Hard facts: The lack of systems and rules in Spain’s property game is ridiculous

In most other northern European countries, all sellers of properties have to provide factually correct information packs

LAST UPDATED: 10 Dec, 2016 @ 07:46
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campbell_fergusonIN most northern European countries, including Scotland, but sadly not England, all sellers of properties have to provide factually correct information packs – ‘Home Reports’ – to potential buyers.

In some countries, these are prepared by state registered inspectors, whilst in others the estate agent is legally responsible for any errors or omissions.

If the packs prove to be significantly erroneous or even fraudulent, the seller can withdraw from the sale, even after they have moved into the property.

Unfortunately, it’s a completely liberated system in Spain, where nobody takes responsibility for anything and even the buyer can renege, pleading ‘in good faith’ if they didn’t check anything themselves. Property descriptions by agents on the internet and in their details, can be at best ‘mistaken’, but sometimes, either through their or the seller’s ‘optimism’, appear to be deliberately misleading.

What has brought on this rant? We are researching properties all the time and this morning we’ve found a property listed seven times by different agents on a multi-listing website, that are all different in price, floor area and plot size, but which all have photos that are either identical or are clearly of the same building. And how many will have a current Nota Simple and Energy certificate available for all enquirers, as required by law? Damn few in my experience.

The Nota Simple I can understand, as some properties take months and years to sell and to keep it no less than 3 month’s old would be a running expense. But the energy certificate (CEE in Spain) is inexcusable. It lasts for 10 years, is obligatory to have to register the sale, both the seller and the agent will be fined if the Junta’s inspectors find it’s not available to potential buyers, and still the majority of properties on the Costas are marketed without it.

That’s just silly.

Talking of silly things, there’s Brexit. Now there’s talk of more potential for ‘Brexit Lite’ or ‘Brexit Descafeinado’ as I’ve heard it called here, where the UK will pay the EU to keep some of the privileges. So, we pull out of the EU to save money and then pay that money to receive less privileges than we had before. That’s clever!

The Brexit effect may only be creeping into the UK economy, but it’s hit here with a bang.

A recent survey by Spanish Property Insight has reported that the Spanish Property Registrars have recorded 16% less sales to UK buyers in the 3rd quarter 2016 compared to last year; the first drop for many years. The overall picture in SPI’s survey was of a big decline in British buyer interest in the months leading up to, and just after the referendum, with that interest now continuing at a much lower level.

But it’s not bad news for everyone. The reduction in numbers of UK sterling buyers was compensated for by euro or other currency buyers, taking advantage of reduced competition and sterling sellers being prepared to accept lower euro prices as the conversion to sterling meant they were still receiving more pounds than expected.

So, parlez-vous anglais, sprichtst du Englisch, spreekt u Engels, pratar de Engelska, or even ¿habla usted Inglés?

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53 COMMENTS

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  1. It is not that difficult.
    Call an Architect or Engineer to visit the property you are interested in and they will make an Informe Técnico.
    And before buying it tell your Escribano to check the escritura, libre deuda, etc.

  2. In principle, not that difficult if from a ‘plugged-in’ family with a relative who is an architect.
    Those not connected are confronted with a minefield of bribe taking técnicos; poorly trained architects using antiquated 1950’s technology; alcaldes using municipal administrative mechanisms to extort constituents; over-priced contractors with shoddy workers; and capricious party officials catering to whomever offers the better paella. And I forgot to say, find a notary not part of the local construction cabal.

  3. Anyone reading this from Chas that goes ahead, deserves all they get and then some. In 86 as a way of puling back on actual construction work I decided to set up a very simple scheme – to offer a vetting service for those wanting to buy property – a flat fee + VAT and a simple written report, after visiting the property with the client. I made damn sure that any cheque cleared before doing anything. The n umber of fools that think a surveyor is acting in their interests when all they are concerned with is, can the mortgage lender get their money backm if problems occur.

    The first client was really excited about a particular property in a street where I had done plenty of renovation work. I arranged to meet him further down the road. He turned up and grinned when I produced a pair of binoculars. I said have you got eagle eyes, no he said and neither have I. I began to scan the roof, it looked dodgy, then I saw how rotten the soffit boards were. We then went up the stairs and I hopped over the wrought iron railings onto the balcony and stuck my penknife into the bottom rails of the sash windows, they were totally rotten but the owner had tried doing a woof painting job, did’nt fool me.

