Abogados and the Property Scandal

Information and questions about the Law in Spain and Andalucia.
AndaluzCampo
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Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby AndaluzCampo » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:32 pm

I have a few questions in one - I apologise.

If you feel that your abogado has not acted in your best interests when purchasing a house in Spain, can you ask/get him to 'rectify' this in any way, at a later date?

Has anyone tried going back to their original abogado and challenged him/her on issues about not doing X or Y on their behalf and had any success?

Would a court case of negligence be appropriate (anyone tried this) and would there be a timescale within which to lodge this. (please don't laugh)

Let me explain:
I see that sellers are being urged to get all their paperwork in order for purchasers - otherwise it could lose the sale! Well, the seller didn't need to get his paperwork in order for us just a few years ago:

I now find that I will probably have to pay another abogado thousands of euros to do the job my original abogado should have done; for example:

1 Items not on my Escritura when I bought, like pool, garage, etc
2 Catastral parcela not matching actual size or shape in register
3 10-year build guarantee documentation
4 Application and licence not in the name of first and only owner
4 Most serious of all, official confirmation of legal search with Town Hall, checking on legality of build, no dununcias or proceedings from Junta, included in PGOU, etc at time of purchase

I don't know how we could have got in such a mess, when we thought everything was being done properly and professionally. Our abogado's fees were around 3,000 euros.

Your comments would be very welcome.

Beachcomber
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Re: Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby Beachcomber » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:30 pm

I don't think mine will be, at least not in certain quarters.

You will never find a lawyer who will go through with the process of taking a another lawyer to court and the College of Abogados is nothing more than a trade association dedicated to defending its members from disgruntled clients rather than helping these clients with their complaints.

A favourite trick is for a lawyer to take a provision of funds to take on the case, sit on it for a year, then say that there is insufficient evidence but that the provision of funds has been used up in the 'work' he has done so far. If you should find a lawyer who will take on the case try to insist that he does so on a no win no fee basis.

One local firm of lawyers who used boast 'offices in several Andalucian towns' tries to duck responsibility by telling people when they go back to complain that the lawyer who dealt with their purchase no longer works for them. However, if you have a proper bill it will be in the name of the firm not the individual lawyer so that scuppers that one.

Some lawyers are even openly advertising a service for 'regularising' the illegal properties which they were responsible for their clients purchasing so they charged them a fortune to get them into one unholy mess and another fortune on the promise of getting them out of it. However, they are careful to use the word 'regularisation' rather than 'legalisation'.

Adding items to an escritura or changing a toolshed into a dwelling by way of an architect's certificate has now become virtually impossible typically failing at the final hurdle of being registered in the property registry and, even if you manage it, the end result is 'regularisation' not legalisation.

Jool
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Re: Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby Jool » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:00 am

Beachcomber is correct but all may not be lost in terms of your position

1 Items not on my Escritura when I bought, like pool, garage, etc
2 Catastral parcela not matching actual size or shape in register
3 10-year build guarantee documentation
4 Application and licence not in the name of first and only owner
4 Most serious of all, official confirmation of legal search with Town Hall, checking on legality of build, no dununcias or proceedings from Junta, included in PGOU, etc at time of purchase


1. Do you have any licence applications or licences issued for these?
2. Catastro is rarely correct, you can get your Town Hall to help you correct this, there are various routes to do and the catastro person there will be the best one to help you.
3. Often not worth the paper it is written on anyway as there are so many exclusions but do you have a book of build (Libro del Edificio?)
4. Is licence in name of builder/promoter?
5. You can check the PGOU for your area - your town Hall will have a copy of this..........also look at the goolzoom website and the overlays of Sigpac.

I totally agree your solicitor should have done this and my big gripe is that agents have got it in the neck for all the illegal builds but for me the buck stops with the solicitors, especially in an area or country where there is a different legal system....

katy
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Re: Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby katy » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:30 am

I know someone whose Lawyer sued their old Lawyer and won. He is based in Fuengirola and must be one in a million. I agree with Beachcomber, in most cases you are just throwing money away.
Our Friends in coín have spent about 8000 euro to try to legalise their house and all came to nothing. The house is legal except for a small extention. They are stuck with it and have been trying to rent it for 8 months.
Our pool was not on the escritura but it did not impede the sale. Perhaps it is different in rural areas.

AndaluzCampo
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Re: Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby AndaluzCampo » Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:29 pm

Thanks very much to all posters for your help and comments.

