New to Spain with alsorts of problems

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29 Dec 2017 07:08 by brenchley17 Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

Hiya everyone. I'm a resident in western Australia but also a british citizen. I'm 65 and a lone lady. Over a year ago i bought a little old place in Monte Zenia near Torrevieja. It seems to have been down hill ever since. I came to this site by accident as I'm not technology friendly but hope that i can find some good advice here. My problems started day 1 when my "agent" told me i was buying in La Zenia a good area where i could walk to the beach. It wasnt. It was Monte Zenia nothing like La Zenia at all. My list of problems with him has been endless. I'v kept a list of them and am currently at no13. I'm aiming to live 8months in Oz and 4 months Spain to get the best weather for my medical problems. My latest problem as it seems with me being very ignorant of most things spanish is that I've been told by my agent that my property which i have been renting out that it has been empty since October 10th but i have just paid an Iberdrola electric bill for over €90 for 2 months covering 26th October to 26th december. I think my bills go to my solicitor and i pay by DD then my agent reimburses me the money. I am struggling to get the details on the bill to check that the property has indeed been empty. I wont be in spain til July which will be the 1st time i have lived in my little house. Its 2 bed x 1 bath + tiny pool + no aircon or heating + no dishwasher . Very basic as its all i can afford. I'v been reading endless posts on here and now realize there is even more i dont know about utility supplies. Its been a nightmare with an agent i really dont trust anymore but will stick with him til i get there in july. Because i cant face what problems changing might bring. Firstly can anyone throw any light on ibradrola and then what action might i take against the agent in july after so many problems. The location obviously was the worst thing but other things include telling my solicitor there were no community fees and i ended up paying 1yr of my own and 3 yrs of the previous owner. I paid him 2200€ to rewire the house but after a big electrical problem in the kitchen he says that part wasn't rewired and as he'd got nothing in writing it was my bad luck. He knew i had building and contents insurance but paid for the repairs etc out of a bond type thing he holds from ME but no bond/deposit held from the tenant ??? When I've struggled to get refunded for tenants electric charges, the water bill wasnt paid so the water has been cut off. He ignores the questions i ask that may be a problem to him and has only once sent me a copy invoice which was for a leaking pipe in the kitchen. Has never sent me a copy invoice for numerous problems i have had to fix but charges me €600 year for his services ? Anyway i am straying now sorry. Can anyone help with advice or opinions. I will carry on reading as many posts as i can as i am finding them most helpful. Thanks.


This message was last edited by brenchley17 on 29/12/2017.

This message was last edited by brenchley17 on 29/12/2017.

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29 Dec 2017 09:42 by floella Star rating in SE Spain. 772 posts Send private message

Sounds horrendous brenchley. Did you buy this property unseen ?

Only thing I can say is that Iberdrola do online accounts so perhaps in the meantime you could possibly get this organised.

Good luck

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29 Dec 2017 10:59 by acer Star rating. 1383 posts Send private message


You may be better off by stop trusting people and control these issues yourself - invoices being sent direct from Ibedrola to you, make your own decisions etc. 

If you need short term help in completing any formalities etc employ a local gestor.

You can fool some of the people all of the time…and those are the ones to focus on. Donald Trump.

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29 Dec 2017 11:55 by Jarvi Star rating in Halifax UK and Sucin.... 746 posts Send private message


Possibly the reason that you are paying so much is that your bills go to the solicitor and then through your agent. I presume they charge for this service. I pay around 30 euros a month standing charge for the electricity. You need to set up a direct debit with your bank to pay your utilities. Then set up an account on-line with Iberdrola, you can then check your bills online and know exactly what you are paying. You say you are not tech savvy, but do you know anyone where you live who could help you with these things?

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29 Dec 2017 14:37 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5241 posts Send private message

When I let a studio I used to get bills. electricity  etc.  when the property was not occupied.  Well that was according to my trusted  agent.   I subsequently met a few people who  complimented me on my studio who,  according to the records I had from the agent, had never rented it. 


