Electricity theft. Any advice/suggestion?

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21 Jul 2017 11:51 AM by randal_bond Star rating. 4 posts Send private message

Hi, we bought a flat in Garrucha, Almeria, and it looks like we've been had. It's an old 6 flat building without management company (the agent said the company would be formed when more flats would have been sold). Three neighbours: Gypsy family, Moroccan family and two black guys sharing a flat (if anybody told us about it, we would pull out straight away). I think they are all renting.

We were approached by neighbours and told that everybody in the building was stealing electricity and that we could be connected the same way for 60 E. We refused. When Endesa put a cable for us (the previous one was stolen), they stole it again the same night. Previously they sent their children with a strange question about what time we go to bed. When my husband threatened  to call a police, they also took off and hid a metal shield which covers the cables and where the meter is attached. In this way even with a cable on it would not be possible to connect us to electricity. They also stopped talking to us and their children always looked where we go, what we carry and who comes to us, up to following us along the street. I guess it was a form of bullying. They were like little wild animals, always snooping around, always on their guard, spying and reporting to their parents what what going on.

Electrician who came to put the cable in, noticed the ongoing theft, took the pictures and contacted Endesa about it. But three weeks on, nothing happened. Then we went to Endesa to make a complaint. They said they knew about it. Two weeks on and nothing happened. Looked like Endesa just was not interested being a state run company. Even though it was a matter between them and the robbers because we never put a meter on. We were told that they contacted the police but it was a lie. As our neighbours were becoming more and more hostile, we decided to sell up and went to police ourselves. Anyway, living 6 weeks without electricity was all we could take. Police took the photos, checked the documents of the black guys and told them that Endesa would be in touch with them. 
Two weeks on, still nothing has happened as our neighbours across the road say (we are back in the UK). All neighbours still live (rent) and have illegal light there. An agent we came to know said that many flats in that area are owned by rich Gypsies and people who made big money on smuggling illegal immigrants from Africa. These flats are rent to all sorts of dodgy folk bypassing the agencies and a lot of things going on there. You won't see a Spanish person there, so our flat may not sell. Who will want to live in a flat without electricity and with neighbours like that?

Does anybody have any suggestion or any advice at all? Can Endesa disconnect electriciy to the whole building as every single tenant had their meters disconnected long ago for non-payment? It would be the only way to chase them out because they wouldn't want to live without electrics and their creature comforts like Internet (not sure if legal, either), TV, etc.

Thanks for any input.

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21 Jul 2017 4:26 PM by windtalker Star rating. 1822 posts Send private message

If your post is not a wind up ...surely you could see that this area was as shit hole ...with Gypsies and poor illegal immigrants running wild ...looking on the positive side if you bought it then I am sure you will be able to sell it on to Gypsies or a lucky. lucky man.



This message was last edited by windtalker on 21/07/2017.

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22 Jul 2017 7:48 AM by acer Star rating. 1457 posts Send private message

What an extraordinary story - but I guess these situations can occur with a lack of research.  Buy in haste ; repent at leisure.  

Whatever you do will probably provoke an adverse reaction and by the sounds of it the property is not worth the risk.

So cut your losses and let the agent who sold it to you see if they can find another unsuspecting person.

Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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22 Jul 2017 9:41 AM by floella Star rating in SE Spain. 789 posts Send private message

An acquaintance of mine saw a 3 bed flat and only 5 mins from the beach going for the bargain price of €36,000 being advertised on line.

He  was very excited and, without considering viewing, was organising relocating there with his daughter and grandchild because with some internal pampering he could resell with a profit. A 

Fortunately he sent details to me and I thought I  recognised in what part of this lovely town the apartment was so said I would take a recce.

Not only was the area worse than I had thought but apartment was in a cul- de - sac and right by the railway line. It was swarming with kids playing football and unemployable adults watching the world go by. It was scary.

I know Garrucha and to the visitor it is a very nice resort so wondering if OP bought without viewing like my friend, whose head was definately in the clouds, almost did.