What really annoys me is when I read articles in the press featuring the UK Ambassador and where there is reference made to UK housebuyers over here maybe not understanding the law or employing a solicitor.
Em, that's EXCATLY why we DID employ a SOLICITOR to carry out the LEGAL work for us and to EXPLAIN things to us clearly :x
So, returning to one of my original questions, do you think there would a timescale within which I could return to Company - Senor X, with my list of concerns?

Wow 8,000 euros extra to try and legalise things! We actually pointed out to our solicitor that as a PENSIONER we wanted to make sure everything was 100% LEGAL BEFORE buying this property. As it's not only money, it's TIME and LIFESTYLE at this age that has to be considered, (with all the stress and hassle if it's legal and done properly at the outset). :(

1 No applications or licences for pool from builder/promotor/original owner - Builder -Abogado :x
2 Catastral - there's several things from your link:
2.1 it seems our plot was rather large originally and was divided up several years ago, by the builder?
2.2 There are now 3 parcelas, each with a house on them.
2.3Our plot also shrank a bit in size again before we purchased it, but this wasn't reflected in the Escritura.
2.4 The problem is that the builder now claims that land he told us was ours is now his, to our considerable detriment; privacy. So, I don't think it would simply be a question of Town Hall sorting it out - Builder - Abogado :x
3 Libro deEdificio? - I don't know who, where to look - is it the house plans? I have them.
4 Licence - not in the name of the builder/promotor/escritura owner - but in the name of one of his family relatives (allegedly this is the case with all our neighbouring campo houses built by same builder).
5 PGOU, last time I checked they didn't know as they were submitting a new one for approval. The catastral register also doesn't show all our neighbours houses as being built on their plot, but only some and these have DISEMENADO? registered on them.

Thigs can only get better ...

katy
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Re: Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby katy » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:45 pm

This is the Lawyer who sued my friends previous lawyer. He won and also got all legal costs to be paid by them. His name is Carlos Comitre.

http://www.ley57.com/pt/

Jool
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Re: Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby Jool » Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:32 am

I would strongly recommend you take up Katy´s option as there are so many issues involved here, but to answer the questions I can, in case it helps you....

Catastro
If the land was divided up then there must be a segregation plan and should be a segregation licence, copies in town Hall. If this was not done then your legal status is significantly changed and you definitely need to take legal advice. The catastro should show the boundaries of your land regardless of what the builder now says. This gives you a basis to start from, not for them to resolve the dispute.

Book of build is all the documentation related to the house build, the composition of the property, materials used, Architect´s quality spec, seguro decenal (10 year structural guarantee) all the licences, final de obras, details of the electricians, plumbers etc who worked on your property. It should include the licence of first occupation as well.

4. Licence - look up the details of the directors of the various companies this builder/promoter/developer trades under as the relative may be named on one of those

Beachcomber
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Re: Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby Beachcomber » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:49 pm

Katy, is there some connection here with Cylco Abogados?

katy
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Re: Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby katy » Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:17 pm

No idea. When I found the web page I noticed things have changed. He was previously based in Fuengirola :?

My friend cannot speak too highly of him, plus it cost them very little as he managed to win all legal costs too.

teralin
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Re: Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby teralin » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:18 pm

What does "diseminados" on the catastral register mean? For example, my localizacion on the register is shown as DS Diseminados 112, followed by the rest of the address.

starynightsky
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Re: Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby starynightsky » Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:26 pm

Our solicitor seemed to do the bare minimum he needed to when buying our property. We had to prompt him to do all sorts of things and get documents stamped etc etc.

If anyone is considering buying property over here then you need to do your research and talk to as many people as you can so that you can jump up and down on your abogado if he is not doing his job properly.

Just my two cents

Beachcomber
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Re: Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby Beachcomber » Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:35 pm

Given the inherent sloth of the majority of Spanish property conveyancing lawyers you certainly have to do most of the work yourself and the only thing that inhibits a non-Spanish speaking buyer from going it alone is the problem with the language so why not just contract the services of a translator who knows his way around the procedures at a fraction of the fee?
Last edited by Anonymous on Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

starynightsky
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Re: Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby starynightsky » Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:46 pm

Definitely not a bad idea beachcomber.

Perhaps we will adopt this technique whne we next move or purchase anotehr property over here.

AndaluzCampo
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Re: Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby AndaluzCampo » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:04 pm

Sorry I haven't replied for a while. We have been busy with a legal case against our builder, and the more information coming out, the more issues seem to be developing - more legal cases, it's terrifying.

