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El blog de Maria

Your daily Spanish Law reporter. Have it with a cafe con leche.
www.costaluzlawyers.es

Ethical Code for Local Councils
25 June 2008

The Executive Committee of the Federation of municipalities and provinces in Spain (FEMP) passed yesterday a Code of Good Government in order to achieve more transparency within the  Management of Local Councils and to fight against political corruption.

That document express that all the representative members of Local Councils need to provide information about their patrimony assets and their holding of shares in any kind of  companies before being appointed. This document will have to be handed to the General Secretary of the Local Council.

The efforts of this federation are driven to not just get a signature on a paper but to unite political forces and settle agreements for fighting against political corruption.

 FEMP wants to open the door of the Local Councils to citizenship and allow a permanent control by the opposition through a continued presence within all the bodies of government

Do you want to bring suggestions to the FEMP?

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



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Did developer make changes? - Abusive-Null and Void
24 June 2008

It is frequent ( almost a general rule) to find an off plan purchase contract with a clause which says something like:

" The buyer gives permission to developer to make those changes required by technical  or legal reasons"

Well... that is an abusive clause and therefore, it is null and void. You can ask for compensation if those changes were not expressly allowed by you and for cancellation of the contract  if there are substantial changes that derive in a " aliud pro alio" .

The clause for  the legal regulation of possible changes between what is being contracted off plan and what is finally handed needs to meet these criteria:

1.- Reasons for change need to be expressed in the contract. It is not valid those generic references to " Act of Nature", " Force majeure", " unplanned circumnstances", " legal or technical reasons"

2.- Reasons need to be valid reasons: There are some parameters to judge on the validity of the reasons:

- Fact which happens out of the control of the developer´s activity ( it is not the denial of license, which is a regulated by Law, controllable and predictable fact)

- It needs to be unpredictable ( rains are strikes are predictable, as they are commun and frequent every year)

-The exact fullfilment of the contract needs to be specially costly for the developer

3.- The financial settlement needs to be established in the same contract

- By reduction of price

That reduction of price needs to operate too if the changes consist on a lack of quality .

If the defect is meaningful: cancellation.

 

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



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Sunset in Getares. Where Costaluz is.
19 June 2008

Do you like it?

 

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es






Like 0        Published at 14:42   Comments (1)


Getares. Algeciras. Cadiz. Where COSTALUZ is.
19 June 2008

Those wonderful pictures were taken by my husband in the nearest beach to our office in Algeciras.

Hope some of you can come and visit any time soon. Gibraltar Rock at the Bottom

 

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es




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Rental with an option to purchase
18 June 2008

In times of recession -  imagination

One of the most interesting commercial strategies to sell dwellings during the periods, when the demand for real estates decreases, is that one of the rent of dwelling with the right to acquire it. The real estate agents and the developers use to resort to such kind of lease contract instead of keeping the property inactive. This way the agencies that decide to launch this formula let their clients rent the dwelling for a reasonably moderate price, (between 500 and 800 euros) depending on the property and, after a certain period from 2 to 5 years the client is entitled to decide to purchase it. The main advantage is that the sale price is reduced by the amount that the tenant has paid throughout the rental period. I mean, all those rents paid are considered part of the purchase price.

This option of mixed financing is suitable for people who can not afford buying a property due to its high price, since they do not have enough money to pay a deposit or can not obtain a mortgage loan from the bank ( very frequent in  these current times!)

And this is especially interesting during the periods of insecurity in the real estate market or financial uncertainty, when the interest rate increase is unpredictable, and banks are restricting mortgage loans. 

This solution can be also found attractive by the landlords or the real estate investors who want to sell their properties. They can save money on the mortgage during the rent period and increase their future chances of selling the property. It is easier to find tenants giving them a purchase option than to find simple tenants. There is always a possibility to renew the lease contract with or without purchase option as well as to look for  a possible buyer in a climate of more financial stability.

If you want to include the purchase option in the lease contract you can use the clause below as a model:

Eighteenth. – The Purchase Option.

The parties agree that before the term of the present contract, FIVE YEARS, comes to an end, the tenant should be able to acquire the property of the real estate – object of this lease. To purchase the property, the tenant must formally inform the landlord about it within the last month before the date of expiration.

In case of possible purchase the sale price of the dwelling would be of ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY THOUSAND (120.000) EUROS. Rental payments are not included in this price.

The sale of the real estate would be formalized by a public deed, free of charges. And the payment of the whole agreed price must be done in the moment of the contract signature. Expenses and taxes originated by the sale would meet the requirements of the Civil Code.

Any of the parties shall be able to register this lease purchase contract in the Property Book Office. The cost of the registration would be paid by the party who promotes it.

 

 

Of course, I would advise you to have a Lawyer revising the legal aspects of the transaction.

