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Selwo Hills, Costa del Sol?

Selwo Hills, Costa del Sol?

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Old Jul 6th 2004, 10:08 am
  #16  
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Question Re: Selwo Hills, Costa del Sol?

Originally posted by lynntfox
Hi

We completed our purchase on 7th June, and came back from Spain on 24th. We had a few minor snagging problems, some of which we dealt with ourselves because we were getting stressed by the 'manana' attitude. Overall we are very happy with our apartment, which is number 112, and the gardens should soon be looking very good. Like most people we have spoken to we are not happy that there is no children's pool. We have expressed our dissatisfaction by fax to Proibinsa but have not received a reply.

My husband, Trevor, is going out there on Wednesday, to attend the meeting on Friday. We feel that the best way to find out what is going on is to be at the meeting, and he would like to be on the committee. He is staying out there until Saturday, and then the next visit we have planned is from 1st to 9th October.

I think it would be a nice idea to start a Selwo email forum so that we can all keep in touch. What do you think?

Best wishes

Lynn
Hi Lynn,

What meeting?

Regards
Gary
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Old Jul 6th 2004, 5:09 pm
  #17  
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Hi Gary,

I think you will find that the meeting Lynn is referring to is
the First Committee Meeting for the owners of Selwo Hills.

I believe
that a committe will be set up and a president will be elected. I am
not sure what else will be discussed. We were only told about the
meeting on our visit to Selwo last week by one of the other residents
and therefore unfortunately are unable to attend.

Apparently once you
have completed on the purchase you will get a black box containing
copies of the title deeds, keys and details regarding the committee
meeting.

Our solicitors signed the deeds on our behalf and is sending
the black box to us by post, which should arrive tomorrow.

Fortunately
Lynn's husband Trevor will be attending the meeting, he is a retired
businessman who is very shrewd and we are sure that he will vote wisely.


Good Luck Trevor, we hope all goes well.


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Old Jul 6th 2004, 7:05 pm
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Hi ttbr.

Don't recognise you from your login name.
Did we meet you in June on our visit??
cheers
Roy & Marilyn
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Old Jul 7th 2004, 7:08 am
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Originally posted by ttbr2004
Hi Gary,

I think you will find that the meeting Lynn is referring to is the First Committee Meeting for the owners of Selwo Hills.

I believe that a committe will be set up and a president will be elected. I am not sure what else will be discussed. We were only told about the meeting on our visit to Selwo last week by one of the other residents and therefore unfortunately are unable to attend.

Apparently once you have completed on the purchase you will get a black box containing copies of the title deeds, keys and details regarding the committee meeting.

Our solicitors signed the deeds on our behalf and is sending the black box to us by post, which should arrive tomorrow.

Fortunately Lynn's husband Trevor will be attending the meeting, he is a retired businessman who is very shrewd and we are sure that he will vote wisely.

Good Luck Trevor, we hope all goes well.
Thanx ttbr2004,

As luck would have it, I go out tomorrow for a weeks break so it will fall "sweet" for me. Will be able to see for myself what everone has been talking about and sit in on the meeting!!

Way hey!
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Old Jul 7th 2004, 9:00 am
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Originally posted by Roy Leon
Hi ttbr.

Don't recognise you from your login name.
Did we meet you in June on our visit??
cheers
Roy & Marilyn

Hi Roy

You did meet us in June - our apartment is in the same block as Tommy & Yvonne's - apt 112 - Piso Leopardo - the apartment with the animal print candles.

ttbr is the user name for Jackie, with whom we have been conversing/emailing for a couple of month's before we knew about this website/Forum.

Lynn

Last edited by lynntfox; Jul 7th 2004 at 9:03 am.
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Old Jul 7th 2004, 9:06 am
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Originally posted by Gary Moffatt
Thanx ttbr2004,

As luck would have it, I go out tomorrow for a weeks break so it will fall "sweet" for me. Will be able to see for myself what everone has been talking about and sit in on the meeting!!

Way hey!

Hi Gary

My husband, Trevor, is going over this morning and will be there until Saturday night. He is in apartment 112 and on his own, so knock on the door and introduce yourself - he will be pleased to meet you.

Regards

Lynn
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Old Jul 7th 2004, 9:11 am
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Originally posted by Gary Moffatt
Thanx ttbr2004,

As luck would have it, I go out tomorrow for a weeks break so it will fall "sweet" for me. Will be able to see for myself what everone has been talking about and sit in on the meeting!!

Way hey!
Hi Gary,

Have a really good time, that is indeed lucky as regards the meeting. I hope all goes well.

Jackie
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Old Jul 7th 2004, 10:56 pm
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Default selwo hills

Glad to see that the site is becoming so active. And now we have been over ourselves ( Jude & Dave in Block 3) we recognise some names such as Roy & Marilyn and Tommy & Yvonne.

