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El blog de Maria

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

Legal tip 1060. Spain 2013 Guide on Property Communities
30 October 2013

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Legal tip 1059. A CostaLuz Lawyers angry client
30 October 2013

We do not like deleting negative comments, but to answer them open and publicly in the right place.

A frustrated client wrote in one of our blogposts today: ( yeap! we deal with many frustrated people every day, possibly we have not been who created  their misery as we explain below, but we of course  try hard  to care and help and support, within our limits)

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx said:
30 October 2013 @ 03:53

I have been dealing with Costa Luz lawyers since I was robbed of £75000 in 2007...I paid all my fees before my case was taken to court and then 4 years later I receive a mail asking for a further payment for the procurator to act on my behalf in what I presumed to be my new case against the bank since my case against the developer has fallen flat
They now tell me this was payment for my original case which is ridiculous since I paid those fees back in 2008 before my case was taken to court.
I have been left feeling very angry and feel the whole of the Spanish community are con artists.
My advice to anyone with my difficulty is to find yourself an English law firm who are familiar with Spanish law or you'll end up paying!!!!!!!!!!! 



mariadecastro said:
30 October 2013 @ 10:06

Dear xxxxxxxxx:

We won your case against the developer in 2010. Lack of solvency of developer made impossible the enforecement of the favourable Court Decission. Since then, we have been working hard on trying to find a solution for clients like you, who were not provided with the legally required Bank Guarantees. The solution is now quite consolidated in Courts and that´s why it is now the right time to try to bring those liabilities against the Bank.

I hope you now can agree with your government that we are doing a very good job ( they congratulated Keith Rule when we won his case) and that, with the understandable mistakes of every human team of professionals, we are devoted and honest professionals, hard working, deep studying, trying to bring all possible transparecncy and good results within the limits we unavoidably find,...... very far from being " con artists".

I understand your frustration and I do not want to take offence from your words but just kindly advise you to direct it to right people: developers? former lawyers? Bank?

If you need further explanation, please email me.
Most kind regards,
Legal advice                               
Foto: Vista parcial de la playa de Valdelagrana. Valdelagrana, Port of Santa María, Cádiz, South western Spain,at         

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Legal tip 1058. On purchase process when Bank is selling
29 October 2013

Our advise:

- Deposit contract: Revise that is treated as a true deposit contract and that therefore penalty clauses if the sale is finally not concluded are balanced, recirpocal, equivalent for buyers and sellers. Have clear statement that rule governing the deposit is that of 1454 of the Civil Code

- Local Taxes, Community of Owners, Energy Efficiency: Establish at the deposit contract that you will not sign the purchase deeds without certified proof of payment of these obligations and performance of the Energy Certificate.  Of course, do not renounce to this certificate or to any action linked to this.

- Hidden deffects: If the properties have been built within the last 10 years, no worries on major deffects as the General Building Act and related rights and guarantees are covering:

a) For 10 years, of material damages caused in the building due to defects or vices that affect the foundations, supports, beams, floor structure, charging wall or another structural elements, that directly compromise the mechanic ressistance and the stability of the building.

b) For 3 years, of material damages caused in the building by defects or vices of the building elements or the installations that produce the breach of the habitability requirements of the provision 3,1,c.

The builder will also answer for the material damages by vices or execution defects that affect the elements of finishing of the works within a year deadline.

These vices are also claimable by virtue of contract breach, so no worries about renouncing rights of provision 1484 of the Civil Code.

-Related expenses: According to Law Notary expenses are paid by vendor less one copy of the deeds

                               Registry Expenses are paid by the buyer

                                Plusvalía is paid by the seller


Legal advice

Foto: ¡Muy buenos días! Os deseamos un buen comienzo de semana. :)
Abrimos el día con #Jimena de la Frontera 

Jimena de la Frontera, Cadiz, South of Spain, at





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Legal tip 1057. Express licenses for businesses in Spain
29 October 2013

Initially, the Express license was only available in Spain to businesses of up to 300 square meters in a type of activity, but a few months ago the Government decided to extend the threshold to 500 square meters , as well as extending the range of activities to include supermarkets , professional services (lawyers , architects, etc. . ) , repair facilities , academies , small industries of textile and jewelery workshops .

Now , the authorisation is for permanent establishment anywhere in the country and whose floor space of exhibition and retail does not exceed 750 square meters.

You moving to Spain?

Legal adviceFoto: ¡Buenos días a todos! #Cádiz
(foto Mike Dunlap)Port of Cadiz and a piece of the city, South western Spain, at


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Legal tip 1056. I do not care abot Lawyers ranking
29 October 2013

It is my instinct.

