November 19, 2005 at 9:31 am #51367
Did anyone see the program last night about illegal builds in Spain? It just shows that the Spanish authorities take your money, then slap an illegal build order on the property.
Why don’t the Town Halls do something BEFORE the builders finish these places? They know what is going on. You would think Spain was a third world country with NO laws. 👿
It is a pity it was shown on the same night as “Children in Need”. It hopefully will make people more aware. We will DEFINATELY not EVER be buying in Spain.
November 19, 2005 at 1:38 pm #59891
I think you will find it is Spanish estate agents (most of them english) and people working for them who have created this scenario.The Spanish authorities are only trying to uphold and protect the law’s of the land.The naivety of people buying and not looking into the whole process is where the problems lie.Would you put your hand into an open fire and expect not get burned ??
November 19, 2005 at 2:01 pm #59892
I saw the programme Claire, the worrying thing is that it apparently involves 1000s of illegally built properties on the C del Sol and C Blanca.
Same old story of the triangle of deceit between the Estate Agent mis-selling fraudulently in the 1st place, introducing his recommended ‘dodgy’ lawyer and of course the ‘crooked’ developers building properties on rustic land illegally. Add to that the questionable town councils and police force, plus relevant Government bodies only deciding to bulldoze the properties after they have been bought and occupied.
Makes you wonder why they don’t bulldoze them during the course of construction to stop the problem happening in the 1st place. It makes you weep when everyone involved then blames the poor purchasers for not doing their homework properly, the same purchasers who expect the agent to have told the truth, and their lawyer to have acted dilligently for them and not the crooks.
Property fraud is rife in Spain full-stop, far more so than in the UK where these scenes would not be repeated. What’s being done to stop it, well b—-r all, far too much money involved to rock the boat, the sooner they start prosecuting and jailing the crooks, the better?
November 19, 2005 at 3:29 pm #59893
Punka, I would not put my hand in an open fire…..I KNOW what the consequences would be ! I have that knowledge. I had no knowledge of the “irregularities” in the Spanish property market. Why wouldn’t I put my trust in a lawyer to act appropriately on my behalf? After all, that is what I paid 7.000euros for…so they tell us.!
November 19, 2005 at 7:07 pm #59895
well claire maybe you should do your home work better would you give your money to a moon lawyer without first seeing he is a earthing first ,claire you should do your research first before handing any monies ouer……
November 19, 2005 at 7:19 pm #59898
YES WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR MONEY TOMR BLOBBEY IF HE TOLD YOU HE WAS A LAWYER….
November 19, 2005 at 10:16 pm #59899
I saw the programme and I was absolutly appalled. I dont understand how can members of this forum blame the people for not consulting a lawyer. I think the problem lies firmly with the Spanish authorities/Ayuntiamentos who just sit on the fence and watch these buildings erected. It seems they do nothing to control estate agents or lawyers and in most cases let them get away with blue murder. What can you do when even some notaries have had their nose in the trough according to the Sur in English. What hope have you got??
In my particular case I consulted a Lawyer registered in Cadiz and look where it got me?? After I had bought my house and a discrepancy of over 750 meters of land was discovered. My lawyer merely said I am sorry I have made a mistake I should have checked things more carefully!! His advice now is to sell the house!
What we want I feel is more programmes and publicity of a similar nature then people will cease to buy properties in Spain and in turn maybe force the authorities to finally get a grip on everything – some hope!!
November 20, 2005 at 7:30 pm #59906
If you go to a reputable solicitor /lawyer who has his company group behind him , you would think all would be well, as indeed I should think CLAIRE did.You have to trust people somewhere along the line, why would you think you wouldn’t get a good service from your solicitor. They are in the legal profession .
No one justs hands over money to quote ” Mr Blobby” or “a Moon Lawyer” don’t be ridiculous. You hand over your money to a lawyer in the legal profession in good faith . Its not the clients fault!!!!!!!!!!!!!! here.
November 20, 2005 at 7:48 pm #59907
I have to say that it is not the first time “guest” who is in fact “BUN” has had a swipe at me. Why, I don’t know. He has a problem. He was extremely rude in two separate posts. I read them early one morning, replied to him that he blew his cover…he would do well to use a spell check and punctuate his sentences. Mark also read them and deleted his posts and locked the topic !!!!!!!!!! I guess there are people like this on every forum.
November 20, 2005 at 9:53 pm #59908
I think his problem is that he wants to shoot the messenger!
