8,500 Britons affected by the notorious problems of Land Grab; the Law of the Coasts; illegal properties; demolition orders and the abuse of bank guarantees.

06:03 El NACHO 0 Comments

ANGRY EXPATS are attacking Spain’s attempts to kick-start its housing market by attracting overseas investment with the promise it is a safe place to invest.
They maintain Madrid is in denial over the number of innocent victims affected by problems in the property sector and are directly challenging figures quoted by Spanish Ministers.

And a petition is being raised calling for King Juan Carlos I, the Governor of the Bank of Spain, and Premiers Zapatero of Spain and Cameron of Great Britain, amongst others, to intervene and fast track complaints through the courts.

It is organised on behalf of thousands of people who began to purchase off plan homes and saw homes in the sun half-finished or never started as builders went bust in the recession.

Some were never given the legally required bank guarantees or those issued with the certificates found banks refused to honour them.
The first stage of the Spanish government’s promotion ended earlier this month after a presentation across Northern Europe to the institutional market – the road show will return to pitch to the commercial sector, although dates have yet to be set.

Ministers Jose Blanco and Beatriz Corredor attempted to highlight the strengths of the economy and promote the country for its “transparency and legal security of buying a property in Spain.”

In short the message was that now was the perfect time to snap up a bargain with prices at a record low after the boom years of construction.
And in response to protests from victims, Ms Corredor said there were around 850,000 Brits living in Spain and problems applied to less than 1% of them.
Keith Rule is the organiser of the ‘Bank Guarantees In Spain Petition’ and takes exception to the figures – he claims according to the Minister there were less than 8,500 Britons affected by the notorious problems of Land Grab; the Law of the Coasts; illegal properties; demolition orders and the abuse of bank guarantees.
“The many thousands, including myself, who paid their off-plan deposits in good faith and are now experiencing bank guarantee problems, are totally unaccounted for and not included in any property register,” he said.

“Therefore they cannot possibly be among Sra. Corredor’s figure of 850,000 Britons ‘living in Spain’ as they were denied that opportunity due to the fact their properties were either not completed or in many cases not even started.”

And he added: “There are hundreds of half-finished or abandoned developments all over Spain on which purchasers are at serious risk of losing their off-plan deposits dues to developers and banks failing to issue or honour the legally required guarantees.”
Keith heads the La Figuerinas Finca Parcs Action Group in Agramon near Hellin, where only 36 of a projected 617 homes were built. He said there were 100 purchasers there with bank guarantee issues.

He said in abandoned Murcia projects by one developer alone there were some 2,000 people who had paid deposits and had guarantee issues, and last week Keith was assessing the situation in Orihuela.

He alleges much of the money advanced by people seeking a home in the sun had vanished into “a black hole”  as banks had allowed developers to withdraw funds and put the money to use other than the construction of the properties.

And Keith said it was totally unacceptable for the Spanish government to force victims into expensive legal action.
He said the Bank of Spain supervised the banking sector and had done nothing despite finding some banks “had not acted with due diligence.”

He said Mr Zapatero told the European Parliament in July last year that Spain insured laws were upheld and respected, the politician adding the courts were responsible to apply the law and: “ We stand shoulder to shoulder with those people, who perhaps have had the wool pulled over their eyes in the Spanish Property market.”

But Keith said Mr Zapatero had failed to address the issues – while the petition would gather detailed evidence “relating to corrupt developers and negligent estate agents, banks and lawyers” and be presented to the authorities in Spain and the UK later this year.

The petition and more information can be found at www.bankguaranteesinspain.com and a petition calling for UK Minister for Europe David Lidington to halt the Spanish road show is at www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-the-spanish-property-roadshow-open-letter-to-davl.html