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22 Jul 2017 11:37 AM by Marksfish Star rating in Vera, Almeria. 2586 posts Send private message

Marksfish´s avatar

Parts of Garrucha are very nice, we have a place up the road in Coto de Vera. I know a local gypsy family (from the Vera group). He built the local bar, ran it and now rents it out. He has also bought plenty of properties in the surrounding area, taking advantage of the  low prices. He lives in the area he has bought in though and there is nothing wrong there. I suggest you have been unlucky and that any solicitor you used may have been in on hiding a secret. We bought key ready on a established complex to avoid such issues.


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23 Jul 2017 10:34 AM by David W Star rating. 199 posts Send private message

David W´s avatar

It is an unusual series of events and one all of us would like to avoid

Wether the poster bought in haste or has just been plain unlucky, they posted for help and advice 

Being told they are stupid or look at me I'm alright in my key ready place is just plain patronising !!

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23 Jul 2017 11:38 AM by Marksfish Star rating in Vera, Almeria. 2586 posts Send private message

Marksfish´s avatar

I think you are jumping the gun there, I wasn't gloating about a key ready, it was my choice to make sure that is what I purchased so I didn't encounter problems. I did say that I thought their solicitor was hiding a secret and hasn't done the job properly, so they would need to go back there and take it up with them. I did say I was aware of the gypsy community buying up local properties to rent out. If you have anything constructive to advise the OP, then fine, otherwise this is just going to disintegrate into another one of those posts that made me move away from EoS.


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23 Jul 2017 12:21 PM by acer Star rating. 1457 posts Send private message

Totally agree Marksfish.  

I realised when I made my post that my comments were a bit harsh, but you've got to be honest and pass on whatever helpful comment is possible.  There's no point in trying to gloss over the facts.

There is a small number though that seem to delight in nit picking comments made, which is unhelpful.  The advice may be "patronising" but sometimes it's warranted.

On this thread there is no easy answer to the OP's question.  For me the kind of neighbours noted are potentially dangerous people and in my mind not worth the risk in escalating matters.  Better to put it down to experience and walk away.

Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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23 Jul 2017 2:27 PM by floella Star rating in SE Spain. 789 posts Send private message

IMO  the only reply is to suggest randall_bond seeks legal advice.  By the way....WHERE  is he? 

Wondering why  David W didn't offer any logical solution instead of making unwarranted accusations.


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23 Jul 2017 2:28 PM by randal_bond Star rating. 4 posts Send private message

Hi, guys and thanks for your replies. Some replies made me smile. Special thank you for a reply-accusation in picking on the race. One meets a couple of such PC (read brainwashed) people on every forum, who scan posts for different reasons than to give a relevant reply. However, it looks like Spain is not as hopeless in this respect as the UK, .

Yes, it looks like selling is the only  option. The problem is whether it will sell and is it sellable at all. Definitely, our agent was economical with the truth. However, this may be our hope in our present situation. Though she said that now she's obliged to tell potential clients the truth, it's obvious she didn't do it to us. Even the fasade on the ad was of a different, good-looking building. And of course, she never mentioned the disconnected meters and dangling wires and the cabinet door pried open (it's supposed to be locked at all time and only opened by the visiting electricians). But with all honesty, even if we visited the house, we wouldn't have picked on that. It would have never occured to us to look into electrical box, and the flat itself is immaculate. As for neighbours, our agent said that we had a lovely neighbour and we believed her. This Moroccan woman was the most manipulative of all and indeed was really charming on our first day. So, honestly, we wouldn't have picked on it even if we visited. I really don't know how we could have avoided such situaiton. 

 Lets just hope that our agent will be able to sell it on, even if with the loss (we bought it as a repossession and for the price we paid, if not for problems, it would be a real, real bargain). 

A shame we wouldn't be able to meet some of the nice people who replied and live in the area but thanks for your kind replies. If nothing else, it's nice to see that some people feel for you in your misfortune and don't gloat or have fun on your account. 

