Neighbour from hell

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14 Apr 2013 11:05 AM by benboy Star rating. 5 posts Send private message

Hi every one my first post,

We have had our country house Malaga now for 10 years, the access to our place is by a track that runs on the outskirts of our neighbors land it covers about half the distance to our house, it is also access for 4 other people, the track has been there 30 years the Spanish who own the land work it but have no house on it, they have not been that kind to us ever since we have been there anyway they have now ploughed up there part of this track and planted olive trees on it, so now we and the others cant get to our places there are two of us who have houses the others have land to work ours and the other house are holiday houses, we want to move to Spain to live but cant access our property, can any body tell me is there any laws so he cant do this, the Spanish that own the other plots have been to a solicitor and we all paid a part of the cost and she has sent a notice telling the neighbor to reinstate the track and he had 15 days to do this, he has ignored this request, the police have been up and took photos of the track and he has been denounced, we have had a email to tell us to go to Spain and sign a power of attorney for the solicitor is this normal as me and my wife are worried sick we don't know the lawyer and don't know if we are doing right or wrong, we have had bad experiences in the past, please can someone help guide us in the right direction, we are retired and thought it was less stress when retired.

Thanks.   benboy



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14 Apr 2013 2:32 PM by eggcup Star rating. 567 posts Send private message

It sounds to me like it's well in hand, benboy and I wouldn't worry too much. We had a neighbour recently dig a ditch across one of the entrances on a piece of land we own. Another neighbour told us about it, as we're not there often, and we found out that if we had done nothing for a year, the neighbour would have permanent rights to have that ditch as a conduit for his irrigation. We just got our lawyer to write him a letter telling him he had no such rights and the other neighbour filled in the ditch in the meantime.

I know this is a different situation, but it seems to me that it demonstrates your rights of access as you and the other neighbours have enjoyed this access over many years. You need to somehow get the trees legally removed asap, so I would concentrate on getting your lawyer to arrange this.


My account of moving to Spain."><img


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14 Apr 2013 3:24 PM by hosilverlining Star rating in Property owner in Gr.... 173 posts Send private message

Hi Benboy,

what a pain and such a worry when you are never sure what is the right thing to do.  If they are asking you to sign a Power of Attorney this is so that the lawyer can represent you legally in court, if this is necessary.  A PoA is essential for any legal representation in the Spanish legal system.  You can go to Spain and sign at a notary there at very little cost (in fact if you go with your neighbours you can all go on the same PoA and share the cost, but they may have already done theirs), but unless you speak good Spanish you need to take someone with you to translate the document before you sign it.  This doesn't need to be a translator, it can be someone Spanish who speaks good enough English to tell you what you are signing (they have to take their ID with them and their name will show on the PoA).  Or, you could have a PoA document drawn up which you can sign in the UK, at a UK notary (or wherever you live if not in the UK).  This is drawn up in Spanish with an English translation.  You can sign at any notary but then have to have the document Apostilled at the Foreign Office, so you have to weigh up the cost of doing it in the UK (paying for the document, the notary, the Apostille stamp and postage) or flying out there and going to a local notary.

It sounds as though your Spanish neighbours have this sorted but I guess the real question you need to ask is how much it will cost you in total for this legal action, and what are the chances of success if you have to go to court.  I don't know anything about the laws of access in Spain but I hope your Spanish neighbours have enough English to explain what the lawyer is going to do.  Hopefully what Eggcup says also works in your favour - the fact that you have used the land for access to your property for several years gives you rights which the land owner can't just disregard.  I do know where you can get a PoA document drawn up to sign in England for €121 if you send me a pm I can send you the details.

Good luck.

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14 Apr 2013 3:57 PM by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5255 posts Send private message

When a document is signed in front of a Notary he / she has a responsibility to ensure you understand the contents, thus without someone who can act as a translator,  in theory at least, you will not be able to sign.

 ( A Power of Attorney in Spain is a 'PODER ' and can be a general one or for a specific purpose.  It is also valid forever unless you stipulate when it will end))


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14 Apr 2013 4:19 PM by eggcup Star rating. 567 posts Send private message

As a general point, in dealing with Spanish lawyers, I think you need to know what your specific objective is and tell your lawyer that this is your priority. I never just leave it in their hands to deal with in some vague way.  I would see the objective as the removal of the trees so that you once more have a clear access route. The way many  Spaniards would deal with this would be by removing them themselves when no-one was looking - but you have to follow the legal route. Maybe it could be as simple as getting your lawyer to write to the neighbour, pointing out the law and telling the person to get rid of them within a specified period, or face a court case and all the associated costs. This seems like common sense to me. What you are facing is a very common occurrence in Spain and there is always a solution, so try not to worry. We have owned several pieces of land and property in the countryside and have had trouble with at least one neighbouring 'lindero' in all cases. You have to stand your ground and take on these rude and selfish chancers. Show them that the British are not a push-over.