    The front door opened and this irate little man came out – “what are you doing” just showing my client how you have tried to hide seriously defective woodwork, he glowered at me. We entered and he wanted to show the lounge and so on. Nope said I, I want to check the roof timbers and joists. His reply was, to me comical – “I don’t want you to do that”, my reply was “there can only be one reason for that” and looked him square in the eye. His reaction was ” I want you out of my house” I turned to the client and said “this house has so many defects he does’nt want you to see, let’s go. Reluctantly he agreed but outside was fuming “I really want that house. We parted company and I sent a simple report by registered post (to cover myself) telling him in no uncertain language not to touch it.

    3 months later I happened to be walking along this road and a voice called down from the scaffolding on the very house “hey Stuart man”. Carl came down and he said ” this is going to be a great earner for me, there’s so many things wrong. He needs a complete new roof, sash windows and he’s got woodworm everywhere. Just then the door opened and guess who it was, yes that’s right the chump who really wanted this house. He saw me and smartly moved inside slamming the door. This idiot was going to spend as much again on rectifying all the cowboying and defects.

    If you know what you are looking for, fine, if you don’t, take your ego and ram it somewhere the sun does’nt shine and find someone who does – all ego trips have to be paid for, mostly sooner, rather than later. If you don’t understand how important the subsoil conditions are or building materials and construction techniques then admit it and act with caution and common sense, sorry uncommon sense – or pay the price.

  4. Of course, for the average “Expat” (lol), nothing is simple.
    Most of all when the vast majority of them are chronic monoglots.
    Or too stingy to hire an architect or engineer or escribano.
    Now, when you compare the cost of a house with the cost of hiring an engineer to make a technical report, you realize that it does not even represent the 0.01%.

    The funniest thing is that in the UK, most of the property market is fraudulent.
    Not to mention the poor quality of its architecture:

    “Why is Britain so terrible at domestic architecture?
    Forget funny-looking skyscrapers and ‘carbuncle’ supermarkets, the real disasters of British architecture are the majority of houses built in the last 50 years, says Alex Proud”

    Like New Islington Millennium Community , for example:
    “RESIDENTS who thought they were moving into dream homes say they are turning into a nightmare, after encountering damp, leaking windows and a host of other problems. The first families moved into Islington Square, Ancoats, less than a year ago, but now many are complaining of damp on the ceilings, cracks in walls and broken boilers.”

  5. Hey tonto, tell me where the Spanish have ever built a city that was’nt totally ugly or even remotely built to a decent standard – are you a stand-up comedian, if so, Id’ find a new job.

  6. True, you are not the ‘average expat.’ Close familial links to militant Perónist inner circles in control of architectural, urbanization planning skews notions of how architectural planning processes works. For those enculturated in Latin American fascism – the epitome of violent, dictatorial, right-wing corporatism – arrogance and naivety are not so contradictory. Because those tied within the fascist cluster are often naive without money and connections; they don’t know how things work outside the privileged network. And arrogant because collusion worked in the old regime.
    As for and Francoist or Perónist populist pretensions? ‘Workers’ are romanticized as long as colluding corporatist politicians aren’t forced to sweat with them, and the work shirts do what is required by the ruling party hierarchy.

  7. It is more than clear that none of these “posters” know too much about Architektur, Ingenieurwesen und Stadtplanung.
    It is more than clear that British cities are amongst the worst in Europe.
    From Middlesbrough, passing by Blackpool to Luton and Grimsby…they are the worst places to live in the Western World.
    Now you understand why so many Britons live in Spain, Italy and France.