Do not care about any ranking of any profession unless it covers human abilities and tastes such: sense of cooperation, sense of social justice, team abilities, extra-professional activities, type of heart, philosohpy....

I more and more rely on people and enjoy learning from human lifes in its entirety!


Legal advice

Foto: El encanto de las calles de Tarifa...
Street of Tarifa, Cádiz, Costa de la Luz, South western Spain, at

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Legal tip 1055. Thanks
25 October 2013

Starting this morning of Friday, thought of the EOS forum and you and just wanted to post A BIG THANKS

Let´s keep believing together! Spain is possible!

Enjoy this video of one of my favourite songs! BIG ANTONIO FLORES wink





Si pudiera olvidar
Todo aquello que fui
Si pudiera borrar
Todo lo que yo vi
No dudaría
No dudaría en volver a reír

Si pudiera explicar
Las vidas que quité
Si pudiera quemar
Las armas que use
No dudaría
No dudaría en volver a reír

Prometo ver la alegría
Escarmentar de la experiencia
Pero nunca, nunca más usar la violencia

Si pudiera sembrar
Los campos que arrasé
Si pudiera devolver
La paz que quité
No dudaría
No dudaría en volver a reír

Si pudiera olvidar
Aquel llanto que oí
Si pudiera lograr
Apartarlo de mí
No dudaría
No dudaría en volver a reír

Prometo ver la alegría
Escarmentar de la experiencia
Pero nunca, nunca mas
Usar la violencia

Foto: #Grazalema
(foto Bushra Nabass)

Plaza de España, Grazalema, Cadiz, South of Spain, at

Legal advice





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Legal tip 1054. Do not allow pressure on!
24 October 2013

Old fashioned selling tactics such as : this is the last available bargain, RUSH!, we have got another interested buyer, RUN, we cannot wait for you to check on..., DECIDE, PAY

are still on....

what can I say?...

As a buyer, you have the power, and the right and  peace to decide calmly and take firm steps from THE VERY BEGINNING.

This old post on resales might fit you today:

As we say in Spain: Las prisas son malas consejeras

Legal advice

Foto: #Tarifa
(Raúl|eltiempo)Tarifa, Cádiz, Costa de la Luz, Southwestern Spain, at

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Legal tip 1053. Heart
22 October 2013

Tonight, I just have strength for posting this video. Enjoy it! It is all about heart. Legal profession too.

Legal advice

Foto: El embalse de Guadarranque en Castellar de la Frontera 

Reservoir of Guadarranque, Castellar de la Frontera, Cadiz, South of Spain, at

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Legal tip 1052. NEW! Case against Bank won in la Gomera
22 October 2013

It appeared in our management system today from Barristers office!

Congrats to client, Judge, De Castro Team and CostaLuzLawyers team !!

Type of Document: First Instance Court Decission
File: xxxxxxxxxxSENTENCIA P.I..pdf
Document date: 22/10/2013
Observations: First Instance Decission won. Contract cancelled, DUJA and CAJA DE AHORROS DE CANARIAS jointly and severally condenmed to refund  55.375 € and just DUJA TENERIFE to pay 2.900 €. Both need to pay legal interest at a 6% rate in relation to the 55.375€ and DUJA TENERIFE to pay legal interest in respect to the 2900 € from registration of the Lawsuit in Courts. Both condemned to pay legal costs.


Legal advice

Foto: ¡Buenos días y feliz sábado! Recordad que esta madrugada se cambia la hora: a las 3:00am serán las 2:00am.

#Vejer de la FronteraVejer de la Frontera, Cádiz, Southwestern Spain, at

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Legal tip 1051. Deposit contracts by Banks
21 October 2013

It seems they are trying to avoid the rule of the 1454 of the Civil Code, as many developers made during the Real Estate Boom. 

1454 of the Civil Code establishes that if you, buyer, breaches the agreements made in the deposit contract ( that are mainly on completion of the purchase by Notary deed at an specific time) you lose your deposit AND if the seller breaches it, it has to return twice that amount.

Banks want buyers to have the penalty for breaching but want to avoid equivalent penalty for themselves.

Only argument by the agent is that... " it is what Banks have included in their standard contracts"

I have just contacted Consumers National Authorities  on this. Let´s see what their opinion is.

This, in addittion to asking the buyer to renounce to hidden deffects liability of the seller.

