Illegal House.

Old Apr 18th 2008, 6:47 am
  #76  
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Default Re: Illegal House.

Out of interest - why is there no comeback on the lawyers that oversaw the purchase?

I take it they took a fee, I presume there is a burden of responsibility?
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Old Apr 18th 2008, 6:48 am
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Default Re: Illegal House.

Originally Posted by scampicat
OK, thanks for all your help.

Someone asked if the translation was verbal or written and at this point in time I don't know.

They have seen a lawyer today and I have received a text saying that the situation doesn't look good and they will have to sue the original owners.

They have asked me to ak if anyone knows of a no win no fee reputable lawyer?

I will know more after the weekend but I will have visitors then so will not be able to post so frequently.

Thanks everyone for your help.
I think that perhaps their best bet is to get the UK and Spanish press involved, and use the threat of adverse publicity against the officials involved. I don't think they will find a "no win, no fee" lawyer to take this on.
Desperate measures called for.
Tim
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Old Apr 18th 2008, 6:50 am
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Default Re: Illegal House.

Originally Posted by valenciatim
I think that perhaps their best bet is to get the UK and Spanish press involved, and use the threat of adverse publicity against the officials involved. I don't think they will find a "no win, no fee" lawyer to take this on.
Desperate measures called for.
Tim
Yes, my husband has mentioned this to them. It may be the next step.
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Old Apr 18th 2008, 7:39 am
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Default Re: Illegal House.

I can't see that there would be any comeback on the vendors at this late stage. AFAIK, the statute of limitations is 6 months, plus, unless the vendors ACTIVELY did something to conceal the status of the building (like tippexing out the bit that said "nave"!), they were not responsible for explaining its status to any purchaser. The onus is on the purchaser and their employed advisers/professionals to ascertain the condition etc of what they are buying.
Did the estate agent belong to any professional body? Was the translator official in any way and was there any form of contract between translator and clients? Was there a lawyer involved?
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Old Apr 18th 2008, 8:47 am
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Default Re: Illegal House.

Originally Posted by leighbloke
Out of interest - why is there no comeback on the lawyers that oversaw the purchase?
I take it they took a fee, I presume there is a burden of responsibility?
Lawyers bear no responsibility for anything, ever. The Colegio de Abogados (the nearest Spanish equivalent to the Law Society) is nothing more than a trade association dedicated to protecting its members against complaints from their disgruntled clients.

All a lawyer does is turn up at the Notary and say, that's fine sign here, take his 1% (and anything he may be getting from the seller to keep his mouth shut about any possible problems) and disappear into the ether.

The notary has a responsibility to make the contents of the escritura known to both parties. If either party does not speak Spanish he must ensure that a translator is present. If the translator is chosen by the purchaser this must be stated in the escritura. However, if the notary cannot speak English he cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the translation.
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Old Apr 18th 2008, 9:03 am
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Default Re: Illegal House.

I fear you may be right Beachcomber. I think some posters have their head in the sand and wont believe there is a huge problem in Spain, everyone is blameless except the poor guy who is lumbered with the illegal worthless property, they are at fault cos they were a bit naive, yeah right!
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Old Apr 18th 2008, 12:48 pm
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Default Re: Illegal House.

I think it's out of order trying to blame the translator. Of course the translation was not written. If it were the escritura would have gone to the translator a good week in advance and the translation would have cost at least 1000€. Then the buyers would have been able to read it at leisure. This though, apart from costing money, delays the sale so is usually dispensed with. Most people don't even have a translator at the notary but if they do it is only to facilitate communication. Also even if the translator were to have read the whole document to them (which could have been 50 pages or more) would they even have noticed the technical legal details? And it's certainly not the translator's job to give them legal counsel. In the final paragraph of most escrituras it says "I the notary have read this dead to the parties who have waived their right to read it themselves", but in truth the document is rarely read unless a client specifically asks. I been in notaries at the time of several property transfers and I've never known the whole document to be read out let alone interpreted, bar a quick mention of the meterage, price and a quick check of IDs.

Last edited by bokeh; Apr 18th 2008 at 12:51 pm.
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Old Apr 18th 2008, 6:26 pm
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Default Re: Illegal House.

My wife is a translator and works regularly with local notaries. She verbally translates the escritura whether it is of purchase/sale, will, power of attorney, etc. from beginning to end prior to appearing before the notary and explains legal terms which are not familiar to her clients.

