Spanish property paperwork issue!

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This topic contains 20 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 4 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #57060
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hello, I have just had an offer accepted to buy a small old village house in Andalucia. The current owner bought the house in 1980, with only making a private purchase contract for the house, and it was never registered at the public notary (Escritura Publica).
    The owners lawyer has told me it will take 2 years to get it properly registered and have all the correct paperwork in the current owners name. Then we could complete the sale, and then finally followed by transferring it into my name. Or, he said I can by now (I guess with a private purchase contract) and then we can get it transferred into my name within the 2 year when all the paperwork is sorted out.
    1. Does this all sound right, as this is out of my comfort zone?
    2. Also, how would I be able to find out if all taxes have been paid upto date & any fines on the property, if it wasn`t ever properly registered? I wouldn`t want to buy the house then get stung for 30 odd years back tax and /fines (IBI/ basura etc)!

    Any help on this matter, really appreciated. 😕

  • #112115
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    It doesn’t sound right…walk away, quickly!

  • #112117
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    hi, thanks for your reply. why do you say walk away, have you had experience with a similar situation?

  • #112118
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Katy, is right. Please let your mind rule & not your heart. You were right to ask all the question that you have.

  • #112120
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    @spears71 wrote:

    Hello, I have just had an offer accepted to buy a small old village house in Andalucia. The current owner bought the house in 1980, with only making a private purchase contract for the house, and it was never registered at the public notary (Escritura Publica).
    The owners lawyer has told me it will take 2 years to get it properly registered and have all the correct paperwork in the current owners name. Then we could complete the sale, and then finally followed by transferring it into my name. Or, he said I can by now (I guess with a private purchase contract) and then we can get it transferred into my name within the 2 year when all the paperwork is sorted out.
    1. Does this all sound right, as this is out of my comfort zone?
    2. Also, how would I be able to find out if all taxes have been paid upto date & any fines on the property, if it wasn`t ever properly registered? I wouldn`t want to buy the house then get stung for 30 odd years back tax and /fines (IBI/ basura etc)!

    Any help on this matter, really appreciated. 😕

    Simply put, this man has nothing to sell at this moment in time.

  • #112121
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks for the reply`s.
    Does it take two years to get a property on the Escritura Publica, as this seems a very long time? On speaking to the owner, she seems to think it would only be a month or two?

  • #112123
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    i wouldn’t say run away,i’d say ok i will see you in 2 years and we will talk about how much less i am going to give you then. As it stands i would not hand over a penny or sign any thing

  • #112124
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Simply put, this man has nothing to sell at this moment in time.[/quote]

    Agreed, this is too risky, if the ‘sellers’ name isn’t on the deeds then it technically not their house to sell? If say ‘Juan Garcia Lopez’ owned the house from 1975 until 1980 then I would say that he could still claim that the house is still his if his name is still on the official deeds to the property?

    If you pay up now to then wait two years who knows who could walk in whilst you are sat there watching tv and tell you that the house is actually theirs!

    Sad but true that many people think that things like this are ok because someone once says that it’s the norm. It may be the norm to locals or family members BUT if you make a wrong move you’ll regret it and it will cost you dearly.

    There are plenty of houses with all their paperwork in place for sale. This house isn’t one of them and it would be best to walk away and find something else.

  • #112144
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Got to agree with itsme,

    There are hundreds of thousands (er sorry) millions of properties for sale in Spain. Why choose one with issues about legal ownership, etc. Hasn’t there being enough bad press to warn people over Spanish property nightmares!!

  • #112146
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    sorry but I can’t believe it, no wonder people get into trouble

  • #112147
    Profile photo of Arthur Stuttard
    Arthur Stuttard
    Participant

    In England, where, for example, the deeds have been lost, you can insure the title. There might be a similar thing in Spain. Lots of people do in fact hold property solely on a private contract, but it is risk. However, I am currently in the middle of litigation with someone who sold me some land, failed to give me an escritura, and then sold the land to someone else.

  • #112152
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Spears71, if you really love the house, can’t bear the thought of it not being yours etc. why not ask the current owners to sort out all the legal paperwork.

