The Malaga court complex / sur

Spanish bank ordered by Malaga court to return 186,000 euros paid by a family to a developer that went bust

The purchasers had made two payments towards a house in Ojén but the development company went bankrupt and their money was not refunded

IRENE QUIRANTE Malaga

A court in Malaga has ordered Banco Santander to return 186,000 euros a family paid to a developer in advance for a property which was never completed.

The purchase contract was signed in June 2006 with the AIFOS development company for a property in a residential complex in Ojén costing 539,226.50 euros. Banco Santander acted as guarantor and was sued by the family when the company went bankrupt.

The purchasers had made two payments amounting to 186,461.50 euros (to other banks but the business was later transferred to Santander). Because the transaction was never completed the contract was cancelled; however, their money was not returned to them.

In court, the judge said that under Law 57/1968 they had the right to be refunded because the payments had been made for a single property which was going to be used as a residence. This meant that the development company was obliged to return the money the family had paid, even though it had not provided them with a certificate to that effect beforehand, as it should have done.

“The purchaser who has paid sums of money on account should not be held responsible for the seriously negligent or fraudulent action of a developer which has failed to provide an individual certificate or guarantee,” the judge said.