    • Lets cut the pretense. Ferguson;s article is about corruption and incompetence in construction and licensing. And despite your strident claims, experience as a B grade telenovela actor does not gives one much credibility in architectural planning and engineering even if the son of Osvaldo ‘Cholo’ Cedrón who was one of the urban planning bosses in Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
      .
      As for your ill-mannered, inaccurate remarks about UK architecture, few if any people rave about Argentine buildings. Lets take an example: Although the intent of the 1971-1973 Villa 7 Mataderos project, renamed Justo Suárez after completion, marked an improvement over the block of squalid shacks it replaced, the project is somewhat notable for social efforts to include resident participation in design and construction, there is nothing architecturally special about its design or execution. Villa 7 uses Corbusier’s 1914 Dom-Ino concrete slab and pillar technique, by 1972 a hallmark of cheap, unimaginative construction. But to be fair, there are hints of Erich Mendelsohn’s German expressionism through the use of vernacular ‘folk’ elements such as typical tile cladding, unfortunately, poorly set.
      .
      The project’s ‘success’ is that it is exactly what it was meant to be and nothing more – Peronista propaganda – warehousing for poor people which masks from Peronista bourgeois view the squalor of failed economic policies. Peronistas desperately wanted the world to believe their dictatorship could succeed where others failed, and propaganda projects like Villa 7 were necessary to mimic economic vitality and dissemble ‘democratic’ stability.
      As to the actual construction? Defects in concrete work are of special note – a telltale sign from Turkey to Nigeria that contractors and inspectors cheated, skimped, or replaced cement with sand to ‘earn’ a bigger percentage of the take and meet prebenda demands of bosses.
      Campbell Ferguson’s article lists myriad problems arising from planning process where some ‘Loco’ planning boss works under colluding party officials control, naively or not, to embezzle funds.
      Unlike architecture and engineering, I am quite certain you do understand the colluding part. And as for the reality of Spanish politics, perhaps you could ‘act’ as if you do for the sake of civility.

    • “Now you understand why so many Britons live in Spain, Italy and France”. Do you not think weather conditions is the main reason. I don’t really wish to waste my time in explaining the building controls in the UK but you can easily check via the internet the responsibility of the UK and Council Building Inspectors who are involvement in all stages of construction of new Builds not forgetting the separate body of inspectors from the NHBC. Look it “ALL” up and learn, or even perhaps Stuart may be able to assist in your learning if he has the time and patience. BTW Pab, none of these inspection bodies are bent or corrupt.

  8. I can see you can google articles about Argentinian architecture…
    Well done.

    Now, and again, it is clear that you don’t know too much about the matter, and that you have never been to Buenos Aires.
    Most of the social housing complexes in Argentina and in many, many countries have been a total failure.
    They are always used as propaganda política, and once they are in service, the government simply abandons them.
    In Argentina there are tons of examples, the worst is Fuerte Apache.
    Now, if you were an architect, you should know that it was the same in the U.S. with Pruitt-Igoe for example, or in the UK with Southgate Estate for example, and the list goes on and on.

    During the Govt. of Perón it was even worse, because he created the firsts villas miserias with a massive internal migration to BA, of people who were basically rural workers seeking for industrial jobs.

    Question is what has that got to do with an article that says: “In most other northern European countries, all sellers of properties have to provide factually correct information packs”

    Fact is in Britain they sell houses with structural problems and risk of collapse, when it was supposed they were new houses.

    Not to mention property title fraud, which is like a pest in those lands.

  9. “The Brexit effect may only be creeping into the UK economy, but it’s hit here with a bang.
    …the Spanish Property Registrars have recorded 16% less sales to UK buyers in the 3rd quarter 2016 compared to last year…”

    Well, that means that Brexit is affecting the UK economy in a big way, not the Spanish.
    Those properties will be sold to another kind of buyer, not British, and that´s it.

    “The overall picture in SPI’s survey was of a big decline in British buyer interest in the months leading up to, and just after the referendum, with that interest now continuing at a much lower level.”

    Well, that is good news.

    • It would appear you know nothing about British architects or structural engineers that are required on certain forms of construction regarding building sites in the UK. Tell me how many times does a Spanish building inspector visit a build site in Spain and at what stages, in-fact there are two separate different building inspectors that visit a building site in England, could you name them and where from?

      • What?
        Architects and structural engineers are requiered in every single construction.
        who is the responsible for the proyecto y dirección? an architect.
        who is the responsible for the proyecto y ejecución estructural? a structural engineer.
        That happens in the whole western world, including Britain.

