We used Bersal, 5 years ago, to buy our villa ( a re-sale we thought it would be safer than an off-plan). This is a short version of our dealings with them. Bersal is a partnership between a Spanish male abogado and a female English legal advisor.
The date we were given for completion and the appointment at the Notalry Office fell in July Unfortuanately, due to work commitments I was unable to accompany my husband . We wanted to buy the villa in both our names and on their advice I gave my husband my passport and a letter giving him the power to sign in my name and off he happily toddled off to Spain for a week ,with my son for company.
At the Notary the deal was all apparently sorted out smoothly. We were lucky enough not to need a mortgage , but the vedor did have a mortgage and a rep. from his bank was there to take payment for the debt.
There was one small outstanding issue - ie on the escritura is said we had 500 sq mts of land - but we had no fences. Bersal were to contact the Land Registry to find out where our boundaries lay.
2 months later we received the escritura - and all seemed fine. There was no mention of any debts being on the property.
At this point we were very pleased and asked them to sort out a licence for a swimming pool as well.
Approx 6 months later we had an email from Bersal saying they had the pool licence and the details of our boundaries. It would cost us 1000 euros. We said we would collect it and pay him when we went over the next month. No problem. The next month we went off to Spain, got in the pool company to start work, (which they did the next day) and arranged to meet Bersal.
The abogado arrived at our villa, without the licence saying it had been 'suspended' but still demanded payment. We refused insisting on getting the licence first. Gosh was he angry and threatening.
Then we had the first of 3 visits from the police because they claimed we did not have a licence for the pool! THe estate agent we used , Ronald from GOGO estates was an angel. He spoke to the police and the town hall on our behalf and the situation was eased as it seemed the licence was 'on its way'.
We now had given up with Bersal and employed another abogado to find our boundaries. They promptly contacted the Land Registry and discovered the following .
My husband owned half the property
The vendor still owned half the property.
The mortgage of 130000 euros was still outanding.
It seems the loose ends were not tied up...and their negligence had left us in this mess.
The new Abogado was brilliant, but expensive. She explained that it would be less expensive and less confusing if Bersal put things right. However they refused to deal with us. We employed the new Abogado to to deal with Bersal to sort things out.. They did not like the fact that another abogado knew their shortcoming s and behaved very aggresively.
At this point the pool licence was issued and Bersal would not give it to us unless we paid 2000 euros!
We needed the licence as the pool was now built!
The new abogado persuaded us to be realistic and negotiated with Bersal for us to pay £1500 which was paid to the Spanish abogado in cash. In return we got the licence. It was like paying a ransome!
THey are hell to deal with.
But they do not treat each other any better. 2 months later we ran into the female partner at the notary office and she berated us for not paying for the licence as we had promised. We told her we had paid, in cash. Her face was a picture. The partner had pocketed it for himself and told her we refused to pay him!!!
SInce then we have severed all ties with Bersal.