Legal advice

Foto: El amanecer de esta mañana en el Estrecho 
(foto Samuel Manzanares)

Dawn in the Strait of Gibraltar, at


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Legal tip 1050. Bankia and its new Code of Ethics
17 October 2013

Good to read. New era consolidating. Pro-people Banks. There is no other way ahead. Good economist and philosophers are playing their gorgeous song.

 The new Code of Ethics has, among other aims, to reinforce "mutual trust" between clients and Bank and assumes that,  from now on , " its performance will be oriented not only to assume its contractual commitments , but to market quality products and services, personalized and tailored to the characteristics and needs of clients"

Personalist philosophers to Banks, we claimed along these past years ( see here   and here and, if still want more even here )

 Bankia  wants to improve its relationship with suppliers and employees , fighting discrimination and promoting home-work balance. One of the keys to the new code is that the group is provided with a channel for complaints that can be used by both employees and suppliers and nit will be administered by an independent expert .

Banks finally understanding relationships. Congratulations!

Grazalema, Cadiz, South of Spain, at

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Legal tip 1049. Americans coming
17 October 2013

Two american funds buying Real Estate divissions of Bankia and Caixabank in the last months. On Orbyt ( Expansion- main business paper in Spainb) today. Last paragraph of the article saying:

It is the intention of all international funds that have bought these real estate divissions/companies, to use them as local platforms to buy spanish brick at knockdown price.

Supply and offer demand are meeting after many years where agreements on price and unceratainty of price fall ending made them fail.

Market resurrecting: you all.... come to Spain too.

Beach "El Carmen", Barbate, Cadiz, Costa de la LUz, South western Spain, at



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Legal tip 1048. NEW! Supreme Court doctrine on Lack of Bank Guarantees
15 October 2013

Supreme Court, last 19th of July, 2013.

Supreme Court had already set decisions on the character of this breach ( lack of Bank Guarantee) on the 11th of April of 2013 and on the 10th of December of 2012 clearly stating that lack of Bank Guarantee ( as lack of First Occupation Licenses) are essential breaches by developer that open the posibility for cancellation of the contract and refund of all amounts paid.

This Supreme Court doctrine has had a progressive development:

 In the first phase, marked by Court Decision dated  October 25th of  2011,  it was made clear that " the omission of the guarantee or warranty , and the deposit in a special account of the sums paid in advance by prospective purchasers of homes , article one  Law 57/68 , involved a breach of the agreement that can be classified as serious or essential" .

Subsequently, in a second phase starting with Supreme Court Decision December 10th, 2012, the Supreme declared its essential character but at the same time, making cancellation just possible when reality, status of events make this cancellation be considered as made in " good faith".

In short and simple words, if house is almost finished, lack of Bank Guarantee will never produce a cancellation and refund of deposits, according to Spain Supreme Court.

A reform of Law 57/68 is  necessary, in order to make clear different breaches and its consequences for the years to come.

A beach of Zahara de los Atunes, Cadiz, Costa de la Luz, Southwestern Spain, at




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Legal tip 1047. NEW! Court Decission against CORVERA!
14 October 2013

Just found today, Murcia Appeal Court has passed a decission by which cancellation of the contract is possible due to lack of advertised facilities!

Possibly after recent decission by Supreme Court as we wrote in this recent post

Good for Murcia Appeal Court!

Keep them coming! 


El Pinsapar, Grazalema, Cadiz, South of Spain, at

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Legal tip 1046. CostaLuz or MariadeCastro?
11 October 2013

Thinking of marketing our relocation services in a new, attractive way...

Need your input, please tell us:

How would you brand it:  CostaLuz relocation services       or        MariadeCastro relocation services?

Please take a second and answer. I need your perspective

Sunset in Zahora, Barbate, Cadiz, South western Spain, at

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Legal tip 1045. NEW! Several Bank Guarantees found
10 October 2013












This means that if you paid deposits off plan in any of these developments and have been trying to recoup your amounts against the developer without sucess, a new action against the Bank, which received your deposits is now possible!