This message was last edited by johnzx on 29/12/2017.

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30 Dec 2017 08:39 by brenchley17 Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

Hiya. Mid arvo here now beautiful day.. i went to spain for 2 wks feb 2016 and it was mine by april 16. He showed me about 5 props 4 had lots of steps. Went with this 1 as he said La Zenia was good but turned out to be monte zenia. And the fun carried on from there.  Have always been too trusting and no judge of people. Been in iberdrola website and see the electric can be quite complicated. Have emailed my solicitor tp ask for the last 2 electric invs. She has power of attorney for me and bills go to her a d then paid by dd from my Sabadell bank account. I pay my "agent " 600€ per year to look after the property and rent it out for me at €500 per month. 2 bed x 1 bath small pool driveway but no garage. Furnished but not real good. I installed new bathroom and extended the lounge. New flooring and all repainted.  It has been vacant SO HE TELLS ME since october 10th. Says its not likely to be rented now before i go mid july. But i absolutely cant believe a word he says. Who knows whats happening. The electric bills have all been around €205 whilst its been occupied so this time when i got a bill for €90 and apparently empty i thought i doesnt add up. Anyway your messages have been really helpful so thanks very much for that. I have learnt over the years that i can get through anything so i look at this as another hiccup I'll have to get through. Again thanks and hope you'll keep your fingers crossed for me. Happy New Year😊

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30 Dec 2017 11:57 by Kavanagh Star rating in Oil Drum Lane Newcas.... 978 posts Send private message

Kavanagh´s avatar

brenchley17 I think you are being a bit mean here. It is Spanish custom for your agent to use your apartment to entertain his girlfriends, who knows maybe his boyfriends, it’s all part of the deal.wink

There is enough in the world for everyone, but not enough for the greedy!

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30 Dec 2017 12:51 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4514 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

I don't wish to sound too judgemental here....but I'm confused. I thought from your first post that you had bought the property unseen, since it would appear that you didn't know exactly where it was. Now you say you actually visited the property. So how, I wonder, is it that you didn't know it's location? It does rather beg the question, what else did you not know when you bought? Or rather, many, many questions.....

I wish you all the best, and hope you find the help/advice you're after, but....I'm out.

Happy New Year! wink



"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please"

Mark Twain




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30 Dec 2017 14:30 by mariedav Star rating in Ciudad Quesada. 1087 posts Send private message

I think the OP meant they visited a show house of the type and not the actual location. Happened to us the first flat we bought. (off plan but we didn't know any better then) and the show house was in a totally different area to where the flat we bought was. Also the show one had long, gentle steps going up (it was a duplex with one below and us on top) but the actual flat we got had a very narrow street in front resulting in extremely steep stairs going up.

Monte Zenia is over the other side of the AP7 motorway from the beach and quite a distance to go whereas La Zenia is a gentle stroll to the beach.


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30 Dec 2017 15:01 by Kavanagh Star rating in Oil Drum Lane Newcas.... 978 posts Send private message

Kavanagh´s avatar

Perhaps it would be more accurate for the OP to explain what they meant. This is why so many threads go off topic talking about irrelevant narrow streets and steep stairs.crying

There is enough in the world for everyone, but not enough for the greedy!

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30 Dec 2017 20:40 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4514 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

I thought when you bought off-plan you picked the plot as well as the property type, but maybe I'm the one out of touch? Anyway, "a little old place in Monte Zenia" doesn't sound to me like a new build. Could be wrong....



"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please"

Mark Twain




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30 Dec 2017 22:06 by mariedav Star rating in Ciudad Quesada. 1087 posts Send private message

brenchley17. I know you're in Oz so about 12 hours ahead of us and a different time zone but I think you should be looking at a new agent. If you're not using the electrics, then the bill for a two month period should be about 40 to 50 euro ish. Standing charges and taxes (IVA at 21% here) are quite high but not that high. If he's already charging you for looking after the property and managing it, I can't see how they can add extra for doing what they are paid for.

