Concerned…….newbie

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This topic contains 38 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of lifeinspain lifeinspain 10 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #51999
    Profile photo of lifeinspain
    lifeinspain
    Participant

    Hello…..my first posting and I am ‘concerned’……..

    We have taken on a rent-to-buy house in Almeria. We have signed the contract in which it states we pay the agreed amount per month for the term of the ‘rental’ period up to when it becomes ‘purchase. 18 months down the line.

    However, at the beginning we were told we would have our own water supply and electricity supply along with meters. 6 months later this has not happened.

    Everything was checked by our Solicitor and so we felt ‘all ok then’ But now as we have a very varying supply of both water and electricity we are wondering why we have not had our own supply yet.

    We have invested time and money in this place with air con, rejas, built in wardrobes, showers, cubicles, mozzie screens etc – so even if at the end of the so-called ‘rental term’ we say no you have not kept your side of the bargain and things are not legal – even though we would get half of what we have paid back, we would lose out on everything we have put in!
    not least of all our time, effort and sense of security.

    How do we fare here? All was assured as legal and we went to great lengths checking and re-checking. Now we are getting a bit more than a little ‘nervous’ ….

    Wonder if anyone has any ideas here please? Has anyone come across Rent with a view to buy contract????? Yes….it is a new build. Also we did not use a Solicitor attached to either builder or agent.

    cheers.

  • #63614
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    If the water and electricity supplies were OK, would you still be worried about the contract? Are there other problems with the property or location?

  • #63615
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    You say:

    Everything was checked by our Solicitor and so we felt ‘all ok then’ But now as we have a very varying supply of both water and electricity we are wondering why we have not had our own supply yet.

    …..but did your lawyer check if there was a Licence of First Occupation?

    It sounds like you are on the builders’ supply of water and electricity.

    In Spain, the usual reason for this situation is when there is no LFO – the utility companies won’t connect without one.

    Barbara

  • #63617
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Barbara is right, however many people who complete for one or another reason can live off builders supply for some time.

    Free utilities! However supply can be hit and miss!

  • #63619
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    You forgot to add David, that until an LFO is granted on a property, it is not deemed legal!! πŸ™„

  • #63805
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Barbara’ sorry but that’s not totally correct.

    One can still *technically*be on builders supply when in possession of the first licence. We didn’t move in until the said important paper was handed to us personally.

    It is partially so in our case;

    Everything on our build is legal. Everything put in our name before commencement of build,as we were the promotors. Have been paying for water from the beginning of build but because we are still waiting for our fuse from electricity company our builder is having to foot our bill. Fortunately we have sufficient power to light up the local castle as well as us.
    Paperwork has been stamped and not only our lawyer but an independant gestor has been working on our behalf to get this sorted out.
    Meanwhile all we can do is wait.
    Seems in our area it is not unknown for paperwork to be *mislaid*

    Living legally in Spain is not always as the *books* say it should be. Lots of seemingly ridiculous rules that have had us going around in circles. Even our gestor has raised his eyebrows in amazement over our hassle in getting our road tax…but thats another tale….
    Maybe incompetence on part of beaurocrats maybe many things but what I have learned about living here is that one cannot generalise about another persons query without knowing the full story.

    What happens individually in Marbella, Madrid or Murcia ( with exception maybe of the rogue developers) cannot be applied carte blanche across Spain.
    It should to my mind be logical living legally here but fact of life it isn’t.

    Whether your scenario can be applied to lifeinspain I don’t know and therefore cannot comment.

  • #63621
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Barbara’ sorry but that’s not totally correct.

    One can still *technically*be on builders supply when in possession of the first licence. We didn’t move in until the said important paper was handed to us personally.

    It is partially so in our case;

    Everything on our build is legal. Everything put in our name before commencement of build,as we were the promotors. Have been paying for water from the beginning of build but because we are still waiting for our fuse from electricity company our builder is having to foot our bill. Fortunately we have sufficient power to light up the local castle as well as us.
    Paperwork has been stamped and not only our lawyer but an independant gestor has been working on our behalf to get this sorted out.
    Meanwhile all we can do is wait.
    Seems in our area it is not unknown for paperwork to be *mislaid*

    Living legally in Spain is not always as the *books* say it should be. Lots of seemingly ridiculous rules that have had us going around in circles. Even our gestor has raised his eyebrows in amazement over our hassle in getting our road tax…but thats another tale….
    Maybe incompetence on part of beaurocrats maybe many things but what I have learned about living here is that one cannot generalise about another persons query without knowing the full story.

    What happens individually in Marbella, Madrid or Murcia ( with exception maybe of the rogue developers) cannot be applied carte blanche across Spain.
    It should to my mind be logical living legally here but fact of life it isn’t.

    Whether your scenario can be applied to lifeinspain I don’t know and therefore cannot comment.

  • #63807
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    ‘…….supply can be hit and miss’ –

    The following is taken from an article (courtesy of Dorothy…) regarding an AIFOS development:

    :
    …..Meanwhile, residents continue to occupy their homes with their water and electricity hooked up to the supply for construction, which causes continuous power and water cuts as well as occasional fires in the electricity meters due to over usage.
    I keep re-posting the above for the benefit of purchasers who are being bullied (oops, sorry – ‘encouraged’) by their lawyers – and their developers – to complete without a Licence of First Occupation, and threatened with losing their money & contract if they don’t.

    This, as we all know, is rubbish, as you are not legally obliged to complete without an LFO in place.
    And as Claire rightly points out, you can not legally register the property in your name without one.

    That is the law –
    just wish some lawyers and developers would observe it……… πŸ™„

  • #63622
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    ‘…….supply can be hit and miss’ –

    The following is taken from an article (courtesy of Dorothy…) regarding an AIFOS development:

    :
    …..Meanwhile, residents continue to occupy their homes with their water and electricity hooked up to the supply for construction, which causes continuous power and water cuts as well as occasional fires in the electricity meters due to over usage.
    I keep re-posting the above for the benefit of purchasers who are being bullied (oops, sorry – ‘encouraged’) by their lawyers – and their developers – to complete without a Licence of First Occupation, and threatened with losing their money & contract if they don’t.

    This, as we all know, is rubbish, as you are not legally obliged to complete without an LFO in place.
    And as Claire rightly points out, you can not legally register the property in your name without one.

    That is the law –
    just wish some lawyers and developers would observe it……… πŸ™„

  • #63809
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Melosine, I think one has to work on the basis of “the general rule is…” or “the law states”…There is always an exception to that rule or law. and in Spain it seems to me that ONE can add “when it suits”!:wink:

    Is that better?

  • #63623
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Melosine, I think one has to work on the basis of “the general rule is…” or “the law states”…There is always an exception to that rule or law. and in Spain it seems to me that ONE can add “when it suits”!:wink:

    Is that better?

  • #63813
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I recently bought an underground garage under the apartment block next door to ours.

    The apartments have been finished and occupied for about 3 years. However, the LFO was only granted recently, so the people living there were quite happily using the builder’s electricity and water and paying him for it over that period. When my lawyer looked into why the LFO had not been issued by the town hall it was because one piece of land had not been landscaped properly. The reason for this was that a darned great crane was operating there, building another apartment block – ironically building subsidised housing authorised by, yes, the town hall! Builder took mayor round to inspect the problem and LFO arrived within days.

  • #63625
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I recently bought an underground garage under the apartment block next door to ours.

    The apartments have been finished and occupied for about 3 years. However, the LFO was only granted recently, so the people living there were quite happily using the builder’s electricity and water and paying him for it over that period. When my lawyer looked into why the LFO had not been issued by the town hall it was because one piece of land had not been landscaped properly. The reason for this was that a darned great crane was operating there, building another apartment block – ironically building subsidised housing authorised by, yes, the town hall! Builder took mayor round to inspect the problem and LFO arrived within days.

  • #63815
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Melosine said:

    “One can still *technically*be on builders supply when in possession of the first licence”.

    Hi Melosine – you are absolutely correct, and am not surprised with your scenario – that there can be delays with the utilities despite there being an LFO.

    “What happens individually in Marbella, Madrid or Murcia ( with exception maybe of the rogue developers) cannot be applied carte blanche across Spain”.

    Again – agree with you absolutely.

    But I (possibly wrongly) assumed ‘lifeinspain’ bought from a builder (as against a self-build) – and there are ‘rogue’ builders in every corner of the world.

    However, in fairness to myself (if I may be so cheeky 😳 !!) I did only write:

    “In Spain, the usual reason for this situation is when there is no LFO “
    – and hoped by pointing this out, it could be one of the things ‘lifeinspain’ could look into as a possible reason for him being on builder’s supply for 6 months.

    Barbara

  • #63626
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Melosine said:

    “One can still *technically*be on builders supply when in possession of the first licence”.

    Hi Melosine – you are absolutely correct, and am not surprised with your scenario – that there can be delays with the utilities despite there being an LFO.

    “What happens individually in Marbella, Madrid or Murcia ( with exception maybe of the rogue developers) cannot be applied carte blanche across Spain”.

    Again – agree with you absolutely.

    But I (possibly wrongly) assumed ‘lifeinspain’ bought from a builder (as against a self-build) – and there are ‘rogue’ builders in every corner of the world.

    However, in fairness to myself (if I may be so cheeky 😳 !!) I did only write:

    “In Spain, the usual reason for this situation is when there is no LFO “
    – and hoped by pointing this out, it could be one of the things ‘lifeinspain’ could look into as a possible reason for him being on builder’s supply for 6 months.

    Barbara

  • #63833
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    To understand Spain it must be remembered that the nation is federal in all but name, and that town halls have discretionary powers far beyond the powers of local councils in the UK.

  • #63635
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    To understand Spain it must be remembered that the nation is federal in all but name, and that town halls have discretionary powers far beyond the powers of local councils in the UK.

  • #63838
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Anyone bothering to read my contributions to this site over the last 2 years will know I have never suggested that anything other than the correct legal method should be used including always using independant lawyers. More than one if necessary.
    Check and double check is my suggestion before parting with a cent.
    So Claire “When it suits” are alien words and not in my volcabulary.

    I researched diligently for over 3 years before ,successfully in my case, buying in Spain .
    I also believe that knowing the correct questions to ask is very important whenever one is buying propertyand that is where forums are most valuable .

    I reiterate what I stated earlier which has obviously been misunderstood

    A builder still paying for electricity bill does not necessarily mean that one is on “builders supply” (Very dangerous and to be avoided at all costs.) therefore one should never assume that this is always the case until all the facts are spelled out.
    For me it is because of inaction on part of the electricirty company. All the is paperwork stamped and the legal and habitation licence in my possession.

    Cheers

  • #63638
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Anyone bothering to read my contributions to this site over the last 2 years will know I have never suggested that anything other than the correct legal method should be used including always using independant lawyers. More than one if necessary.
    Check and double check is my suggestion before parting with a cent.
    So Claire “When it suits” are alien words and not in my volcabulary.

    I researched diligently for over 3 years before ,successfully in my case, buying in Spain .
    I also believe that knowing the correct questions to ask is very important whenever one is buying propertyand that is where forums are most valuable .

    I reiterate what I stated earlier which has obviously been misunderstood

    A builder still paying for electricity bill does not necessarily mean that one is on “builders supply” (Very dangerous and to be avoided at all costs.) therefore one should never assume that this is always the case until all the facts are spelled out.
    For me it is because of inaction on part of the electricirty company. All the is paperwork stamped and the legal and habitation licence in my possession.