Overall we were very pleased with the complex but shared the disappointment with the grounds. I rather think Muller rather than Proibinsa should take the blame as presumably Muller designed the misleading brochures. The actual specifications just refer to 2 pools ( presumably one for each site) and tropical gardens. It was certainly Muller who misled us about where Blocks 1-4 would be to our great annoyance.

Thanks for advice on furniture. For our part we would recommend Casa Rattan and Jean's Emporium ( both in the small commercial complex almost opposite heading to Malaga) as worth a look with the benefit of delivering the same day. Also we would highly recommend Pete Rogers who left a flyer offering services in the apartments. He did a lovely job for us on lights and mirrors and also offers a rental management service.

We look forward with interest to the results of the meeting on Friday which we will miss and to coming out again.

Jude & Dave
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Old Jul 9th 2004, 10:12 am
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My partner and I have just bought on Selwo Hills 2, I hope you don't mind putting my nose in and reading about all your experiences with regard to completions, gardens, quality of final finish etc. I have all this to come ! I think it would be really helpful to exchange thoughts from time to time.

Could someone tell me when the estimated time of completion was and how far out it was ?

It is our intention to live at Selwo for most of the year returning only to visit friends and family.

Anyway now that I have found this site I will tune in regular, in the meantime I wish you all the best of luck with your new purchases.
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Old Jul 9th 2004, 8:35 pm
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Originally posted by Keith Morris
My partner and I have just bought on Selwo Hills 2, I hope you don't mind putting my nose in and reading about all your experiences with regard to completions, gardens, quality of final finish etc. I have all this to come ! I think it would be really helpful to exchange thoughts from time to time.

Could someone tell me when the estimated time of completion was and how far out it was ?

It is our intention to live at Selwo for most of the year returning only to visit friends and family.

Anyway now that I have found this site I will tune in regular, in the meantime I wish you all the best of luck with your new purchases.
Hi Keith,

I don't mind at all, I am only too happy to help.

If I remember correctly completion was scheduled for April/May. However we were told that they would probably be ready in March.

We actually signed the deeds on 30th June, after that you have to wait 15 days to allow them time to connect the water, electricity etc. so our first holiday in our new home is 19th July.

Mistakes we made:

1. We sent the money out to our solicitors on the 1st March ready for completion, that meant three months lost interest.

2. We thought we would take advantage of booking cheap flights early and took a chance of booking them for the end of March. When they told us it would be another month we paid a fee and moved the flights to April. They then told us it wouldn't be ready in April either so we had to let the flights go.

From our experience don't book anything until you have firm dates given to you. Otherwise you just stress yourself more and end up losing money.

Also, if you can, it is best not to sign the title deeds until all the faults have been fixed in the property. (In our case we couldn't afford to keep flying backwards and forewards re-checking the snagging).

Apart from a list of minor things that are wrong with the property our air conditioning does not work. At the time we were told not to worry it was probably just a minor job and it would be corrected straight away, so we believed them and we signed the deeds.

Now we are back home again we have heard that we are not the only ones who have faulty air conditioning, there are lots of people. I have emailed Karina from Muller who has told me that due to the fact that so many of them are faulty it may be some time before it gets fixed and that there is nothing she can do. She suggested that I contact the air conditioning company direct.

I don't want to sound all doom and gloom because, believe it or not, I do believe that the complex will be lovely, and it will be worth it in the end.

My family and I are looking forward to the day when all this is all sorted out and we can sit on the balcony with a cold drink and think wow, this is the life!

Forewarned is forearmed as they say!

Good Luck and if there is anything else just let me know.
Jackie

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Old Jul 9th 2004, 9:26 pm
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Hi we've just bought 1712 in the small block. What news from the meeting tonight?

Linda
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Old Jul 11th 2004, 4:34 pm
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Hello fellow Selwo owners

I´ve just been reading the various messages and would like to add my own input. My name is Andy Ramage and my wife, Karen and I have just completed on apartment 1611 ( in the smaller section). We live in Sevilla and have recently bought a couple of apartments on the Costa del Sol, including Selwo. As we have 14 years experience of living here and forming part of a Comunidad de Vecinos I wanted to comment on some of the decisions made at the first Comunidad (Community) meeting.