Make sure the bill is in your name and set up a DD direct with Iberdrola to take that away from him.

And, roberto, at the risk of dragging it off thread (season's greetings kavanagh despite your bit about the agent using the place to entertain his girlfriends) Monte Zenia is a brand new development that was only opened about 3 or 4 years ago. Still plenty of building going on there with cranes all over the place. If you are heading toward Cartagena on the AP7 going past Zenia Boulevard, it's in the hills to the right near Los Dolses and there was nothing at all there 5 years ago until the cranes moved in so the little old place was probably just a figure of speech. 

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31 Dec 2017 10:27 by floella Star rating in SE Spain. 772 posts Send private message

With apologies but is it just me that sees a problem with this post?

Apart from the obvious ....not knowing where the property one bought was.......Western OZ has a Mediterranean climate with winter warmer than sans advantages to travelling 24 hours for health reasons.

More likely to catch a nasty bug whilst on the horrendously long flight.

Just hope, that unlike other recent new arrivals to this site, this poster stays polite and thread, if genuine, stays on track because of useful information.



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31 Dec 2017 11:36 by brenchley17 Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

To satisfy your curiosty i will explain. I have lived in WA for almost 18 years. I aim to live 8 months best weather in Oz 4 months summer in spain. Those months in spain will be good as well as I'll be close to friends and family in uk. I am 65 anf suffer badly wkth arthritis with screws in my spine at L5 S1 replacement knees shoulders and hips stuffed. The weather in WA has changed since I've neen here as it has worldwide. The winters are getting longer and wetter and colder. Warmth suits me much better. Is there a problem with any of that ? I was recommended my agent by an acquaintance here and put my full trust in him silly me. I came across this site by accident and hoped i might be able to find out more about spain renting out utilities etc etc etc. Not have my problems questioned???? I spent only 2 wks in Torrevieja and was picked up from my hotel and ferried to a number of properties to inspect solicitor police and a host of others i still dont understand. At 65 and alone I'm not as alert as i used to be. The heavy meds certainly dont help. Every minute of everyday i had no idea quite where i was never having been to costa brava before. My complete trust in the agent. Why would anyone want to rip off a pensioner??? In my 20s and 30s i visited costa del sol fairly often as my Aunt had a house in Sotogrande beautiful place and very safe behind manned gates. Remember with affection our trips to Rhonda in the hills and Gib. Sooooo this post isnt questionable at all. You just may not be as trusting as me. Well done with that. Happy New Year

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31 Dec 2017 12:35 by brenchley17 Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

To others posts. Thanks for your advice especially regarding electric bills and so on. To be clear my house was built in the 80s in a spanish area not holidayish at sll. I hoped to be close to the beach but also in a more spanish area. My agent took me to this place said it wss La Zenia a good area where i could walk to the beach. It was only after we'd been to the solicitor that i saw monte zenia on the paperwork. This didnt really click as being such a problem thinking it might just be a bit of a different name or the next door suburb. No idea really and not very tech savvy checking things out on my phone. My mistakes. All the other places he showed me had heaps of steps no good at all. My mistake also only allowing myself 2 werks but it had to suit my ozzy rules on being out of the country. Anyway i can either put up or shut up or try to sell up when i get therr in july. Any helpful advice on the way house prices have gone since feb 2016 ? Current demand ??? Problems selling in spain then buying again when not a resident ??? Rental demand in the Torrevieja area currently ??  Thinking i would feel much happier now down Sotogrande way. And to add that i am totally genuine and just trying to make the rest of my life comfortable. Hopeing for advice of any sort just not asking to be judged. And again Happy New Year. 

