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El blog de Maria

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

Women for Law
29 July 2008

You women of EOS, ( or Women of Spain) are still our best readers... why is that?

 

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



Like 0        Published at 11:08   Comments (4)


Castles in Spain
28 July 2008

A Proffessor of Political Ideas, Benigno Pendás, has written today:

"The traveller finds out easily that dreaming is not expensive:  risponsable government, competent oposition goverment,  sensible politicians.... ( ...). A universal language, multinational companies, outstanding sportsmen, good quality of life, good infraestructures..( ...) in the shadow side: a weak economy, a territorial mess, ideological dogmatism, lack of desire to work... let´s do a realisitic disgnosis"

He voted for castles in Spain. The real castles, those inland pattern of art who shows the past of our country... you can find gorgerous places there, with hospitable people. Maybe the new generations of spanirds, who knows on multicultiralism need to go back to thier town to promote that inter-relation with foreign and make their lives that way... again... imagination, hard work and good sense of humour is needed.

A big hug from here today,

Maria

 

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



Like 0        Published at 13:12   Comments (0)


Renting with an option to buy is the solution.
25 July 2008

Renting with option to buy:

a solution for:

young people staying at parents´ an not able to buy...  Government support suggested here.
people who want to buy and have no access to financiation at the present moment....
private owners who needs to sell and find no buyers... 
developers with loads of unsold properties: First Occupation License needed here...
Foreigners wanting to start the spanish adventure and with  no access to  the purchase of  a property...
Foreigners wanting to have a second residence in Spain... it is possible a renting contract with annual renovations for the vacations period.
Foreigners wanting to retire in Spain....

I highly advise to be balnced with setting the rent and to submitt all the contracts to arbitartion rather than Courts and hire an Insurance for unpaid rents.

This will bring a bit of  movement to the real estate market during the following couple of years....

 Let´s start changing our mentality and thinking forward

 

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



Like 0        Published at 09:29   Comments (0)


Another victory for purchasers
24 July 2008

A new victory for purchasers this week, this time in San Roque (Cadiz) Courts. A  developmnet company  voluntarily acquiescing to our lawsuit, acknowledging on   the rights of consumers in an off plan development. 

This recession times are time for keeping the battle up for those who has been abused for a long time... it is true that developers have short cash flow now but they do have assets, lots of assets... to back their liabilities.

The most important thing is that  good legal defense by lawyers in favour of consumers will produce Judges failing in favour of them and  creating  a strong body of Case Law with the right orientation in these cases. A new legal conscience and full respect to the weak parties.

 

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es




Like 0        Published at 10:56   Comments (4)


Consumers rights when company goes bust
21 July 2008


I have been lately  thinking that  it is important to make an effort so we can have all consumers in Companies under administration  acting to be " privileged and special" creditors as they have been so much un-considered and abused during the building process  ( i.e.- lack of Bank Guarantees) and are the ultimate and real damaged ( in their personal and family dalily lifes).... not the companies who has been trading succesfully for many years with no care of consumers rights.  If this legal tools are acted, the Creditor´s Meeting procedure will hopefully create a good space for the protection of consumers.  It is also necessary  for the spanish  legal and judicial arena  to deal with real forces battling for consumers rights in this procedures. 

As we answered to you in that interview you made to Nacho and me, there is  a gate open to off plan purchasers to attack and  legally grab a particular asset ( the one they were buying or any other equivalent one) for the cashing of the credit so none else but them can have it for the guaranteed cashing of the debt. It is  just their money which has been ilegally unprotected  because of  the lack of the due guarantees and has been misused by developers.  The Supreme Court consider some of this behaviour as criminally challenged... so.... it is at least time to gain some guarantees now through the Administration procedure.

It is an important and necessary legal battle for the coming years, which will leave a better consumer oriented legal system in the Spanish real estate market according to European standards.

