When buying a property, is it wise to pay over money without the advice of a lawyer?
Antonio Flores Vila
24th of July 2001
Q. We have put down a Ģ2000 deposit for an unbuilt property in
ciudad quesada, next month we are to pay 40% of the cost, we have not
engaged a lawyer as we have been told it will not be necessary until the
final payment is due in December 2001 is this correct or is it unwise to
pay over this money without the advice of a lawyer.
A. It would be wise that you hired a solicitor to verify all aspects of
the purchase. I will summarise the situations which I have encountered
in my experience as a solcitor dealing in real estate (Iīm no
- Buyer buys property with charges, encumbrances and other debts.
- Buyer buys property that has never been registered.
- Buyer buys a property with perfect clean title, registered, taxes
paid up to date: however, the property they bought is not the one they
had seen. They had relied on a description and some land registry
details which simply corresponded to another property. They had no
right of recourse.
- Buyer hands over a deposit to someone purporting to be owner, and
- Buyer purchases a property with tenants living legally. They
decided not to use their priority rights to purchase the property and
substitute the purchaser, but they stayed in the house for a while,
using the propection granted by the laws to tenants (Consequently,
with the loss of potential income for not being able to rent out).
- Buyer buys from developer and hands over 40% of the purchase
price. The developerīs company is wound up, and the buyer is still
litigating for his money back, together with several tens of creditors.
As you can see, many things may wrong, all of which can be avoided by
seeking sound legal advice. In my opinion, you should always look for
an independent lawyer when purchasing property in Spain, and in your
case, before you hand over 40% of the purchase price.