Saturday, November 29, 2008

A sorry tale

Stanley Chinman and his partner's story could become all too familiar.

They sold their property in the UK and moved to Spain to find their new home in 2007, deciding to take their time in order to buy the right house. They used the services of a real estate agent and after visiting several sites decided to buy a detached villa off-plan, which should have been completed by December 31, 2007.

The Urbanización Paola IV near VillasMaría II in San Miguel de Salinas was promoted by Costa Blanca Baleares, built by the local Unión Promotora Torrevieja SL and sold through Atlas International.

They rented an apartment in Orihuela Costa until their home was finished and bought most of the furniture and white goods for their new home. However, the first problems turned up very quickly. They had to replace their villa for another more expensive design when they discovered a two-storey property would be built in front of theirs and they would miss out on their views.

In June, six months late,  they were informed by Atlas International that the property was finished and they could move in after completing. However when  they visited the site, the house had no windows, the walls had not been fully plastered and the kitchen was not in.

Their solicitor advised them not to complete until the habitation certificates had been issued by the town hall. Only four owners have moved onto the urbanisation and they are living on the builder's supply of power and water.

In a further blow Mr Chinman and his partner have now been informed that the builder, Unión Promotora Torrevieja, has applied for voluntary suspension of payments, which has now been accepted by the mercantile court. Creditors had been given a month to apply.

The couple are afraid that if they pay the builder, they will have to live on a building site for many years, as has happened on several urbanisations in Orihuela Costa. Mr Chinman's partner is also worried the water and the electricity could be cut off anytime as the company is in suspension of payments.

It looks like the Los Altos de la Pedrera development here at Villas Andrea is in the same situation. Some of the houses are occupied whilst others stand awaiting completion. There has been no sign of work on the site since July.

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