July 7, 2005 at 3:55 pm #51160
A friend purchased a house in Spain in joint names with her boyfriend last year. The house was valued at £200,000. My friend paid £70,000 and her boyfriend £30,000 and they took out a mortgage with a Spanish bank for the balance of £100K.
Relationship fell apart weeks later. She has paid the boyfriend his £30K and he has signed a letter in England stating that he relinquishes all rights to the property. My friend has paid the mortgage each month in full. She now wishes to transfer the property formally into her sole name.
However, she has been advised that the only way to do it without spending thousands is to get her boyfriend to go to Spain and sign over the property in front of a notary. However, communications between the two is non-existant and there is no realistic possibility of getting him over to Spain.
The problem is becoming pressing as she now believes the boyfriend (who turned out to be a con artist) is being investigated for tax and she is concerned that the English authorities will seize the house where she intends to move permanently to in November.
July 8, 2005 at 6:51 pm #58473
Easy to say now, but your friend shouldn’t have handed over the 30k without getting her ex to sign a power of attorney in her favour. With the correct power of attorney she could have then changed the deeds before Spanish notary to 100% ownership in her name. You can be sure that no Spanish notary will allow the deeds to be changed on the strength of the letter, so like it or not she will now have to ask the scoundrel to sign a power of attorney. He doesn’t need to go to Spain for this – it can be done before a Notary Public in the UK (with a Hague Apsotille from the Foreign Office), and can also be arranged through one of the Spanish consulates (London, Manchester, Edinburgh). For all I know there is a process in the UK by which the letter can be converted into the necessary POA, though I doubt it. She will need to consult her solicitor on this matter. No doubt the rascal will sign a POA……….if the price is right. That’s the thing about life; never hand over the lolly until you’ve got what you need.
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