Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • ceebeeby
    • By ceebeeby 20th Apr 17, 10:56 AM
    • 4,233Posts
    • 10,773Thanks
    ceebeeby
    Dumped by parents - property overseas help!
    • #1
    • 20th Apr 17, 10:56 AM
    Dumped by parents - property overseas help! 20th Apr 17 at 10:56 AM
    Hello,


    I have a nightmare story and am hoping someone can help.


    9 years ago I bought a brand new property in Spain - 50/50 with my Mum and Step-Dad (of 30 years), who lived in Spain at the time. It was bought very close to their then home for an elderly relative who has since passed away.


    The relative only lived in it for 3 months then returned to the UK, I asked to sell the property, but was refused. Asked again numerous times over the years, always refused. Asked to rent it out - too much hassle. Anyway, about 4 years ago my Mum and Step Dad split up, Mum returned to the UK, step-dad moved into the apartment and set up home for the next 3 years - I asked him not too, but he did it anyway. I asked him to leave, my Mum said I was just causing trouble for the sake of it.


    I have never received a single penny for anyone staying in the property.


    Last year I threatened solicitors etc. and eventually I got a set of keys posted too me by my step dad, he told me that all the electricity, water, insurance etc. had been switched off / cancelled - there's your apartment and that's the only set of keys.


    Roll forwards 12 months, as far as I'm aware, no ones stepped foot in it. I ask can we sell. I'm told no, it's now part of their divorce settlement that is yet to be finalised.


    I now want to use the apartment until it can be sold, if it is ever sold. But I have absolutely no idea whatsoever of setting up utilities in Spain, nor do I have any idea of the state of the place (it's still only 9 years old), no idea of any outstanding bills or debts.


    Sorry - such a long sad story. Anyway - back to the question, does anyone have any idea at all about Spanish utilities and what I can do, or who I can speak to about putting all of this right and getting power / water switched on? And finding out if there are any debts involved.


    I do not have Spanish residency but do have an NIE number that was needed when I bought the place.


    Thanks for any help at all you're able to give.


    PS. Have asked both Mother and Step-Dad via. email (we no longer speak because of this) for utilities details and received back two words, the name of electricity company used and the name of the water company used.
Page 1
    • firefox1956
    • By firefox1956 20th Apr 17, 11:47 AM
    • 1,081 Posts
    • 591 Thanks
    firefox1956
    • #2
    • 20th Apr 17, 11:47 AM
    • #2
    • 20th Apr 17, 11:47 AM
    It would help if you gave us some idea of the area of Spain your house is in.
    • missile
    • By missile 20th Apr 17, 11:49 AM
    • 8,732 Posts
    • 4,202 Thanks
    missile
    • #3
    • 20th Apr 17, 11:49 AM
    • #3
    • 20th Apr 17, 11:49 AM
    You have my sympathies.

    It is easy to check if money is owed: Contact those utility companies.
    Advise utility providers that you wish those contracts transferred to your name.
    If bills have not been paid it may be that utilities have been cut-off. It will be difficult and more expensive to set up new accounts.

    Please advise:
    You say you have an NIE, I presume that was registered using the flat address?
    Are you registered on the Padron at the Ayuntamiento? (local town hall)
    Do you have the escritura? (title deeds for the property) If not contact an Abogado (solicitor) asap.
    Do you have a Spanish bank account? If not you can apply on line. I would recommend open account with Santander in UK and Spain, this would allow charge free transfers either direction.

    You should contact the Ayuntamiento to see how much property tax is outstanding.

    I would advise against renting. Being an absentee landlord in a foreign country is fraught with problems and risk.

    I would not wish to alarm you further, but it is possible your mother and/or step father has secured loans against the property? Whilst he is still named on the escritura, he could borrow against this property in the future. You need to contact an Abogado, asap.
    Last edited by missile; 20-04-2017 at 11:54 AM.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • ceebeeby
    • By ceebeeby 20th Apr 17, 12:39 PM
    • 4,233 Posts
    • 10,773 Thanks
    ceebeeby
    • #4
    • 20th Apr 17, 12:39 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Apr 17, 12:39 PM
    Thank you so so much.