November 20, 2005 at 10:51 pm #59910
I watched the programme and had exactly the same thoughts as Claire, as I’m sure did any sane viewer.
It was obscene to hear how everybody involved – developers, builders, solicitors, estate agents, local town councils, the police, all conspired to do absolutely nothing and were happy to take their profits, percentages and back-handers–until the Brits had been relieved of their money.
If you can’t trust solicitors and government officials, who can you trust? To blame Brit purchasers is naiive. Let’s face it, at the end of the day Spain is still little more than a banana republic.
I know I will not be buying there– I have somewhere much safer and nicer in mind. But I’m not telling you lot or you’ll all be there and they’ll have a property boom.
November 20, 2005 at 11:03 pm #59911
Spoilsport!! 😆 😆
November 21, 2005 at 10:27 am #59912
Claire, Axwhale etc, clearly there are a few ‘dingbats’ posting their ridiculous comments about burning fingers etc, wind-up merchants some of whom probably work for same dodgy estate agents in the first place, if they can’t be constructive why are they posting?
Personally, I doubt I would buy again in Spain, fraud is rife, too many wide-boys and crooks, the Spanish Authorities are doing b—-r all about it, I wouldn’t know who to trust even from a recommendation.
November 21, 2005 at 11:43 am #59915
An interesting debate. I suspect that some of the UK’s “bent dealers” – “dodgy estate agents” and “shoddy builders” end up plying their trades in CDS and CB. It is interesting that many of the “big players” in Realty are also headed by UK names. Makes you wonder doesn’t it?
Some Brits seem to employ a “blame culture” when things go wrong for them in a foreign country – we lived amongst a group when we had a house in Cyprus a couple of years ago. It put us off so much – we vowed never to buy amongst Brits again!!
November 23, 2005 at 2:00 am #59935
to Punka, Elk and a certain guest……
No, guys, you really don’t get it, do you.
See if you can concentrate hard, put your brain into gear (first gear will do, you don’t want to run before you can walk, do you dears…..) and I will try to explain in a simplistic fashion that the likes of you may understand.
Devious developer gives bent backhander to naughty ‘government official’ in exchange for a nod and a wink and a bogey building licence to build somewhere where said developer really shouldn’t.
Big apartment development means loads of commissions for agents, loads of fees for lawyers, loads of taxes for you-know-who, and best of all……. loads of deposits for the developer (who probably didn’t have the capital/cash flow to build such a development in the first place, but who cares, he can build it with all the 30% deposits coming in from the buyers).
Now guys, are you still concentrating (if it helps, try sticking a forefinger up one of your nostrils, it always seems to help my six year old Godson) because the next bit gets a little more tricky….
All the above ‘professionals’ know that the whole thing is a big risk.
No building licence? No problem. Suspended building licence? No problem. All will be sorted later.
Company directors can change a company name, re-apply again for that building licence, worry about everything manhana, the important thing is to continue to lie that everything is o.k., just so long as that lovely money is rolling in!
Then, oops! A change of power in an election for example (no Mark, I’m being good and not mentioning names/places) and the plug gets pulled from the whole ‘basin of corruption’.
The result? The agents have their commissions, the lawyers have their fees, and the developer? Well, having ‘sold’ 62 apartments, all those
30%’s add up to about 6,000,000 euros, hey!…..there is now enough money to build a NEW development – let’s forget this one, too many problems.
What?… return all this lovely money to the purchasers, God no, they can wait until we build our new development with their money. Then when we sell THOSE and get more money in, then we’ll pay them. Who says the Spanish don’t have a good business-sense????
THAT, my dear little guys, is basically the situation that Claire and myself found ourselves tangled up in.
Now I am not stupid, and having talked with Claire at great length on the ‘phone, I know neither is she.
Agent? Claire chose a big company (high-profile and proud enough to advertise on t.v.), big offices in huge glass building – they certainly aren’t going to disappear overnight. Must be solid.
Me? I chose one of the biggest estate agents in London, been around for years, 103 offices worldwide etc. etc. When I walked into their Marbella office, I had confidence that I was in safe hands.
Research? Yes, we looked at the developer’s track record – many great 5 star developments under their belt on the same golf course. Why should this one be any different?
We are having to fight to get our money back (their attitude is almost like, well – it isn’t our fault our building licence got suspended, and that we are unable to bribe these new people in office..)
This is probably one of the most stressful experiences I’ve had to endure in my life (as I know it is for Claire as well), to the point it has affected our health.
