Working in property sales in Spain for nearly six years, I’ve seen the boom and bust of the economic cycle and experience first hand how the previous sins of Councils, the Junta de Andalucía, developers, banks, solicitors and unscrupulous estate agents are blighting villa owners’ lives across the region.
Normally I avoid talking ‘shop’ as this blog intends to amuse and enlighten however I’m so angry and feel sorry for the home owners that are desperate to sell their properties and move on with their lives but are unable to due to the uncertain legal state of their homes. Thousands of people invested huge sums in properties that so called ‘professionals’ assured them were100% legal. People assumed that solicitors would protect them; not knowing that solicitors were rubbing stamping property purchases which either through the solicitors’ ignorance or malpractice should never have been allowed to proceed.
Like a macabre game of pass the parcel blame passes between councils and the Junta de Andalucía with the losers being home owners. Properties with full legal title that have been registered with the Land Registry for many years in some cases are now piggy in the middle in disputes between the various Authorities. Segregation licences which split large tracts of land into building plots are now in Albox’s case being considered to reconsolidate into the original large plot with the home owners concerned having to face part owning the larger plot but wholly owning the constructions on them.
Before 2008 some solicitors seemed to work on the Estate Agents behalf who was introducing a regular stream of unwitting clients rather than for the clients whose money they were paid to protect. In 2005, the sellers of the house we were buying asked for a 3 month extension so that paperwork could be corrected which we agreed to as we wanted the property to have full legal title. Yet at the Notary for completion the contract stated that the 2 storey house with large garden was still registered as a single storey house with no land at all! Both agents advised ‘don’t worry about it’ and disappeared with their commissions. Thousands have been spent correcting the mistakes and many people are suffering similar problems.
Anybody considering buying Spanish property must ensure they pay for the best legal advice possible and it feels wrong then walk away. That’s that off my chest!