Only A Fool Would Buy A Condo In Barbados – Canadian In 17th Year Of Barbados Condo Hell

UPDATED: September 26, 2011

Subject of story asks us to remove our post 4 years later

Dear Barbados Free Press,

A friend just pointed out that this article continues to be posted on the internet but the issue has long been resolved.  The condo was sold and money received at a profit.

Would you please remove this link and the associated comments as to have them on this site distorts the issue at this stage and only harms Barbados.

Yours truly,

John Desanti

BFP Replies:

Dear Mr. Desanti,

We are pleased that you were finally able to settle your lawsuit and extricate yourself from almost 20 years of condo hell. As to BFP now removing the article because your personal situation has been resolved favourably… Not a chance.

Please allow us to explain. If you care to write us privately or for public consumption (your choice), we’re still happy to listen and consider your thoughts. For now, here’s how we see it…

You solved your problem in part because you went public with the local papers and blogs to pressure the government, and also because you threatened to take your battle for justice to the internet.

Now that you’ve personally been successful after 18 or 19 years, you’d like us to remove the truth from the internet – probably because you truly like Barbados and wish to put the lawsuit behind you. You’d like to visit Barbados without having that bad aftertaste hanging around on the internet, You don’t want Bajans blaming you for the Barbados Free Press story that, unlike other news media stories of the injustice against you, hasn’t been deleted.

We appreciate that, and we appreciate that you still love Barbados after almost 20 years of heartache – but if we change history at your request, if we become like the rest of the lapdog Barbados news media and assist in a cover-up, we do no good for Barbados and we dishonour ourselves.

If we delete the truth, if we delete history, nothing will change for Bajans and it sure won’t change for the foreign investors who still get burned with condos and timeshare units. In the short term hiding the truth helps with the cashflow, but that’s a bad strategy for the long run. When we conceal the truth, there is no pressure to change our laws or to right the injustices – and our standards and products continue their downward spiral to the detriment of every citizen, investor and visitor.

The circumstances that resulted in your Barbados condo buyer’s horror story still exist.

Nothing has changed, nor will anything change if we delete the history of your battle for justice. Our Condominium Act still lacks the protections for purchasers and owners that you so well described in your letters to the Barbados Government and in your press interview as published in the Sunday Sun on June 10, 2007.

As well, we still have chaos with Land Titles to the point where one of your fellow Canadians has been unable to obtain their title deed for 37 years. Then there is the fact that our courts are so slow and unresponsive that it is normal for civil litigation to carry on for 10 or 20 years.

None of this will change if we delete history. You’ve been successful in obtaining some justice after almost two decades, but Barbados Free Press would betray everything we believe in, and everything we stand for, if we agree to your request.

For the record, you’ve asked us to delete the story and we’ve respectfully refused. No blame on you for that Mr. Desanti.

Much respect,

Marcus, Shona, Cliverton, Robert, Nevermind Kurt, George & Auntie Moses.

Original article first published July 15, 2007, re-published July 2008…

Many Have Learned The Hard Way That Barbados Is A Country Without Laws To Protect Condo Buyers

When you give your money to a condominium developer in Barbados, you place yourself entirely at the mercy of the developer’s integrity (or lack thereof), his financial stability and the whims of his personal family situation. You also give the developer a free hand in doing what he wants with your money – because Barbados lacks any laws that realistically prevent a developer from spending your money as he pleases and leaving you high and dry without your condo.

In Barbados, You Only THINK That You Own A Condo – In Law, You May Own Nothing At All

Canadian John DeSanti purchased a condominium in Barbados in 1990 and has been living a legal nightmare ever since.

That, my friends, is 17 years of Barbados Condo Hell where neither the courts nor the government have been able to provide justice for Mr. DeSanti and other condominium owners.

After reading Mr. DeSanti’s story, we can’t imagine why any thinking person would even bother to look at Barbados condominiums – because the banana-republic laws that resulted in his nightmare are still in place after all these years. Even if the government were to put new laws into place tomorrow, the laws would be new and untested – with no existing higher-court decisions to guide lawyers, judges, buyers and developers.

Want to be on the cutting edge of developing new Barbados condominium laws? Then slap down your money and hope for the best!