And then you Punk(a), and ELK and a certain guest, come along to a forum that is basically to exchange encouragement and advice between people in similar situations, and you write pathetic, child-like, rude comments, putting the blame on us.
For the three of you to talk about analagies of hands in fire, Mr. Blobby and Moon lawyers, you are an insult to people who are already hurting. By your attitudes, you have obviously not been cheated and lost money in a way like most of us have.
I suggest that if my somewhat lengthy lesson has failed to educate you in the realities of what is happening in many situations around Spain, and that you still don’t understand where blame rightly sits (whether you want to accept it or not), i suggest you leave this forum and concentrate on your children’s novels about Mr. Blobby and moon people, about which you are obviously so much more knowledgable.
November 23, 2005 at 7:48 am #59936
Sofia, what can I say? …….except… BRILLIANT!!!! 😆 😆 😆
November 23, 2005 at 8:37 am #59937
Claire – thank you.
let us hope that this forum returns to constructive and mature contributions…
– and those who only have childish and ignorant comments to make spend their time more constructively (playing with their Nintendo?).
Will call you later this morning with latest news.
November 23, 2005 at 10:17 am #59942
I don’t have an “axe to grind” in this forum but wow! – there are some really unhappy bunnies out there. Makes very excruciating reading for new readers, I suspect.
I know individuals’ experiences colour their judgement of situations – this is human nature – but can we at least acknowledge that there is likely to be an overall balance between “good and evil” in the Spanish property market?
Is it unfair to “tar the whole of the market with the same brush”?
November 23, 2005 at 10:46 am #59944
Sofia excellent. You have it exactly as it is. Its all been so easy for the developers I don’t know why I didn’t set up a construction co. when I came out ten years ago Its robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Ps any news yet?
November 23, 2005 at 11:54 am #59947
In answer to Boogaloos last question;
Is it unfair to tar the whole of the market with the same brush
Ummm…No, it is not unfair.
These things should not be happening at all in a civilised country. There is always the odd bad apple but it appears that in Spain, the whole orchard is rotten, give or take a couple of trees.
November 23, 2005 at 8:49 pm #59955
Well my local mayor in manilva just got arrested. Seems he couldn’t explain what E770,000 was doing in plastic bags in his house…
& after the white whale, it seems we have white whale 2 just off the coast of morocco.
Corruption is rife and it seems to me that hounesty is an uncommon commodity on the costa del sol. My first experience of getting ripped off was by a gibbo british barrister who couldn’t get his head out of his nosebag, and then by a Sotogrande estate agent who nine months after I vacated his house (as he failed to live up to a verbal agreement) will still not give me back my deposit.
However, if you look hard there are good and honourable professional people here in Spain, but beware, corruption is rife.
November 23, 2005 at 10:22 pm #59957
AMAZING!!!!! I’m lost for words.
November 24, 2005 at 1:02 am #59958
Excellent post Sofia. And you have confirmed exactly what I said 4 posts before.
Sorry to hear about your problems.
Spain, where 99% of property professionals give the rest a bad name.
November 24, 2005 at 9:43 am #59959
Fantastic you have hit ther nail on the head. I could not have put it better myself. Lets hope this new government does sort it out once and for all.
November 24, 2005 at 1:44 pm #59967
Well my local mayor in manilva just got arrested. Seems he couldn’t explain what E770,000 was doing in plastic bags in his house…
I wonder how much of that is hard-earned savings from England…. ❓
November 25, 2005 at 10:09 am #59978
I’ve deleted the squabbles and am now locking this thread. It wasn’t going anywhere productive.
Let me end it by saying this. I have a unique view of the Spanish property market. I cover the whole country, am in touch with many relevant people (developers, agents, lawyers, officials, buyers, etc.) and see both the good and bad. Based on my experience I can safely say that things turn out fine for the vast majority of foreign buyers. It’s just that happy and satisfied buyers don’t end up venting their anger and frustration in a forum like this. They are off somewhere enjoying their properties.
On the other hand, an unacceptably large number of people run into serious problems, even if they are a tiny group compared to the many satisfied buyers. This forum is here for discussion, but also so people can learn from others, and one of the most helpful things this forum can do is point out the big risks (and with a bit of luck help those in trouble to solve their problems). So the posts from people who have run into problems are valuable, as they help others just starting out to identify and avoid the big risks. But it would be a mistake to think that these problems are always unavoidable or affect the majority.
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