Buying a rural property - are any legal??

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Beachcomber
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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby Beachcomber » Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:20 am

DA has hit the nail on the head. I have heard so many people claiming that their lawyer/gestor is the best thing since sliced bread only to find, when they come to sell, that they have a myriad of problems that have been hidden from them for several years.

I don't believe that a communist/separatist/socialist national coalition government is going to be very interested in the woes of a bunch of disenfranchised foreigners. They are more likely to expropriate the properties and give them to the illegal immigrants and down-and-outs.

The fallout for Britons and other foreigners from the formation this government will make the aftermath of the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union pale into insignificance.

This is certainly not a time to buy any property in Spain, rural or otherwise, unless you can afford to lose all of the money.

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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby gerryh » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:19 am

Devils Advocate wrote:You'll not find out what skeletons are in the cupboard until you come to sell. Never be smug. That applies to old properties as well as recent builds. Beware.

But if someone has recently bought a property then someone else has sold the property to the new owner.
So the buyer doesn't have to wait until he tries to sell to see if it is legal?
That, of course, assumes that what was a legal house today doesn't become an illegal house tomorrow.
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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby Devils Advocate » Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:18 am

gerryh wrote:But if someone has recently bought a property then someone else has sold the property to the new owner.

Exactly Gerry, a bit like passing the toxic parcel, don't forget that magic mythical word that nobody knows how to spell, AFO,SAFO,DAFO, that can polish any turd in the eye of the buyer and make everything seem perfect.... and yet it is worthless and stands for nothing sadly

So the buyer doesn't have to wait until he tries to sell to see if it is legal?

Unless the buyer has a full grasp of what's in the escitura and accompanying paperwork, is fully fluent in reading Spanish and makes the notary read and explain the full contents instead of skim reading them then that pretty much is correct what you say

That, of course, assumes that what was a legal house today doesn't become an illegal house tomorrow.

Ah yes, retrospective law changes, another booby trap....and again yes if it effects a house sale it will only come to light when selling

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Apologies for the negative reply but at least it's honest and based on true fact. I can't complain as although our recent sale had many of the above mentioned issues, including the dreaded retrospective law changes we came out winning, purely down to the fact that one single person wanted our house more than anything else in the world it seems and just ploughed on with it.....if they'd not bought it we'd be snookered.

The problem is that unlike a property purchase here that the lawyers just don't have your interests at heart, that's both for sellers and buyers. They purely want the sale to go through, no matter what the property details are....and yes that does help a seller no end to get shot of it, but the costs are also high for the seller when the proverbial hits the fan.

As I say, we are over the moon even after the hassles we went through with the result, some sadly aren't as lucky, we dodged the bullet

I can only speak for Campo properties but the nightmares we've witnessed at sale time for others makes me weep with anger.

3 local examples all in the last 3 years, and a reason amongst many we decided to bite the bullet and sell.

All Brits, long standing expat Brits who'd done no wrong and paid their dues.

One lady lost her husband, house built in the 70's and looking as legal as you could get, lovely place.
On her own now she wanted to sell up and return to the UK to family. Turns out her house of 26 years was tied in to the property next door, ie it was classed as one.....nightmare. Thousands upon thousands were needed for the legal wrangle that would follow to separate them.

Poor dear has passed away herself now and house is on the market via her children. A minefield for them....yet somebody will buy it and inherit the problem. Will the lawyers warn them?

Another couples issues were even worse, house was on land that simply did not belong to them. Probably a house worth 220k, it sold for 70k, go figure. Someone thinks they've got a bargain I'll assume.

Final example are actually friends of ours over there and it was just a holiday home. They too sold with no issues, then genuinely unbeknown to them found their house was written down to about 40k on the escitura......obviously to allow the Spanish seller to pocket a load of unaccounted for cash. Guess who's paying for that now. Why the hell did their lawyer allow that?

None of these people were daft as some like to make out in hindsight, they just had misplaced trust in the people representing them and their interests, and paying top dollar for the service too.