Thanks again and take care. By the way, there's one way that someone indeed could help. Hopefully, one day we'll be able to buy another flat. Can somebody recomment a TRUSTWORTHY solicitor experienced in such matters? Who did you use?

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23 Jul 2017 3:02 PM by Marksfish Star rating in Vera, Almeria. 2586 posts Send private message

Marksfish´s avatar

We have an agent who lives on our complex and works at Remax down by the Consum on Vera Playa. Nice lady and very helpful/ honest. I don't think I can pm you because of the limited posts you have, but her name is Marisela Reche, worth trying her to see what she thinks. We also used a solicitor in Aguilas to keep our purchase away from the builder/ agent. Gonzalo Ros was helpful, if Maria can't be of any help to you.


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23 Jul 2017 4:11 PM by floella Star rating in SE Spain. 789 posts Send private message

Are you serious, randal_bond, it doesn't matter how trustworthy a solicitor is, if a client wants to buy without viewing .

i wouldn't even do that in UK where one has redress if a property is falsely represented. Different scenario in Spain.



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23 Jul 2017 5:00 PM by acer Star rating. 1457 posts Send private message

This is a first for me, agreeing with two posts in succession.  But Floella is right, don't blame the solicitor - in Spain they do considerably less to check the buyer etc than they do in the UK.  

It doesn't matter how "trustworthy" they are - YOU must do all the spadework yourself, they won't.  Whenever I buy a property, as well as the obvious, I always visit several occasions at different times of day and chat to the neighbours.  I use the Law Society property information form to use as an aide memoire in Spain - your solicitor will never be asking most of these questions.  They seem to assume you have, but make no effort to check and don't seem to care either way.  

If you get a Spanish solicitor to cover the basics you're doing well - but even then YOU should check out that this has been done (eg debts on the property, money owed to urbanisation, services connected, meter readings, payments to suppliers, correct entries at the Land Registry etc) and make sure it's recorded in writing (it rarely is in Spain).  It wildly different rules out here.  Caveat emptor has never been more true.

Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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23 Jul 2017 7:05 PM by randal_bond Star rating. 4 posts Send private message

Hi. Gosh, never thought that the buyer would have to check all that. What is the solicitor for? That's scary, especially as our Spanish is far from fluent. How do English people without any Spanish check all that? OK, thank you.


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23 Jul 2017 7:13 PM by randal_bond Star rating. 4 posts Send private message

Hi, Markfish. We thought of putting our flat in addition with Remax, but it only acts as a solo agent, so for now we'll see if our current agent will do anything. How many posts do I need to make to receive private messages?

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23 Jul 2017 8:25 PM by Marksfish Star rating in Vera, Almeria. 2586 posts Send private message

Marksfish´s avatar

Not sure as I don't come here regularly now. I think it is 10 or 20, something like that.


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23 Jul 2017 9:51 PM by acer Star rating. 1457 posts Send private message


I believe the current way is to have the sale agreement in both English and Spanish when there's a Brit involved.

You do get surprises every now and then, but generally most Spanish "professionals" are massively behind their British counterparts.  Most solicitors do not trouble themselves to ask questions about the actual transaction, they tend to focus on giving you the basics of the procedure.  I've made 3 purchases in Spain and I'm yet to receive any meaningful letter or written confirmation other than the sale/purchase agreement.

On the last purchase I made the vendor approached the solicitor I had appointed and agreed with him that he would act for both parties.  Between the two of them they drafted the sale agreement, which thankfully I realised had several deficiencies, before we made the trip to the Notary.  They never seem to ask questions - they assume.  Hence my using the Law Society TA6 & TA10 form to check nothings been overlooked.  

Also, it's good to take lot of photos, as the contents you think you are buying can change drastically over night!  For me the rule is "never trust anyone" which most certainly includes the solicitor!  Most of the time they seem to be working for themselves and keeping friends with their compatriots.

Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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23 Jul 2017 10:12 PM by windtalker Star rating. 1822 posts Send private message



This message was last edited by windtalker on 23/07/2017.

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