        In Spain like in most of the countries, a profesional verificador de obras has to inspectionate the construction in the demolition, excavación, ejecución estructural, albañilería and final de obra.

        It seems to me, and with all due respect, that you know zilch about this issue.

        • Yes, these inspections are ‘required’ by law, but at least where we live, proper inspections are reduced to maybe one early one and a cursory final inspection. This is especially true if the builder is part of the colluding network. If one wants a lot of very meticulous inspections, use an out of network builder. That will guarantee extra scrutiny. Where we live inspections are used to extort owners at least as much as for safety concerns. Often the inspector will object to non-structural aspects and elements to maintain network hegemony. Since standards are not available for public scrutiny, and most people fear the inspectors, brown envelopes or hiring in network builders become the means for satisfying inspectors’ objections.

          • chas correct. In the UK even on a modest house being built the local council building inspector is called at various stages of the build starting from foundations until a final inspection pass is given. All buildings also carry a separate NHBC certificate which the builder pay’s towards which carry’s a 10 year insurance guarantee. These inspectors even inspect as to how building materials are stacked on site.

        • Publo. It would appear you know nothing about British architects or structural engineers that are required on certain forms of construction regarding building sites in the UK.

    • Sorry folks last reply. Pablo, the Brexit had nothing to do with the economy regarding the sales of property in Spain and the 16% drop you are talking about in sales is due mostly to illegal properties not being sold. Any Brexit does have a profound effect not only on Europe but Spain, one effect being the sales of illegals in Spain and if the UK goes for a “hard Brexit”, goodbye Spain, no more gravy train from the UK. As for the big decline you mention, its also due to the rampant corruption still in Spain and once the property laws have been amended the British people will once again forge Spain from being a third world country. Remember also Pablo, all it needs is some nutcase to spray a few bullets along the Spanish coastline, goodbye holiday makers and goodbye Spanish economy which already is on tender hooks.
      Well as you say, “that’s good news”, yes for Britain, bad for Spain.

      • Get off your high horse Carlos.
        Brexit will be a terrible thing for…Britain.
        You know, they are out of the EU now, and out of the WTO.
        Being isolated is not the best position to negotiate with the big guys (Russia, EU, US, China, etc).
        They will impose the rules, and not a little, impoverished country like the UK.

      • THIS is the sad truth about Brexit
        “British car industry body warns of sales downturn as uncertainty kicks in
        Hopes that Brexit vote would prompt patriotic desire to buy British cars appear to have been dashed, SMMT chief says”

        “UK’s lack of negotiating experience may lead to ‘very hard Brexit'”

        The next 10, lets say 20 years will be very difficult for the UK

  10. Argentina, was’nt that the country created by the Spanish through theft and slaughter of the indigenous people. It was fun for these Spanish to go hunting at the weekend on their splendid Arab thoroughbreds. Right up to and including the 1870s they did’nt hunt other species but indigenous people, they found it to be great fun.

    When they invaded the Falkland Islands the ordinary soldiers were indigenous as the white Spanish working class did’nt want to know. Far from giving up the Falklands,it is the Spanish/Italian illegal aliens in South America that should be sent back to their homelands – Spain and Italy.

