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Selwo Hills, Costa del Sol?

Selwo Hills, Costa del Sol?

Old Jul 16th 2004, 5:31 pm
  #46  
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Default Re: selwo hills

Originally posted by andy ramage
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.
Having been there, done that with living on an Urb in Spain, bear in mind that the 10%ers, who are expats making a living out of other expats and referrals, really do hike up the community charges.

It's not just the administrators who take a cut, but often the Presidents and committee as well. It got so out of hand where I lived that a group of residents had to take legal action against our president.
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Old Jul 19th 2004, 7:30 pm
  #47  
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I attach a copy of my letter to the administrator , following the examples of others. Thanks for the advice on this site.

jude mclaggan



Dear Madam,

Selwo Hills

I understand that you have been appointed as temporary administrator for Selwo Hills. We purchased Apt 312 on 25 June.

Will you please make sure that any documents for us concerning Selwo Hills are sent to the address above in England or to my email address.

We are writing to Proibinsa concerning our disappointment over the gardens and pools, shared by many purchasers. We would like you as administrator to press Proibinsa to deliver what we expected when we bought. In particular the lack of children’s pools considerably detracts from the amenities and will affect both the rentability of the apartments and their resale value. In addition the developer’s decision to plant tufts of grass rather than lay turf around the pool area makes it virtually unusable this season. A simple solution would be to put a broad area of paving all round the pool so residents could sunbathe and get in and out of the pool without carrying mud into it. Or of course turf this area as seems to have been planned originally.

Our other main concern in contacting you is to query the provisional administration fees. Experience suggests these are very high for a development of this size, up to twice as much as elsewhere on the Costa de Sol. This may be because of the decision to employ security guards reached at the first meeting on 9 July. Will you provide a break down of the budget costs for us and other members please.

We understand that the decision to have security guards was taken by a majority of the 30 people at the meeting on 9 July ie less than 10% of owners were in favour. We and other owners received no formal notification of the meeting and were told about it only after we reached Spain with return flights booked. Had we all been notified in advance we and others could have timed our visit to enable us to attend.

Presumably all owners are entitled to participate in budget decisions. We and many other owners with whom we have been in touch have no wish for security guards at Selwo Hills and doubt their presence will have any effect. Keeping side gates closed and locked and activating the electronic controls for the garage doors, so that there is only one entrance for non key holders will be far more effective.

If the cost of guards is a significant part of the budget please let us know how you intend to seek the views of all owners on this expense. Certainly it should not be included until this has been done.

What has happened to the fee of e250 paid to Proibinsa in respect of the gardens when we signed the contracts? This will amount to over e250,000 for the complex. On what will this be spent given that Proibinsa is responsible for the initial landscaping and planting of gardens?

Given that many owners live outside Spain it would be helpful if you set up a website for Selwo Hills where you could place documents such as the budget and owners could communicate with you and each other. Can you arrange this ?



Regards,





Jude and Dave McLaggan
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Old Jul 20th 2004, 2:17 am
  #48  
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Have sent an email to '[email protected]' along similar lines to you.
I do believe like others on this site that there is benefit in making sure that our voices are heard early - otherwise we risk being marginalized.

Thanks for your example and I hope others will follow.

MD (Piso 16120
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Old Jul 20th 2004, 7:21 pm
  #49  
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by judemclaggan
I attach a copy of my letter to the administrator , following the examples of others. Thanks for the advice on this site.

jude mclaggan



Hi Jude,

I have already written to the administrator and Proibinsa with this same letter. I attach it for the perusal of all. I am left wondering when we will get the minutes of the meeting, it has been some time now. Those of us lucky enough to have e-mail should have received something by now.

I was also wondering about the possibilities of us all engaging an independent lawyer, just to give us an opinion of our legal position. Under the circumstances I can only assume that we are very fortunate that the apartments have met the advertised criteria. I also wonder if there is a 'Trades Description' law in Spain and if so can it be applied to this case.

What's to stop us putting a big poster up on our land, facing the Selwo II complex. It would be a blow up of the delightful landscaping in the Sales Brochure, and next to it a picture of the simple square pool that we now have.
The Text under in BIG letters could say something like:-
Sales Brochure Promise...= After Sales Let Down.
Beware of deception!!!

