The very dark side of the Andalusian property buying p

Post reply   Start new thread
:: New - Old :: Old - New

Pages: 1 |

Forum home :: Latest threads :: Search forums
The Comments
04 Jul 2018 19:21 by Damiansahsa Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

I hope this threat will be seen by as many people as possible to open up awareness before buying a property inland in Spain. 

This has been the biggest ever mistake I have made. Last year I decided to settle in Spain to open up an exclusive bed and breakfast. 

I contacted an agent directly from London explaining my requirements. 

I wanted to be close to Malaga Airport and didn’t mind doing some work to the house if needs to be. 

We came and visited about 12 properties (some of which were advertised as the perfect opportunity to create a B&B).

I have completely fallen in love with a Finca in Alhaurin De La Torre. 3 separate houses on the plot 

I asked the agent many questions as to what could be done here and there. She confirmed everything was possible. That I could do anything I liked. Paint, change kitchen, break walls and so on. Nothing would be a problem. 

She said she was going to recommend me some people as well. 

I paid the reservation deposit, contacted the lawyer the agent recommended. 

I reconfirmed with her via Email all the questions I needed answers for. I made sure I didn’t had to ask permission or anything prior doing work. That was all fine. 

The lawyer also said, there is no AFO but you will be able to get it later when you move in. She said the seller will pay for the AFO and she will retain the fees from the sale. 

So I paid in one go EURO 615K

She mention not to do any work until the inspector from the Town Hall would come, 2 months, 3 months, 5 months, 7 months, passed. After the second month I decided to start some outside renovation, I didn’t add any square footage as I know that wouldn’t be allowed. 

Meanwhile, the lawyer sends me an Architect (she knows) who will proceed with the AFO application. 

She take pictures, measurements, sends me someone to get 2 new septic tanks that would be regulated with the norms. 

She appeared to be extremely arrogant and very unprofessional.

Whilst the builders (recommended by the estate agent) were doing some outdoor work, I asked them if they could give me a quote for some indoor work. 

Their quotes were extortionate and I decided to take someone else. 

One day out of the blues I have the guarda civil in front of my door saying they had an anonymous call from someone saying we were doing some illegal work. They took some photos from a stone path I added (stopping us of walking in mud) but that was it. They did not go inside any houses. 

That call was from the builders being upset of loosing the project. 

I then went to the Town Hall of Alhaurin De La Torre asking someone what was that all about. The guy looked at me and said : your property is probably illegal, you cannot do any work, not even paint inside, you cannot run a business, there is no law to do a B&B that word doesn’t exist here in Spain. He also said don’t try to do it behind our back because we often check websites and we fine people heavenly. 

I then went to see a lawyer and see what could be done because I have been mislead massively and so on. He said you can sue them all to void the purchase contract since you haven’t been told you were buying on a protected land and that nothing could be created, done or renovated. 

He also said this was going to cost me a lot of money and take years in court. 

He mentioned also that the lawyer I had for the purchase of the house wasn’t a lawyer but a property conveyor. Anyway, after a week I received an email from him saying : what have you decided to do, because I don’t want to loose anymore time as I have other things to do. So with his attitude i decided to tell him off. 

In the meantime the fuses keeps blowing every 2 days, the whole main house electricity system if 200 years old, none of the radiators are working, the irrigation system pipes keeps cracking, the boiler brakes down and the list goes on … 

So I then get the architect coming for a visit prior sending me the inspector finally from the Town Hall, (a very good friend of her she says). Once at the house, I had done work in 2 small houses but not the main one, she says, no way you will never get the AFO, you will be fined if he comes. 


So I decided to stop the AFO application. (Just for the story, my Finca is not overlooked by one person and no outside work has been done other then the stone path. Anyway. 

After all this I made my final decision to sell the Finca and move out of this place as soon a possible to never ever set foot again here. 

I carried on the work at this stage to finish it, I have now spent EURO 160K on materials and builders. 

About a week prior the work should have been finished and me being fleeces on a daily basis by the main builder asking me for more money, he came once and said : you never paid me, I am calling in the police they are on their way. Police never came, he was just hoping that I would panic and pay him on the spot out of fear. I also called the police, they also never came … Anyway, what he forgot is that I have all payment proofs on my whats app conversation with him. He threatened me to come back and do me in. I went to the police and lodge a complain against him and the police said, don’t worry he’s on our system but he’s not dangerous. 

That was that. 

I now have put the property on the market and one month later I get an offer. Don’t think I can made a single penny in profit. I’ve put it at the same price I brought it and the offer is near asking. 

I take a new lawyer recommended by the agency. The buyer pays the reservation fees. I keep on chasing my lawyer for updates, he said everything seems fine except the AFO which you will never ever be able to get. (he spoke to the “unprofessional Architect”). 

He said, he doesn’t think the buyer will want to buy it without the AFO … I call my previous lawyer, explain the situation, she says, your buyer can get the AFO within 2 years … I emailed my lawyer and told him to check his facts before talking to the buyer’s lawyer since I now have 2 different opinions about the AFO. Not having it all ever or having it in 2 years does make a whole world of difference. 

His reply : I know the law, if you’re not happy with my services, take someone else and i’ll send you my bill. (didn’t know you have to pay a fee if the sale doesn’t go through or if you pull out) anyway. 

