Bank ordered to return money paid for off-plan property

2016-03-17 03:00:00

A Malaga court ruled this week that Banco Popular must pay a British woman back the money she paid for an off-plan property in 2003.
13 years ago, the woman bought a property on the Marbella Vista Golf development, built outside the town’s planning regulations (and therefore illegal). The off-plan home was not delivered on time and never received the first occupation licence. In the light of this, the woman along with several other owners refused to sign the title deeds and requested their contracts be declared null and void, and their money returned.
The developer refused and the would-be owners took their case to court. Over the next decade, and due to different interpretations of Spanish law, the various courts in charge of the case pronounced sentences with discrepant outcomes. Some courts ruled in favour of the buyers and others supported the developer’s position.
In 2013, the Supreme Court unified the criteria and sentenced in favour of all the buyers, rulingthat the developer must return all monies received. However, the definitive sentence arrived too late for the buyers since the construction company had already declared bankruptcy leaving hundreds of buyers without their money or property.
The British woman, however, persisted in her bid to get her money back and the latest sentence finally opens up the possibility of this happening.
In its ruling, the Malaga court states that the Banco Popular must return the money to the buyer. The court says there is clear proof that the bank received payment from the British woman and issued a guarantee for these amounts.
Despite this latest sentence, the saga may not yet be over since Banco Popular has the right to appeal against the court’s decision.source surinenglish