Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A catch 22 situation

Hundreds of residents who have been living on builders' electricity have now been advised by Orihuela town hall to pay off the debts incurred by their builders to Iberdrola in order to be able to contract their own supply.

Unless these urbanisations are completed, the town hall will not provide habitation certificates. Without a habitation certificate, Iberdrola will not give these people an electricity contract. Now will they give them a contract whilst there is an outstanding debt to Iberdrola for builder's supply.

So, some home owners have completed the building work on their urbanisations themselves and paid off the builder's debts in order to secure an electricity contract.

By law, builders have bank warrants which were taken out before work commenced. However it can take up to a year to enforce one of these warrants and in any case they do not cover the cost of completion of an urbanisation.

For the benefit of those who don't know: buying a new house is very different here in Spain to England:-

In Spain you make staged payments as the house is being built. Once your house is complete, you then have to wait for the urbanisation to be finished to get a habitation certificate which you need to get a proper water and electricity supply. Most urbanisations do not have, nor will ever have any form of mains gas supply* and in new areas you may have to wait years for a telephone line.

In the boom years, these differences were a mere inconvenience but now they have become a major concern.

For the benefit of my Spanish readers:-

When you buy a new house in England you pay a minimum deposit to secure the house and only pay the balance upon satisfactory completion. The day you move in, the house will be connected to mains supplies of water, gas, electricity etc. In the majority of cases, there will even be a phone line ready for you to contract with BT.

This is because each house is inspected individually at regular stages throughout the building process.

From the buyer's point of view, the British system is both safer and more satisfactory.

* Mains gas, where it is available, is supplied from large tanks of propane situated on the urbanisation. There is no national supply of natural gas via pipelines.

No comments: