How do you get Estate Agents to work within the law?

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 10 years ago.

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  • #52476
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    After months of trying to buy an apartment in Ibiza, I am on the brink of having to pull out of the purchase as the vendors estate agent refuses to work within (or anywhere near) the law.

    It’s a long story but following a survey by my bank, I found that that roof terrace (which makes up half the property) isn’t legally registered which had a huge impact on the valuation. After taking advice from some very helpful users of this forum, I asked the estate agent to get the vendor to register the terrace and even offered to help with the legal costs.

    However after a month of dithering around, I have now been informed that it is ‘impossible’ to do this for a number of bizarre reasons including: because it was never registered when the property was built 20 years ago, because there is no paperwork, because it will take a very long time and because it will cost a lot of money… In the estate agents view I will just have to raise the extra money to cover the shortfall in the valuation, oh and they would also like me to pay in black money.

    Can anyone advise me what I can do to resolve the situation? Can I hire a lawyer and register the terrace on the vendors behalf so resolving the valuation problem? Should I make a reduced offer for the apartment? Or should I just walk away? It breaks my heart to think of losing the property however I guess I’d be mad to spend a great deal of money on an apartment that legally I only own half of. Help!!

    I believe that the Spanish government is meant to be seriously clamping down on all illegal property practices – did someone forget to tell the estate agents?!

    Thanks
    Van

  • #67621
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I would walk away – in fact i would run. Why take the risk? Look around at other properties.

  • #67623
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Personally, I would make a lower offer to reflect the true value of the registered property and to cover your possible costs in registering the “missing” part. If they won’t see sense then you should walk. There’ll be another, legal one round the corner.

  • #67624
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Walk away, there will be another dream property not far away, hopefully without complications. 🙂

  • #67629
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    You probably should walk away – but if you have your heart set on the apartment I suggest you do the following.

    Firstly, find a good hands-on lawyer with plenty of conveyancy experience. Do not accept the agent’s recommendation.

    Secondly, insist on a face-to-face meeting with the seller, their agent, and you and your lawyer. If your lawyer has done his homework before the meeting then I am sure you will find several solutions that satisfy both the seller and yourselves. Of course, the agent may have to wait longer for his commission and it might be taxable but ….

    It may be that the owner is out of the country but even then it should be possible to communicate directly. If the agent refuses to organise this meeting then cut him out and go directly to the neighbours and find the owner’s name and address.

    Good luck.

  • #67632
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Perhaps the best place to start is to ask yourself……..’what would I do if this situation was in England?’

    You should then have your answer.

  • #67653
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks for all your replies. Following a meeting with our spanish bank manager (who very kindly interceded on our behalf with the estate agent), we have found out that none of the terraces in the whole of the complex appear to be registered. To register the terrace on the apartment we had hoped to buy would take agreement from every member of the Owners Association and therefore is ‘impossible’…

    Anyway, tomorrow I’m going to email the estate agent with a lower offer. I’m not holding out much hope as this will be 20,000 euros less than the agreed price but you never know!

    In the meantime if anyone knows anybody selling a legal quiet two bedroom apartment with a terrace in the south west of Ibiza, I’d be very interested to talk to them!

    Thanks again
    Van

    P.S. If anyone needs an honest, direct and to the point spanish banker in UK, I can not recommend Alvaro at La Caixa on Regent St, London more highly. He is the only person in this whole very unpleasant experience who has acted with total integrity.

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