Value for Money plus Protection

My scholarly neighbor, Legal Eagle Lincoln Gomez, writes a frequent column on legal issues in Tempran, a popular online publication.

His latest, about a law change affecting the construction of homes, is very relevant, however, the column raises the question, why parliament hasn’t bothered to publicize the law change, and why the consumers weren’t properly informed.

The area behind my house, the Malmok Salina, is a protected nature reserve, and was for many years left untouched until five years ago, the land department made a decision to increase the urban density in the area bordering the salt pan by measuring the terrain and awarding it to FIVE premium citizens.

(The ostrich case talks a bit about that)

Construction of the homes began, it was a slow process, each builder struggling with his own set of financial and technical challenges, one home is still unoccupied, unfinished, and one is just a skeleton. An abandoned skeleton, looking into my backyard.

Building a house in Aruba is a via dolorosa, everything is difficult, from obtaining permits to trusting contractors, procuring materials and securing quality work.

It’s all a big question.

I asked my neighbor today, why her house in unfinished and she outlined major troubles with, you will never guess, the contractor, who has done a shoddy job, about to be litigated in court.

Contractors.

In the past, home builders were asked to pre-finance the construction of their houses, pay the contractor as advance, and pray the money will be used on their project.

Because, robbing Peter to pay Paul was a widespread practice.

Contractors used our money, as they pleased. There were no guarantees.

But now the law has been changed, we no longer have to pre-finance our construction. The contractor may ask for a down payment, but the money must sit at the Notary’s office in escrow, until we get delivery of value for money.

We may set up a payment plan in phases, but the money sits in escrow, until the delivery of the goods.

That is a fantastic change in the law, protecting the consumer.

As for the contractors this will really separate the men from the boys.

Those running a real company with good cash flow and reliable projections and those running a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants outfit.

The same goes for carpenters and other professional service providers, there is no obligation to pre-finance them, they have to be self-sustained, and the lawyer or notary collect a bit of money for the service, subject to Central Bank compliance.

Our hard-earned money, saved to finance the house of our dreams, is safe.

And you may call Lincoln Gomez for more information at Tel: 290.1000

 

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February 25, 2022
Rona Coster