La Herrada Holiday Home Owners - Beware

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27 Aug 2015 09:00 by Tadd1966 Star rating in Los Montesinos. 1755 posts Send private message

Please be aware if you have a property on La Herrada, Los Montesinos and use a local key holder.

 

Yesterday evening whilst sat in LM village yesterday afternoon with some friends who are visiting on holiday, next to us was a lady who started talking to us and when my friends said they were saying they were renting a holiday home on La Herrada, she asked what they were paying and said she lived on La Herrada and managed 10 properties and politely challenged them that she could offer cheaper (2 with private pools) on La Herrada and gave her number. What amazed me was I have seen this lady many times with her family and I assume she has seen me and my wife around the village – maybe not.

It was very uncomfortable but we all remained polite and non-committal.

Later on having discussed this with a few others in the local bars she (and her parents) have been poaching a lot of holiday makers this month and are locally known to rent out holiday homes without telling the owner. 1 person had a huge electricity bill in June / July but as far as he knew his property was empty – he could not prove anything but has now taken his keys back from this lady and carefully looking for another key holder!

I will not name this person on here but if anyone has a property on La Herrrada and is concerned and would like the name of this person please send me a PM.

Alternatively keep a check on your utility usage and maybe make surprise visit during peak periods



_______________________
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge”



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27 Aug 2015 09:17 by thenightmare Star rating in Formentera Del Segur.... 38 posts Send private message

I'd change the locks as well.





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27 Aug 2015 09:36 by baz1946 Star rating. 2177 posts Send private message

I would like to add that it might not be only key holders doing this but also estate agents, we put a house up for sale some years ago with a well known agent in the area on the Costa Blanca South, leaving him with the keys,  it's no surprise that you get no calls from them for a couple of months or so, anyway we had reason to come back a few months later and entering the house a couple of things looked different, small things but easy to notice like my wife wont leave a tea towel out on show yet one was draped over the kettle of all things, two cups not put away, a couple of shutters were open in rooms that you would have stayed in, a spare gas bottle went missing.

You know in your own house where you leave things on a regular basis, a fair bit of ours had moved, I tackled the agent knowing full well what the answer would be, I know someone stayed in the place, it showed, and I told him so. You don't have much control over any agent or key holder when you leave them the keys to sell the place and your back in your own country, but worth remembering if you come to sell.





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27 Aug 2015 09:52 by clg1972 Star rating. 44 posts Send private message

 I had a friend that turned up at their property (without letting the key holder know they were coming) and there was someone in it!!.





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27 Aug 2015 11:23 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5239 posts Send private message

For "a property on La Herrada" read a property anywhere in Spain (and probably elsewhere too).

Since an experience similar 30 years ago, I always told key holders/agents that I was concerned electricity was being used when the property was vacant and thus I had arranged for a friend to make unannounced visits to check why that was.  I did not have a friend doing it, but as far as I was aware, that stopped the 'random  lettings.'





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27 Aug 2015 11:25 by ads Star rating. 4012 posts Send private message

Is no-one reporting this (in writing) to the Police or the British Authorities out there to set in motion actions to effectively prevent this corrupt practice from escalating and to stress the need for some effective deterrents to be put in place against those who continue to give Spain such a bad reputation (fines, reporting in local press/media etc)?

Surely it's in everyone's interest (including the Spanish) to stamp out this corrupt behaviour?

 





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27 Aug 2015 11:43 by Hephaestus Star rating in The Peak District Na.... 1237 posts Send private message

How about fitting a hidden spy camera in the lounge/kitchen areas? This doesn't surprise me at all, infact I wouldn't be surprised at anything that goes on in Spain.



_______________________

I'm Spartacus, well why not?




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27 Aug 2015 11:54 by bobaol Star rating. 2257 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

Some time ago, we put a flat on the market and gave the keys to a nice, British couple of estate agents. We turned up to give the flat an airing one day and so on to find people occupying it. 

The nice, British couple did a runner to the Costa del Sol taking our keys with them.

We let the people staying there, totally innocent holidaymakers by the way, stay until the end of the week and then changed the locks but not before we had both lodged a denuncia with the police.  I believe the so-called agents had to go back to UK but still read sites where they were carrying on their business.

How come it appears to be Brits we hear about getting involved in these thing? Maybe others do but we just don't get to hear about them.