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31 Dec 2017 12:56 by floella Star rating in SE Spain. 772 posts Send private message

Quote. Brenchley....... "Anyway i can either put up or shut up " or try to sell when I get therr in july.... Unquote.

NOW...on what recent  thread and by whom, was that very VERY unusual expression used toward me....!! 

tutut brenchley ...that is a not very ladylike thing to say about it ? 

Believe my curiousity has now been satisfied....adios Amiga


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01 Jan 2018 04:11 by brenchley17 Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

Hi Floella thanks for your reply. I dont think I'm cut out for this on line stuff.  My very 1st experience of it on here has been a bit harrowing. From my post at the beginning of this whole conversation i didn't realize it would put me so in the line of fire. Sad really. And difficult to understand when you're just an ordinary upfront lady. I didnt quite follow you when you commented on the put up or shut up bit. I come from melton mowbray leics and its very common there. I hope no one has offended you with it ??? Its what my Dad would've said to me. Bless his socks. Think this will be my 1st and last conversation on here. Its weird having to explain yourself to strangers. so take great care of yourself eh. 

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02 Jan 2018 07:12 by acer Star rating. 1383 posts Send private message


It's best to take whatever you can from the comments and ignore the personal elements. 

I'm sure your needs are genuine - but as I said at the outset you cannot afford to be at all trusting in Spain.  You need to be in control and have all bills etc coming straight to you.  Using a local gestor is a good way of tackling the Spanish formalities - they are a lot cheaper than solicitors.

House prices have hardly moved recently - they are still 50% of their costs 10 years ago.  Generally there is a bit more demand and possibly this may increase in the touristy areas when Brexit is sorted...but who knows!

You can fool some of the people all of the time…and those are the ones to focus on. Donald Trump.

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02 Jan 2018 12:25 by brenchley17 Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

Well thank you very much for that help. Thats really lovely. I will look up the gestor thing I've only heard about this from you. It may have to be something i sort out in july. I'v emailed my solicitor to ask for the last 2 copies of my electric bill to check out the useage snd got a reply today to ask me to send them a copy bill so they can ask Iberdrola for the copy bills. Omg. Dont believe it. Wonder where my bills actually go??? Well I'd better try to get them myself from Iberdrola.  When i bought the house my agent said the prices were rising steadily but i have found his advice very suspect like you said i shouldn't be trusting anyone. Shame. As he said it was a good price for La Zenia it must'v  been not such s good price for monte zenia. I spent quite s bit modernising it under his control oh no so it may be over capitalized now which presens more problems for reselling. But as i said your help is great and thanks again for that. Will keep plodding on. Happy new year😊

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02 Jan 2018 13:54 by ayrez Star rating in La Marina Oasis. 377 posts Send private message

Don't give up on your plae until you visit in July. From looking at Google earth it seems that Monte Zenia is the area just over the AP7 from La Zenia. Not far away actually and whilst I appreciate that you feel you were misled you may find that you prefer that area to La Zenia proper that is vary busy in summer. Depending on the location of your property you may find you can stroll across to the Boulevard Commercial Centre which appears to be the centre of activity and cause of any property price rises in the area.

Selling and buying again will cost you big time. You will need to pay estate agent, plus valia tax and Capital gains Tax on any increase i price from buying to selling. Then there are the usual charges for buying again ( approx 12 % nowadays  I have heard.

Electric costs have been covered earlier, and are probably standing charges, and vary depending on the  contracted amount.

I think if I were you I would change your agent as you have obviously lost any faith in him/her. There are usually loads of people willing to be keyholders, check your property regularly and clean between lettings. Ask around on forums or talk to people during your visit and get recommendations. When we rented out our place we used a lettings website and took bookings personally online. Holiday bookings are usually only high season -July and August -with a few weeks either side. Letting like this covered our expenses and made a little profit but not a lot after tax etc.

Sorry to go a bit but these are just my thoughts. If you need any further info etc please send a private message.


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