next step was? Any information would be hugely appreciated. Many Thanks, Mo. E-mail.Moscars@hotmail.co.uk

garywalshe said:
09 February 2008 @ 16:01

I like Margaret recovered all of my monies back,also all legal interests, after a lenghty battle to do so.the builder was in serious breach of contract and completely refused to refund my deposits.I perservered and in the end I would actually profit from my ordeal.
I wish everyone luck.

stevepotter said:
02 April 2007 @ 18:58

Well done Margaret, our property was supposed to be completed Feb 06, but has still not been started. We signed a cancellation contract with the developer in Nov 06 but still have not had a penny back. Our Solicitors do not appear to be pushing the developer very hard to get our refund,does anyone know a good solicitor that could really help us out.


sarahp said:
12 March 2007 @ 16:26

Does anyone want to join forces with us in trying to get our money back - can anyone recommend a lawyer who has managed to get money back so far - this is in light of the license issue.
Help - Sarah

Les said:
02 March 2007 @ 21:13

Dear Margaret,

By any chance would you have the name of this lawyer or the details about claiming the 6% on the money invested.


vivaldi said:
06 February 2007 @ 10:16

Buying off plan in the south of Spain can be really dangerous approach. I've been living in Spain for some years now and I know of a spanish couple that bought an off plan in Valencia and had serious problems. This not only affects us english, but also spanish who live here. We luckily bought a lovely bungalow in south of Catalonia and everything came out superb, although we had serious problems with getting the mortgage, plus the fact the seller was about to sell the property to another couple! We were desperate, not being able to do nothing from the UK, but thanks to the effort of our agent we were able to buy it! If you want to purchase in Tortosa or surrounding areas visit their website www.thinkebro.com, they will be of help.

gillcefai said:
03 February 2007 @ 08:53

You hear so many horror stories relating to developers not delivering and how difficult it is to get your money back. It is comforting to know that there is a way out, sometimes.
I think we may end up going down the same route so this article couldn't have been timed better. Thanks Margaret.

phengineer said:
31 January 2007 @ 08:28

Can you please post more information about this spanish law entitling you to 6% interest on returned funds. This is of great interest to me and also many Polaris World owners who have cancelled contracts due to late delivery

mika said:
30 January 2007 @ 20:11

we too are suing the builder of our spanish property to be, didnt even discover that we had no bank garentee thanks to lawyer recomended by agent, usual story eh!
still sacked old lawyer now maria del castro is on the case hopfully ill get my deposit back also.

Richard Stent said:
30 January 2007 @ 18:50

Nice to know that Margaret has got her money back. We are still waiting to have our apartment completed at the La Condesa ge Mijas Golf near Mijas. It was supposed to be completed in late 2005 and is now scheduled to be finished in August this year. I mam not very happy with our lawyers who made mistakes with our contract. wE COMMITTED THE SIN OF TRUSTING THE AGENT'S LAWYERS . wE DO HAVE A BANKER'S Guarantee. Well done Margaret


daphebba said:
30 January 2007 @ 18:30

I have just read your comment on Almonzora C ountry Club we were going to purchase on this project but eventually purchased in Garrucha on the Atalaya Apartments project, but as yet our build has not progressed and completion date should be in December this year. We do have a copy of the Bankers Guarantee but if anything goes wrong you've given us some usefull information with your comments so thankyou for telling your story. Daphebba

ccas961 said:
30 January 2007 @ 12:55

Well good for you.I am still waiting for my full refond of £80,000 + 6%. I canceled contracts at Almanzora in July 2006, i have been promised it this week.I did submit an article under Chris - what else can go wrong, last year.

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