My account of moving to Spain."><img


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14 Apr 2013 5:24 PM by elaineG Star rating in Spain . 409 posts Send private message

Talking about neighbours from hell:- 


                                                    Show them that the British are not a push-over.

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15 Apr 2013 6:43 AM by benboy Star rating. 5 posts Send private message

 Hi everyone

Thank you all very much for all your replys, it makes us feel much better when others give you  some reasurance,

we will go to spain to do the poa and will keep posting back progress, ones again thank you all.


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15 Apr 2013 8:45 AM by carl9 Star rating. 136 posts Send private message

Benboy, as others have said try not to worry - though of course that's easy for us to say. I'm sure it will be sorted out amicably.

It's a bit stupid of the neighbours to do this to you though, surely they could have left a small track for you to drive through - just sounds plain ignorant to me.

I note you say you are going ot Spain to sign the POA. Just to say that I set mine up here through a notary that lives in the UK (and happens to have a house near ours in Murcia). Happy to give you the details if it might help. Obviously, you would need to have secured a lawyer in Spain to actually appoint as your POA, but the Notary here can arrange the paperwork for you to sign etc so that would remove the need for you to have to go to Spain.

If you were planning to go over anyway, then fine, that's likley the simplist option, but thought I'd offer my thoughts.

Good lulck with it all, and do let us know how it goes.

Regards, Carl


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16 Apr 2013 12:16 AM by aliton Star rating. 331 posts Send private message



It sounds like you are going to have big problems long term if you go ahead. If i had the chance to pull out i would. In Spain its one rule for "locals" and aother rule  for everyone else. Beware !


  Fomer member revisiting r.




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16 Apr 2013 7:52 AM by carl9 Star rating. 136 posts Send private message

Hi Aliton, are you honestly proposing this guy does nothing and just loses all vehicular access to his home? If I've got the right end of the stick in what you're suggesting, how would they be able to access the house, especially as they get older, and when the time came, how would they ever sell the property.

As someone who has been through the stress of having a house built in Spain, and the issue of unprofessionally builders, estate agents and other workers, I can understand first hand that at times you have to walk away form certain battles in order to win the war, but in this case I just don't see what options this guy has.

Add to this that it's a class action so costs etc will be shared, and perhaps some of the other affected neighbours may be indigenous Spaniards too, and I think he is doing exactly the right thing. Hopefully the neighbour will realize that he has a battle on his hands and come to his senses. The fact that it's been denounced leads me to believe that there is something in either law, or the deeds that gives this guy right of access.

Sometimes you just have to fight, and this, in my mind, is one of those times.




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16 Apr 2013 10:47 AM by aliton Star rating. 331 posts Send private message




got the wrong end of the stick .. thought he was thinking about purchasing a house


  Fomer member revisiting r.




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16 Apr 2013 1:00 PM by gill556 Star rating in orihuela. 69 posts Send private message

Benboy if you are anywhere near Stratford upon Avon I know a Spanish notary there who would do a power of attorney for you.

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16 Apr 2013 4:51 PM by aliton Star rating. 331 posts Send private message

Hi Benboy.  Just read the post again and understand that you have been owner of the house for 10 years . It seems like you are getting good advice about the legal process and if others neighbours are involved its a good thing rather than a 1 to 1 conflict. 

I see you headed the post neighbour from hell so do you have other problems from the past with the same people.

I might think about hiring a Sherman Tank for the day go to Aldi and then drive home with your shopping . Trees in the way that wont be a problem.

On a serious note if this very important to you as it sounds i would make sure you are in attendance at the Notary and pay for a good interpreter . Dont use Power Of A... because even the best solicitors in Spain cant be trusted I certainly wouldnt trust the ones we used in Murcia area.


  Fomer member revisiting r.




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17 Apr 2013 6:50 AM by benboy Star rating. 5 posts Send private message

 Hi and thank you for all the replies.


Aliton We are going over to do the poa we feel all right about it as our other Spanish neighbors

have done there poa for the court case,they are just waiting for us to do ours,


My neighbors on the other side have let me have access across their land so we can get to our

casa so that's was good news,


We have had the bad neighbor using water from our well in the past and walking on our land

with shot guns, they do shooting in the hills around us and just cross over our land, we have

when we move back we are going to fence round the house and have some gates,



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