  11. One needs to vet posts for inaccurate information since information is easy to retrieve in the internet age via google, libraries and educated friends.
    Actually, I do know quite a bit about architecture partly due to the extraordinary higher education opportunities I had in my youth. Before changing career paths to pursue anthropology and neuroscience, I obtained a master’s degree in fine arts and architectural and planning history from a major American university. And as an undergraduate I was an engineering student, but the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s seduced me into liberal and fine arts.
    It is true I have not been to Buenos Aires. According to my exiled Argentine friends at university, the Peronist years were violent and awful for many.
    .
    As for architectural planning, as you suggest, it was already clear by the 1960s that post war utopian, vertical housing projects in Scandinavia, France, USA, Argentina, Brazil, etc., were destined to fail because density and lack of class diversity. Even units constructed for middle class families, such as those outside Washington, D.C., were rife with youth crime, substance abuse and psychiatric problems linked to community alienation.
    Chicago’s Robert Taylor homes exemplifies large scale high rise housing failure. These were constructed under the heavy hand of the first mayor Daley and his a corrupt political machine which spread money around to cronies at the expense of design and construction quality. They, like the Argentine projects you cite were propaganda to show ‘the good work’ of Daley’s machine.
    The St Louis Pruitt-Igoe project is, indeed, a good illustration of another public project disaster of that era. It not only failed as humane community housing, but contributed as well to the deterioration of much of the city,as did others elsewhere. While I did not experience UK’s Southgate Estate personally, I am aware of issues permeating other high density UK estates. Their current utility seems to be as settings of UK crime dramas!
    .
    As in S America, economic depression and post-war mass migration to cities for unskilled jobs contributed to Chicago’s and other big city slum propagation. Because these people had no organized political voice, their social problems were ignored, as in other places.
    Sadly, many first rate family homes and buildings, designed and built by such people as Wright, Richardson, Sullivan and other ‘Prairie School’ Taliesin architects, between the 1870s and 1930s were converted into rooming houses to meet post war housing demands. Many are gone, some restored, many still occupied by poverty renters in neighborhoods now deteriorated into dangerous, high crime enclaves. This equally true in UK.
    .
    I am somewhat familiar with rows the of cheaply constructed, unsightly houses in the UK. I have friends and relatives familiar with the pitfalls of property purchase and renovation in London. But dodgy design and construction exists in most places. I think Ferguson’s point was that regulations are so skewed in favor of banks, builders and municipal government officials in Spain that it is nearly impossible to initiate a sound project or have right to redress swindles and incompetence. Once deposits are made, liability is passed onto the buyer. As in medicine, both personal vigilance and rational regulations are needed.
    That you and, perhaps, your editor have responded factually and civilly in your last posts makes me feel optimistic that rational discourse is possible.

    • Well, agree with most of your last post.
      I was always very interested in the case of Pruitt Igoe, because, from an architectural point of view, it was a good project.
      The ones who failed in that case were, as always, the politicians.

      About Southgate Estate, well, I always loved the work of James Stirling.
      Never been there but it is a great project at least en los planos and in the images.
      As far as I know, the problem with it was its location, far away from centros de trabajo, etc.

      There are some critics who blame the design, the stairwell towers, circulación vertical, etc as if they encouraged criminal activity.
      Not so sure about that.
      Always liked its desarrollo horizontal and the fact that it was not so high.

      In Argentina, except some few examples, social housing have been a complete disaster.
      From design errors to the typical poor construction and lack of maintenance, the result is bad.
      As one professeur used to tell us, Social housing is designed for the working class, but not for the declassed.
      And in Argentina the biggest prob are the declassed, who end up living in shanty towns, or in the streets.

      Luckily in Europe the situation is a bit / lot better than in South America

  12. The saddest part of all this, is that some people think they are in condition, because of their nationality or whatever, to give moral lessons to the others.
    Fact is that Britain have invaded and looted 3/4 parts of the world, in the most barbaric way.
    And we are not only talking about the 17th century here.
    The Irish genocide, the Boer concentration camps, the Amritsar massacre, the Partitioning of India, the Mau Mau uprising, the Famines in India, all of that during the XIX and XXth centuries.
    They also tried to invade Buenos Aires 3 (three) times in 1807, 1809 and 1845.
    Luckily they were defeated.
    But they stole Malvinas, as a consolation prize.

    • Pablo, I see you tend not to mention Spain that pillaged, murdered populations in South America stealing their gold and silver only to be re-leaved of their treacherous deeds by Sir Francis Drake a well known English hero but a pirate as far the the Spanish were concerned (talk about calling the kettle black). Perhaps you should brush up on the history of Spain before accusing other nations of being naughty boys, not forgetting of course the Spanish Inquisition?. BTW, on a more lighter note see if you can watch a film called, “Goya’s Ghost”.

      • Yes you are right, Francis Drake was just a pirate.
        It is not a surprise that he is considered a hero in England, though.
        You know, for them Oliver Cromwell, Thatcher, Churchill, Cecil Rhodes are also “heroes”.
        Guess Cameron and Blair will be raised to that category sooner than later.

