New houses unsafe

A group of house owners received the keys for their new homes only to find that they are literally homeless because large cracks have appeared and the buildings are unsafe – a ‘first,’ here in Andalucía, of course.
It was a joyous day, a little over a year ago, when they moved in, and now, although they can’t live in them, they still have to religiously pay their mortgage payments.
In the meantime, the insurance company, Mapfre and the building developers, Caribel, are juggling this ‘hot potato’ between them, as neither is willing to take responsibility for the reparation of the dwellings.
Antonio Campoy bought one of the larger houses in Los Arcos, which are in Torrrecuevas, in 2007. The house, together with its large garage cost him 289,000 euros, which he managed to finance through a mortgage that requires a monthly payment of 1,200 euros. Things started to go egg shape (wrong) around last Christmas when ‘numerous’ cracks appeared and quickly grew.
“When this happened, we immediately called the builders. A company inspector came around and chance would have it that whilst he was viewing the cracks in the garage, there was a loud crack and the house gave spontaneous birth to another snaking crack. The inspector promised to get right onto it, but the only thing that they have done is putting marks on the wall to see how fast they are growing.
However, a representative of the building company, José Carlos Bueno, has stated that the houses have to be pinned if they are to be stable and that it is no good simply cementing over the cracks.
Yet, there has never been any doubt about what has to be done, nor how much it will costs –around a million euros – but who should pay. The company representative says that the ten houses in Los Arcos are covered by an insurance policy, but he says that if Mapfre refuse to pay out, then they will have to take them to court. Could it be that there are cracks in the building because they were not built or designed correctly or even that the plot wasn’t suitable and therefore was erroneously approved by the competent municipal authorities? Whose fault would that be?
The dismayed owners, however, are in an impossible situation where they cannot afford to pay rent for alternative accommodation because they still have to pay their monthly mortgage repayments – most are now living with family or friends.

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