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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I hope somebody can help me.

We are trying to buy a small flat near in Villajoyosa. I think we may have been a bit foolish as we have signed the contract and paid a deposit. It now seems there may be a problem with the Escritura.

We were not informed of this by the agent and a date has been booked at the notary for 30th July.

We only discovered the issue as an English man who owns the downstairs flat inadvertantly got talking to a friend of ours in a bar and mentioned that the Dutch couple who own the flat upstairs (our flat) were having problems with their Escritura and he had been asked to go to the notary with them to sort things out but it was not straightforward, that is as far as the story goes.

At first the agent denied any problem so I went to the land registry and as expected the property is not mentioned, only the land it sits on and the people we are buying from are not on it either only the original owners who we think no longer exist.

We told the agent what we have discovered and she say that some paperwork is missing and it is now in the hands of the lawyers but she wont tell us what or how long it might take to sort out.

We have been offered our deposit back but we have laid out far more than that in mortgage fees and flights etc, even if we got double the deposit back as the contract says it would barely cover costs so far and anyway I don't think that is very likely.

The property was built in 1968 and the sellers have lived there for 12 years now, I am hoping that the problem may not be too bad as the guy downstairs has obviously managed to buy his flat so unless he didn't have any paperwork it must be legal.

Any similar experiences and outcomes would be most helpful.
 

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Assuming you are using a lawyer for the purchase, he should be able to sort this out for you.

If you do not already have a lawyer then you need to find one. This is not something you can really handle yourselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi thanks for advice. At the moment we have no solicitor, this is our 2nd time buying in Spain and until last week everything looked ok. We have now enlisted the help of our previous estate agent and friend who has worked in the town for at least 10 years and has contacts at the notary etc and will attempt to discover exactly what the problem is. If we decide to go ahead with the process then I think you are right and we will find a solicitor.

Thanks x
 

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Hi thanks for advice. At the moment we have no solicitor, this is our 2nd time buying in Spain and until last week everything looked ok. We have now enlisted the help of our previous estate agent and friend who has worked in the town for at least 10 years and has contacts at the notary etc and will attempt to discover exactly what the problem is. If we decide to go ahead with the process then I think you are right and we will find a solicitor.

Thanks x
IMHO you should never think of buying a property, whether in Spain or anywhere else, without a solicitor. I would not rely on 'an estate agent friend' however much of a friend they are. You need legal advice.
 

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Do you have the "referencía cadastral" for the property?

If not, demand it. Then use this publically available site to check what the registered building is with that number.

You can search without the number, but its a bit hit and miss and more difficult, especially if the property isn't in a well numbered / ordered street...

Once you find the property, it will tell you the classification of the land, use of the building, Sq. meters built etc. If any of it doesn't match, print it off and go to the agent and demand explanations.....

https://www1.sedecatastro.gob.es/OVCFrames.aspx?TIPO=consulta
 

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Make sure that the "Built area" and the buildings shown on the cadastral match what you know is on the ground. You might find that a previous owner has illegally added a building or extended one, alternatively you might find that a neighbour has "stolen" a piece of your land by moving the boundary marker (often just a stone).
 

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¿If you are buying the upstairs flat & it isn't "legal" /"does not appear on land registry" then how can the man downstairs be legal ? :confused:
 

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I hope all those who advocate not using an abogado in favour of just using a gestor are reading this!
I'm one of those and still am. The work done by a gestor is the same as that done by an abogado - as far as conveyancing is concerned.

However, as I stated previously, always use a gestor associated with a law firm for that extra level of protection and knowledge.
 

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The property was built in 1968 and the sellers have lived there for 12 years now, I am hoping that the problem may not be too bad as the guy downstairs has obviously managed to buy his flat so unless he didn't have any paperwork it must be legal.
Hola,

Around these parts people buy and sell illegal properties all the time; However, if the guy downstairs bought his (illegal) flat, and it is still illegal - there is nothing in the system to tell you about any outstanding debts or demolition orders.

Spain is now notorious for illegal properties; if you can sleep well of a night living in an illegal property, there are thousands up for sale. There are also thousands of legal properties up for sale.

My word of warning is buy with your eyes open; unfortunately a lot of ex-pats didn´t and are living in stressful situations

Davexf
 

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We had this problem when purchasing our finca, the old converted masia on the land, although mentioned in the deeds, wasn't registered on either the cadastral or the land registry. Our lawyer sorted it out with theirs in a few weeks, it was registered on both and was fully legal prior to completing the purchase. I did research the potential issues (including using this forum) for quite some time before we decided to employ a lawyer and go ahead with a purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi Thanks for all the advice I am most grateful. Frustratingly we cannot contact the guy downstairs as we only have a Spanish mobile for him and I guess it's turned off when he is in UK. The latest line is that we can buy the house as it is and part of the money will be held by the lawyer to ensure that they legalise it afterwards. I'm gutted as I know the sensible thing is to walk away. From what I know of Spanish law things like this can take forever. Has any body heard of any thing like this before.
 
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