 

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es

 



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India investing in ladrillo español
16 June 2008


 3170 millions of euros have been invested by foreign companies in Spain in  the building and real estate businesses.

75 transactions have been made by foreign  companies and investment funds in building and real estate companies from early 2007 to May 2008, according to a survey made by  'Construcción Alimarket', and made public by  Europa Press.

71% of those acquisitions was made since last quarter of 2007, when the crisis was made evident

Just three of those transactions were for residential estates  and just one was made in a company in a bad financial situation.

The goal of those transactions are therefore , not the aid of the spanish economy but the good perspectives of  growth of those companies, which turns them in a good investment for the foreign investor.


( a Free translation from Cinco Dias, 15-06-2008)


 

Indians ..... are......coming!!!!!!

 

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es

   


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Picture of new costaluz office.
16 June 2008

As promised, the picture of our new office:

 

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



Like 0        Published at 09:34   Comments (6)


What is legally " annoying" in Spain?
13 June 2008

 Some of you have emailed me before asking about a particular behaviour to be acceptable or not in the living together of the community of owners, I had  a moment today to write and transmitt to you what Law in Spain considers " annoying":

It is annoying all those activities that deprive of  or make difficult to others the regular and adequate use of a thing or a right. All those activities that performed by people within their ownership rights realm, are exceding the limits of regular tolerance ( so... tolerance is required too !! ) and throw its consequences on others´ownership and disrupt their use: 
Court case is wide and diverse on this: ( this is not a close list.
 
- To pile up iron and boxes full of bottles in a patio.
 
- Noises and vibrations from the music machine of a “ Pub” might cause the cancellation of a rental contract. Those activities need to be evident and persistent
- Noisy  people gatherings which produce uncomfortable vibrations, smells…

 - Cooking activities which produce unpleasant smell and vapors.
 
-Pets are not annoying “per se” unless it is proved that they cause damages or nuisance to others or others´properties. 
- Threatens, insults,  constant and hostile activities or constant noises with an annoying purpose.
        It is very recomendable  to have internal rules of the Community of Owners that state the standards of behaviour between neighbours and to have active Comiteess that can warn and limit so living together can be easier and we do not have to go to the Police or the Judge all the time. People happend to be reasonable if you warn with respect. 

We human beings need rules!  Regardless we like it or not. But... Law is for human and not human for Law.  ( La ley es para el hombre y no el hombre para la ley) Legalistic actitudes drive to untolerance and difficult living together.

Have a great weekend you all in mi querida España
 


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In front of Africa
12 June 2008

We live in front of Africa.

Actually 14 miles by sea to Morocco and  was wondering what your real interest in Morocco is?

 

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



Like 0        Published at 19:16   Comments (1)


Applying UK Law in Spain
11 June 2008

 I ommitt part of the wording in this paragraph in the previous post, please see ammendments in green now:

We won another case in Orihuela last week, the Judge passed a great decission that I would like to translate and pass along to  you. He applies lots of Consumers Law legal arguments in favour of the buyer and even
considering that the claimers were british, he argued in favour of the international uniformity  of legal solutions and applied in a complementary way some UK Law to the case. Amazing!

Apologies. It is late today. I am very sleepy.

 

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



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Spanish Judge applies UK Law to a case
11 June 2008

We won another case in Orihuela last week, the Judge passed a great decission that I would like to translate and pass along to  you. He applies lots of Consumers Law legal arguments in favour of the buyer and even considering that the claimers were british, he argued in favour of the international uniformity to the case. Amazing!

It is a Judge of the Fourth Turn ( not by career but by appointment) and used to be a Lawyer. I am so proud of that.

Does this put a bit of more confidence in our system and our judges? I hope so.

 There are really good people in the  spanish legal arena, they just need to make their voices be heard.

Anyone interested on having the text of that Court Decission, just let me know and I will send it along. You can find our email address in our website: www.costaluzlawyers.es

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



Like 0        Published at 00:09   Comments (3)


Clients visiting us
09 June 2008

We were today lucky to have a couple of clients visiting us, I had the oporttunity to have a good conversation with them both when we discussed on Consumers rights information and formation in Spain and the importance of that, more as we are more and more integrated as an union of countries, the European Union. Spain needs to reach the standards of professionalism and clients care of another European countries. We cannot keep offering just good weather and warmth.

They saw our new office and mentioned that it was very civilized to have a terrace with garden´s furnitures and artificial grass for the relax and enjoyment of the  people of the team in their breaks. I love integration in life and try to make my employees feel a bit like home... I do not think that this will damage productivity, rather the contrary: human being works and express himself more fluentlty and fully when he is treated with high dignity.

First people.

Hope you are keeping well.

