Member of staff stole deposit and agent will not pay back

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05 May 2010 00:00 by delza Star rating. 77 posts Send private message


A friend of mine paid a deposit to an employee at an estate agent who then stole the money and left the estate agent and now the agent refuses to give any refunds.

Is there an ombudsman for estate agents in Spain?

or could she walk into a police station and claim theft?!

Any advice would be brilliant.

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06 May 2010 00:17 by Alison&Simon Star rating in Hamilton,Scotland - .... 1102 posts Send private message

Alison&Simon´s avatar


Did your friend get a receipt for the money , if not it is then their word against the agents and they have no hope I wouldn't think.



 Always look on the bright side of life  

Dogs have lots of friends cause they wag their tails and not their tongues


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06 May 2010 10:46 by Faro Star rating in London. 1139 posts Send private message

This type of thing always infuriates me.

For the benefit of others can I please say never hand over any money to an estate agent or other intermediary. Always say you will give the deposit to your lawyer/solicitor and they will either hold it or pass it on to the lawyer/solicitor of the vendor. Also until a private contract has been signed the deposit should never be released to the vendor.

There are many similar cases where deposits have been handed over to agents and then the agent shuts up shop. Every street is full of closed up estate agencies.



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06 May 2010 11:20 by joanmalaga Star rating in Costa del Sol. 422 posts Send private message


I totally agree with you, the problem is that some lawyers can not be trusted either, I have seen many of them close down over the past few months. I know there are many good ones and trustworthy ones, i have found one! It is incredibly difficult for people who dont know the area.

I would suspect that as long as delzas friend has a document to prove he paid that he will have a claim agaisnt the estate agent.


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06 May 2010 11:55 by Faro Star rating in London. 1139 posts Send private message

I think I would prefer to be tracking down a Spanish abogado to some English estate agent with a rental address for a home.

Buyers need to find from whatever source a trustworthy independent lawyer and NOT use the lawyer recommended by the agent.

But the problem also is one of uncertainty as to whether or not the agent is authorised to sell and take deposits and part of this problem is attributable to vendors instructing multiple agents.

These days you have to be very careful handing over any deposits and consider very carefully who should hold that deposit whilst searches are being conducted etc.

I always encourage buyers to move swiftly from reservation deposit/contract to notary thus eliminating risks in the interim.

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21 May 2010 16:31 by albufeira Star rating in Sun Coast - Portugal. 1 posts Send private message

Dear Delza,

Despite i coincide with the fact that the lawyers must transmit confidence and obviously independence, recommending a lawyer is something delicate.

First because the person recommending assume a role of  responsibility, as the "potential" client, trusts on the person recommending the lawyer, and therefore, this confidence is translated to the lawyers. I am sure that if you are thinking about getting divorced and your happy divorced neighbor recommend you her lawyer, you won’t think that there is any kind of risk in term of confidence or independence.

But when we speak about conveyance, the history seems to be different because the general tendency to see real estates  recommending lawyers, apparently because they look for the best service for their clients, although this service is not always the best.

About the concrete situation of your friend, we should see first if the payment was made to the real estate using the seller as an instrument or if it was paid to him as the final receiver, in the first case the money was paid to the real estate not the agent. I suppose that a reservation agreement was signed and therefore we should consider the clauses included on it before giving a final opinion.

Kind Regards 




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