 Setenil de las Bodegas, Cadiz, Southwestern Spain, at

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Legal tip 1044. NEW! Case won against Marbella Vista Golf and Banco Popular
08 October 2013

Congrats to Judge, clients and Costaluz&DeCastro teams!
Judge explains better than me:
   “I estimate in full the Lawsuit filed by xxxxxx and xxxxxx against MARBELLA VISTA GOLF S.L. and against BANCO POPULAR ESPAÑOL S.A. with the following statements:
a) The Contract of Sale signed by xxxxx & xxxxxx & MARBELLA VISTA GOLF S.L. dated 18 December 2003 is cancelled due to breach of the seller.
b) I order the defendants, in solidarity, to pay to the plaintiffs 105,769.50 Euros plus legal interest under the terms indicated in Item 4 of this Sentence.
c) Costs are imposed on the defendants
2. I completely dismiss the counterclaim made by MARBELLA VISTA GOLF S.L. against xxxxx and xxxxxx and absolve the plaintiffs of all claims against them.  The costs of the counterclaim are imposed on MARBELLA VISTA GOLF S.L.”
With regards to the payment of interest, Item 4 of the Sentence states:
“As per Article 1124 of the Civil Code the cancellation of the purchase contract determines the return of the amounts paid (105,769.50€), plus damages, which, according to Article 1108 of the Civil Code as a monetary obligation will require MARBELLA VISTA GOLF S.L to pay legal interest from the date delivery occurred (18 December 2003) & regarding the entity BANCO POPULAR ESPAÑOL S.A. from the date of the Court Summons (9 February 2010 – Document 13 of the Lawsuit) pursuant to Article 1100 of the Civil Code.  From the date of this Sentence the interest rate will be the legal rate plus 2% until payment in full in accordance with Article 576 of the LEC”
The defendants have 20 working days from the date of notification of the sentence, which was 7 October 2013, to comply with the Sentence or to file an Appeal which would then be heard by the Provincial Appeal Court of Malaga.
Castellar de la Frontera, Cadiz, South of Spain, at

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Legal tip 1043. Would you trust...
07 October 2013

Maria de Castro relocations services? 

Just a Yes or Not answer to this blogpost below will help


Villaluenga del Rosario, Sierra de Grazalema, Cádiz, South of Spain, at


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Legal tip 1042. What is CostaLuz about?
07 October 2013

Below , a book I would love to read but, I am afraid I will have to be happy just with having read the abstract. 

Two questions for you , after reading it:

Who among you want to be brand ambassador of CostaLuz?

What makes us different?


To Create a Dream Brand, Start Dreaming

Oliver Conti, Xavier; Serra Masip, Elisenda


Publisher: Libros de Cabecera

Original document: Marcas que sueñan

Year: 2013

Language: Spanish


From the time we get up until the time we go to bed, we interact with all kinds of brands. The challenge for companies is to make their brands stand out. But how? 

Only companies that identify and pursue a "dream" will get noticed, say IESE professor Xavier Oliver and Elisenda Serra in their new book on brands. Others may refer to this dream as the company's DNA, mission or vision. Either way, you need to have it or else you won't succeed in standing out from the crowd.

Discovering Your Dream
Discerning your dream is not easy. Today's hectic pace affords little time to stop and think. But you need to set aside time to study what is going on inside your firm. 

The dream is not normally an official statement approved by C-level executives. More often, it is something less tangible, like Apple, helping people make the most of their potential, or Ikea, aiming to improve people's everyday lives. Although difficult to measure, you must try to give it tangible features. 

The goal is not to have workers repeat these dreams as mantras, but rather to inform their day-to-day work, so that everything the company does reflects this dream.

Practice What You Preach
Just as important as discovering an organization's dream is putting it into practice by defining three kinds of values

Instrumental values are the starting point of people's relationship with the brand. These provide information about the product or service being offered, such as its quality, functionality, design or price, so that customers can determine if it suits their needs. 

Relational or emotional values reach out to consumers beyond the purely functional elements. These responses are critical when it comes to deciding whether to buy something or not. 

Shared core values connect the brand and the consumer together, leading to lasting relationships. 

Read the article Add Excitement to Your Brand

Next, identify what initially draws people to your brand. What does your company do better than anyone else that attracts attention? 

For La Fageda in Spain, it's the fact that it employs people with mental health issues that generates positive word of mouth, as much as the high-quality yogurt it produces. Similarly, at Pike Place in Seattle, it's the spirited employees and personalized service that draws the crowds to this fish market for an experience that borders on a theatrical performance. 

Creating Brand Ambassadors
A dream is pointless if you do not share it. A great way of sharing your dream is through good storytelling, which can bring together not only those inside the company but those outside, too. 

A powerful story will create a strong ripple effect, as the dream radiates outward from inside the company to touch the key groups you are trying to reach -- from employees to suppliers to consumers.

The goal is to get all these groups to speak well of your company and brand, as there is no better marketing than positive word of mouth. 

For this to happen, the story must not be made up. It should draw on what the company actually is; otherwise no one will believe it. 

