- New hope for clients who lost money to developers posing as estate agents
- Buyers have until 28 December to start legal proceedings
- 100s of buyers in UK and Ireland could regain lost deposits
CostaLuz Lawyers has spent years helping clients who lost deposits on Spanish properties that were never built or never finished, winning nearly 850 cases against property developers and banks. Now, the firm is providing fresh hope for buyers who have previously been unable to take action to regain their lost deposits.
The new hope centres around growing case law in Spain in relation to ‘hidden’ developers. These are companies that operated as estate agents but were actually developers or co-developers, such as Ocean View Properties on the Costa Blanca and Palmera Properties on the Costa del Sol.
In these cases, this dual role of agent/developer was often hidden from the buyer. However, CostaLuz Lawyers advises that there is growing evidence that its existence opens up the possibility of the buyer claiming against such companies for a refund.
“These companies received huge amounts of off-plan payments for properties that were never built or never finished. Until now, they have escaped the rules of Law 57/68 by presenting themselves as estate agents, but there is now some strong case law stating that the developer is whoever takes the off-plan payments on account. That means there is a last chance for buyers to claim for refunds from these companies.”
Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers
Law 57/68 is the regulation under which those who lost deposits have successfully claimed against developers and banks for a refund. Claimants should have started proceedings by 7 October but that deadline has now been extended to 28 December 2020. This means that those who are out of pocket have a new window of opportunity. According to CostaLuz Lawyers, this could affect hundreds of buyers in the UK and Ireland.
The CostaLuz Lawyers team has already helped over 1,500 clients in their quest for financial justice. Those who now want their shot at obtaining a refund need to start proceedings before the new December deadline.
“28 December is the date by which action has to be started. But that just means sending a Burofax or submitting the Preliminary Diligences procedure – the actual lawsuit can be filed later, provided this initial action has been taken before the deadline.”
Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers
Cases submitted to Spain’s First Instance Court will take around two years to complete, while those that go on to the Provincial Appeal court could take around three. Any cases that go all the way to the Supreme Court could mean that buyers are looking at five to ten years before receiving a final ruling.
For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit www.costaluzlawyers.es