Clients Vs. Developers
Wednesday, May 08 2013 @ 12:11 pm EDT
Contributed by: Anonymous
This is an investment for life, but once the transaction is consummated, in some cases, the relationship between the customer and the seller can be strained.
Usually, discomfort causes incompliance allegations to arise, and this may be claimed by the buyer of this asset and/or the property developer.
A case representing this situation is the issue in Playa Blanca, located in Farallon, Cocle.
A group of owners of the PH Founders – formed by four condo towers – as well as owners of Villa Azul and El Penon in Farallon, argue there are problems such as leaks and cracks, mishaps in gas pipes, in the drinking water supply, and they even see waste water flowing into a local river.
The complainants, mostly foreigners, said when they acquired their apartments they were offered access to the hotel, for using the largest pool in the region and the construction of a sports complex, but this is not being met. The apartments in these buildings were sold between $180,000 and $250,000.
Sandy Schwartz, spokesman and economic adviser of Urbanizacion Playa Blanca, downplayed the allegations, claiming that a tiny group, led by two Americans, is the one making all these unsubstantiated claims.
Schwartz argued this group of complainants does not pay their maintenance fee. In the four towers of the Founders buildings there is a delinquency in maintenance of $258,000.
Angela Sanson, building manager, appointed by the owners, said it is true that they are not paying their maintenance fee, but this is because they are not receiving the benefits promised by the developers. On the other hand, she ensures these problems affect about 300 apartments.
The discrepancies have reached up to the Municipality of Anton, the Magistrate of Rio Hato and the Ombudsman. They have also filed complaints with the National Environmental Authority and the Ministries of Health and Housing.
The owners of those properties alleged to have been affected with the restrictions imposed by the developers, who do not allow the access of gas service providers to the complex, or the representatives of the company in charge of repairing the elevators, among others.
Schwartz said he has only received far-from-peaceful actions and even violent actions from the owners, who do not show any interest in dialogue.
He stated each condominium must pay $50 per month for maintenance, a fee that has not changed during the last four years, despite the rise in minimum wage for workers in the region.
To a certain degree, the reality experienced at the PH Founders multiplies in other regions and other projects.
According to the records of the Authority for Consumer Protection and Competition (ACODECO) from January to March this year, 229 complaints had been reported, and out of this figure, 91 of these complaints are related to real estate.
The main reasons for these complaints are failure to fulfill a contractual obligation, such as the devolution of money and deposits, which together with other issues it reaches an amount exceeding $5.2 million.
Property developers, meanwhile, have always shown they have the largest amount of complaints in ACODECO, because annually around 11 thousand homes are sold in the country, but these claims do not represent a significant percentage if it’s compared with their market size. (Prensa)