Totally and unashamedly bent.
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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby elusive » Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:28 am

I guess theres something to be said for not having enough money to be able to buy something even if you wanted too. At least they had the option!

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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby Wicksey » Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:33 pm

It certainly is a minefield these days for campo houses and you really don't know what will happen until you come to sell. I know of three owners who were lucky enough to sell to people who didn't insist on having the DAFO done so that saved a lot of hassle. Another couple that did need it were told that their swimming pool was illegal although it was correctly shown on the escritura and everything seemed to be in order when they had bought it.

A neigbour wanted to add a small paved terrace to the side of his house and was told by the builder recently he'd need a DAFO to do it .... first I've heard of that, rather than just a minor works licence. Apparantly one of the requirements by our local town hall to obtain it is a town water supply .... so that would rule us out ever being able to get one as there isn't a supply here. I doubt that that is true as another neighbour has recently got a DAFO with a very basic well in the river (not a bore hole but an old fashioned well), certainly not drinking water! It's not something I am going to worry about until the time comes when we want to sell this.

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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby Devils Advocate » Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:40 pm

From what I glean Wicksey it's not even the buyers who demand a DAFO, it's the buyers lawyer who in cahoots with the sellers lawyer convinces both buyer and seller "this is the norm" I doubt our buyers had ever heard of a DAFO.

The sale will then go off without one as the buyers then think it's the magic bullet for a life of joy in the sun and will not buy your house without it. They scratch each others backs and a DAFO is now a part of a campo house sale, a lot of money to be made from the DAFO on top of the unfathomable costs of the conveyance itself.
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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby Beachcomber » Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:55 pm

DA you have saved me a lot of typing because I have been composing, in my head, a post that makes all of your points with virtually identical scenarios involving pro-indiviso, co-ownership, outstanding debts, under-declared values, built on protected land, etc. but obviously involving different people.

I have lost count of the number of times my wife and I have said to someone considering the purchase of a particular property, 'Don't do it you will be literally buying a minefield.' They then proudly boast a few days later that they have been to some self-proclaimed, smart-arsed 'prestigious' lawyer with flashy offices in somewhere like downtown Marbella who has told them that it is perfectly in order to buy the property and that their 'friends' are being pedantic and overly cautious.

Without exception, within a couple of years or even a few months they come back with their tails between their legs with some kind of sob story about the property and its endless problems asking if there is anything they can do to retrieve the situation. The answer is usually, 'No, that's why we told you not to buy it in the first place.'

Just because a property changed hands a year or so earlier you cannot rely on the fact that the conveyancing on that occasion was done properly and that all is above-board and legal.

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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby Devils Advocate » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:05 pm

It is just a shame Beachy that there are not more people like your wife around to offer their honest, logical and unbiased advice to newcomers to the market, and old hands for that matter. It does all boil down to honesty. We have to face the fact she is a different breed to the representatives most people end up with.

Even before our post sale problems arose the conveyance got off to a bad start as I reported on my "selling the house" thread.

A blatant lie and try on as soon as the offer was made.
We received a call from our legal rep. a few days after holding deposit was paid. They informed us that our plans/drawings in our paperwork were wrong. They said our land drawing was ambiguous and unclear and did not match what was on the Catastro. The sale would be in jeopardy.

Upshot was they reckoned we needed to employ an architect to remeasure and re-draw the plans at the cost of thousands, they had one lined up to do the work.

I was gutted and told my other half, she told me to tell them to sod off and remind them THEY had done the drawings some 15 years earlier when they did the conveyance for us, probably using the same architect they were suggesting now. Seems like they forgot that small point!

I gladly reminded them of this and the phone fell silent. We were called a few days later with them saying "Oh the drawings are fine after all"

That never bode well for the rest of the slog we faced. They make it up as they go along. Both seller and buyer are fair game in the quest to claw,steal,cheat money out of anyone who is gullible enough to pay it.

