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Unfinished business...

Winfred Peppinck

Here we are again, almost another year older, and none the wiser!

I mean Marina West, the unsolvable problem, by anyone in Bahrain!

I’m told, that buying ‘from the plan’ is often fraught with difficulty.

Trusting a developer to deliver “on promises,” based on a general glossy model, with lots of sales palaver, which they expect the developer to construct.

The lure of the extras to be provided – pool, gymnasium, yachting harbour, restaurants and shops.

What an ideal place to live!

Better get down a deposit, to insure your purchase, in most instances, at least 10 per cent, of the cost, supposedly, for ensuring “ownership” of the completed edifice!

What could go wrong?

Well, everything!

Buy early, largely sometimes for speculative purposes, as they are envisaging a price rise on completion. Make a motza when selling it later.

Or actually live there “permanently,” visa entitlement permitted.

Even when they paid their deposit, they only get the “air and promise.” A written contract perhaps, but no tangible asset.

They don’t own the land on which the structure is based.

The government or a Bahraini landowner, does.

So when the developer takes an upfront payment, for a further speculative adventure, using the deposits made for his original venture, the speculators, who acted in good faith, are the losers.

Nothing to trade, like a plot of land, merely an uncompleted building, only an undertaking, a contract for a “space and promise.”

Redress, by authorities, largely head-in-the sand stuff, affected by buyers, told to get a lawyer, begin a “class action,” against the developer!

In many instances, the so-called “developer” declares himself bankrupt, and short of seizing assets, home, yacht, luxury car etc, generally already divested to family, so that he can remain penniless!

In the case of Marina West, the developer claims wanting to complete the building, but surprise, surprise, he is having trouble raising capital!

Wonder why!

More living the “illusion,” he is the last “developer,” that any people who paid their deposit to him, so that he could speculate further in the chicanery of his “failed mess adventure” elsewhere, would be intolerable.

This farrago, is like the search for the mythical The Flying Dutchman, in terms of resolution, but in this instance, the issue is a tangible, tactile, mess, that can be seen by people in, and coming to, Bahrain, via the causeway.

I admire the doggedness of the “off the plan” buyers, particularly, Alan Pitt, who has used every possibility of getting legal redress and justice for their cause.

They have been failed by the committee, supposedly created to deal with the “stalled buildings.”

Despite lots of claims, including engineers reports, that the buildings remain solid and can be completed in part, the reality is that any “new developer” would probably demolish the site and build anew, a redesigned structure.

As for the claims of the “off-plan” buyers, and financial restitution or completion, may well be like finding The Flying Dutchman.

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