You Won’t Read About John DeSanti’s Barbados Condo Hell On The Internet – The Story Has Been Censored

John DeSanti’s story was recently covered in a June 10, 2007 major two-page article in the dead-tree (paper) edition of the Nation News. The Nation News deliberately left this major story out of its web edition. As we have learned in the past, the Barbados media will often self-censor stories from the internet so as not to incur the wrath of the Government. We can’t have those prospective foreign customers (read “suckers”) learning about the traps that await them on this island.

Here are scans of the Nation News article as it appeared in the June 10, 2007 paper edition. Click on the photo to read the story – at about 200k each…


(Sometimes once the image appears in a new window you can further zoom in larger.)





Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Crime & Law, News Media, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate

34 responses to “Only A Fool Would Buy A Condo In Barbados – Canadian In 17th Year Of Barbados Condo Hell

  1. RRRicky

    This is so typical of Barbados. We have no laws because the politicians and their behind the scenes partners like it that way. The Chief Justice is the old Attorney General and buddy-buddy with the Prime Minister. If you have to sue anyone that is the friend of the PM, GOOD LUCK!

  2. MaMa

    Too hard to read!!!

  3. Adrian

    July 15th, 2007 at 3:53 pm
    Too hard to read!!!
    Well if um to hard to read, just purchase a condominium and find out Mr. DeSanti’s experience the expensive way.

  4. Click once to open. Then click again on open page to magnify. Should be easier to read then.

  5. Anonymous

    bought more than one condo about to buy 2 more never had a prob yet

  6. Pogo

    Hey Anonymous, do not confuse lucky with smart.

    The judge on the DiSanti case said that the condo act was a disgrace and should be changed to prevent it happening again.

    Right away Minister of Housing woke up 17 years too late and proclaimed that the condo act was broken and has to be fixed. (BLP and DLP never did a darned thing to fix it before and, as usual, unlikely they will now or ever)

    What we have is a number of well heeled foreigners who were going to bring foreign exchange, jobs, and goodwill to our island and instead another story of corruption, ugliness, and a local businessman fattening his pockets while these people leave disgusted never to return.

    This can’t be good.

  7. Paradox

    I can remember reading an article by a visitor not long ago complaining about noise which kept her awake while staying in the ‘Gap’ .This visitor came to B’dos several times before but won’t be coming back or recommending this country as a holiday destination to her friends.
    I understood there is a draft paper some where since 2004 and is still the same now,(in draft).
    There have been several complaints about community noise and ‘lip service’ has been paid.
    Why has it taken so long to get it on the statue books?
    Large scale development has been going on here to attract domestic and foreign buyers for some time now.

    If projects were well thaught out and laws put in placed, Mr.DiSanti and others might not have been disadvantaged. At the end of the day Barbados will be the looser.
    Cases like these are often published in newspapers and magazines and read by many in different parts of the world. Some people reading are going to avoid B’dos like the plague.

  8. John

    Minister Lynch says that by November the GOB will have hard data on the impact of Condos on tourism.

    Guess he thinks the data will support the swing to condos, …. or maybe elections are in November!!

  9. de gap

    Two words DeSanti; due diligence

    The laws are not the problem. These “wealthy” learned investors didn’t do their homework. The “developer” did not sell the majority of the units (do the words money laundering mean anything to you Mr DeSanti?), so he kept controlling interest. These investors (schmucks) should have cashed out well before the property was allowed to fall into a state of disrepair.

  10. Wishing in Vain

    Maybe someone out there with more knowledge about these matters can advise but my question is.
    Can you tell me if it is legal and allowable that these private homes along the west coast area are allowed to erect 8 and 10′ solid guard walls?
    I honestly thought that this was not allowed in Barbados, can someone advise as to the town and country planning permissions allow?

  11. anon

    What about the grotesque condo structure opposite worthing police station. How could they get town planning permission for that. There is very little parking.

    There is also another condo strcuture opposite st.matthias gap which provides very little parking. Did this building receive planning permission. A significant portion of the building protrudes into the sea

  12. J. Payne

    Barbados need to do something about their land laws because nuff people ‘gon fight to the death one day… We have a bunch of squaters on we land and we give them notice time and time again to move… The courts wont intervine— talking about “Squaters rights” so we just ‘gon rent two big buldozers and push the ting down… Then let the courts settle it later….

