We did not agree to pay any up front fee, they are requesting a 50% fee based on 1.25% of the sale value. We have e-mails that state we were not prepared to pay an upfront fee, but they could apply this to the reservation deposit when they obtained it. We were told by our estate agent that the deposit was available for them to collect , but our lawyers didn’t collect it as they thought the sale would go through quickly.
We have since severed ties with the original estate agent and have relisted it with another agent at a reduced price. The payment they are requesting is based on the original price.
We have said we would pay for costs they have incurred but not the upfront fee,as we didn’t agree to pay this and they did not obtain our reservation deposit. They are now refusing to release our keys, escritura and Power of Attourney. We think we put an end date on the power of attourney but stupidly can’t remember when it expires! Would it be difficult to get a copy or find this out?
If what you claim is exact and you haven’t signed an instruction letter with them or acknowledged receipt of an email or fax stating how the fees are to be paid they do not stand a chance against you and cannot claim you any money other than the POA fees and the Notary fees (both).
They certainly cannot claim 1.25%, don’t worry they would lose and they know it.
However, in these cases as a general rule clients always sign instruction letters with law firms and normally it is arranged that 50% of our legal fee is paid upfront and the balance upon completion.
But if you haven’t signed this nor received any communication on similar terms then you only owe them the POA fees and Notary fees. If you have received a communication in this sense even if you did not sign it and you handed them over the keuys it is understood you accepted the payment fees proposal. Which is why i insist that you are ok as long as your account is accurate.
You can always request copies at the notary of the original title deed they have and changing locks is an option. I would try to settle this with them amicably and if not report them to the Colegio de Abogados of which they are members.