        • Possibly Cameron because he gave us the referendum, but Blair, I don’t think so and feel sure if he had been on the opposing side of the conflict he would be at the Court in Hague.

          • Cameron a hero re: The Referendum? Cowardly dog did it to cling to power, from fear of UKIP and his own back-benchers. He didn’t even believe it would happen. That’s why he’s scurried off, his tail between his legs. Now, nowhere to be seen.
            If we MUST have heros, try Nelson. Now there’s a sailor who gave both Spain AND France a good spanking.

          • Nelson?
            As far as the whole world knows, except YOU Stefanjo, he was thrashed by Antonio Gutiérrez de Otero y Santayana and Antonio Miralles.
            History is NOT your strong point, is it?

          • Take note of what the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz said.
            “Britain is one of the G7 country’s, the second (largest) economy in the single market of the EU, is one of the five permanent members on the Security Council of the United Nations and also has veto powers, leaving the European Union would weakening the EU without any doubt”.
            Where does that leave the other 25 EU members, in-fact not one of them has any world power at all.

  13. “History is more or less bunk. It’s tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history worth a tinker’s cuss, is the history we made today”
    Now old Henry wasn’t the greatest philosopher (eh chas?) But he certainly had a point.

  14. Once again a good post Chas. Whilst mainland Europe did it’s best to preserve the past, in the UK the opposite was true. Post war architects in the UK were and to a great extent still are absolutely crap. With glee they were responsible for tearing down wonderful parts of old towns and cities and put up ugly badly designed piss poor copies of the wonderful Art Deco period. Don’t tell me that the garbage that dominates the landscape in London or Paris are anything other than eyesores.

    You are so right about the high rise flats – everywhere they have been built they have degenerated in to hell holes. It is’nt the high rise itself that is at fault but that architects are mostly craven sods that refuse to stand up to avaricious ‘developers’. It’s perfectly possible to build apartments that have real acoustic insulation, that are designed precisely for the climatic conditions of their locations and give people a reason to care about where they live.

    We rented an apartment in Guadix in a block that had been built 4 years previously, what we found living there was no surprise to me and corroborates exactly your description of the corrupt process. central heating pipes laid straight into concrete, just one night I left the c/heating on and the gas boiler never stopped firing up. When I told my Spanish neighbours, they laughed, that’s why we buy polar fleece mantas. A lounge floor that was’nt level som that the picture window, double glazed but you’d never know it from performance, dipped in the middle leaving a gap at the top. power points that if there was’nt a plug inserted – the wind whistled through. An apartment door that was so flimsy it meant zero fire protection. Wiring and a consumer panel that was so under-rated that we could’nt use more than 2 rings on an electric hob without it tripping the c/panel. A balcony that was so narrow it was useless and tiles here and on the roof terrace that allowed for no expansion when temperatures reached 57C they began to buckle and all had to be relaid. A basement garage that was designed without figuring in the mud slides that were bound to happen because the idiots had cut down all the scrub oak and replanted with almond trees that were totally unsuited to the conditions. The one good point about the mud slides were that it killed off the garapetas/sheep tics that bedevilled the two dogs we rescued.

    Once again totally blind denial syndrome from the illegal alien – you would think they could try another form of complete b/s. Sadly there are many Brits and Americans who also have denial syndrome – sad is’nt it but then it does take at least a little courage to turn and confront your own people’s past. It is only by confronting the past head on that an individual or country can then stride out into the future.

  15. Not sure what history books you consult Pablo. But if you wander into Trafalgar Square, you will find a tall monument topped with the figure of Horatio Nelson. This commemorates the battle in which he lost his life, successfully fighting for his country, beating superior forces. I’d settle for that as a definition of a “hero”.
    Apart from Simon Bolivar and Che, you would need to scratch around to find “heroes” from your neck of the woods.

  16. Yes Chas but he was another illegal Spanish alien and his independence did nothing for the indigenous people who were still hunted down and killed and their lands stolen.