The meeting was to say the least chaotic but that was almost to be expected. The upshot of the meeting was that we have officially appointed an Administrator who in conjunction with the president will take care of the daý to day running of the Community. She will organise all the maintenance contracts and represent us in any conversations / disputes with the developer , Town hall and suppliers. Her name is María Alvarez Planell and she speaks good English. She currently manages several other developments in the area. Administrators are required to be independent advisors, free from the influence of the developer. However in reality the initial Administrator is generally appointed by the developer as they have to get things up and running so they go to someone they can trust. In the short to medium term we have to ensure that she´s batting on our side at all times. I have no reason to doubt María's professionalism but everyone should know that we as a Community can switch Administrators as we see fit. Like all of our suppliers she has to come up to scratch and it´s down to the President and his team to ensure that she does.

We also elected a President , Vice president and 2 or 3 other volunteers. Their names will be circulated to all owners together with the minutes of the meeting. The role of President is an important one and carries with it certain legal responsibilities. Anyone who is up for the job should look into this and check on what they are getting themselves into. In a development like Selwo it´s important that the President is a full-time resident as he/ she needs to be available to deal with matters that may arise and to countersign cheques etc.

The biggest bone of contention at the meeting was that Proibinsa didn´t send a representative! They were under no legal requirement to do so but frankly it was an appalling lapse on their part and demonstrates an obvious unwillingness to face our criticisms regarding the gardens. As you probably know there are a lot of people who are very disappointed with the presentation of the gardens and the absence of kids pools, waterfalls etc. The fact that the gardens aren´t finished yet whilst a pain isn´t the real concern. Proibinsa have a team of guys working there every day and it shouldn´t be long before the planting, turfing is completed. What we do about the garden design is a bigger and more complex issue. The absolute minimum we all need to do is send a written complaint to Proibinsa. Moaning amongst ourselves will not get the problem solved, maybe 108 letters of complaint will!

Unfortunately those of us who have signed our contracts have legally accepted things as they stand. That doesn´t mean we can´t change things but it weakens our position. I would ask that those who as yet have not signed, make a lot of noise. If Proibinsa see that people are delaying completion and costing them money they may be more amenable to at least putting in kids' pools. A few people at the meeting said that they had no choice but to sign on a given date. That is most definitely NOT the case. Nobody is obliged to complete on a purchase until the Town Hall have issued a Licencia de Primera Ocupación - and we haven´t got ours yet. This is basically a legal document issued by the Town Hall confirming that Proibinsa have met all their requirements and that the development/service roads have been finished to the agreed standards. The only reason that Karen and I signed was that we had a time limit on our mortgage offer, otherwise we would have held out until all the paperwork was in place.

The other major piece of business discussed was the budget for maintaining the development . It was eventually approved which worries the hell out of me as the figures quoted seem disproportionally high. The first years budget is around 290,000 euros which divided between 108 apartments is €2685pa or €223 a month. In reality this figure will vary as 3 bed apartments will pay pay more than 2 beds. The charge is fixed by calculating the square metres of each apartment as a percentage of the whole development.

That is a very high community charge! We have another apartment in a very similar development in Marbella and we only pay €136. The gardens are probably 3 times bigger and the rest of the maintenance requirements are very similar to Selwo, with the exception of night time security. I would strongly recommend that all maintenance contracts are looked at very closely before signing. Experience proves that if you start off with a high community charge it will not get cheaper as time goes on. We need to negotiate the best possible contracts from Day One. We are a large Community and as such represent a juicy bit of business to the local suppliers. It is important that all contracts must detail exactly what is required of the supplier down to the smallest detail. That is the only way we will have any comeback if we deem that the service isn´t up to scratch. Part of the Administrators job is to check that all services are carried out satisfactorily. Unfortunately as time goes on a lot of Administrators limit themselves to signing cheques. It is also a sad fact of life that some Administrators get a kickback from their pet suppliers, so looking for the best price isn´t always in their interest. This is where the President and the Committee play a vital role in cracking the whip.

On a practical note Community minutes are circulated to individual apartments. If you are a permanent resident there´s no problem but if you live overseas you may not get to see them. I would recommend that you ask the Administrator to send copies to your home address. Her details are as follows:

María Alvarez Planell
Rivera Abogados, c/ Real 72, 3ª planta
29680 Estepona
Tel: 00 34 952 798080
fax: 00 34 952 798210

I agree that this forum is a great place for keeping up to date and for sharing opinions. I am going to write to María and ask her to notify all the owners of the existence of this forum. The more communication we enjoy the better for all of us.

On a final note I would ask everyone to think hard about employing full-time security guards. It is a huge expense and on a personal note I really don´t think it is necessary. I got the distinct impression at the meeting that there are a lot of paranoid people about - time to stop reading the Daily Mail / Express!!. We´ve lived here 14 years and have never been burgled. Our apartment complex in Marbella has no security apart from locks and common sense and one year on we haven´t had any break-ins. Obviously it could happen but I really don´t want to live in Colditz. If you are of a nervous disposition, get an alarm. As more and more people settle in to the complex we can keep an eye on our own security. How many of you live in gated community in Britain?

