Legal or Not

Do you have a query about moving to Andalucia and buying property in Andalucia. Find out by posting questions and reading about other peoples experiences.
frankbob
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Legal or Not

Postby frankbob » Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:08 pm

We are considering buying a property near Velez Malaga, The property we have seen and will probably be viewing soon is at a very good price.
We have heard there are a lot of Illegal properties in this area.
How can we find out if this property is Legal?

jayce
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Re: Legal or Not

Postby jayce » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:14 pm

Have sent you a private message

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fyfin
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Re: Legal or Not

Postby fyfin » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:08 am

This has been debated many times on various forums and I wrestled with it before I bought. I know it's not foolproof but if you can at least see the property with its own catastral reference on sites like goolzoom and it matches the property you are buying it's a good start.
On the other hand if it shows one big plot and no properties and there's 40 villas in actuality then beware.

I'm sure I'll be corrected but that was just my opinion.
A man likes his wife to be just clever enough to appreciate his cleverness, and just stupid enough to admire it

Beachcomber
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Re: Legal or Not

Postby Beachcomber » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:26 am

In the first instance carry out the normal checks with the property registry by obtaining a nota simple.

Ensure that the size and distribution of the property is as shown in the escritura.

Ask to see the certificate of first occupation.

Insist that the seller provides a 'Certificado de Ausencia de Expediente Sancionador y Antigüedad' in respect of the property'

Ask to see receipts for IBI and basura and check that the names that appear on the bills for electricity and water are those of the owner.

As Fyfin says, check the details of the property with Catastro and make sure that the plot of land upon which the building stands is a legally segregated plot and that it is not just fenced off from other plots all of which are jointly owned by several different people (Pro indiviso).

Check the PGOU plan to make sure the property is not built in a protected area or on a river bed.

Check the names and NIE numbers of the current owners using the search facility of the Málaga provincial bulletin.

If any of the above points do not check out you will need to proceed with extra caution.

Most importantly DON'T TRUST ANYBODY. Do all of these checks for yourself using a professional translator if necessary.

barry
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Re: Legal or Not

Postby barry » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:06 am

Use an idependent lawyer!

Beachcomber
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Re: Legal or Not

Postby Beachcomber » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:12 pm

You will find that many owners of illegal properties used lawyers, independent or otherwise, when they purchased. When I say don't trust anybody I mean absolutely anybody.

Further to my last post, if the property has been built since 2002 it is very likely to be illegal and if it is registered at all it is probably as a shed. Ask to see the building licence and final architect's certificate as well as the other documentation and don't be fobbed off with lame excuses or futile promises.

The only thing that makes property purchase in Spain difficult for foreigners is their inability to speak the language. Spaniards do not generally use lawyers for property transactions preferring instead to use a gestor or asesor fiscal just to do the paperwork.

alig99
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Re: Legal or Not

Postby alig99 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:05 pm

I would endorse what beachcomber says DO NOT TRUST ANYBODY! We just found out that our pool isn't legal on our new build property which we bought 5 years ago because the project licence was only for a house which did not include a pool. The property was signed off by the town hall architect as compliant with the project, clearly the town hall architect didn't visit the property as he was suppose too or he'd have seen the pool in all its empty newly finished glory! :x We have spoken to our lawyers (have a very prominent full page advert in The Grapevine) and they say its not their fault, even though they saw the estate agent details which shows and says there is a pool, because they say they only go on the project info. :evil: So we now have the pleasure of giving more money to the solicitors to get the escritura right :twisted:

So my advise if you are buying a new build ask to see a copy of the project and check that against everything; also make sure you see your new deeds, note simple and read them through before you got to the signing at the notary's.

Hope this info helps, Ali

Beachcomber
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Re: Legal or Not

Postby Beachcomber » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:28 pm

The two most popular excuses for failings of Spanish lawyers are 'but you didn't ask us to check that' and 'the person who dealt with your purchase no longer works for the company'.

Do not place any trust whatsoever in these people. The majority of them just turn up at the notary's office, glance through the escritura and say, 'that's fine please sign here'. The only other thing they do that is of any consequence is to send you their overinflated bill.

If you get as far as signing before the notary insist on a verbal and written translation of the escritura by an independent professional translator and do not accept any paragraph that appears to be a let out for making some kind of check. These are usually preceded by the words to the effect of 'Due to the urgency of the situation...' or suchlike.

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Campo Steve
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Re: Legal or Not

Postby Campo Steve » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:03 am

Whilst agreeing with Beachcomber that nobody should be trusted, I would also suggest that there some good lawyers out there. Our lawyer is one of them. She did all the checks that Beach suggests and we made several trips to her office in Malaga to go over the details with her. She put us off a couple of houses we had liked because of things in paperwork not being right. In one, everything seemed OK, apart from the original building licence, a copy of which she obtained. Starting there it was amazing how many inconsistencies she subsequently found.

So, if you can find a good lawyer I would suggest it is worth using them. The hard bit is ensuring you have a good one. Maybe we were just lucky.
I've got an inferiority complex, but it's not a very good one!

Chunky Monky
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Re: Legal or Not

Postby Chunky Monky » Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:43 pm

Campo Steve wrote:So, if you can find a good lawyer I would suggest it is worth using them. The hard bit is ensuring you have a good one. Maybe we were just lucky.


There's the problem in a nutshell, you may think your lawyer is good and efficient but it can transpire, perhaps many years later, that they were not! It seems to be a lucky dip whether you are fortunate or not.

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fyfin
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Re: Legal or Not

Postby fyfin » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:45 pm

We didn't use a solicitor at all but we were as certain as you can be that the apartment was legal. Then it's just a matter of using someone to carry out the usual checks re outstanding bills etc and sort out utilities etc. In fact I think it might have been Beachcomber who said you could do it without a solicitor but I can't remember but I used someone I could trust to sort it out and I'm glad to say it has all worked out.

The point is you need to know the person who you grant power of attorney to and have full trust in them, and if you have any doubts don't do it!
A man likes his wife to be just clever enough to appreciate his cleverness, and just stupid enough to admire it


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