September 27, 2005 at 8:21 am #51255
We are about to purchase a village property but there are apparently some problems with the escritura.
1) The owner’s husband died intestate some years ago (they had one daughter, who has been involved in the negotiations from the start).
2) Apparently, when the owner bought the property (at least five years ago) from a large local family, one brother signed on another brother’s behalf without a power of attorney. I believe this brother, who never signed, is untraceable and may have died.
3) The notary is aware of these problems and has said that there would be no problem with the owner signing the property over to us very soon.
My questions are:
1. Does the brother who never signed (assuming he’s still alive) or his relatives have a claim on the property once it has been signed over to us? How can this be avoided?
2. Is there some way that this can be sorted out BEFORE we sign the escritura? I am presuming the notary is aware of some way to sort this out and this is why s/he is so confident that everything will be OK. However, I am aware that the notary is not acting on our behalf and am keen to find out for myself, exactly what steps we all need to take to make sure we are the SOLE legal owners when we buy it.
September 27, 2005 at 6:27 pm #58947
This is complicated stuff.
The other brother, if he were to emerge from nowhere, could have a claim on the property. You can’t rule it out.
I strongly recommend you hire a good lawyer to make sure that you are covered. You don’t mention your lawyer – does that mean you are trying to buy a Spanish property that has title deed complications without using a lawyer?
September 28, 2005 at 5:35 pm #58967
Thank you for your reply. We are in the process of finding a lawyer. Since we are not along the coast, it’s difficult to find a lawyer who is able to help us in English. We both speak very good Spanish but not enough to read legal jargon and understand its implications. It also seems to be difficult to find a REPUTABLE English-speaking lawyer along the coast!
At present, we have been advised that the long lost brother IS still alive and MAY have signed some kind of ratification document after the house was purchased. The vendor and her lawyer are currently trying to track him down.
Thanks again for your advice.
September 29, 2005 at 7:28 am #58975
Where abouts is the property in question (which province / region)?
September 29, 2005 at 8:16 am #58976
The property is in Cordoba province.
September 29, 2005 at 9:51 am #58977
If someone signed on behalf of someone else without an authorised power of attorney the Notary should have mentioned this in the escritura and that the brother has to officially confirm his agreement. The Land Registry should not allow a new escritura to be registered if they do not have a certified copy of the ratification or at least they will carry the same note in the Registry, i.e. that there is a missing confirmation from the brother. This could cause problems in the future. If the brother has since died then you would have to get his successors to confirm on his behalf.
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