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  14. Condo Man

    South Ocean Villas is opposite St. Matthais.
    Parking is under the bulding, The whole first Floor.
    The building is on the same footfrint as the one
    that was there before. Town Planning is very
    fussy about condo parking.

  15. Local Developer

    It seems that your aim here is just to spread propaganda to influence would be investors not to purchase real estate in Barbados.

    Why are you making it sound like every developer in Barbados is a fraud and investing here is like playing Russian roulette?

    How many countless condo purchases are concluded year after year with no problem yet you choose to highlight the misfortunes of one investor and his experience with a swindler?

  16. Well thanks for the information or warning, or whatever you’d like to call it. I’m too afraid to spend money anywhere right now.

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  18. Sad To Say

    BFP: The silver lining to this story (I have not read much beyond the headlines) may be that there would be a reduced demand for condos here in Bimshire resulting in less of our costal tracks of land being grabbled up by these greedy condo developers. I have no problem with such an outcome. While John DeSanti is unlikely to ever come around to this point-of-view I see a greater good coming out of this story.

  19. Barbados the Beautiful

    Local developer got it right. We have no laws to stop the swindlers so honest ways don’t work. That is what the judge said and now foreigners go other places instead of investing in BIM.

    Someone tell us why DLP has not fixed this nasty law. Same thing it has not really passed any laws to fix anything.

  20. 199

    The original, developer is an ENGLISHMAN!! So, why am I not surprised!!

  21. Liberty

    The cash outlay for a condo in b’dos would be better spent visiting other places around the world; unless it is for a principal residence. Does anyone predict an exodus of non nationals for the real estate market given the new economy?

  22. Sad, sad. Some of these unscrupulous practices are coming to Trinidad too.

  23. Hi Anonymous,
    I German have build condos in Barbados with success in 4 th. Ave. Dover St.Lawrence Gap. I do have a property in the same road for sale for condos. I also have a buidling with a small and a large apartment on a lot in the same road. People usually don’t sell properties with land in this area because of the high income return. The land in this area is getting scare and the rates are going up. I would like to retire. I have a vacation rental business in Barbados and I am selling some of my properties.
    If you are interested send me an email.

    Kind Regards
    Brigitte Taylor

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  26. Help me

    How has it changed so far??

  27. twice shy

    Good for you BFP for keeping the government’s feet to the fire. We’ve been pretending the titles and condo problems don’t exist and that doesn’t help. We must think of the future and stop being slaves to ‘right now’.

  28. MaxWebster

    My partner and I have been waiting for our deed and our vacation home for over seven years. We would never have purchased had we known of the troubles and duplicity we’ve encountered at every step. It is too late to go back and we must press on but it is rapidly reaching the ‘throwing good money after bad’ stage with our home almost completed.

  29. watching

    Can we get the number of returning nationals to barbados who has been robbed by lawers. and have return to canada old and broke.

  30. 5th year and still waiting

    I am now in my 5th year of waiting for completion of my home. The builder, Rupert Spencer has failed to complete the home I bought. It is a sad state of affairs in Barbados. If you are wondering why there are so many uncompleted condos and housing developments around Barbados, you have to beleive that investors are getting wise to the trickery that exists on the isalnd. While there may be some shrot term gain to the builder developers the long term loss to Barbados in terms of lost long term stay tourism is very large. There are millions and millions of dollars being spent in other vacation spots becasue Barbados simply “cant deliver the goods” and is governed by people who don’t seem to care whether the goods are delivered or not.

  31. J. Krescalik

    To those blaming buyers for not performing proper “due diligence”, I say to you that due diligence is impossible when everybody and their brother lies to you including your own lawyer.

    We bought a building lot in Christ Church 4 years ago and all looked well until we started to build and a man informed us that we were building partially on the next lot, his lot. We took out our papers and approved plans as did he and we both found that our papers and plans indicated we each owned the same 7 foot piece of land along the fenceline.

    At the end of it we split it down the middle and both of us lost 3.5 feet that each of our lawyers and the planning department said we each owned. We can’t both own the same piece of land but your government says we do!

    Both the lawyers advised each of us to sue the other but luckily we are not fools.

    Buying land and building a home in Barbados is not for the faint of heart.

    Joseph Krescalik

  32. rc

    what about minister Hutson suggesting that redjet be restricted from certain routes to protect LIAT? Anything goes in Government.

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