    Cheers

  • #63839
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Rawlins – I think in the case of Marbella Town Hall, having discretionary powers has been consigned to the ‘past tense’…… πŸ˜‰

    Barbara

  • #63639
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Rawlins – I think in the case of Marbella Town Hall, having discretionary powers has been consigned to the ‘past tense’…… πŸ˜‰

    Barbara

  • #63840
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Thanks Charlie for agreeing however………

    I am at fault in not always reading postings with more care and then replying in haste. In doing so misunderstanding reign supreme. πŸ™„

  • #63640
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Thanks Charlie for agreeing however………

    I am at fault in not always reading postings with more care and then replying in haste. In doing so misunderstanding reign supreme. πŸ™„

  • #63841
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Melosine – when Claire wrote

    “….There is always an exception to that rule or law. and in Spain it seems to me that you can add “when it suits”!……

    ….I don’t think she meant ‘you’ personally.

    I think she may have meant it generally, as in ‘one can add…’ as per Queen-speak?

  • #63641
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Melosine – when Claire wrote

    “….There is always an exception to that rule or law. and in Spain it seems to me that you can add “when it suits”!……

    ….I don’t think she meant ‘you’ personally.

    I think she may have meant it generally, as in ‘one can add…’ as per Queen-speak?

  • #63842
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thank you Charlie. πŸ™‚

    I was just about to clarify that point. I have “corrected “my English grammar! πŸ˜‰

  • #63642
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thank you Charlie. πŸ™‚

    I was just about to clarify that point. I have “corrected “my English grammar! πŸ˜‰

  • #63843
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Charlie, it was but a momentarily aberration on my part that took personal umbridge. A mere blip in my character.

    I in future shall count 10 before responding.

    Dare I suggest others who think they have also been hasty and therefore might be misunderstood think about doing the same.
    Just a suggestion to everyone.

    I just don’t want this very valuable and informative site to go the way of others . Mark has already ,thankfully, locked one topic
    Cheers

  • #63643
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Charlie, it was but a momentarily aberration on my part that took personal umbridge. A mere blip in my character.

    I in future shall count 10 before responding.

    Dare I suggest others who think they have also been hasty and therefore might be misunderstood think about doing the same.
    Just a suggestion to everyone.

    I just don’t want this very valuable and informative site to go the way of others . Mark has already ,thankfully, locked one topic
    Cheers

  • #63844
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I wrote a post in much the same vane as you, Melosine, but it went into cyberspace! πŸ˜• Also the poster can always edit their post.

  • #63644
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I wrote a post in much the same vane as you, Melosine, but it went into cyberspace! πŸ˜• Also the poster can always edit their post.

  • #63845
    Profile photo of lifeinspain
    lifeinspain
    Participant

    Thank you all so much for your replies.

    Yes this house was built by contractors working for a local Spanish chap – who lives around 400-500 yeards up on the right from us. We pay the bills for water and electricity to HIM……….we are on a third share of the costs (so say) as we have not, in truth been shown the actual bills. We have asked an interpretor to ask this chap on our behalf a few questions pertaining to the bills and to the water and electricity supply and meters.

    At the point of writing, we do not know if our Intepretor has actually managed to phone or go see the ‘proprietor’ of this house we are currently ‘renting’ even though we are ‘tied’ into a contract to buy. It is apparently only if it turns out illegal in any way shape or form we have an ‘escape clause’ and get our money back. We have been ‘assured and assured’ that it is a legal build – it is his land and registered etc etc and not rural waiting to become urbanised………………!

    But of course, we have not seen the urban plan for this region (PGOU)as it has not been dealt with yet, and also we have not been shown the deeds and documents pertaining to this house as ‘we are renting’………….until end of February 2008 when the to buy bit kicks in. Those questions will definitely be asked then and more besides.

    Otherwise, yes we are happy with the house and location as it suits all our needs. Also The spanish guy and his family are lovely people and we have socialised a few times with them, despite some language barriers as we are both still not too good with Spanish language.

    So I am wondering ….. is there anything we could/should or must do to act now…….or wait till nearer the time we are supposed to complete?

    Once again, I really do thank you for your kindness and support in all the replies.

    Cheers

    Paul

  • #63645
    Profile photo of lifeinspain
    lifeinspain
    Participant

    Thank you all so much for your replies.

