Buy­ers' court vic­tory hailed

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - NEWS -

By Nuria Pérez A LE­GAL prece­dent has been es­tab­lished by the Supreme Court (TS) in Madrid for off­plan prop­erty buy­ers with their rul­ing in the case of a cou­ple who bought a prop­erty in 2005 at the failed Santa Ana del Monte de­vel­op­ment in Ju­milla.

Ac­cord­ing to the cou­ple's lawyers, this en­ables off-plan prop­erty buy­ers to re­cover all de­posits, re­gard­less of whether they had signed an agree­ment with the builder dur­ing any vol­un­tary sus­pen­sion of pay­ments.

Thanks to the judg­ment, the Santa Ana buy­ers will have around €50,000 re­funded (their de­posit plus in­ter­est) by the in­sur­ance com­pany So­ciedad de Garan­tía Recíp­roca de la Comunidad Va­len­ciana.

Lawyer Car­los Me­oro from Mur­cia noted that first tier and pro­vin­cial courts had orig­i­nally taken a dif­fer­ent view.

"Those buy­ers who had backed the vol­un­tary sus­pen­sion of pay­ments and had signed an agree­ment with the builder were not able to re­cover their money through the bank guar­an­tees, but that has changed for now," he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Sr Me­oro, around 1,500 prop­erty buy­ers at the Santa Ana del Monte de­vel­op­ment - most of them Bri­tish - could now re­cover their de­posits.

The im­por­tant judg­ment was is­sued in July and com­ple­ments another three rul­ings made ear­lier this year.

These back the right of off-plan prop­erty buy­ers to have all their de­posits re­funded - re­gard­less of whether they had a bank guar­an­tee or not - if their money was trans­ferred into a builder's spec­i­fied bank ac­count.

"The TS judges have ruled that this right should be guar­an­teed through law 57/68 in­stead of through the Span­ish Civil Code and they have changed the in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the law to ben­e­fit con­sumers," Sr Me­oro told CBNews.

"The prece­dent es­tab­lishes that the le­gal bank guar­an­tee is fully in­de­pen­dent from the sales con­tract and any changes."

LAW TO BE CHANGED TO SHORT-CHANGE

CON­SUMERS

How­ever, Sr Me­oro noted that law 57/68 law will be re­placed in Jan­uary by law 20/15, which will limit the rights es­tab­lished this year by the court prece­dents.

His in­ter­pre­ta­tion is that the new law will give more pro­tec­tion to the banks and in­sur­ance com­pa­nies, at the cost of the con­sumer.

This means that buy­ers will have to move fast if they want to take ad­van­tage of the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion.

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