Property/ land dispute.

Information and questions about the Law in Spain and Andalucia.
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Property/ land dispute.

Postby lovelyneighbours123 » Thu Jul 20, 2023 9:29 am

It is with a broken heart that I am having to write this, asking for advice. I have lived in spain for 15 years now and, by chance, good fortune and hard work, have managed to build a successful business in the beautiful mountains of Andalucia. We have made good friends with the locals and all the neighbours. The journey in buying this house started way back in 2010. It has been a very complicated, as expected, to complete but in Feb 2023 with the help of the power of attorney, our immediate neighbour, a typographer and a lawyer, we finally signed for the mortgage. We now have a working business connected to a property and the land. 1 week later we have an appeal against our boundary? Our house was built circa 1904 and originally would have had 9 or 10 bedrooms. I'm guessing that a bedroom was added every time a new family member was born and the family grew, you would have to walk through each room to get to the next. All ground floor. Circa 1975 a large house was built illegally behind our property. It has pretty much remained empty, not accounting for the odd squatter here and there ever since. In 2003 our house was bought by the person who would eventually sell it to us. When this happened the land had been split by the family who previously owned it. The land had been divided into 3 x 20,000sq meter parcels. Many people with plenty of money have tried to buy the large house behind us but have failed each time with the same reason being that the bank weren't ready. We are now facing an appeal that is telling us we have stolen 4000sq meters of their land of which we only have 12, 000 of the 20,000 we though we had. When we signed for the property, no one owned the big house, all the paper work informing you of all the neighbours said that it was the bank that were the owners . We have had one appeal sent to just myself, not my wife and it was returned immediately by the post office because the address was wrong. Other than that, nothing. The appeal is stating that all my buildings and all the work done is on land that now belongs to them. Who are they? It was our Gestor that received the email. He was shocked but not as shocked as our lawyer who, understandably, was not as shocked as ourselves, especially when we discovered who the appeal was sent by. I'm guessing I cannot put names on here for legal reasons but what was in front of us would, in a short time, leave us feeling empty, alone and very afraid. We did not know this person on the appeal so I used FB and Instagram to do a bit of research in the hope of finding out who they were. It did not take long. The buyer is not from this country and does not live here. The problem is, they had a friend in common. That friend has, over the last 14 years become one of our closest friends and neighbour. They have watched us build this company, used what we built. We have travelled together, watched movies, eaten, celebrated, trusted and cared for one another. We even went to a concert recently. We are devastated and heart broken. We are now left with what seems like nothing. We found that, although our friend is not the buyer or seller, (they keep repeating this)it is their partner that is. They allegedly purchased the property behind us in oct 2021. We were never informed. When I asked our friend, why were we not informed, they tell us, we were not the owners. Our property is inscribed at the land registry and in April 2022 the borders were registered in the Catastral and was still there on the day of signing. Our appeal has been put forward and is now at the Catastral. My wife and I feel that a sequence of events has had to happen in order for this to take place. Why did our friend not tell us? Why did they keep all this information from us? The large house has not been inscribed at the land registry. Our friend keeps asking us to walk new borders with them but until I fully understand what is happening I have remained silent. Something somewhere does not add up. It is now making me ill and my wife is still in a state of deep shock and is extremely sad. Everything we have done is legal and all the signed documents confirm this. Losing faith in people and friends, we found another lawyer to check everything, including our lawyer. Our lawyers reputation came back glowing, so that was that ticked off. We are now guessing that our once beautiful friend is trying to get us to agree to new boundaries in order to legalise or inscribe their building. It is such a sad state of affairs to be in this situation. If there was anyone in the world we would want to have this house, it would have been our friend, their story is their story and for them to have this house would have been amazing. We always knew the house would be sold but feared that it would go to a large company like Blackrock or a local rich family that would make our lives hell like you see on the telly. We have now woken up and find ourselves on one of those programmes made worse because the protagonist was a person we loved dearly. We would have loved for them to have this house but not this way. My question now is, after the dispute is over, do I have a civil case against them for withholding important and relevant information from us. Both lawyers, in relation to the boundaries say we have a strong case. Thankyou for reading this far

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Re: Property/ land dispute.

Postby chrissiehope » Thu Jul 20, 2023 1:12 pm

I am so sorry to read your post, & I can only hope you can get it sorted soon & without too much stress.

I'm afraid I have no knowledge that could help, but thyere are some very knowledgeable members on here, so I'm sure someone wil be along soon.

In the meantime, good luck & keep us posted...
Alexandr for President (Squire for PM !)

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog it's too dark to read (Groucho Marx)

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Re: Property/ land dispute.

Postby Wicksey » Thu Jul 20, 2023 2:37 pm

It does all seem very strange. Did it take you 13 years to complete the sale of your property, from 2010 to 2023? So you did not become the legal owners of your house until this year and the other 1970s house was sold in October 2021 but is not on the land registry so presumably is still illegal and not been registered at all?

I would say that it does take years to change boundaries in the catastral. We owned our first house here for 8 years then sold it. Then a couple of years later the new owner discovered that the boundaries were not as shown on his or our catastral plans that were with the escritura. It seems that it took about 10 years for them to be corrected and the new boundary did match up with what we had been shown, but we thought it was incorrect and always thought that the cadastral plan was the correct one. Obviously not.

Also, was the land properly segregated when you say it was split into 3 x 20,000m2 plots in 2003? It is impossible to divide up plots in this area these days and was a problem when we bought our first house in 1996. It took until 2002/3 to get the escritura for the land as it had not been segregated properly and it had to go through the courts.

It certainly does seem a very odd thing and strange behaviour by your 'friend' and neighbour. Could it be he was being friendly to know what you were doing and to facilitate the eventual sale of the big house next door. I feel for you, as we had years of not knowing whether our land and (illegally built, we later found out) house would ever be ours. Once it was legally ours we sold it. It would be useful to know where you are in Andalucia.

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