So now, I haven’t heard from the lawyer anymore in the last 2 days, the previous lawyer either … I am on contact with the agent who found the buyer …  so he’s following up he says, but he did say, it’s very difficult to get through lawyers in the morning and in the afternoon they are closed for summer. 

So all this to say, that I should have known better, I shouldn’t trust a single soul, I should have gone to the town hall, day 1 before even considering buying. 

I won’t say more, because I don’t want to brake the rules of the forum but you can imagine how much I love this country and their people.  I will abviously shout out everyone's name on the net, once I am out of here. 


Like 2      
04 Jul 2018 21:23 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4536 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

Thanks for sharing your fascinating story. Very brave of you!

Kavanagh, the intended "purpose" of the post appears to be stated in the first sentence, i.e. "to open up awareness (to as many people as possible) before buying a property inland in Spain." Unfortunately, I think it's more likely to lead to numerous obvious questions being asked (which, being so obvious, I'll refrain from doing), and rather than sympathy or thanks for the heads-up, will more likely draw ridicule and criticism.

I shall follow with interest! 



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

Mark Twain




Like 1      
04 Jul 2018 23:10 by Kavanagh Star rating in Oil Drum Lane Newcas.... 1099 posts Send private message

Kavanagh´s avatar

Yes Roberto maybe my comment was a bit harsh and probably due to hearing all these type of stories over the 10 years I have been here. Spain seems to be a country without any enforceable regulations to protect naive expats.

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

Like 0      
05 Jul 2018 00:22 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4536 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

Predictable, perhaps - but not harsh at all. I didn't mean to criticise your post. On the contrary, I'm as equally puzzled as to what the real purpose of the post was.



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

Mark Twain




Like 0      
05 Jul 2018 08:48 by Mickyfinn Star rating in Spain and France. 1842 posts Send private message

The poster or should I say victim has committed all the cardinal errors experienced people on this forum try to warn others about.

These errors take place on a constant basis and have been going on for fifty years. They form part of the commercial fabric of Spain. They even make TV programmes about it and yet it carries on regardless.

It takes years to really learn how Spain operates; to state the obvious; it’s a different country and utterly unlike Britain. Yet people make passive assumptions it is. They believe sellers of property and other ‘professionals’ tell the truth and there is an effective rule of law even though they must be aware, unless they have lived in a cave all their life that thes people are only interested in your money and self-advantage.

The truth is potential buyers get carried away by the moment. It’s a bit like the old adage ‘marry in haste, repent at leisure. Predators of all nationalities await at every turn licking their lips at another source of money.

Over the years these stories could fill several libraries. They are very sad for the individual but far from unique. Publicising them will not change a thing.

Mojacar years ago had signs in English on all the roads to the town warning people not to buy property without going to the town hall to check validity. Sadly the town hall then were all corrupt as well, so there is no guarantee. In truth if you buy property inland in Spain, or on the coast especially an old one be prepared to lose everything. You may be lucky, many people are and many are not.

Spain is that sort of place. Even locals will tell you never trust anyone outside family circles.

Time is the school in which we learn Time is the fire in which we burn. Delmore Schwartz.

Like 0      
05 Jul 2018 10:17 by baz1946 Star rating. 2226 posts Send private message

The poster seemed to have joined this forum on the 4th July, posted one message which to be honest made, considering they were clever enough to earn in excess of £650,000, not much sense at all if you really took it all in and now has deactivated the account one day later. 

Like 0      
05 Jul 2018 12:39 by floella Star rating in SE Spain. 789 posts Send private message

Reads like someone who celebrated a little tooooooo much on Independence Day.🥂🥂🥂🥂🥂


Like 0      
08 Jul 2018 19:47 by froggie Star rating in Oslo / Los Balcones. 1 posts Send private message

froggie´s avatar

Never trust a single soul.. well, most important is never to trust a lawyer (or others) that the agents recommend.. ;-) The first thing you learn when buying a property abroad, but only common sense.

You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you need.

Like 0      

Pages: 1 |

Post reply    Start new thread

Previous Threads

Long term rental wanted - 1 posts
Inheritance tax - 24 posts
Rental Agents - 2 posts
where shall I go - 6 posts
Mulla old town housing - 3 posts
Disaster in Spain .. any help appreciated - 8 posts
Any help would be so helpful. - 5 posts
Costaluz lawyers - 8 posts
Driving licence - 2 posts
No need for dish if you have Virgin Media in U.K - 5 posts
Credit Card and Car Hire - 1 posts
personnel relationship agreement sabadell bank? - 1 posts
Long term rental - 4 posts
Translation - 4 posts
Car - 3 posts
Bank charges - 1 posts
Bankia/BMN - 42 posts
Legal intrest payment - 3 posts
travel cot - 1 posts
one way van - 4 posts
superb help from Maria L. de Castro at Costaluz Lawyers - 1 posts
Work Permit for Egyptian Nationals in Canary Islands - 1 posts
BMN merger with Bankia issues - 20 posts
Localidad - 33 posts
motor home - 4 posts

Number of posts in this thread: 9

DISCLAIMER:  All opinions posted on these message boards are the opinion solely of the poster and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Eye on Spain, its servants or agents.

1 |
Our Weekly Email Digest

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More information here. x