Best from Zahara,

Maria 

 

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



Like 0        Published at 14:39   Comments (0)


Financial crisis= creativity times.
18 July 2008

http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.27944,filter.social/pub_detail.asp

Oh yes, we are in a serious financial crisis.... but is that necessarily a bad thing) ( Excuse me as this keyboard does not make the question marks) I am typing a paranthesis sign instead.

Financial crisis must not be time for fear, anxiety and depression.
Financial crisis must be time for sobriety and austerity: much more elegant, modern, chic and dignifying words.
Financial crisis is a time to go out of oppressive shopping malls and run unto nature: mountains, beaches, landscape.. whatever is within the reach of our arms and possibilities.
Financial crisis is time for thinking and create new ways of life. Time for creativity and art. Time for recreation. Time for oportunitys. Time for re.birthings and re.considerations.
Time for family and friends around a simple table game, playing old music, remembering old times...

Time for life really. Let´s use our creativity talents... we all have it. We can build happiness around withg no money at all. It is such a challenge and a building-humanhood activity.

I promise to keep talking on Law in next post.

 

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



Like 0        Published at 12:59   Comments (1)


A book for a break
16 July 2008

I am leaving today for a short break: my husband, my kids and the boy in the striped pyjamas.

 

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es

 



Like 0        Published at 12:34   Comments (3)


UGT and CCOO addresses in Andalucia
14 July 2008

A good Labour Lawyer can be very expensive, specially if you need to look for a bilingual one.

My advise if you have a legal affair related to a Labour Contract is to look for the help of these associations of workers  which have great professional people among them.

I am provising to you today these links which show to you the UGT´s and CCOO´s ( major syndicates in Spain) contact details in Andalucia.

UGT:     http://www.ugt.es/sedes/sedesandalucia.htm

CCOO:  http://www.andalucia.ccoo.es/comunes/estatico/TAndalucia/documentos/dondeestamos/direcciones.pdf

Best as always,

Maria

 

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



Like 0        Published at 18:24   Comments (0)


4th Anniversary in Sabinillas
12 July 2008

It was soooo hot yesterday, even though, around 40 of us were there to celebrate!

We humbly propose several things for next time:

1.- To make it a bit later, specially it is is summer.
2.- To content people´s stomachs with some good spanish food! Some tortilla de patatas..., light gazpacho or salmorejo, some embutidos, good pan de campo and of course... some sangría!!

We will definitely need to prepare a real spanish fiesta for next year. 5th Anniversary. Nothing extraordinary, keeping us in the simple ways, but full of color and tastes.... we promise to help to prepare it and even dress some " spanish attires" We have got execllent cooks in the team and we love our regional dresses.

Best wishes to you all!

Happy Anniversary Justin and Susan and Happy Birthday dear Susan. Have a fantastic day!!

 

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



Like 0        Published at 09:16   Comments (0)


We do not want to cancel contracts.Costaluzlawyers
10 July 2008

Dear all:

Yesterday....after posting about our success in contract cancellation, something left a bitter taste inside me which has been pushing inside till now.... : I want to share something with you:

It was not fighting against developers and cancelling  contracts of english speaking people in Spain the core of my dreams when I started the  Costaluzlawyers adventure two years ago. Rather the contrary.

I wanted to help people  to settle in Spain, specially in Costa de la Luz.

Let me tell you a bot of our tale:

A friend of mine made a blog for me and  suggested me to fill the blog with good and relevant information which would help me  to have an enhanced position in Google listings. ( that was before meeting you, Justin...!! of course) . He also suggested me to link to related websites. That´s why I met Justin. I called him and we agreed on me sending some articles for him to review and maybe post in EyeonSpain newsletter.

I have just concluded a case as my father´s assistant ( yes, he is also a lawyer) for which  I have deeply studied on Bank Guarantees, so... I decided to write on  that topic and send it to Justin together with a couple more of pieces on Real Estate Consumer Law in Andalucia. He trusted me and  started published them in the newsletter and ...... suddenly.... dozens of emails filled my inbox.