If the escritura mentions proindiviso, nave, casa de apero or any other potential legal minefield she explains the implications in layman's terms in words of one syllable. The escritura names her as the translator and it is made quite clear that the accuracy of the translation is her responsibility.

She is often at odds with lawyers who do not wish the client to be made aware of the full and unexpurgated contents of the escritura. The client learns more in the few minutes they spend in her company than in the several preceding months of trying to get information out of the estate agent and lawyer and there have even been occasions where the purchaser has pulled out of the purchase because of unresolvable problems with the property which only come to light at this stage.
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Old Apr 18th 2008, 7:18 pm
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Default Re: Illegal House.

Beachcomber I commend your wife for her commitment. If only there were more like her employed throughout Spain, I reckon 95% of property/legal problems would dissapear overnight! Spain would become less of a property minefield for buyers.
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Old Apr 18th 2008, 7:31 pm
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Default Re: Illegal House.

Originally Posted by Beachcomber
If the escritura mentions proindiviso, nave, casa de apero or any other potential legal minefield she explains the implications in layman's terms in words of one syllable. The escritura names her as the translator and it is made quite clear that the accuracy of the translation is her responsibility.
That is exactly my experience.

Our escritura was translated verbally, word by word, by a translator, provided free by the notary and her name is recorded in the escritura.
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Old Apr 18th 2008, 9:30 pm
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Default Re: Illegal House.

Originally Posted by Beachcomber
My wife is a translator and works regularly with local notaries
Is she an Interprete Jurado?
Originally Posted by Beachcomber
The escritura names her as the translator and it is made quite clear that the accuracy of the translation is her responsibility.
Yes, but if it is verbal who's to say how the translation was?
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Old Apr 18th 2008, 11:28 pm
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Default Re: Illegal House.

Originally Posted by Fred James
No, they do some checks. They are not as thorough as you might think!

If it turns out to be illegal, you still owe them the money.

The only safe way is to get the legality checked out properly but that, in itself, is not always easy in Spain.

About the only safe way to buy property in Spain is to buy a 10 year old house on an urbanisation - even that isn't foolproof.

Any building on non urban land needs to be treated with considerable suspicion and anything in a Parque Nacional is almost certain to be illegal (if sold as a house rather than as a toolshed).
We brought a 500 year old attached to the church row knock ours down knock the church down ????
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Old Apr 18th 2008, 11:29 pm
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Default Re: Illegal House.

Originally Posted by Fred James
That is exactly my experience.

Our escritura was translated verbally, word by word, by a translator, provided free by the notary and her name is recorded in the escritura.
Thats what happened to us to Fred
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Old Apr 30th 2008, 1:44 am
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Default Re: Illegal House. UPDATE

Our friends have now had professiional legal advice .

Despite having a transcript of the translation which refers to a 'house' and a 'dwelling' and the word 'vivienda' even being on the escritura at least once; despite having photographs showing the place used as a dwelling six months before they were on the scene, and despite having bought it in good faith, it looks like they are going to lose the house. and it will be demolished. At the very best outcome there will be no demolition but they will not be allowed to carry on living in it. However they have been told that demolition is the most likely option.

They have been told that they are being used as an example so that other people with illegal houses will know what could happen to them, and worse if they knowingly built or bought an illegal house.

The original owners from England who originally built it and lived in it illegally are 'out of the picture'.

So....all looks bad at the moment.

They are contacting Michael Cashman MEP.

Thanks all for your help.
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Old Apr 30th 2008, 1:47 am
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Default Re: Illegal House. UPDATE

Originally Posted by scampicat
Our friends have now had professiional legal advice .

Despite having a transcript of the translation which refers to a 'house' and a 'dwelling' and the word 'vivienda' even being on the escritura at least once; despite having photographs showing the place used as a dwelling six months before they were on the scene, and despite having bought it in good faith, it looks like they are going to lose the house. and it will be demolished. At the very best outcome there will be no demolition but they will not be allowed to carry on living in it. However they have been told that demolition is the most likely option.

They have been told that they are being used as an example so that other people with illegal houses will know what could happen to them, and worse if they knowingly built or bought an illegal house.

The original owners from England who originally built it and lived in it illegally are 'out of the picture'.

So....all looks bad at the moment.

They are contacting Michael Cashman MEP.

Thanks all for your help.
In my opinion, they need to act as fast as possible need get the press involved before anything further happens.
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