    The area is Murcia region / comes under Cartagena District.


    Yes, NIE is the address of the property, and yes I have a copy of the solicitors paperwork. I literally did nothing other than turn up at a solicitors' though, sign some papers, transfer a huge sum of money to my mother's bank account and walked out with a piece of paper.


    I have absolutely no idea if I'm registered on the Padron Ayunamiento - I have genuinely never heard of it. I did have to go to a place that felt a bit like a police station. Queue up for ages and sign something. There was also another document I had to sign in the UK (I was meant to be in Spain but couldn't get there) at the last minute, verified by my solicitor. Again, everything and anything I signed I just did so as asked by my mother. I had no reason not to trust her :-(


    They wouldn't have taken a loan out against the property. They don't need the money and that would just be spiteful - they're a waste of space as far as being parents go, but they're not deliberately nasty.


    I don't have a Spanish bank account, but do bank with Santander routinely. I'll try and apply for one now.


    Okay, no renting out etc. Just happy to get it legal, let my children and their partners use it as parents are now embroiled (I believe) in this massively bitter divorce dispute. It sounds like step father is going to hand his 25% share to my mother, so she'll own 50% - same as me.


    They genuinely reply to nothing in terms of requests for information!!


    Thank you so so much for the information you've provided - it's more helpful than anything I've received from them in the last 3 months of trying!!!
    • ceebeeby
    • By ceebeeby 20th Apr 17, 1:24 PM
    • 4,233 Posts
    • 10,773 Thanks
    ceebeeby
    • #5
    • 20th Apr 17, 1:24 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Apr 17, 1:24 PM
    I have now tracked down NIE paperwork (yay); and my daughter is phoning Santander in Spain to set up an appointment to set up a bank account (!) unless I can do it online??


    Her next task will be to find out if I'm registered on the Padron Ayunimiento!


    I will reward her with plenty of chocolate!!!
    • Annie1960
    • By Annie1960 20th Apr 17, 2:18 PM
    • 2,664 Posts
    • 1,490 Thanks
    Annie1960
    • #6
    • 20th Apr 17, 2:18 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Apr 17, 2:18 PM


    Yes, NIE is the address of the property, and yes I have a copy of the solicitors paperwork. I literally did nothing other than turn up at a solicitors' though, sign some papers, transfer a huge sum of money to my mother's bank account and walked out with a piece of paper.
    Originally posted by ceebeeby
    I don't know anything about property in Spain, but if you have the solicitor's paperwork, are you able to contact them to ask? If they are local to the property they may even be able to send someone around to take a look at it for you, and advise you further on what steps to take.
    • ceebeeby
    • By ceebeeby 20th Apr 17, 2:31 PM
    • 4,233 Posts
    • 10,773 Thanks
    ceebeeby
    • #7
    • 20th Apr 17, 2:31 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Apr 17, 2:31 PM
    They don't have the keys. According to my step father I now have the only set of keys.
    I've booked a flight to go out there in a fortnight to see what's what.


    He did say he'd left all the furniture in the property, and he wouldn't deliberately trash the place - but I can imagine he has literally packed his clothes and shut the door behind him and this was 12 months ago.


    At the time I was told they were now both willing to sell, but because they were divorcing this would take time. Now it's a case of same position, community fees probably not paid etc.


    Neither will provide any proper bill information, other than to give me the name of the electric and water company previously used. And I believe my step-father either stopped paying the bill or formally arranged for it to be cut off.


    Neither will include the other in any email, and I get monosyllabic replies to any requests for information!
    • missile
    • By missile 20th Apr 17, 3:10 PM
    • 8,732 Posts
    • 4,202 Thanks
    missile
    • #8
    • 20th Apr 17, 3:10 PM
    • #8
    • 20th Apr 17, 3:10 PM
    I would suggest you DIY and stop trying to do anything via your parents.