Anyway that's enough vitriolic out of my system, I'll barely have enough left for a sneer.

Here's my letter to Proibinsa:-

Dear Sirs,

My name is Roy Leon and I have purchased apartment 602 in the Selwo Hills Urbanization. I will begin by saying that my wife Marilyn and I are both delighted with the apartment.
However I write to express our bitter disappointment with the revised plan for the expected Water Features.
Looking at the excellent Sales Booklet for the Selwo Hills complex we can clearly see that there are a number of water features presented on several of the pages. Such things as a waterfall, a freeform pool, a kiddies pool, little streams with wooden bridges over them.
The very last page has a very nice artist impression of an aerial view. Here too are seen the water features mentioned above, plus two more very attractive water areas directly in front of Block 7 & 8.
You probably cannot imagine the abject disappointment that we all feel being presented with one deep square pool in place of this splendid landscaping that we were expecting.

I have just re-read the ‘Memoria de Calidades’ and the ultimate paragraph called ‘Oservaciones’ seems to be the get out clause, in that it says, I believe,

“This list can be modified at the discretion of the Directorate, and/or for technical reasons, market demand and supplies, without detriment of the final quality.�

I believe that I have translated the word ‘menoscabo’ correctly to mean ‘detriment.’
It is therefore our contention that the delivered product is so far removed from the delightful Sales Prospective that it is in our view a great detriment.
It would have been detrimental to our decision to purchase had we known that the end result would have been such a poor attempt to come up to expectations.
It is detrimental to the re-sale value of the property.
It is detrimental to the renting potential of these properties.
It is detrimental to aesthetic value of the complex as a whole.
It is detrimental to the residents who anticipated something resembling the brochure.
It is detrimental to the quality of enjoyment and relaxation of residents and guests.
It is detrimental to the once good name of Müller and Proibinsa.


We are perplexed as to how such a deception can be achieved in a civilized western country such as Spain and a fellow member of the European Union. We thought the days of cheap underhand tricks to cheat foreign investors, was a thing of the past in Spain. We most certainly did not expect this kind of deception to be perpetrated by a company of repute.

We sincerely hope that the errors made will be re-dressed in a suitable manner to the satisfaction of all parties, in so doing we believe it will redeem the good name that was once was Müller/Proibinsa.

We thank you for reading this letter and giving it your consideration.
Yours sincerely




Roy & Marilyn Leon.
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Old Jul 21st 2004, 9:45 am
  #50  
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Hi all

Just a short note to post a copy of our letter to the top man at Proibinsa.

D. Oscar García Cerecedo
PROIBINSA
Pº de la Castellana 140, planta 16
28046 Madrid

21st July 2004


Dear Sir

Re: Selwo Hills 1

My wife and I recently completed the purchase of apartment 1611 in the Selwo Hills 1 complex.

Whilst we are very satisfied with the quality and finish of the apartment blocks we are very disappointed and angry with the finished design of the gardens. The current design bears no resemblance to the plans / artists impressions included in your promotional material and we feel we are victims of a deliberate misrepresentation on your part. Müller may have printed the brochures but you approved the content so the responsibility is yours.

Where are the childrens’ pools? Where are the waterfalls and streams ? Why do we have small, square pools which would look more at home in an inner-city apartment block? I do not know of any apartment complex that does not have a childrens pool or at least a suitable shallow area in the main pool. Will Proibinsa accept legal liability for any fatal accidents to children?

At a time when promoters in the Costa del Sol are investing heavily in creative landscaping you have chosen a bland, dull design in order to save money at the expense of your investors. Might I remind you that without our down-payments you would never have got Selwo off the drawing board. And we made those down-payments on the basis of the sales portfolio presented to us by yourselves and Müller.

Your cost cutting policies have severely reduced both the rental potential and the re-sale value of our property and we must insist that you present a revised plan of the gardens to include childrens pools and water features ,- to be implemented within the next three months.

We are in contact with many other owners and we know that they share our views. This is not a problem that will just go away and if we, as a group of investors, are obliged to take legal advice and mount a legal challenge we will. We are already in contact with investors in Selwo 2, advising them of the pitfalls that lay ahead.

When we chose to invest in Selwo we did so because Proibinsa and Müller enjoyed a reputation for integrity and professionalism. Let us hope that you take the necessary steps to restore what is now a very tarnished reputation.

