Expert Info

Posted by HollyStark
on 6 Nov 2017
Hello, My husband and I have been looking for an apartment in Lisbon for about 6 months. We have seen a lot of beautiful apartments, and even tried to purchase one in an old building that was being rehabilitated by a developer. We now wish someone had warned us, and hope to warn others; the developer misrepresented the promissory contract terms, asked us to sign a non-refundable reservation (which was unnecessary, and we were foolish to sign), then presented us with a promissory contract that contained terms different than previously represented. He then tried to use the reservation and our 10,000 Euro to force us into paying for most of the unfinished apartment up-front. When we refused to agree to the new terms, he kept our reservation money. We could probably sue to get it back, but more money... Has anyone else had this happen to them? Beware, a reservation is not necessary and no honest developer would make you sign a non-refundable reservation. Does anyone have an honest apartment developer to recommend? The developer we dealt with was AZ invest; Renauld L'Ermite Thank you, Holly
Anonymous (not verified) on 19 Mar 2018
Hi Holly, so sorry to hear of your bad experience. This type of thing is rife in Spain, where we had some terrible experiences with illegal property and corrupt layers ...had assumed that being more regulated that Portugal was better! Alas it seems not - all the agents in Spain try stitch people up with the Reservation contracts...which are 100% in their favour not ours. We sued in Spain [Marbella] and won, although it took a year the Spanish court system was good as they don't want Foreign buyers getting ripped off! So it may well be worth while you going after the developer [provided they are solvent of course] Good luck Jill
Anonymous (not verified) on 20 Mar 2018
Wow, that is interesting that you sued and won, we were discouraged from doing so because of the time it would take, but your point about not wanting to discourage foreign investment is a good one. Thank you so much for your post. Thank you and good luck to you as well! Holly