Now that I have set the cat among the pigeons I´ll sign off. I look forward to a lively correspondence.

Best Regards
Andy Ramage
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Old Jul 11th 2004, 6:21 pm
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Hi Andy,

I was greatly relieved to read your letter. It contained such a lot of common sense. Especially about keeping the community charge to an affordable limit. Crime on the Costa is significantly less than at home.
With all your experience with apartments on the Costa, I wonder why you did not volunteer for a responsible post at the meeting.
I can understand that it is a lot of work and a lot lof responsibility, but you do seem to be the only one with the relevent experience.
I had the impression that the inaugral meeting was to elect a president and a committee. That of course takes the pressure off Proibinsa. What would have happened, I wonder if no one volunteered to take on these responsibilities, on the grounds that the gardens and pool were not to plan or expectations. This is a retorical question now as the pressure is off the developer.
I think it is a terrific idea that everyone (108?) write to Proibinsa with our comments/dissatisfaction about the pool and garden.
Trouble is some of us only have the address of Müller Consult.
Who is the Head Sherang in Proibinsa, responsible for this site and what is his/her address.???
I will definitely write, but I feel that he/she KNOWS that he/she is already off the hook.
Unfortunately I'm not yet a permanent resident. I have 2 more years in gainful employment. I'm sure by then most of our problems will be resolved. Or at least solved by ouselves. But I do think we can at least forewarn prospective clients in the Selwo Hills II complex. Some are already reading this forum.
Proibinsa did not send a representative of course, because they know that the meeting would deteriorate into a slanging match aimed at the rep from Proibinsa because of the dissatisfaction with the Garden & Pool. This may well have resulted in no action being taken and no community commitee being formed and Proibinsa still responsible for the common areas. They would not have liked that scenario.
I have to disagree with your comment about people not having to sign by a certain date. We were misinformed and misled by Müller/Proibinsa over a number of issues. We also drove down to Estepona from Amsterdam, after booking 3 weeks leave from my company. To hold up proceedings and drive back would have been an unacceptable cost and delay. I'm sure many other people would have been under similar pressure to sign. Müller told us there would be 3 months notice to sign. In actual fact we had 1 week. That was to book leave, arrange a last minute flight in high season for the inspection. Arrange the 3 day drive, and the accommodation whilst awaiting delivery. I believe that these unnecessary rushed arrangements were a deliberate policy move on behalf of the developers so that we would be vunerable and sign up whilst under some duress.
Knowing what I know now I would definitely make different arrangements and delay the signing indefinitely if necessary. I still have an unsettled dispute over the inital deposit of €3000. Anyone with similar problems would be well advised to contact me a.s.a.p. I don't wish to elaborate in this forum at this stage.
Also I was under the impression that we were only signing for our apartment. We were led to believe that the Garden and the Pool was the joint responsibility of the Community Committee to deal with.
Nevertheless my wife Marilyn & I are delighted with our apartment and even more delighted with all the wonderful, friendly and helpful people we met on or recent stay.
I believe that it augers well for our future that we already have a strong sense of community amongst such fine people.
Thanks again for your comments Andy, I hope we will all hear lots more from you.
Best wishes to everyone
Roy & Marilyn.
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Old Jul 11th 2004, 7:19 pm
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Dear Andy and Roy,

Thank you so much for your updates and comments regarding the resident's meeting.
I am apalled at the proposed community charge. I have friends who have appartments in the Costa del Sol and their community charges are a fraction of those proposed at Selwo Hills.

I wasn't able to attend the meeting but perhaps you can answer a few questions for me.
Is the president's position a voluntary one? If the president is paid how much is he paid? Is the vice president position voluntary or is it paid? If it is paid how much? How much will we be paying the administrator?

I am perplexed at the decision to employ a security guard. My friends who live in non gated communities do not feel the need to employ a security guard. We have five keys to the complex and in my view the greatest threat to security arises not from intruders breaching the gates and the locks but from people who are renting. Even in such circumstances it appears to be unneccessary to employ a security guard. If some residents are worried despite the gates, locks and shutters it might be more sensible for them to have alarms fitted rather than expect those of us who are not concerned to shoulder the burden of such costs.

I was furious regarding the state of the gardens. when we bought in February 2002 we were promised a children's playground, a fully equipped gymnasium, a waterfall and kid's pools. I wrote to Probinesa and recieved an almost unintelligable reply back to the effect that the promises of a children's playground, splash pools etc were not contractual.

Look forward to hearing other people's views.

Linda.
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Old Jul 11th 2004, 7:49 pm
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Just a thought should we collect email addresses so that we can correspond?

let me know and I will send mine


Linda
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