Thursday, June 03, 2010

When it goes wrong

It is easy to be mislead into thinking the problems with constructors in Spain are only recent. However, the residents of El Sueño VII urbanisation in El Chaparral, Torrevieja can testify that this is not the case. Their problems go back 12 years when the properties were first built by Tecnología Urbanística (TU), the company that left hundreds of unfinished home in the Vega Baja area.

The residents had been surviving on builder’s supply with regular interruptions, until 18 months ago when their electricity was finally cut off with a bill for 16,879 Euros sent by Iberdrola. Challenging the size of the demand, the residents were informed that TU’s electrical connection was illegal.It also emerged that the builder had not paid water bills, leaving residents with another large debt.

The home owners were further thrown into panic when they visited the town hall only to be told their properties did not exist, and there was no planning permission or building licence for the urbanisation. It seemed the only thing that had been done legally was the land purchase.

At that stage the lengthy and costly process of obtaining all of the correct paperwork and certificates to legalise their homes began.
First they had to obtain a work’s certificate from the architect who informed them the original had not been completed as he had not been paid. They were then informed their electricity and water connections were not up to standard. As a result the owners of the 16 homes had no electricity for more than 18 months and had to pay out around 60,000 Euros to put right the faults left by their builder.

Last Friday morning with everything finally in place the homes were connected legally for the first time to water and electricity.

Yesterday, our teacher asked us if we had dreamt of living in Spain whilst we were working back in England. Yes we had but we never dreamt of the possible problems we might face buying and owning a house here and neither did these people who can only sleep soundly in their beds twelve years after arriving here.

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