    I would suggest:
    1. Get a Spanish solicitor.
    2. Ask him/ her to obtain copy of the escritura
    3. Ask him/ her to confirm their are no outstanding charges and bar any future charges against the property.
    4. Apply for a non resident account with Santander. https://www.bancosantander.es/es/private-banking Keep account in YOUR name only.
    5. Contact utility companies. They all have e mail and will respond to you in English.
    6. Murcia is a huge region, Cartegena is a large city, what is the name of your town?
    7. Find out who your community president is. Arrange to meet him/ her during your visit.

    Why is your daughter involved? You really need to take control. Do not give anyone Power of Attorney.
    Last edited by missile; 20-04-2017 at 3:24 PM.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • ceebeeby
    • By ceebeeby 20th Apr 17, 4:44 PM
    • 4,233 Posts
    • 10,773 Thanks
    ceebeeby
    • #9
    • 20th Apr 17, 4:44 PM
    • #9
    • 20th Apr 17, 4:44 PM

    Why is your daughter involved? You really need to take control. Do not give anyone Power of Attorney.
    Originally posted by missile


    Hiya, all very good advice and I'm going to take heed of it all.


    I'll read through it all again tonight and start making up lists - I genuinely cannot thank you again, I could have cried this morning!!!


    Youngest DD speaks fluent Spanish. No PoA's happening and I'm definitely in charge, albeit it feels like very thin thread at the moment as this is so new! She's doing some translating and contacting utility companies to try and help. she's going to come with me in a couple of weeks.
    • missile
    • By missile 20th Apr 17, 6:47 PM
    • 8,732 Posts
    • 4,202 Thanks
    missile
    Oh, I understand. Your first point of contact will be the town hall, where I am sure you will find they employ at least one person who speaks fluent english.

    Español puede ser muy dif!cil ............ hablas Ingl!s por favor

    Enjoy your trip to Spain. I am sure it will work out well for you and your family.
    Last edited by missile; 20-04-2017 at 7:08 PM.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • firefox1956
    • By firefox1956 20th Apr 17, 8:13 PM
    • 1,081 Posts
    • 591 Thanks
    firefox1956
    Don#t worry about being on the Padron.......it is not really that important.
    I think you have other things to worry than that.
    • anitawilliams
    • By anitawilliams 21st Apr 17, 7:06 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    anitawilliams
    I don't know about Spain.
    • Ebe Scrooge
    • By Ebe Scrooge 24th Apr 17, 11:15 PM
    • 3,714 Posts
    • 3,104 Thanks
    Ebe Scrooge
    I don't know about Spain.
    Originally posted by anitawilliams
    So why post ? Maybe in preparation for your Florida-based garden furniture spam attack ?
    I may not know much about art, but I know what I like.
    • ceebeeby
    • By ceebeeby 13th May 17, 4:56 AM
    • 4,233 Posts
    • 10,773 Thanks
    ceebeeby
    Hi,
    A wee update!
    I now have utilities, a habitat certificate and an apartment that is clean and furnished and a bank account.
    I am however totally stumped on paying the council or property tax. I spent 3.5 hours wandering between two local Ayunamientos yesterday (at their instruction) and am no further forward.
    Can someone help me with the exact name of what I'm trying to pay - I have found only one very lovely person who spoke pigeon English (lovely man) who had no idea what I was trying to do!!
    Also, any recommendations on property insurance? That doesn't seem to exist either!
    Thank you!!
    • paddy's mum
    • By paddy's mum 13th May 17, 9:41 AM
    • 3,460 Posts
    • 12,496 Thanks
    paddy's mum
    They wouldn't have taken a loan out against the property. They don't need the money and that would just be spiteful


    they're not deliberately nasty.


