- July 27, 2005 at 2:45 pm #51175
Many of the entries on this website have stressed the importance of using a good lawyer when buying property in Spain, especially off-plan. I copied this comment made by the moderator of another board.
“Here in Spain we don’t have any “Solicitors” as you know then in the UK.
You would use an “Abogado”, i.e. a Lawyer, to check out any legal work but he is most certainly NOT an errand boy who runs round checking things like planning etc. with the Council and would not expect to do this on your behalf. A lawyer will ensure for example that there are no dodgy clauses in your contract… and deal with the court case later if there are!”
The board in question relates to the Almeria region, but the situation in Murcia seems to be the same. The lack of planning consent, building licences, habitation certificates etc just do not seem to be issues that are dealt with by the lawyer.
- July 27, 2005 at 5:15 pm #58545
I don’t know where you got that information from, I am surprised to read it…., I have been doing conveyancing for many years and I understand that a proffesional lawyer MUST check documents like building license, bank guarantees, first occupation license, etc, etc. and obviouly make sure that you sign a fair contract for the buyer.
No matter which area of Spain you are buying in, your lawyer should check those documents in advance. checking all that in advance and being strict with the developer AND the agency avoids many future problems, I know by experience…
I hope this helps you understand what is our job , regards, and good luck,
Jose Maria Sánchez Alfonso
Lawyer / Abogado
Málaga, Costa del Sol
- July 27, 2005 at 10:48 pm #58549
Thank you for your reply – would you consider opening an office in Mazarron? 🙂
There are many, many people in Murcia being encouraged to make stage payments on off-plan properties that turn out not to have building licences, to make payments without receiving bank guarantees, to make final payments and take keys without the escritura and to sign the escritura without Habitation Certificates. It appears to be the normal state of affairs and many lawyers seem to have no problem with this.
The attitude is encouraged by purchasers who think that this is “The Spanish Way”and that to object is in some way an insult to the Spanish people.
Thank you for your good wishes.
- July 28, 2005 at 8:49 am #58550
Thanks for your letter,
If everybody investing in Spain from abroad were half as sensible as you are then we would hear so many complaints and troubles.
You are right, that is not the Spanish Way, it seems that it is the Murcian Way, just don’t follow that way. Get a good lawyer in the area ( perhaps Juan Bertomeu can recommend you one ) who is honest enough to be strict with the developer, The alternative: buy in other region of Spain, as clear as that.
Oh, and those documents are just an example, there are others to check of course.
Jose Maria Sánchez Alfonso
Lawyer / Abogado
Málaga, Costa del Sol
- July 28, 2005 at 9:41 am #58552
I really wish I was half as sensible as I sound.
Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing?
- July 28, 2005 at 9:43 am #58553
So sorry, I meant to say ‘Dear Jose’ of course 😳
- August 6, 2005 at 11:04 am #58602
I’ve just written a report on Murcia’s property market for the Sunday Times. It will be published in the next few months. I’ll also put up a much more detailed account here online.
I know exactly what you are talking about. There is a lot of shady dealing going on in Murcia. It’s a beautiful country but the property market can be treacherous. When buying in Murcia it’s more important than ever to deal only with the most reputable companies and use an independent lawyer to check everything. The advice you quote as being given in Murcia couldn’t be more wrong.
And another thing. If you are thinking of buying on a development, especially in the Mazarron area, then make sure you visit the development on your own (not with an estate agent) and talk to a few people who have already bought there. I visited 2 high-profile developments on the road north from Mazarron to Alhama. In both cases I was talking to British residents who had bought there within 1 minute of arriving, and within 2 minutes of arriving I knew that these developments had to be avoided like the plague. There were planning permission problems, buyers hadn’t been given title deeds even 3 years after paying in full, serious build quality problems, urbanisation infrastructure unfinished by a penny-pinching developer, etc, etc. All you have to do is visit and start talking to people and you soon find this out.
But anyone thinking of buying in Murcia should start by finding a lawyer. There’s a good lawyer in Murcia called Gonzalo Ross who you can trust. You can find his contact details here:http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/spanish_property_solutions_legal.htm
I’ll let everyone on the mailing list know when the Murcia guide is online. If you aren’t yet on the mailing list you can sign up on any of the pages at the main website.
- August 6, 2005 at 1:01 pm #58603
I believe the same developer is selling the Almanzora Country Club,Cuevas del Almanzora.
Apparently lots of problems there as well .
Lack of initial planning permission for one !!
Have read lots of *serious * arguments on various sites about it.
Problem is one doesn’t know if those FOR are moles. Certainly those highlighting problems have been accused of scaremongering.
Perhaps you could make this your next project and hopefully people will not end up in a similar problem to Mazarron.
I am not involved but think it very wrong that people might lose their hard earned money not to mention the stress involved.
I believe projects like this require an independant and honest article.
- November 28, 2005 at 10:39 pm #60029
Thank you very much for recommending Gonzalo Ross of Ross Legal Services in Aguilas. He has restored my faith in Spain after some very unpleasant experiences with the lawyers I got mixed up with in May. I would like to name them but guess you would not let me!
There are still some problems to resolve, mainly because we’ve listened to the wrong people in the past, but I’m confident that with advice from Gonzalo Ross we can sort this out.
I have been in the off-plan purchase process for three and a half years now. I would like to be able to say that because of everything I’ve learned I would be able to avoid the pitfalls if I did it all over again – but it wouldn’t be true. It is too easy for developers to disregard their obligations to purchasers, seemingly with the tacit approval of local government.
- January 17, 2006 at 4:27 pm #60573
I find that most of you complain when buying off-plan, but do not forget that way you are saving around 30 or 40 % in your investment if not more…. You can´t have it all can you. Nevertheless this is not excused to be ripped by some builders which as a spanierd , I regret also !
My advice is just make sure of what you are buying and where. Unfortunately you can only ask for building licenses, project and bank guarantees, though this is not 100 % sure either.
A granted building license, can be revoced (cancelled) (sorry my English is not perfect if I make spelling errors…) by the government for political reasons and many times it is not the builders or sales agent´s falt. But if you have a proper bank guarantee, you are safe enough since you can get your money back plus the legal inerest of the yearly money value given by banks which is allready more than just have it sitting in some account. Of course sometimes, this is not even worth the hussel, headaches and stressed, but trust me, it is exactly the same in the U.K. , Germany and of course much worst in countries without legal guarantees like Turkey, Morrocco, Bulgary, Rumania, Portugal or even Greece.
Spain is not like 20 years ago. I know many people from abroad doing also illegal things concerning rustic land properties and then complaining on T.V. when legal actions are taken againts them
Just my oppinion
Enjoy your stay , Spain is the best place to be, not sunamies, no earthquakes , no Islam (not yet whatsoever) good food and good wheather …….. !
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