We won that battle, but sometimes you are stitched up so cleverly you can't win the fight and just have to let them take what they want.

I honestly can't think of a single person I know over there in the campo who has had a sale go through without at least one kick in the nuts. The house can be squeaky 100% legal but ways will always be found to rattle you in the hope of extracting monies......the bogus claim re. our "dodgy" drawings sums it up.
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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby olive » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:16 pm

Will our new government make a change to these problems?

One of their four platforms is depopulation of rural areas. Something I have witnessed each year. It is a complex subject but the insane difficulties with buying and selling rural houses or even getting permission to work on them cannot be helping. Was it Valencia that is introducing new rules to allow you to do minor works under 20,000 euros? without applying for permissions from the Ayto. As long as you have written permission from any affected neighbour.

As said earlier, I think this is an expat problem. We have seen rural properties modified in our locality without any permissions. The Spanish family owners use the property for weekend parties, storage of farming materials and equipment and so on. They wouldn't dream of living there with limited water, electric, access and internet. When the owner dies they are retained by the family so no selling issues. Most of the families are very close units.

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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby Devils Advocate » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:54 pm

olive wrote:
As said earlier, I think this is an expat problem. We have seen rural properties modified in our locality without any permissions. The Spanish family owners use the property for weekend parties, storage of farming materials and equipment and so on. They wouldn't dream of living there with limited water, electric, access and internet. When the owner dies they are retained by the family so no selling issues. Most of the families are very close units.


So true as always with your posts Olive, I have pasted your last paragraph as this scenario has baffled me for years.

Yes, when we bought in the Campo in 2005 there were a smattering of what you'd call fincas, owned by Spanish folk from surrounding villages who would indeed use the premises as a weekend/holiday retreat.

However on other olive and grape producing land many "scrape outs" occured locally obviously destined for a house to be put on them.

Over the years and still going on now these "scrape outs" did spring houses on them, one on the next parcella to ours in fact, and many more in the surrounding valleys.

These were again built by Spanish villagers on ancestral land. Again used like the old fincas as weekend/summer holiday homes.

Usually with the obligatory cat and dog left there starving, for expats to adopt and feed. A deflated paddling pool with green water in it was another telltale along with a patio resembling a builders yard.

These houses were built over a span of years, bit by bit until completed, a weekend hobby.......they'd holiday in them from the time its roof went on. God only knows how they tapped in to mains water, Electric supplies etc. when they'd have as much paperwork for them as a tent would.

Even more baffling was that some of these actually did get put on the market, at similar prices to ours which had thousands spent by us on ensuring the paperwork was "correct", what a joke.

Some of these houses have now sold to Northern Europeans, at knock down prices. My question is if the much vaunted 2002 watershed rule stands firm then how the hell did these ever a) get built in the first place and b) sell? Did the magical DAFO cover these? What happens when the poor souls come to sell on? It truly has been an education for us seeing all this unfold.

Sad thing is in spite of all the above the Axarquia and the campo holds special memories for us, no regrets mixing in and learning the language and being part of it for a time. Such a shame it's greed and lies that spoil it.
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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby Wicksey » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:19 pm

Devils Advocate wrote:A blatant lie and try on as soon as the offer was made.
We received a call from our legal rep. a few days after holding deposit was paid. They informed us that our plans/drawings in our paperwork were wrong. They said our land drawing was ambiguous and unclear and did not match what was on the Catastro. The sale would be in jeopardy.
Upshot was they reckoned we needed to employ an architect to remeasure and re-draw the plans at the cost of thousands, they had one lined up to do the work.


This is exactly what happened to our friends. If you looked at Goolzoom the overlaying of the land boundaries form the catastro records never quite matched up with Google earth satellite pictures. Our boundary is a few feet off all around, but then the track was slightly off as well. I mentioned this to my friends but they were still told they had to have the land plans re-done. It certainly is a money making operation for all concerned.