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



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Zahara de los Atunes
07 June 2008

We are visiting my husband´s family in  Zahara de los Atunes tomorrow... you need to know that area... gorgeous and unexploited. Great tunna fish, captured with the special almadraba fishing system. Amazing sunsets and kms and kms of white sand.

A great place to look for a corner.... in my opinion. The whole Costa de la Luz is amazing as the whole Cadiz Province is... full of variety, contrasts and good weather: wine, horses, ham, cheese, ferias,bays, high mountains, natural parks,  carnavales... ( Cadiz town  is so called the Little Habana for its similarity to the Cuban capital), 2seas--- Mediterranean at Atlantic, a passage to Africa,  the corner of Gibraltar, the Heracle pillars, roman ruins....
anyways... I could fill books!

Come and visit us!!

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



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Those posh bad lawyers..
05 June 2008

who made their businesses by ignoring basic principles such as independency and evasion of conflict of interest and were happy to set an international chain of  gambling- houses -Law - Firms under the protection of the Real Estate boom and the abuses of developers and estate agents..... those  lawyers who systematically neglected their obligations towards their clients, are now extremely " professionally cautious" to release the files of those clients to us.... hum!  If they had been that protective towards your off-plan purchases,if they had been that zealous with their clients´rights.... many of you would be in a different situation now.... and they would have maintained their business, which are ruined now.


We are very frustrated today:  itis almost five months since I asked them to release to us the files of some of our clients and they are just making excuses and playing around, putting the client´s interests at risk....

I already reported that to the Bar Association and will be reporting it to the Duty´s Court is they do not give the files to us tomorrow.

We are ready in third floor now.

Anyhow... we are in third floor, new office now.

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



Like 0        Published at 20:39   Comments (5)


No financiation- resolution
04 June 2008

The contract draft stablished as a model by the National Instiute of Consumers in Spain states thar in an off plan investment, the negative of the lender Bank to lend money to purchasers ( commun in these days, is not?) is ground for contract cancellation both by developers and purchasers... it will be all about who comes first... I wonder.

The office: almost finished, the computers intranet  system being set in a couple of hours and  we, all prepared for the  before the weekend. Promise to take pictures of the team and the premises and post them.

It keeps coming to my mind when I look into the future:

To developers... an encouragement to correctness, sumission to the rules,  clients´care, balance.
To banks.... and encouragement to calm and flexibility... cooperation, openness.
To purchasers in the future.... an encouragment to sobriety and restraint, it is soooooooooooo healthy. Just some training and passion for freedom is needed.

Yes... I wanted to be a philosopher and ended up being a bilingual lawyer.

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



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Lawful Lawfun
03 June 2008

I found this blog today:

http://www.duhaime.org/LegalResources/LawFun/tabid/344/articleType/ArticleView/articleID/184/LawFun.aspx

I was about to name my blog.... Lawful Lawfun.... but I am not funny at all.... and less even if I need to use the English language... or maybe, well.... my use of the English language is funny enough.

Hum!

Maria

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



Like 0        Published at 20:25   Comments (1)


Refranes and angels
03 June 2008

I am having my husband  compiling a good number of spanish " refranes" ( proverbs, sayings). We can play to find out their equivalents in English and this way, we are also happy to provide to you some some of the Spanish popular wisdom.

In the legal world there is a very used one which says " Mas vale un mal acuerdo que un buen pleito" ( Better a bad out of court agreement than a good litigation).

I will ask him to gather many of them regarding Justice, lawyers and related species.

As per today... a full day of clients care and retouching of clients´ service procedures in the Law Firm.  Steven Schaffer is my work-angel... I will introduce you to him tomorrow.

Hugs,

Maria

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



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Spain:hospitality
02 June 2008


An article of  today´s El Pais, within the Business and Economy Section states that Spain is still a "short branded country", ( this is a terrible free translation of mine) , what they mean is that the brand "Spain" is not powerful enough  within the international market.  The brand Spain has not a strong identifying character within the world business field.

" Germany: efficiency,  France: quality, Italy: luxury, United States: innovation, Japan: advanced technology" All these countries have a brand which help their enterprises to  guaranteedly  cross borders . On the other hand, when the Spanish enterprises decide to cross the Pirenees cannot trust  that their origin will help them too much." 

It made me think...., even though, I am not used to think too much within the coordinates of  just "high productivity", "business success" and "competitivity" as isolated categories. I rather think that when a product is genuine  and authentic , when it has a  strong and different personality, when it makes real good to people and their lifes, it has an implicit potential for success.  Spain should be strong then. We may have not been too much interested on selling ourselves. We prefer enjoy, celebrate and have people sharing it with us.....

Anyhow: Spain: hospitality. Spain: poeple-oriented, Spain: joy of sharing....

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



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