We look forward to receiving your response.

Yours sincerely




Andrew Ramage Karen Ramage
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Old Jul 21st 2004, 7:47 pm
  #51  
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Hi All

Just letting you all know that we have just emailed '[email protected]', with our concerns.

Our email address is [email protected].

Thanks

Paul Kim West
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Old Jul 22nd 2004, 8:43 am
  #52  
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Well that was quick. I´ve just had a faxed reply to my letter to Proibinsa in which I have been threatened with legal action if I dare to defame the good name of Proibinsa, i.e. telling Selwo 2 investors what´s in store for them!!

I think Proibinsa have made their position very clear - they aren´t going to do anything to remedy the situation. I´d be interested to hear from others about the responses to their letters.

In the meantime I'm off to England for holidays!

Keep in touch.
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Old Jul 22nd 2004, 9:29 am
  #53  
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And so it goes on!



D. Oscar García Cerecedo
PROIBINSA
Pº de la Castellana 140, planta 16
28046 Madrid

22nd July 2004


Dear Sir

Re: Selwo Hills 1

I have just received your reply and cannot say that I am surprised by the tone and content. A guilty conscience often manifests itself through aggression and threats. You seem to have a problem distinguishing the difference between “defamatory information� and the truth. I don´t. And I shall continue to recount my own experiences to anyone who cares to listen

Yours sincerely



Andrew Ramage
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Old Jul 25th 2004, 9:51 pm
  #54  
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Hi,

We're in 1712 (small block)and arrive on 13th and if anyone is around we'd appreciate a call. It would be really great to meet our neighbours. I have no idea how to work the AC, hot water or anything else so if any one has worked this out it would be good.

Has anyone been out recently? I wondered how the gardens are looking and if the pool would be usable.




Best wishes

Linda

Last edited by nazarko; Aug 3rd 2004 at 9:12 pm.
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Old Jul 25th 2004, 10:08 pm
  #55  
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Hi

Still haven't heard a word from the administrator. The websites advertising Selwo are still showing the freeform pools and splash pools that we all imagined we were getting as do the Selwo 2 websites. Has anyone heard anything? It doesn't seem a good start if the person we are paying to administer doesn't reply to email.

Roy and Andy you are right that this penny pinching has reduced the enjoyment and value of our properties. The pool is so deep that its over my youngest child's head. The splash pools and the freeform pool influencedour decsion to buy. I think that Pobinesa think that we are disorgansied and that they'll get away with ignoring the design on the pool. I feel that we need to sort this out. Anyone have any ideas what we should do next?

Linda

Last edited by nazarko; Aug 3rd 2004 at 9:12 pm.
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Old Jul 28th 2004, 7:06 pm
  #56  
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Hi everyone.

I have just received a very polite and apologetic e-mail from Oscar Garcia of Proibinsa.
He regrets our disappointment with the water features but assures us that they have done everything in accordance with the project drawn up by the Architectrual Management in strict accordance with the law.
He goes on to explain that the Sales Brochures are purely illustrative and not contractual.
He assures us that when the common areas are complete we will have a very beautiful complex.

His final line had us worried for a moment.......I cut and paste it below.

We will like to pleasure you in someway, but in this case, it is not possible.

Perhaps we should be grateful for small mercies!

Before I received his e-mail I had spoken to Tommy on the phone and he had just returned from a meeting with the Administrator. His message was very clear that Proibinsa would NOT be making any changes or additions to the existing landscaping plans.

I also spoke to my Dutch Agent who found me the Apartment in Selwo. He is also a good friend.
I explained the situation to him and he was apalled, as he is still selling plots in Selwo II
He told me of a very good Spanish friend who was also a Lawyer and very straight.
He is on holiday this week and back next. He will talk to him about our problem and try to establish our position in law.
If he feels we have no case he will tell us directly. If on the other hand he feels we are being misguided by our planted administrator he will advise us of what action to take.
In this event it will need someone on-site to meet with him. I mentioned this to Tommy but he felt that he already had enough on his plate. Which I fully understand, as he is off on his travels in Sept.
Anyway we can cross that bridge when we come to it....if we want to.

