British man loses over €100,000 and dream Costa del Sol finca

EXCLUSIVE: Ian Cook, 60, has been left in shock by his unexpected loss

LAST UPDATED: 12 Feb, 2015 @ 23:44
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LEAD Lost the plot
LOST THE PLOT: The Mijas land

A BRITISH man has lost his dream of a Costa del Sol home and more than €100,000 after his plot of land was reclaimed and sold at auction.

Ian Cook, 60, bought the plot for €144,000 in 2004, but failed to pay council tax for six years, forcing Mijas Town Hall to take action.

When Cook returned to the land overlooking Mijas Costa, last month, he was horrified to discover an eviction notice on his motorhome, which was still parked on the land.

But it was an even bigger shock to discover that the land had been sold at auction last year for just €14,000.

“I am devastated. I didn’t know they could do this,” Cook told the Olive Press.

“I didn’t hear a word while I was in England. I am sure they could have contacted me if they really wanted to.

“With the amount of technology available these days I could have been found. It’s not like I am Osama Bin Laden.”

Cook, originally from Sheffield, will now receive just €8,000 after accounting for the unpaid tax.

LEAD Lost the plot 2
IN SHOCK: Ian Cook

A spokesman from Mijas Town Hall insisted it had acted within the law.

He added that the tax department had tried to contact him on a number of occasions but were unable to because he had left no forwarding address and his bank account had been shut down.

“When someone doesn’t pay council tax we send them several notifications before acting further,” he said.

“By law, we also publish their outstanding debts on the online Boletin Oficial del Estado (BoE) register where they can see it.”

14 COMMENTS

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  1. Words fail me – what a complete prat. Did’nt pay any taxes for 6 years – why not. Left no forwarding address and closed down his bank account and then has the cheek to say ‘ he could have been found if they really wanted to – what arrogance and stupidity.

    I never cease to be appalled at the mentality of a lot of Brits who think they can do as they like in another country and to pay €144K for a piece of land – enough said.

  2. This whole article seems confused. He bought the land in 2004 for 144k euro. He has got 8k euro back, he lost 100k euro or are my maths bad. And who buys a dream in 2004, parks a Motor Home on it then only pops back after 11 years, not a very important dream. Maybe we should give Olive press reporters calculators :)

  3. Our of interest, my question would be. What was the legal process that the Mijas town hall took to embargo the property and then to auction the same? The onus is on everyone with a property in Spain to have a legal representative in Spain.

  4. He “qualifies” to be in the base class – “90 % of people are stupid, 15% are crazy and only 5% are reasonably intelligent – like you and me”! This “fellow” acted to lose all he did – so what?!

  5. I’m sorry that he lost his money but he really did bring this on himself. No research on Spanish property and tax law, absentee owner for a number of years and no bank where sufficient funds could be left and therefore no contact details for the town hall. We all have a moan about dodgy property deals in Spain but in this case it appears the town hall acted fully within the law. A lesson to all those who think they can do as they please in Spain and live under the radar. The Spanish government machine is becoming more efficient by the day and woe betide anybody who thinks they can get away with not paying taxes or complying with residency laws.

  6. My question is who bought this land?
    I very often see people arguing their 100k car or land was sold at auction for 14k but very rarely hear who bought it.
    Only one I heard was a 120k Lamborghini sold for 5k while a guy was on holiday and it turned out it wa one of the guardia civil bought it.
    Can someone point me in the direction of one of these auctions in Spain where people buy these items for penny’s in the pound?

  7. What was the current market value? What permissions did it have? Who is the new owner? What connection does he/ she have with the town hall? Yes he was an arrogant prat thinking Spain didn’t matter, but 140,000 down to 14,000 is much more than the market has fallen.

  8. Auctions on embargoed property and land are announced online. I have read them but can’t remember the website. Maybe it is the BOP. Official state boletins or similar. Perhaps that is all the land is worth if no planning permission?

  9. Our daughter was in a similar position a few years ago – hadn’t paid the tax on her (much smaller) property for about 4 years – and the only piece of correspondence on the matter was sent to her grandmother in Spain, who wasn’t very quick at passing it on. It reached us in the UK as the council was about to go to court for a repossession order. A mad dash with a Spanish lawyer at significant expense saved the day, but it did seem just a little excessive for an outstanding IBI bill of 120€ (yes, that is correct, one hundred and twenty euros!). So be warned!

  10. This person should have been aware that IBI was payable on the land he purchased and I am surprised that he did not receive a bill for it at some point. I am not making excuses for him but Spanish authorities are notorious for sending bills to either the wrong address or the right address with various typos meaning they never arrive. We sold a property in Spain several years ago and they sent the plus valia bill to the address of the property we had sold. Rather a stupid thing to do because we were hardly going to receive it if we had sold the property and they knew we were foreigners. They had our Apartado address in Spain and also our UK home address and after a long period of time, they resubmitted the bill with a €600 fine and sent it to the Apartado address and we picked it up from there. We argued the toss and asked why they had not sent it to our UK address and they said they do not send post abroad – how ridiculous. It is interesting that they suddenly found our Apartado address as soon as we were eligible for the €600 fine. We eventually managed to get the fine reduced to €300 because we were able to prove that they had made a mistake. Unfortunately, their admin skills are poor and littered with errors which result in a very inefficient service.

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