    Yes this house was built by contractors working for a local Spanish chap – who lives around 400-500 yeards up on the right from us. We pay the bills for water and electricity to HIM……….we are on a third share of the costs (so say) as we have not, in truth been shown the actual bills. We have asked an interpretor to ask this chap on our behalf a few questions pertaining to the bills and to the water and electricity supply and meters.

    At the point of writing, we do not know if our Intepretor has actually managed to phone or go see the ‘proprietor’ of this house we are currently ‘renting’ even though we are ‘tied’ into a contract to buy. It is apparently only if it turns out illegal in any way shape or form we have an ‘escape clause’ and get our money back. We have been ‘assured and assured’ that it is a legal build – it is his land and registered etc etc and not rural waiting to become urbanised………………!

    But of course, we have not seen the urban plan for this region (PGOU)as it has not been dealt with yet, and also we have not been shown the deeds and documents pertaining to this house as ‘we are renting’………….until end of February 2008 when the to buy bit kicks in. Those questions will definitely be asked then and more besides.

    Otherwise, yes we are happy with the house and location as it suits all our needs. Also The spanish guy and his family are lovely people and we have socialised a few times with them, despite some language barriers as we are both still not too good with Spanish language.

    So I am wondering ….. is there anything we could/should or must do to act now…….or wait till nearer the time we are supposed to complete?

    Once again, I really do thank you for your kindness and support in all the replies.

    Cheers

    Paul

  • #63847
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    You haven’t actually said if you are using a lawyer independant to the landlord/builder.

    If not please take other legal advice for your statement re “if illegal ……” does bother me.

    It appears it was the norm in Spain,years ago, for owners of land to build then apply for building permission. Which was granted and the “unwritten law” made the house legal in time. Things have been changed and even the Spanish don’t go down that route anymore although some still do take a chance πŸ™„ and start the actual build before building permission has been agreed.

    Please seek alternative advice.

    Cheers

  • #63647
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    You haven’t actually said if you are using a lawyer independant to the landlord/builder.

    If not please take other legal advice for your statement re “if illegal ……” does bother me.

    It appears it was the norm in Spain,years ago, for owners of land to build then apply for building permission. Which was granted and the “unwritten law” made the house legal in time. Things have been changed and even the Spanish don’t go down that route anymore although some still do take a chance πŸ™„ and start the actual build before building permission has been agreed.

    Please seek alternative advice.

    Cheers

  • #63848
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “So I am wondering ….. is there anything we could/should or must do to act now…….or wait till nearer the time we are supposed to complete?”

    …….if you are lucky, you may get a reply on this one from the likes of Drakan or Cesar (lawyers who kindly contribute on this forum with their free legal advice/opinion).

  • #63648
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “So I am wondering ….. is there anything we could/should or must do to act now…….or wait till nearer the time we are supposed to complete?”

    …….if you are lucky, you may get a reply on this one from the likes of Drakan or Cesar (lawyers who kindly contribute on this forum with their free legal advice/opinion).

  • #63851
    Profile photo of lifeinspain
    lifeinspain
    Participant

    Hello again

    Yes we did use an independant solicitor. We knew not to use one who was also used by builder/landlord and agent thank God!

    Just cannot seem to obtain a definitive list of do’s and dont’s in our specific case. Not seen anyone posting a similar renting-with-to buy contract.

    I will therefore be watching this forum in case some kind Legal brain helps us out here, and perhaps points us in the safest and most legal direction!

    Much obliged to you all yet again

    Paul

  • #63651
    Profile photo of lifeinspain
    lifeinspain
    Participant

    Hello again

    Yes we did use an independant solicitor. We knew not to use one who was also used by builder/landlord and agent thank God!

    Just cannot seem to obtain a definitive list of do’s and dont’s in our specific case. Not seen anyone posting a similar renting-with-to buy contract.

    I will therefore be watching this forum in case some kind Legal brain helps us out here, and perhaps points us in the safest and most legal direction!

    Much obliged to you all yet again

    Paul

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