I'll keep you all posted with developements that I hear about.
Best wishes and greetings from Holland
Cheers
Roy & Marilyn
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Old Jul 30th 2004, 11:11 pm
  #57  
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Hi everyone,

finally got a reply from the administrator. I've posted it and my reply below.

Dear Ms Planell,

Thank you for finding the time to send me this brief reply. I was informed of the meeting five days before it took place when I received a letter from Probinesa on completion. I am sure that you can understand that this is insufficient notice to plan another trip to Spain given that I have a company to run. I am unclear how you consider that it is possible to delegate a proxy vote. there are several barriers to this:

I have no idea who the other residents are and no way of contacting them
Even if I had this information I had insufficient time to do this
It is normal when important items such as a budget of around 300,000 euros is proposed that details of such a budget with a detailed breakdown are circulated in advance. This was not done.

I have yet to receive the minutes of the meeting or details of the way the voting was carried out. I would appreciate it if you could let me know who drew up the budget. Was this in drawn up in advance or worked out during the meeting? I personally consider that the way that the meeting was conducted did not give owners the opportunity to examine budgets or to make any informed decision on the matters proposed.

I am writing to again request that you circulate contact details of the other owners. I am also requesting that you provide detailed minutes including how the vote was taken and verified. I would also like you to send me a detailed budget so that I can examine it in detail.

I note that you have not addressed my questions in relation to the gardens and pools although it is 18 days since I sent my first email. could you please give me some indication of how long it will take you to reply to my email.

I look forward to hearing from you

Yours


Ed Nazarko

----- Original Message -----
From: "Maria Alvarez Planell" <[email protected]>
To: <[email protected]>
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2004 9:42 AM
Subject: Response Selwo 1


>
> Dear Mr. Nazrko:
>
> Sorry me for not to have replied you before, but these days I´ve been a
> little busy.
>
> All those things about the last meeting (community fees, security guard...)
> were proposed and voted by the owners who were there, and the owners who
> couldn´t go, completed a proxy to be represented by another person.
>
> About the pool and others things not very clear yet, we are trying to sort
> it up. We are reviewing some of these things.
>
> Yours sincerely,
> María Alvarez Planell.

The issue of the budget and the service charges remains unresolved. I am concerned that they will affect resale values. No one in their right minds would buy an appartment with such service charges ( I wouldn't). I have asked lots of questions but am not getting any answers. Does anyone have any ideas about what we should do?

Best wishes

Ed
>
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Old Jul 31st 2004, 8:54 am
  #58  
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Hi everyone,

We have just got back from visiting our apartment in the smaller part of Selwo.

We met up with Tommy (President) and his wife Yvonne and Ray (Vice President) and his wife Sandra and would just like to say how nice they all are. They are so helpful and friendly and have given us lots of advice. They really are working very hard to sort everything out. We are very grateful to them.

We were told by Tommy that the fees will be coming down to approximately 140 euros per month. He said he couldn't tell us any more yet although we will all be notified shortly.

Boards will be going up soon around the pool areas with the rules on them.

The tufts of grass in the main part of Selwo are starting to join together in places and are now starting to resemble a lawn. When you enter the main entrance it is impressive with the three fountains and the large potted trees.

Beware, if you accidently drill through a pipe in your apartment like we did - the pipes used are not the standard ones sold in spain - we had to turn off the water before we came home because we were unable to get a plumber and we were unable to buy any of the connectors we needed in any of the DIY/plumbing shops we visited. (Proibinsa would not let us have the connector we needed either).

Jackie and Carl

PS Aparently Proibinsa are building a Selwo III next!
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Old Aug 1st 2004, 1:00 pm
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Good to see a bit of activity on this site - very useful comments yesterday about the progress of the grounds - thank you.

I did write to the administrator and got a one line reply " yes, good idea about a web site", so she wasn't being drawn on other and main issues!!!

Does anyone know if the pool is operational yet - we last left selwo in early July and they certainly were NOT close to operational then.

Am planning to return end August - what change might we see.

Thanks for any updates - Mike and Eileen D (1612)
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Old Aug 1st 2004, 6:45 pm
  #60  
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I think you lot should attend the meetings more often.....
If it is anything like our urbanization, you only get a percentage of how many meetings you attend....ie no meetings = no vote.
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