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27 Aug 2015 12:39 by ads Star rating. 4012 posts Send private message

Does anyone know what follow up action is taken by the Police once a denuncia of this nature is made?

Are effective deterrents in place or is the problem that those affected or knowlegeable of these ongoing facts ( with evidence such as phone numbers, names of agents etc) are not lodging denuncias for fear of repraisals?

Are people that provide denuncias protected by data privacy laws? Might they be in fear of adverse publicity re their holiday property?

Any system to counter corruption of this nature should not only act as deterrent but also be protective of those exposing the problem.

 

 

 

 





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27 Aug 2015 12:50 by Tadd1966 Star rating in Los Montesinos. 1755 posts Send private message

Maybe the problem with getting the police involved is that letting out your house could also cause you a problem



_______________________
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge”



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27 Aug 2015 13:01 by baz1946 Star rating. 2177 posts Send private message

 

Does anyone know what follow up action is taken by the Police once a denuncia of this nature is made?

Are effective deterrents in place or is the problem that those affected or knowlegeable of these ongoing facts ( with evidence such as phone numbers, names of agents etc) are not lodging denuncias for fear of repraisals?

Are people that provide denuncias protected by data privacy laws? Might they be in fear of adverse publicity re their holiday property?

Any system to counter corruption of this nature should not only act as deterrent but also be protective of those exposing the problem.

In our case we knew something had happened while our house was for sale with the agent, I took the keys back inside of the two months he had them, how could I prove he had, if indeed he had let the house out, he tried telling me that prospective buyers had moved these things about, total crap I know and he was warned by me in no uncertain terms, he would probably told the cops this as well had I made a denuncia.

Would the cops care that much about this sort of thing to do anything, perhaps warn the agent it's wrong,  different if you caught them in your house but thats the point, in many cases you don't and had I caught anyone in my house they and the agent would have had an "Effective deterrent".

 





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27 Aug 2015 13:19 by longlegpete Star rating. 31 posts Send private message

Its not that expensive to get installed a proper alarm system, with this you will get a full log of time and people setting it plus a bit of added security, we came back to our house once and 2 windows were open , i was convinced we had not left them open and someone had been in the house, on checking the alarm it had not been unset since we were there 5 weeks earlier, so we must have forgotten to close the windows



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27 Aug 2015 14:32 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5239 posts Send private message

 

 

Ads:-   Does anyone know what follow up action is taken by the Police once a denuncia of this nature is made?

When one makes any denuncia (allegation of a crime) the police take whatever immediate action is necessary, usually none,  and then submit the report to the court where a judge decides what if any further action should be taken.

I have been aware of people making reports about when their property was let. I have never been aware of the police, to whom the report was made, being even curious about the legality of the letting.

However, if a case went to court, I would almost expect any defence solicitor to enquire into the legality of the let, if only to provide a smoke screen to assist his client.

Despite what many say, and that include gestors, abogadas, real estate agents etc., very few lets are 100% legal, thus I would suggest that owners carefully consider what problems they might be incurring.

 


 


This message was last edited by johnzx on 27/08/2015.



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27 Aug 2015 15:29 by randolph Star rating. 167 posts Send private message

We   let out our villa and there is a fair amount of electricity included in the price. Guests are asked to pay for any excess. (Some folks insist on A/C all day and everyday!). We bought  a monitor in the UK for about £30 and  wired it into the fuse box. It is in clear view so guests can see how much electricity they are using.  

Our keyholders record the reading when guests arrive and again when they leave.They  send us the info so we can calculate if there is an excess charge.

This could also be used to check if there have been any 'bogus guest'.

Please note - we have had the same keyholders for 11 years and trust them implicitly - but this could be used by those who are not so lucky!





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27 Aug 2015 15:29 by randolph Star rating. 167 posts Send private message

Sorry - repeat


This message was last edited by randolph on 27/08/2015.



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27 Aug 2015 18:17 by ads Star rating. 4012 posts Send private message

So we have the situation where the assumption is made that most holiday home owners are abusing the tax system, that there is little incentive to report tax dodgers and corrupt agents / holiday letters because little will be done about it, so each side is as bad as the other, and the corrupt behaviour perpetuates without anyone considering establishing a regulatory system to tackle both scenarios, to the longer term benefit of all..... What's that saying "corruption is a cancer on society if left unchecked".....

