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AIPP seeks
Spain image demolished
new CEO...
by protest nightmare
The Association of International
Property Professionals (AIPP) has
started its search for a new chief
The Spanish property industry is facing in 2002, but these were nullified by executive to replace the departing
another public image nightmare after the courts a year later. The Andalucian Paul Owen (pictured).
hundreds of expats publicly protested Junta ordered the houses to be Owen is to start a new job
the ordered demolition of their homes demolished and a high court appeal by outside the overseas property
last month. the Town Hall was dismissed in 2009. industry after heading up the
Nine British owners have now been However, the homeowners claim UK-based trade body since its
notified that their properties are to to have had no idea their properties launch in 2006, having pro-actively
be bulldozed because their building had been deemed illegal. Most of the built its international membership
licences have been ruled invalid. demolitions are scheduled for spring. Almeria
Hundreds of expats took to the to over 300 property companies
Local property owners’ lobby group streets to protest planned demolitions and related professionals.
Abusos Urbanisticos Almanzora No Public image limited
(AUAN) organised a march of around A statement from the group read: possible to avoid this injustice.”
800 British and Irish residents to “We are protesting against legal Demolitions of expat homes have
protest the demolition orders. They and planning uncertainty, against plagued Spain’s property industry
also plan to mount a legal challenge bad administration and corruption, over the last few years, adding a public
to the demolition and have met with against the failure to respect citizens’ image problem to the challenges posed
the Andalucian Defensor del Pueblo human rights and against the failure by the credit crunch and overbuilding.
(ombudsman). of the administration to comply with The UK press has jumped on the
European Parliament resolutions story with headlines such as “British
Demolition schedule including the Auken report. expats take to the streets” and “Happy
DESTINA The properties, located near Albox in “We cannot sit back and watch these New Year... we’re going to bulldoze
Almeria, were issued building licences demolitions and will do everything your homes” (Daily Mail).
“Our recruitment panel has
already started the search for our
next chief executive and we look
forward to introducing the new
Polaris World moves to
face soon,” said AIPP’s chair, Lindsay
“In the meantime, you’ll notice
no differences as the AIPP team
avoid insolvency battle
continues to deliver a service to
Spanish resort group Polaris World is at the end of December recognised both members and the public.”
in talks with lenders to avoid filing for that Polaris World had a three-month Commenting on his departure,
bankruptcy protection. negotiation period under Spain’s Teed off
Fifteen Polaris companies Owen told OPP: “I have loved this
Fifteen of Polaris World’s bankruptcy law before filing for including several golf resorts are affected job and feel honoured to have had
subsidiaries – around half the group – protection from its creditors. the chance to play a small part in
are thought to be insolvent, including Last year, Polaris World’s lenders was available for comment. the AIPP’s success. I can’t wait to see
four resorts, two hotels and a number agreed to cancel most of the company’s The Murcia regional government the next chief executive take the
of construction, sales and service debt in return for real estate assets. has expressed confidence in the Association onwards and upwards
companies. The remaining debt is thought to be company. “It is and has been very to new heights. I still passionately
Details of the company’s situation around €100 million, although some important for the region”, executive believe that the market needs the
were made public by the Commercial have suggested it is much higher. spokeswoman, Maria Pedro Reverte, standards we’re setting.”
Court number two in Murcia, which No spokesperson for Polaris World said at a press conference.
A UK developer has successfully sued a buyer who US website has added the Certified The Dubai Land Department is drafting a series of
tried to walk away from a property deal they could Short Sale Agent qualification to its training regulations to better protect property buyers. This
not afford to complete. The buy-to-let investor was programme. “Short sale transactions will comprise a includes promising buyers a refund or replacement
forced to pay damages of more than £130,000 after significant amount of business for real estate agents where the developer delivers a defective property,
reneging on an off-plan deal. Around 300 similar for the next three to five years,” the company said in and financial penalties for late delivery, as well as
cases are thought to be in the pipeline in London. a statement. establishing grounds for cancellation.
FEB10_OPP_MAG.indd 8 28/01/2010 15:19
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