Finding a reliable contractor

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02 Apr 2019 15:48 by kippywink Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Can someone please give me a bit of guidance with employing a small contractor in Spain? The work I am planning is minor alterations to a property combined with some appliance installations and I would like to be sure of the reliability of the person I'm hoping to use. In some countries contractors have to be licensed, bonded, insured and sometimes registered with the government or local authority.

Being unfamiliar with Spain, it would be reassuring to engage someone who has a little more than just an email address and a mobile phone by way of credentials. Is there any easy and reliable way of checking?





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02 Apr 2019 16:32 by angeleyes1 Star rating in Camposol & Bradford. 406 posts Send private message

angeleyes1´s avatar

Hello Kippywink and welcome to Eye on Spain.

You are right to have your concerns but unfortunately you are seeking credentials that do not exist in Spain. An email and mobile phone number in Spain is considered the highest qualification available. Sometimes you may get an address, usually stool 3 at Paddy’s bar. You will also see adverts in local papers that say ‘’FULLY LEGAL’’. I once questioned the publishers what this meant and they said they had not got a clue but the words were paid for. If you are new to Spain, which I assume you are, you will soon learn it is cowboy land, and that includes the legal profession and banks.

By the way be careful what you consider minor work, you now need approval from the town hall to have your garden gate painted.

 https://www.abacoadvisers.com/spain-explained/spanish-law/news/new-law-affects-home-improvements



_______________________
When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk.



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03 Apr 2019 13:07 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4493 posts Send private message

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Angeleyes' reply is pretty cynical - but not entirely inaccurate unfortunately. A simple rule of thumb would be that most non-Spanish "contractors" are probably illegal, so avoid Tony down the pub & his mates. Avoid small ads in the local rag, try the Paginas Amarillas (Yellow Pages) instead. Recommendations from reliable sources are often the best way to go. You don't say if your property is part of a community; if it is, try asking the administrator for recommendations - but do be aware that they often work on commission for referals. If it's an electrician you need, you could ask at your local electricity office (if there is one), or at a local elecrical supplies shop; if a plumber, try the water board or a plumber's merchant, for example. If anyone offers you a quote without IVA (VAT), be aware that also means no guarantee. 



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"Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason"

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03 Apr 2019 16:13 by kippywink Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Thank you both, Angeleyes and Roberto, for your very full and wise advice. I have been lucky so far, probably because I have used local firms who operate from established business premises. Banks are another story but I was fortunate in being pre-warned that they are a law unto themselves.

My present conundrum is that I have a Brit who has lived and worked in the area for over ten years and who has come highly recommended by someone who themselves is in a local, prominent and established business and has used this contractor on several occasions. I have received a professionally laid out quotation which includes everything except a physical address. My request for an address has so far fallen on deaf ears and I am a little reluctant to sour the connection at this early stage by giving the guy the third degree - hence my enquiry about local registration/qualifications etc. I guess from what Angeleyes says I shall soon learn that certain factions of society aren't exclusive to Texas!





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24 Apr 2019 16:35 by Jarvi Star rating in Halifax UK and Sucin.... 727 posts Send private message

kippywink you are right to be concerned.

There is an English builder who lives not far from us in Soain and has been there for many years. It is known that he has ripped many ex-pats off. If I were you I would look for someone who would provide checkable references. i.e. Recommendations from more than 1 person or business that you coud actually speak to or visit to look at the work completed. 





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24 Apr 2019 17:08 by Kavanagh Star rating in Oil Drum Lane Newcas.... 930 posts Send private message

Kavanagh´s avatar

The only possible safe way in Spain is pay on completion when you are fully satisfied. Never a penny up front, and even then a Spanish guarantee is go whistle ‘’ ir a silbar’’.



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



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