But I take your points that the only workable disincentives to date are to encourage wonderful informative posts such as these wink , to protect holiday homes with more sophisticated surveillance systems and don't trust anyone with access to your property.

However, how the heck does any of this assist Spain's economic woes or effectively tackle corrupt practice? So sad.

 

 

 

 

 

 


This message was last edited by ads on 27/08/2015.



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27 Aug 2015 18:52 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5239 posts Send private message

Ads :So we have the situation where the assumption is made that most holiday home owners are abusing the tax system,

There are many thousands of properties standing empty across Spain.  A percentage of those, my son is one, must be left empty because of the problems of letting legally. Of course that does not just  mean income tax must be paid on rentals, that’s the easy bit,  and many owners do pay that thinking that is all they need do to be legal however,  it all the other regulations and laws which must be complied with which make it so difficult to actually be 100% legal..

Stats. show that tourists spend  on average €116 per day, per person,  much more than the owners of property, who do not declare the income, evade.  

 In my opinion, the government should either scarp the rules on private lets or make them straightforward (will not happen because of the hotel lobby).   If that were done maybe many of the properties standing empty would be occupied with tourists spending their money, thus supporting the Spanish ecconomy.  The money so raised would cancel out many times the loss in income tax,

 

 


This message was last edited by johnzx on 27/08/2015.



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28 Aug 2015 09:04 by Hephaestus Star rating in The Peak District Na.... 1237 posts Send private message

The second largest tourist industry in the world by definition, must have it's fair share of criminality. I well recall sitting in the bar at Beverly Hills Heights in Tenerefe when it's American 'investors' were being given the grand tour, for all the world they looked like the cast of The Godfather.

I wouldn't trust the managers of my friend's place on the Costa Blanca as far as I could throw them, we've arrived when it was plainly obvious that it had been very recently occupied, however the guest book and on-line booking calender didn't show this, I've not mentioned this to him as he thinks that they are the best thing since sliced bread, but more importantly I can't definitavely prove my suspicions.

 

 

 



_______________________

I'm Spartacus, well why not?




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28 Aug 2015 09:09 by ads Star rating. 4012 posts Send private message

I can't help thinking that when trust breaks down to the level that it appears to have done in Spain (from both sides I hasten to add) then isn't the only way to break the downward spiral  of disorder to introduce workable control mechanisms to prevent abuse, such things as a governing body of agents, effective Bar Associations, etc etc.... Or is this now so endemic that even those with honourable intentions to encourage trust and accountability into the system are facing an impossible task? I sincerely hope its not the latter.

 All of this disorder and the "false economy" that Johnzx refers to, which only culminates in widespread distrust and loss of income is self defeating in the longer term, and surely requires a radical rethink for Spain to fulfil its "growth potential"... And the sad thing is that it has such great potential if only those with good intent (good agents, good lawyers, good Police etc), could better organise themselves and thereby influence workable reform and eradicate those elements of corruption and economical mismanagement from within.

 

 


This message was last edited by ads on 28/08/2015.



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28 Aug 2015 09:34 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5239 posts Send private message

Ads ...............  then isn't the only way to break the downward spiral  of disorder to introduce workable control mechanisms to prevent abuse, such things as a governing body of agents, effective Bar Associations, etc etc....

Ads a few years back, as you may know,  Hacienda  introduced the form 720, declaration of assets over 50,000 € held outside Spain. In order to ensure it would be complied with the penalties were draconian, minimum fine 10,000 € with 5,000 extra for each undeclared item over the first 2.  Plus, a  further penalty of up to 150% of the asset not declared.

 

So one might have thought that at last they really meant business and everyone but a fool would comply. Result;  Estimated that less than 5% of those who should have declared did so.   It was reported that one Spaniard has been fined 460,000 € for not declaring (he said forgetting to declare for a few years)  350,000 which he had in Switzerland.

 

So what must the authorities do to ensure the law,  any law, is complied with ?   As I suggested, whenever possible, make the law simpler or if it is not really necessary rescind it.   I remember an old policeman saying once that so many laws are broken because there are so many laws to break. At the time I thought that was crazy, the older I get the more sense I see in the remark.  There are too many unnecessary laws. And in Spain many laws are too complicated.


This message was last edited by johnzx on 28/08/2015.



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