Thank you so much especailly to Beach, Jool and Katy for your very helpful information, will follow up on all this. We are, though, in the middle of one case already with an abogado.

Beach, I totally agree with you 100%. We used an abogado for our house purchase; seemed very professional, but I really don't know who to trust now.
I don't agree, though, that language is the only barrier preventing people using a lawyer here. Abogados are supposed to know the law and do their searches etc. Legal advice books and the Home Office will all advise you to do this - then if you don't you've only got yourself to blame (as if!)

If you employed a translator instead, you would have to have a very comprehensive list of what you wanted them to check, and sadly this only appears to come from experience, hindsight and being already very badly bitten by following advice and using the so-called professionals in the first place.

Teralin, I hope I am wrong, but DS diseminado wouldn't mean that the licence owner had been served a Denuncia by Seprona would it?

Beachcomber
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Re: Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby Beachcomber » Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:57 pm

I base my premise that language is the only barrier on the fact that I have very rarely come across a Spaniard who would use a lawyer for a property transaction although they may use a gestor to fill in tax declarations etc.

Whatever problem a purchaser may come across the response of the lawyer will be 'well, you didn't ask me to check that'. Most of these people are worthless parasites who just turn up at the notary, glance over the paperwork and say 'zat ees fine pliss sign here'.

Jool
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Re: Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby Jool » Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:49 am

Diseminado is not related to a denuncia, it is a term often seen on catastro records and I understand it to mean "outer suburbs or outer reaches of, spread out from...." but I am sure it must have a more technical definition than that although I have yet to find an accurate one

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DavidSearl
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Re: Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby DavidSearl » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:29 pm

FROM DAVID SEARL

FOR ANDALUZCAMPO ET AL

Wow. I think the ground is well covered here by the various posters. To sum up:

1. Yes, any rotten thing you want to say about many of Spain's conveyancing lawyers is true. In many cases, they simply did not do their job. But....we have one lawyer recommended here as helpful and professional. There are many others like him.

2. So one successful case against a lawyer has been mentioned here. There are many. Beachcomber has written off even the possibility just a little too quickly, I suggest. He is quite right, however, in that it is a thorny procedure and unlikely to produce grand results.

3. As to a statute of limitations on bringing action against your lawyer, we are not discussing a criminal case. If you can show financial harm that has only now come to light, you should be all right.

4. In order to put right all the items that either are missing or incorrect in your title deed, your "escritura", you will simply have to take them one by one. People all over Spain are doing this now, with stricter laws in place. The lawyers that I work with, Ubeda-Retana, (they advertise here), have come to call this "upgrading your escritura".

5. The 8,000-euro figure mentioned seems awfully high. Maybe a quarter of that, or less.

6. "Diseminado" means "scattered" and it is the legal description invented for all those pretty white cottages scattered around the landscape, not in urbanizations or in the town. Many of them are "illegal" but they are registered and pay their taxes just the same.

On we march, David Searl
You and the Law in Spain

Beachcomber
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Re: Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby Beachcomber » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:42 pm

DavidSearl wrote: ..."upgrading your escritura"...

Well, that's a novel name for it! I'm not sure if that is more or less oblique than 'regularisation'.

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DavidSearl
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Re: Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby DavidSearl » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:47 pm

FROM DAVID SEARL

FOR BEACHCOMBER

Yo, Beachcomber,

We just had our IT systems re-done and it seemed like a cool name. I firmly insist that "upgrade" is perfectly straightforward while "regularisation" is indeed oblique. The "upgrade" means that we know exactly what we are talking about when the demolition is ordered, you see. Because the oblique "regularisation" did not actually protect the structure.

Best Regards and thanks for all the posts, David Searl
You and the Law in Spain

Bongtrees
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Re: Abogados and the Property Scandal

Postby Bongtrees » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:08 pm

DavidSearl wrote:FROM DAVID SEARL

4. In order to put right all the items that either are missing or incorrect in your title deed, your "escritura", you will simply have to take them one by one. People all over Spain are doing this now, with stricter laws in place. The lawyers that I work with, Ubeda-Retana, (they advertise here), have come to call this "upgrading your escritura".



The use of the word upgrade is misleading and quite frankly insulting. Its just another money making scheme.

Instead of making money out of people duped by other members of their ¨profession¨ they should be offering to write to the original lawyer demanding a free and immediate regularisation/ ¨upgrade¨ or face the consequences.

Why on earth would anyone trust a Spanish lawyer?
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell


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