Example of Our Problem Solving Abilities

Posted in: Case studies, Legal


Just over a year ago we were approached by a few friends that owned a property in the South of Spain. They wanted to change a property into one name from four names.

Not all of them used it and one man spent a lot of time there. This change of ownership is known as a division of joint ownership or tenancy. There is a special legal way of paying less tax when the transaction is done. As opposed to costs of a purchase and sale.

We agreed to help and started work. When our lawyer (an expert in property) read the Title Deed he discovered something very strange. The solicitor representing the buyers didn´t have a power of attorney originally, so she was acting verbally.

As this is highly unusual, he asked for an extract from the Land Registry Office. As he suspected, the purchase of the property was never registered.

What did this mean?

It meant legally the house was not theirs. The house was actually still in the name of the builder. Even though they had paid all the money to buy it. Just because they had been paying council tax, this didn’t give them the ownership. And for years it had not been theirs and they had not known.

The problems did not stop there for these poor friends. We made the necessary further investigations and discovered the builder was in bankruptcy in the Mercantile Courts in Madrid. Thus the house was at risk.

It is never easy to inform clients about a type of situation like this. We can only try to do it as sensitively and explain as clearly as possible.

We assured them that we could resolve the problem, but we needed to act quickly. As we did not want the house to be repossessed.

Next Steps were to:

Contact the public notary where the purchase was signed to check what happened. Then obtain a duplicate of the Title deed, pay tax and register it PROPERLY in the Land Registry Office in the four names. Finally, present a document at the Mercantile Courts of Madrid. To explain the situation and try to release the house from the bankruptcy proceeding.

We acted as quickly as possible, managed all of this and got the house transferred into all four names (as it should have been done years ago).

The next step was to carry out the change into one name, as originally requested. This was all fine and we asked for all necessary documentation to prove that payments were being made between the parties. As it needed to be. The transfer was done at the Notary satisfactorily.

Or so we thought.

There is a phrase that encapsulates what happens when something goes wrong. For instance, when then another thing goes wrong with the same file. The next thing was we received a notification from the Tax Office. They wanted to charge approximately another 9,000 euro of tax. As they did not believe that matters had been done correctly (having not studied it properly).

We advised the poor client, confirmed all was well, but we may have to ask them for even better proof of what payments had been made between parties. We then prepared and presented our appeal (showing everything had been done absolutely correctly). And now last we have received the Resolution that the tax office has accepted our appeal.

At last, the matter is finished. The tax office have cancelled the sanction, confirmed everything was correct after all and all at last is finalised.

Thus, wouldn’t you want us on your side if you have a problem…?! How many people would have given up and left the the problem for years. Please Contact us if you have an issue to discuss and we will fight it and help all we can, tenaciously. We believe that we delve deeper than many, fight harder and achieve positive results with difficult situations.