It was not that the article were excellent... it was that none of you knew of your rights as Real Estate consumers in Spain.  The right thing, the right moment, the right way.... Of course hours and hours of work advising people too.

I am writing this... because,even when the public has asked us, by now... to help then have their deposits returned...  and that is being our main task recently. What we really want to  see happening  is to have people moving/ investing/ holidaying in Spain  ["if the economy permits it.... ( where are we going economically??... I wonder a lot recently)] with full guararantes and them being in control of the situation. Such a challenge! We think big!

We are six now... and we hope to grow so we can offer better and broader services, we want to make a difference in the legal arena for english speaking people in Spain. We want you here and we want you happily here.

So that....please forgive our mistakes and encourage our efforts... we try hard.

Needless to say.. I have got the best people with me: Rocio, Aroha, Steven, Almu, Patricia, borther Ignacio, brother Jaime, Fernando, Alicia, Luzvi y papá. Thanks to you all.

Love from Spain,

Maria

 

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



Like 0        Published at 22:09   Comments (11)


Case won again
09 July 2008

Today, we received the 12th Decission in favour of our clients since we started our adventure. We have got a 95% success rate in this type of cases in favour of off plan purchasers.

Ignacio de Castro is the Master of this all.... I love learning from him.

We are very much looking forward to seeing some of you next Friday in Sabinillas.

 

By Maria L. de Castro

web@costaluzlawyers.es

www.costaluzlawyers.es



Like 0        Published at 16:49   Comments (10)


Language in Community of Owners
07 July 2008

 
 
Q. It is compulsory to use the Spanish language at the Owners´ meetings?
 
A. No, it is not compulsory. The Supreme Court of Spain has affirmed that it is not stated in the Horizontal Property Act that the meetings of the Community of Owners have to be held in Spanish.  The Supreme Court affirms that the holdings of these meetings are not official, public acts but private ones among individual, private parties.
 
 
Q. It is possible to use a foreign language in the meetings of the Community of Owners?
 
A. Yes, it is possible. Provision 13.1 of our Constitution affirms that “ foreigners have in Spain the public liberties gathered in the Constitution as they are established in the Treaties and Law”, and provision 27 of the Civil Code “ foreigners have in Spain, same civil rights as Spanish citizens, except what it is stated in Treaties and Laws”
 
The right to use a foreign language  in an Owner´s meeting is unquestionable but, as with every right, it is necessary to set a procedure by which the existence of this right won’t  cause any defencelessness to any other people.
 
The procedure in two sentences:
1. - Every President must include in the Owner’s meetings Agenda, a mention to the language that will be used , so that, those owners who speak a different language can ask for a translator.
2.-The Minutes of the Community of Owners must be sent to the owners in all the languages whose use or translations have been asked for.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Like 0        Published at 07:44   Comments (0)


Language in Community of Owners
07 July 2008

 
 
Q. It is compulsory to use the Spanish language at the Owners´ meetings?
 
A. No, it is not compulsory. The Supreme Court of Spain has affirmed that it is not stated in the Horizontal Property Act that the meetings of the Community of Owners have to be held in Spanish.  The Supreme Court affirms that the holdings of these meetings are not official, public acts but private ones among individual, private parties.
 
 
Q. It is possible to use a foreign language in the meetings of the Community of Owners?
 
A. Yes, it is possible. Provision 13.1 of our Constitution affirms that “ foreigners have in Spain the public liberties gathered in the Constitution as they are established in the Treaties and Law”, and provision 27 of the Civil Code “ foreigners have in Spain, same civil rights as Spanish citizens, except what it is stated in Treaties and Laws”
 
The right to use a foreign language  in an Owner´s meeting is unquestionable but, as with every right, it is necessary to set a procedure by which the existence of this right won’t  cause any defencelessness to any other people.
 
