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Maroma Homes / Dave Hill - do business with them by all means, BUT

Discussion in 'Morocco Property' started by islesmark, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. islesmark

    islesmark New Member

    Prospective purchasers of property in Morocco or Spain might like to be aware of an experience I had with Moroccan Homes neé Maroma Homes and Dave Hill, involving 3 years of dashed hopes, wasted time, wasted money and nothing to show for it, culminating in my having to threaten legal action to get my deposit back.

    Dave knows his way around the Readers' Digest Guide to the Law as well as anyone, and has issued the blood-curdling threat to 'see me in court' if I defame him, so I must make sure to tell the absolute truth. Here goes!

    Jan 2006 - was interested in buying property in Morocco. Found Dave Hill/Maroma Homes on the internet, and he called me to discuss property. Dave Hill owns Maroma Homes, an estate agents/holiday let company in Spain, and Marma Homes in Morocco, although appears to trade these days as Moroccan Homes. He is English and lives in Spain but shuttles between there and Morocco. His websites are moroccan-homesDOTcom and spanish-homesDOTcom

    Feb 2006 - went to Morocco and met Dave Hill (and his wife/business partner Hazel). Was shown a couple of places in Marrakesh and Agadir. Agreed in principle to buy a piece of land at Taghazout, near Agadir (subject to legals) so that I could build a holiday home on it. I also agreed to pay him a deposit. Returned to UK and engaged specialist UK solicitors to act for me on this purchase.

    June 2006 - after negotiation agreed via email that the deposit would be 3000 Euros. Paid £2100 from my UK bank account to Dave Hill’s UK bank account to cover this deposit and a bit extra for Dave’s expenses (according to the exchange rate at the time, this was approx 87 Euros / £60).

    Land purchase never happened. The land turned out to be owned by someone who was trying to claim part of the adjacent National Park as his own, and the Moroccan notaire/surveyor tried to cover this up. The notaire kept avoiding talking to my solicitors, and even sent them plans/sale documents for a completely different piece of land as 'an example' - he was worried they'd find out what was going on. Eventually the surveyor produced a plan and it was clear it had been fraudulently drawn, so the game was up and the purchase had to be aborted. I lost all the £995 I had paid to my solicitors. I have no proof that Dave had any inkling of this, but he wasn't happy about me using my own solicitors - he said at the time he thought it was delaying and complicating matters unnecessarily. I wonder why this was. Dave also said, after seeing the fraudently drawn plans,
    that that the implication was that the notaire was acting in collusion with the
    surveyor. I was guaranteed to lose either way on this first piece of land
    - either legal fees or even more, if I had actually bought it.

    We then arrived at a plan for the deposit to be put towards another purchase of land, this time being sold by a friend/colleague of Dave H. However, the purchase of this other plot of land never happened either due to planning issues which I was told were in the process of resolution.

    November 2006, I was offered my deposit back. Dave told me they were waiting on the Moroccan equivalent of the Unitary Development Plan from the Planning Ministry which was stalling all land sales in the area because, until it arrived, it was impossible to know what size of plot to buy for building on. I said they could continue to hold on to my deposit.

    All through 2007 and well into 2008, I chased Dave H on progress via email every couple of months but the plan never arrived. I did not request the refund of my deposit, and at no point did Dave ever try and interest me in buying land anywhere else in Morocco .

    16 May 2008 - I requested the refund of my deposit via email. Dave H responded almost immediately but wasn’t sure whether it was £2100 or £1100, so said he would pay me £1000 immediately (which he did) plus any remaining balance once he was able to clarify from his records.

    29 May – Dave confirmed I had indeed paid £2100, but wanted to deduct £250 of ‘costs’ before sending the balance of £850. Only at this point did Dave think to tell me that the circumstances of the above-mentioned friend/colleague had changed and that the original deal was off, but that they would be open to the idea of my financing the building of some properties on her land and splitting the profits.

    3 June 2008 - I indicated I was interested in this suggestion, but queried the amount of costs. No response was received to this email or any of the others I sent subsequently on 14 June 2008 , 24 June 2008 or 14 July 2008 and no further money was paid.

    18 September - I sent a letter threatening legal action to Dave’s Spanish address.

    24 September - Dave responded by email, explaining that he had been tied up dealing with family matters after the beginning of July, but made no attempt to explain the reason for not answering any of my emails for the 4 weeks between 3 June 2008 and the beginning of July. He also made a formal offer to repay the £850 at a rate of £25 per month, secure in his belief that I couldn't pursue him in Spain . I am sure readers will agree that this was meant as an insult, akin to leaving a 1p tip in a restaurant for bad service.

    October 2008 – Dave attempted to bind me into this offer by paying £25 into my bank account. Unknown to Dave, I had ascertained the existence of the new European Small Claims Procedure, which is designed to simply cross-border European Small Claims. I reversed the payment back to Dave’s bank account and emailed him on 6 November to tell of this and of my intention to pursue him under the ESCP.

    Negotiations ensued between November and December 2008, with Dave still trying to pay the final balance by instalments and to charge me more than £60 of costs. Is it normal for estate agents to be paid by clients for the work they do prior to sale, as opposed to getting paid via commission when the sale goes ahead? Dave also told me, as a final twist in the tale, that the piece of land being sold by his colleague/friend had more than doubled in value and that they had recently organized planning permission, but they were ‘just glad (they) did not have (me) involved’.

    December 2008 – Dave finally paid me £1030.

    So there you have it. Over 2 years of interest on the deposit, nearly 3 years of dashed hopes, wasted time, wasted money and nothing to show for it.

    Thanks a lot, Dave Hill
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
  2. Tangier

    Tangier New Member

    Good for you .. thay shoud chop is fingers off 1 by 1 that would sort him and his wife out then but him back on the boat to spain.......
     
  3. Tangier

    Tangier New Member

    Good for you his Name is in my black book keep well away from Him........i have a case going on with a English Moroccan who sold a apartment to a English family but has been trying to claim it back with a loss of £120k, we have now got the apartment back for the english family the english moroccan is now in jail he has got 5yrs in Tangier Jail
     
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