Urgent Advice Needed – Spanish Property Law / Protocols

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  • Urgent Advice Needed – Spanish Property Law / Protocols
  • mk1fan
    Member

    Long and complex story short.

    There is a villa in Spain that it due to be passed to three of us following the death of my Uncle. What had started out as a ‘relaxed’ approach to ressolve matters the six-month period to register or accept inheritances is fast approaching this week.

    We have a local solicitor who had estimated x amount to deal with the, admitedly complex, situation. However, there seems to be a constant need to get things notarised and the proposed fees are now five figures and they are asking for a five figure bond too.

    I appreciate there is a different legal system.

    The solicitor doesn’t seem to be able to provide a list of the reasonably foreseable costs. Each e-mail seems to have a new liability.

    The property is in a terrible state. Dispite funds being paid out of the trust to cover the local ‘council taxes’ these have not been paid for a few years. The solicitor is valuing the property around £250k which appears very high given it’s condition and the Spanish market.

    Does anyone know if we can just phone up an estate agent and get a professional valuation (ie one that the Government would accept) like in the UK?

    None of the three are in Spain (one is in Ireland and there’s two of us in London) so we do need to do this remotely.

    The latest thing now is to get the mortgage companies charge removed from the land registry deeds – there was €1 outstanding – this needs to be notarised etc… at €1,800!!!!

    Don’t get me started on getting the Spanish NI card.

    Does anyone know an English speaking and trustworthy Lawyer in the Javea area?

    Premier Icon NJA
    Subscriber

    I have always recommended my clients to Andrew Eastwood at Legal4Spain.com he is normally very helpful and reasonably priced.

    If he can’t help you directly he will always refer you to someone who can. I know he is in the UK at the moment as I spoke to him this morning, so it might be an opportune moment to speak with him. Use the 0845 number off the website. If you mention that Nick Ash recommended him it would great (to be clear I don’t receive any payment from him or his firm).

    Not sure if it applies to inherited properties but they use their own figures on the sold value. Fraud is so common the authorities cant trust any figures given to them so they make up their own for tax purposes, I think its just based on parcel size, property volume and location. Its usually far higher than the true value.

    The solicitor doesn’t seem to be able to provide a list of the reasonably foreseable costs. Each e-mail seems to have a new liability.

    €1 outstanding – this needs to be notarised etc… at €1,800!!!!

    BIG warning signs. Drop him. He’s just seen a bunch of Giris who are going to pay for his new pool, car and holiday flat in Malaga.

    Dispite funds being paid out of the trust to cover the local ‘council taxes’ these have not been paid for a few years.

    Who was handling that?

    hels
    Member

    I lived out in Spain for 6 months a few years ago. Impression I got was that this kind of thing is pretty corrupt out there, is it a small village or town ? Everything needs to go through the local elected mayor, or a bribe paid to a member of his family. You might need to bite the bullet and go out there. Sorry hope that is helpful !

    mk1fan
    Member

    Who was handling that?

    My Uncle died five years ago and his partner [who died 6-months ago] never got over it. Messy situation, they wouldn’t do anything or agree to anything. They would say ‘I’ll deal with it’ and then not. It’s been a huge job for the trustees to deal with his life in London.

    Thanks for the replies.

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Subscriber

    Maybe your situation is different, but I had to get something notarised for the German government and it cost about £70 all-in plus the German government’s own charge (about 10 euro). I could also have handed it in to the German embassy/consulate if I had wanted to.

    £1800 seems incredibly high just for signing some documents.

    Its a blatant rip off attempt. LOL £1 outstanding? Cant stress how much you need to get rid of that solicitor ASAP; before he properly stitches you up.

    mogrim
    Member

    It does sound like you’re being ripped off, but at the same time don’t underestimate the Spanish love for notarised paperwork – they really do love official translations, stamps and the like… Have you handed any cash over? I’d be asking for a fully itemised bill, at the very least!

    One other thing to bear in mind is that the amount you have to pay will depend on the “autonomous community”, the taxes payable are not the same in Madrid, Catalonia, Andalusia, etc. Any advice you get on the subject should take this into account.

    mrchrispy
    Member

    Bin him ASAP.
    He’s thinking “I’ll tell em 250k, that’ll be 40k for me and they get 70k each”
    In reality you’ll get much less and he’ll still get his 40k cut (covers fees and such you understand)
    Bin the slimec ball

    Edukator
    Member

    You’ve got one recommendation up above, try ex-pat forums if you need more. Find the right legal representative and your worries are over IME.

    When I needed a lawyer in France I asked an estate agent (of all people) for recommendations. 20 years on I still use the same people and they’ve dealt faultlessly with numerous issues. Sometimes just dropping the name makes an issue a non issue. The fees have always been perfectly reasonable, mainly as most are fixed by law here.

    When we lived and worked in Spain before Spain was a full EU member it was a little complicated sometimes and very irritating at others, but we never paid a back hander and they they stuck to the law.

    mk1fan
    Member

    Thanks again y’all.

    In fairness the paperwork situation, the property and the Spainish ‘ways’ mean the whole thing is more messy than a para’s toilet after curry night.

    Astonishingly, we do actually have a potential offer for the property. However, if we can’t get a realistic valuation to calculate the IHT then it may just cover the cost of sorting out the mess.

    Atleast it would be sorted though.

    mogrim
    Member

    In fairness the paperwork situation, the property and the Spainish ‘ways’ mean the whole thing is more messy than a para’s toilet after curry night.

    Not sure I’d be blaming “Spanish ways” – I’ve bought and sold two houses here and it’s been pretty painless. With a decent lawyer I don’t suppose you’d have had many problems, either.

    Astonishingly, we do actually have a potential offer for the property. However, if we can’t get a realistic valuation to calculate the IHT then it may just cover the cost of sorting out the mess.

    Just to make sure you don’t get stiffed on this (as well?), in Spain the buyer should pay all the charges during a sale, for example registering the property etc. You’ll obviously be liable for any outstanding mortgages, local taxes etc beforehand though.

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