    I had no reason not to trust her :-(
    Originally posted by ceebeeby
    I don't wish to insult you or members of your family but it seems prudent to me for you to perhaps have a think about your comments above.

    From all you have said, they have indeed been 'nasty' and are indeed behaving in a 'spiteful' way. What's so difficult about sending sensible and sufficient information in an (impersonal) email? At the very least, the information protects each of the three owners from all kinds of property horrors.

    Call me cynical but given the repercussions from a possible debt against the property, I'd be bending over backwards to make sure that nothing so devious had gone on.

    What have you got to lose from checking? If it costs you a few quid in fees, isn't that better than paying out perhaps thousands of pounds to fight off a looming disaster in the future caused by suspect financial shenanigans from the past?

    Good luck with sorting it all out and may you have many happy holidays in the place through the years to come.
    • J B
    • By J B 13th May 17, 12:52 PM
    • 2,204 Posts
    • 706 Thanks
    J B
    Can someone help me with the exact name of what I'm trying to pay - I have found only one very lovely person who spoke pigeon English (lovely man) who had no idea what I was trying to do!!
    Originally posted by ceebeeby
    We have a house in Cyprus.
    There are several excellent ex-pat forums for the country and area with loads of folks offering advice (mainly saying in an Harry Enfield voice 'you don't wanna do it that way'!!)

    I'm sure there must be something similar for Spain as there are loads more Brits living there IIRC.
    • traineepensioner
    • By traineepensioner 14th May 17, 5:45 AM
    • 231 Posts
    • 120 Thanks
    traineepensioner
    We have a house in Cyprus.
    There are several excellent ex-pat forums for the country and area with loads of folks offering advice (mainly saying in an Harry Enfield voice 'you don't wanna do it that way'!!)

    I'm sure there must be something similar for Spain as there are loads more Brits living there IIRC.
    Originally posted by J B
    Good post.......Something like http://britishexpats.com/forum/spain-75/ ?

    or http://www.expatforum.com/expats/spain-expat-forum-expats-living-spain/
    No longer trainee
    Retired in 2012 (54)
    State pension due 2024 (66)
    • missile
    • By missile 14th May 17, 3:45 PM
    • 8,732 Posts
    • 4,202 Thanks
    missile
    Hi,
    A wee update!
    I now have utilities, a habitat certificate and an apartment that is clean and furnished and a bank account.
    I am however totally stumped on paying the council or property tax. I spent 3.5 hours wandering between two local Ayunamientos yesterday (at their instruction) and am no further forward.
    Can someone help me with the exact name of what I'm trying to pay - I have found only one very lovely person who spoke pigeon English (lovely man) who had no idea what I was trying to do!!
    Also, any recommendations on property insurance? That doesn't seem to exist either!
    Thank you!!
    Originally posted by ceebeeby
    So far so good. Don't stress - enjoy your new home

    Municipal Property Tax is called Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles (IBI)
    Please note; Depending on your circumstances you may be liable for other taxes.
    If you are struggling I would suggest you ask your bank / contact a Gestor to advise and arrange payment on your behalf.

    I would suggest you contact Linea Directa. See here > https://www.lineadirecta.com/Recursos/recursos/EN/html/home-insurance.html

    I believe your property is an apartment(?) You should speak with the Community President asap. He/she has a similar role to a factor for UK properties. You may find there is already a communal insurance in place for the building.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

811Posts Today

7,074Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Byebye! I'm about to stop work & twitter, to instead spend glorious time with Mrs & mini MSE. Wishing u a lovely summer. See u in 10 days.

  • WARNING Did you start Uni in or after 2012? The interest's rising to 6.1%; yet it doesnt work like you think. See https://t.co/IQ8f0Vyetu RT

  • RT @JanaBeee: @MartinSLewis Boris is the anomaly (coffee), the others are versions of normal (beer). Lots of same candidates = vote share d?

  • Follow Martin