May 27, 2006 at 5:11 pm #51854
I have recently stumbled upon this forum and I have been impressed by the knowledge and wisdom of some of its members. I wish I had seen this forum before I bought my ‘off plan’ apartment in November 2002.
The agent I bought from failed to deliver on numerous promises, including delivery of their impressive rental forcasts when it came to letting my apartment for me. It was not long before they would neither speak to me or respond to e mails. I know what you must now be thinking……surprise – surprise!
Anyway I was advised to find a small local estate agent to let the apartment as ‘small agents give better service’.
In July 2004 I asked a small Spanish estate agent, who was establishing her new business in La Cala, to help me rent my apartment on a long let basis and manage it for me. She was very efficient, to begin with, and soon convinced me to let it to her son in law on a one year contract. She assured me that where business was concerned the ‘son in law’ relationship meant nothing. Silly me!
It was not long before payments became erratic and the more I chased, the less interested she became. At this point I started to hear about the horror stories of others regarding problems of recovering property from Spanish tenants and so on. Obviously I had been led into the one year contract without realising the implications and I became very worried. By now the lady was avoiding my calls.
My solicitor helped me recover the apartment and the end of the term but the rental arrears had accumulated to 2,500 euros. My solicitor was reluctant to take action over the money apart from making a couple of phone calls, which had some effect and the debt was reduced to 1,640 euros but thereafter he did not want to pursue her further. The estate agent accepts liabilty for the debt but continually fails to pay. (I think she has in fact received the money from the tenant and used it for herself.)
I have told this story to show that it is not just the large estate agents we must beware of. There seems to be a feeling among some subscribers that large agents are dishonest while small agents are trustworthy. Well, I am simply saying, not all small agents are trustworthy.
Can anyone point me towards a professional debt collection service?
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