If your story is based on the company's differential values and genuinely connects with key groups, then people will naturally become brand ambassadors.
Sunset in Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz, Costa de la Luz, South western Spain, at

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Legal tip 1041. NEW! 7 Case law against Banks in off plan cases
04 October 2013

Seven, new Case Law where Judges are stablishing liabilities of Banks which received amounts on developers accounts and did not do a proper job for protection of those deposits:
Our list has now 40 different Case Law from many different Appeal Courts in Spain.
1 Roj: SAP A 2187/2012
Id Cendoj: 03014370082012100319
Órgano: Audiencia Provincial
Sede: Alicante/Alacant

2. Roj: SAP MA 2158/2012
Id Cendoj: 29067370052012100470
Órgano: Audiencia Provincial
Sede: Málaga, 3 de Diciembre de 2012

3.Roj: SAP A 5205/2012
Id Cendoj: 03014370062012100575
Órgano: Audiencia Provincial
Sede: Alicante/Alacant, 7 de Diciembre de 2012

4.Roj: SAP SE 128/2013
Id Cendoj: 41091370082013100042
Órgano: Audiencia Provincial
Sede: Sevilla, 4 de Febrero de 2013

5.Roj: SAP NA 308/2013
Id Cendoj: 31201370012013100124
Órgano: Audiencia Provincial
Sede: Pamplona/Iruña, 15 de Febrero de 2013

6.Roj: SAP MA 2400/2012
Id Cendoj: 29067370042012100491
Órgano: Audiencia Provincial
Sede: Málaga, 29 de Octubre de 2012

7.Roj: SAP MA 1281/2013
Id Cendoj: 29067370042013100303
Órgano: Audiencia Provincial
Sede: Málaga, 11 de Junio de 2013

5.Roj: SAP MU 1801/2013
Id Cendoj: 30030370042013100444
Órgano: Audiencia Provincial
Sede: Murcia, 11 de Julio de 2013

Vejer de la Frontera, Cádiz, South western Spain, at

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Legal tip 1040. NEW! Residency visas for investors in Spain
04 October 2013

Spread the word:

Non European foreign investors now getting residency permits in Spain, when:

Investing equal to or more than 2 billion euros in Spanish government bonds, or purchase equal to or more than a million euros  in shares of  Spanish companies, or bank deposits at Spanish financial institutions.

Acquiring real estate in Spain with an investment of equal or superior to EUR 500,000 per applicant.

Starting a  business project that will be developed in Spain and is considered and credited as of general interest, for which  the performance of at least one of the following conditions will be valued:


1. º Creating jobs.


2. º Making an investment with relevant socio-economic impact in the geographical area in which the activity will develop.


3 º Important contribution to scientific innovation and / or technology.


3. It will also be a significant capital investment when this is made by a company which is established  in a  territory which is not considered a tax haven according to Spanish law, and the applicant foreign owns, directly or indirectly, the majority of the voting rights and has the power to appoint or remove a majority of the members of the Company board.

Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Cádiz, South western Spain, at


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Legal tip 1039. Mark Stucklin of SPI saying about...
03 October 2013

International Funds seeking Spain´s property

Yet another sign that big investors are targeting the distressed Spanish property market in search of high returns. Spain has moved up from sixth to third place in a ranking of European priorities amongst 184 international funds surveyed periodically by Knight Frank, an international real estate company.

Last year just 2pc of funds put Spain at the top of their list of European priorities for real estate investments, leaving Spain in sixth place. In this year’s survey 11pc say Spain is their priority, boosting Spain to third place behind the UK on 39pc and Germany on 23pc.

International funds have up to €14 billion to invest in Spanish property over the next 12 months, according to press reports.

Part of Spain’s attraction is the fact that real estate prices have fallen an average of 65pc, the biggest fall in the EU, according to Humphrey White, commercial director of Knight Frank, quoted in the Spanish daily El Mundo.

I’ve been watching these funds and their investments closely over the last year or so, and as far as I can see they are overlooking the best opportunities in Spain today.


And after reading this, again, actions against Banks come to my mind... They are main sellers of Spains distressed properties and in many ocassions, stil trying to set rules and stepping on consumers rights. A step by step battle. Happily never ceasing.

Also, beware when buying from a Bank or an in-house estate company as they are trying to impose some abusive clauses again in deposit contracts, much for the detriment of buyers. A good independent lawyer highly recommended.

Spain for people vs Spain for Banks: not a romantic idea!



 Arroyo del sendero de Valdeinfierno, Parque de los Alcornocales, Los Barrios, Cadiz, South of Spain, at

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