    Pay a small deposit, sign it in at the notary to state that it’s a holding deposit for the house whilst you await the full paperwork. They then can’t sell it to anyone else etc. If then they can’t sort out the full deeds etc. they have to return your deposit. Notaries are often very nice people, they might be able to explain the whole process to you and how long it would take etc. You could go yourself to the town hall catastral office and ask who’s name is listed for the house, ie who actually owns it officially, how much they paid, are they still local, what square metres are listed for the house, does the garage exist legally etc. ask lots of questions about who, where, what and how. I’m guessing that it is officially a ‘casita’ or garden shed or suchlike and no one has wanted to spend money registering it and paying the fees and taxes.

    The owners bought the house in 1980 so they paid peanuts for it themselves so the price in this current market should be very low anyway. They can afford to spend some money getting their paperwork up to date before the place is sold….they’ve had plenty of time to think about it!

    It is so much better to be safer than safe than oh so sorry with regards to Spanish property!

    If I was you i’d walk away and find something else but if you have really fallen in love with the house then you need to protect yourself fully before paying for the place. No deeds no deal.

  • #112154
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks very much itsme for your post, that`s really helpful. Arthur: thanks for your posting also. I`m going to look into all these suggestions.
    Nice to hear there are some people on here with some constructive answers.

  • #112155
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    If the vendor claims that all paper work can be sorted out in two months. Then put him/her on the spot & rent the property for the two months.

  • #112159
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I think all the answers you have received has been constructive!!

    To add to shakeel’s post, why not rent it while the owner sorts out the legal issues. Put a term into the rental agreement that after x months if all legal issues have not been resolved the rent will reduce or further rental payments will reduce the sale price of the property etc, or some such similar terms that mean the owner has to get on and sort the problem.

    In any case another 12 months down the line Spanish property is going to be ciirca 10% cheaper than today, so you hold all the cards in this transaction, so use them to your advantage.

    BTW can I ask have you already paid a deposit (greater than a few hundred euros) for this property? I can’t be bothered to repeat my advice on this subject, but if you have ask yourself why on earth did I do that??????

  • #112161
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    And I hope that this advice from us all can be of use to others who are searching for information and have doubts.

  • #112178
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I really don`t think I will get anything cheaper, even if i wait another 12 months. The price I have agreed with property owner is only… 10,000 euros! This is why I am willing to jump through some hoops to get the paperwork issue resolved. At this price the house obviously not fully habitable, so can`t rent.
    No, I haven`t paid a cent as yet and not planning to, until I know more. This is why I am blogging to see what advice/ experience others have had, before I start forking out for a lawyer to look into it all on my behalf.
    Thanks for the suggestions Shakeel & jp1.

  • #112179
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    10k is still a lot for a house which isn’t fully habitable and doesn’t have deeds. You’d be able to find lots of similar cases all over Spain, especially Andalucia.

    I’d ask the owners to get the deeds sorted out first.

  • #112187
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    @spears71 wrote:

    I really don`t think I will get anything cheaper, even if i wait another 12 months. The price I have agreed with property owner is only… 10,000 euros! This is why I am willing to jump through some hoops to get the paperwork issue resolved. At this price the house obviously not fully habitable, so can`t rent.
    No, I haven`t paid a cent as yet and not planning to, until I know more. This is why I am blogging to see what advice/ experience others have had, before I start forking out for a lawyer to look into it all on my behalf.
    Thanks for the suggestions Shakeel & jp1.

    ok very simple then. Get a lawyer.
    Have your lawyer contact the sellers regarding this to get copies of the contract that was signed. Your lawyer should be able to find out who/where the original vendor is. All the previous vendor should have to do is go to notary with the current vendor to get the document notarised and have the title deeds updated. You are then free to go to completion.

    The other situation is the old vendor has died, and the current vendor is going to have to go through the courts, which will take substantially longer.

    If this is the property for you, do a rent to buy contract.

  • #112296
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Rent to buy would be a good bet.

  • #112313
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    You take a view on the price and feel that if all goes pear shape you will €10k. Do not forget that the property could have debts, outstanding taxes etc,etc. You will have to pay them so you €10 k could be any amount.

    By you insisting in getting the papers sorted out the property will be uplifted to 21st Century in terms of its paper work etc.

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