Also as you say DA, the building work continues all around the valley here. New little 'casitas del apero' spring up but they are more like mini houses that grow into bigger houses over the years. One of the old cortijos belongs to a Guardia Civil officer and we've seen him go up to his house in his 'works car' with a materials lorry following for a delivery for the ongoing work he's doing to it.

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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby Devils Advocate » Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:14 pm

Yes Wicksey we are not on our own it seems, did your friends get the drawings redone?

Also re. all the new building work, it's blatant. The Spanish are building houses almost as much as they ever were, yet the spy plane only seems to spot our tiny bit of re-roofing work on part of the terrace swapping from cane to tiles :mrgreen:

I'd like to see a list here on the forum of peoples warnings and advice on how to avoid these scams on selling and buying.

I'd start off before anything else by advising you use the same ̶n̶o̶ ̶m̶a̶r̶k̶s̶ legal firm to both buy and sell, even if you thought they were crap. At least then you can go back to them as we did when they start pulling your previous conveyance to bits. If we'd have gone with another firm to sell I'm certain we'd have had to have the plans redrawn if they'd tried the same trick on us.

As these new builds from the last few years get sold they then enter the chain of houses that are deemed established and safe to buy, especially if English, Dutch etc are reselling them.......yet the bases aren't even dry on most of them.
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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby GerryinCajiz » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:23 pm

I have just discovered /been told that Vélez-Málaga have recently changed the rules for septic tanks. Apparently they now have to be a sealed deposito that does not leach into the ground. These will now need emptying on a regular basis. Someone please tell me I am wrong!
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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby gerrynag » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:36 pm

Yes, it's true, sort of. I had my septic tank changed last year. I was told it had to be a completely sealed unit or the outlet had to go into a cyclindrical container, (2m long), filled with 3 different types of aggregate, (which is what we had). The tank needs to be checked every year.

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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby gerryh » Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:18 pm

Hi the other Gerrys
When you refer to septic tanks do you mean the modern 3 chamber ones as opposed to a hole in the ground?
Can you post details/ specifications of the "cylindrical container, (2m long), filled with 3 different types of aggregate,"
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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby gerrynag » Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:32 pm

Hi GerryH
I am referring to the modern 3 chamber tanks, which are the only ones that you can legally.
It won't let me attach the pdf of the output chamber to this post, so will try try to pm it to you.

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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby gerryh » Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:53 pm

PM received.
many thanks
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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby gerryh » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:09 pm

Interesting. :think:
I have a modern 3 chamber septic tank which I installed myself to replace a posso nergro.
Not sure about the requirement to empty them regularly.
The way mine works if I understand it correctly.
The water, loo output etc enters the first chamber this has an inspection hatch.
This chamber fills up until the liquid starts to flow into the second chamber, no inspection hatch so not sure what happens. I guess this fills up until the liquid enters the top of the third chamber where it trickles down over plastic "balls" where the bacteria do the final stage of cleaning before the "clean" water exits through a pipe at the bottom. There is an inspection hatch in this chamber.
So for the septic tank to work, the first chamber must be full so if it is emptied when it is full the other two chambers are redundant. :think:
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Gerry
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Wicksey
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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby Wicksey » Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:05 pm

I've had a variety of different types of septic tanks in the UK, France and here. As I understand it, they shouldn't need emptying regularly as they break down the solids with the bacteria that's within the tank and the clearer water after filtration then seeps out. In France you had to have a huge pipe set into gravel and sand with weeper holes to disperse the final liquid. It shouldn't just be a container for waste that has to be emptied all the time.

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Re: Buying a rural property - are any legal??

Postby dxf » Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:59 pm

Hola

The three chamber septic tanks are designed to break down solids and leave cleaner water to seep out which should not contaminate the water table. However they are usually designated in (non-pc) "man years" before they need the solids that can not be absorbed to be physically removed. When doing the removal then the discs that aid the bacteria must be replaced.

so a 4 man year tank used by two people in a household will require emptying every two years

Davexf


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