Buyers cannot be forced to complete!

After a recent comment on my article regarding Aifos bankruptcy I thought I would look into forced completions on developments. I’m sure several of the people who will read this will know what I am talking about has several developers in the past have threatened buyers with legal action or the loss of invested monies should they not complete on the required dates.

As it stands, a recent ruling by the provincial court in Malaga has stated the that a buyer cannot be forced to complete on any property with an “uncertain future”. This primarily covers developments or urbanisations with any planning irregularities. A common occurrence for many Aifos projects as well as several other developments in the Marbella region.

This came about through an appeal by buyers in Santa Maria Green Hills, a golf development in Marbella that had become the poster child for illegal builds on the Costa del Sol.

So what happened? When the developer set a completion date the would-be buyers were unwilling to go to completion as no Licence of first occupation had been granted by the government, nor had the promised golf course been built.

As a result of the ruling the promoter, Marbella Vista Golf, had to return all stage payments and pay all legal costs! And on a further positive note this overturned a previous ruling by the Marbella courts that found in favour of the developers, who argued that they were not responsible for planning irregularities in the municipality.

This ruling should give hope to many buyers who are currently caught up in off-plan purchases that are showing irregularities.

And it does show as well, that although it may take time, justice can and does prevail in Spain!

Andrew Belles

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