The procedure in two sentences:
1. - Every President must include in the Owner’s meetings Agenda, a mention to the language that will be used , so that, those owners who speak a different language can ask for a translator.
2.-The Minutes of the Community of Owners must be sent to the owners in all the languages whose use or translations have been asked for.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Like 0        Published at 07:44   Comments (0)


Probate procedure of foreigners in Spain
07 July 2008

A) Why and when to probate in Spain? 
Some steps must be taken in order to see who is the heir of that asset in Spain and to have the asset fully and dully registered under the name of the heir in the Land Registry so the heir can enjoy a full and secure ownership on it. Till this is done, the asset cannot be sold and if a bank account is also left in Spain by the inheritor, that account will be frozen for the time by. 
b) Previous steps to be taken: 
I) Death certificate: If the deceased died in Spain, the death certificate can be obtained at the Civil Resgitry of the town where he/she died. The civil Registries in Spain are communly located in Courts or in the Town Hall ( for small villages). As an advise: ask for 4 or 5 copies of that for the different needed managements. If the testator died in the UK or any other foreign country, the death certificate needs to be obtained there,  trasnlated into Spanish and apostilled with the Hague stamp.
II) Certificate of the Last Will Registry: In order to see if there is a will or what is the last will a person made. The Death Certificate is required and you need to send an application which used to be sold in Estancos ( tobacconist´s) and are now obtained online. A lawyer or a “ gestor” can do it for you. 

If there is a Foreign Will:
III) Foreign will, translated and apostilled
IV) Letters of probate translated and apostilled

 If there is a Spanish Will:

V) A authentic copy of the foreign will is required ( the copy who was handed to the testator- copia simple- is not enough) ....

*Who can apply for the authentic copy of the will? 

 Just those people which inheritance rights according to the will, the legal heirs, or those entitled to rights in the inheritance if there was no willl. 

*How can this be obtained? They need to personally attend the Notary offices with the identification document  or send a letter of authorisation to a proxy person with a signature notharised by your local Notary.

If there is no will:
VI) A declaration of intestacy is needed, in the country of nationality of deceased.

c) How to adjudicate?
The heirs need to sign the Notary deed of heir adjudication, either in person or by Proxy.
 
d) How expensive is to be a heir in Spain. Inheritance tax.
I) Who pays? .- The tax is paid by each one of the persons who receive a portion or something in the inheritance, by inheritance or by legacy. 
II) How much is the IHT in Spain? .- It depends on different aspects:
 
a) The value of the goods acquired by inheritance. It is a progressive scale. The higher the value of the portion or legacy the more to pay. 

b) Family relationship with testator: The further the relationship is the more to pay. There is a minimum exempt amount for  close relatives ( it varies yearly).
 
c) Previous patrimony of heir: if the heir has a previous patrimony, it is more expensive. 
d) The family business or the family home are less charged if the heirs are spouse or children of deceased.
The tax needs to be paid within 6 months to prevent recharges. 
 As a document for the payment of taxes, the Notary deed of heir adjudication is enough, even just a mere " list of goods" is enough, so you can avoid Notary fees.

 You can auto-calculate the tax amount or  just can provide data to the Treasure for the calculation.
If there is Real Estate among the inheritance goods, the Plusvalía will also have to be paid. For doing so, you need to go to the Local Council where the estate is located.
 


Like 0        Published at 07:21   Comments (0)


Olé-legal help
01 July 2008

Donna wrote:

Dear Maria,

Thank you so much for your reply.  I have forwarded it on to Andy, and he will write to you with all the information that you need.

Your legal advice is such a wonderful resource for the EoS website.  It is an unbelievably steep learning curve moving your life to another country...!

Very best wishes,


Donna

We answered:

Dear Donna:

It is, and we know it. That´s why we work hard. We want to meet that social function of introducing you to our country, with all the legal information and assistance that you need.

Thanks,


Maria


THAT IS ALL WHAT COSTALUZ IS ABOUT.

By the way... we are thinking of creating a new Brand Name such as " Olé-abogados"   or " Olé-legal help"  as we are working all along the country and not just in Costa de la Luz.... what do you think? Suggestions for names?




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