    • The only imperialist country which are still killing and hunting indigenous population is, yes you are right, the UK.
      “Nearly 300 British veterans face investigation over alleged Iraq war crimes”
      “Afghanistan war crimes investigation unit receives 600 complaints against UK soldiers”

      • Keep up with the times Pablo, the company representing them have collapsed because they could not claim anymore from the British tax payers, besides it was war which the Latin blood know nothing about. The Argies (made up of Latin blood) were woken from their nightly sleep when the Brit troops walked from their usual miles trek during the night to surprise them and woke them up. Da.

      • Cedron, just a few words to let you know that as an argentinian your command of english is superb and as a person you seems to be very hight level and hightly educated. However you are being harsh towards the british, in general they are much better people, their buildings have more of a character being it more cosiness or detail. I agree that in Bs As french style architecture is magnificent and specific projects are also good, but in general The isles have better planing and keep their building way better.

  17. Let us put this story to bed. How many illegal houses are there in the UK? How many mayors are in prison for planning offences? Now compare that to Spain. End of story.

    • There is a lot of illegal constructions/ buidings in the UK. Their sistema de fiscalizacion de obras is really poor. The fact that there are not mayors in prison means that their sistema judicial is a joke

      • Pablo the only recent illegal building of late that hit the headlines in the UK was of a farmer that had spent £2 million in building a mock castle and tried to hide it with bails of straw. Must admit the farmer did a wonderful job externally and internally but the building control laws in the UK are rigorously followed and as soon as the building of the mock castle was discovered bulldozers quickly moved in to demolish the building to rubble. Pablo, the reason why no Mayor’s in the UK are in prison is due to no buildings are built illegally. P.S. perhaps you could direct me with you insinuations regarding lots of illegal construction in the UK via Google Earth

        • It seems to me that you lot are not very well informed about what happens in the UK regarding illegal construction.

          Now, you 3 look even more tontos than usual, when you moan about illegal construction in Spain, since most of the illegal houses in Andalucía belongs to Britons.

          Luckily most of them will face demolition.

          • Pablo, you provided no reply to the original question of proof, so now we know you have nothing to back up your claims. Meanwhile, we can read about all the corrupt practices in Spain on an almost daily basis in the press. That’s how one gets well-informed.

  18. To put an end to this “discussion”, it is really funny to say that “The lack of systems and rules in Spain’s property game is ridiculous”, when the British Ambassador tried to save a lot of British owned illegal houses.

  19. Pablo, who sold and built 99% of those illegal houses you refer to? Yep, corrupt Spanish mayors and other town hall officials, many of which are in, or have been, to prison. Owning a home bought in good faith and will all the correct paperwork, overseen by Spanish lawyers (lol), which are then found to be irregular, retrospectively, is not the buyers fault, and many different nationalities are affected. What did your government to do help Spaniards who were affected? Yep, nothing. Spain has demolished the houses of young Spanish families with children, leaving them to search through debris to find personal belongings and food. Funny why you don’t mention that Pablo. Your denials will never stand up to the well-documented truth of this situation which has now appeared in the press and social media for years. Subject put back to bed – well and truly.

    • Spain’s deed’s alone speaks for itself from it’s corruptions to it’s demand that Gibraltar returns to Spain..
      Pablo, I give credit to Spain for it’s cuisine and of it’s fine weather and although they have never beaten France or Italy for top price regarding cuisine they hold the privilege of holding the top prize of “being the most corrupt country in Europe” putting Italy into second place. Pablo, no need to take my word, look it up.
      I shall not be wasting time in replying to Pablo in future and hope Fred and stefanjo may do the same. The choice is yours. Happy New Year.

      • It seems, all due respect of course that you are not too bright.
        What has Gibraltar got to do with this?
        Gibraltar is an anachronistic colony in Spanish territory, exactly like Malvinas in Argentina.
        And yes, you are right, the common denominator in this prob is the UK.

        About the British owners in Spain, the vast majority of them dont pay the gastos comunitarios, expensas, taxes, etc., so stop whinning.

        You dont like it? Go back to the UK. Not that difficult, eh?

  20. Carlos,
    sorry to burst your balloon but Spain is the second most corrupt country in Europe, the first is Romania perhaps that is why so many leave. My pneumologist in France was Romanian, she only goes home for holidays. If she could get a job back home it would only be possible with bribes and the pay would be a joke.

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