20 Jul, 2011 @ 09:30
1 min read

Pilot property scheme could encourage buyers back to Spain

By Wendy Williams

A PILOT scheme being tested in Spain and the Netherlands to help expats buy property overseas could encourage people to invest in the Spanish property market again while prices are low.

The EU funded initiative allows for the purchasing process to be completed in the buyer’s home country.

In a sure fire method to bring confidence back to the buying process, the Cross Border Electronic Conveyancing scheme will crucially guarantee compensation for a change in the planning laws.

This means that the buyers of any properties later dubbed illegal and possibly knocked down would be compensated.

The scheme will also protect buyers who fall victim to any violation of the contract by the seller.

The initiative was praised by Liberal Democrat MEP Diana Wallis and it is expected to be tested in other nations throughout this year.

“The project seems to me practical and appears to work,” said Wallis.

“The beauty of it is that a buyer can have a direct contractual relationship with a person in their own country, which is what is needed because a lot of people don’t know whether they are coming or going when it comes to buying abroad.

“I’ve had so many people knocking at my door, dreadfully distressed, having bought in good faith and then lost their home or had serious problems with it because of unknown restrictions.”

James Bryce

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  1. How mad is it that this system even needs to exist? Essentially, it uses the law of the purchasing country to protect the buyer of a Spanish (or other EU) property. Which of course means that it is for use with countries whose legal systems cannot be trusted. It almost implies Spain is corrupt to need such a system.

    It does sound like a very good idea however, and may be the only safe way to purchase in Spain in the future.

    A better article can be found here:

  2. The “better article” quoted by Fred has the following comment:

    Piloted in Holland and Spain, the Cross Border Electronic Conveyancing (or CROBECO) project has enabled Dutch buyers to apply their own laws to the contract and apply to a Dutch court for compensation from the vendor, should it later be discovered that there are limitations on the property, such as retrospective planning laws.

    So just how does the Dutch court obtain compensation from a Spanish vendor, I wonder.

  3. Won’t work to solve the “property problem” in Spain – but will give the EU Parliament more power and ultimately cost more for member countries to pay for the EU bureacracy. For example who pays if (typically) the developer/builder declares Company bankruptcy to protect personal gains, just after project is “finished”… what Court forces those Spanish involved to pay/reimburse compensation to Holland – Spanish Courts can’t get this done now!… ad nauseum. Even Spain’s central government isn’t working hard to solve this “problem” in regional governments – just conducting “Road Shows” in the UK, etc to convince Buyers that it’s a good time to buy in Spain, prices are low, homes are secure, there is legal transparency…blah, blah.

  4. CROBECO has yet to prove that it works when things go wrong with a purchase. The concept however does sound good – what else is there that anyone can trust? It will not address the outstanding planning issues in Spain; CROBECO is not designed for that in any event.

  5. An EU funded scheme. That means you and I, the taxpayer, is to compensate for the incompetance of the alleged movers and shakers in the planning process. Not to mention the result of mayors granting planning permission without authorisation or justification or maybe under the influence of a little ‘encouragement’.

    And even IF, such a scheme brings about results, what about the Spanish victims, who heavily outweigh the foreign victims. Where do they get compensation from?.

    I can hear the Cava corks popping even now, “OK lads, happy days. As we were, and make sure we have plenty of brown envelopes in the office”.

    Whoever dreamed up this hair brained idea needs to wake up to reality.

    It reminds me of my days in UK retailing when certain chains, and some high profile ones at that, instead of tackling the malignancy of shoplifting, used to bunce up their prices to make up for the losses.

  6. Does this pilot ‘electronic’ CONVEYANCING SCHEME include such secure guarantees that it replaces the need for ‘legal advice’ which is what the purchaser actually requires? Or is it nothing more than a trick DEVICE ‘to encourage’ buyers back into Spain. In my view, it will be more interesting to see how a cross-border legal action will actually work – could that also be piloted?

  7. this scheme may well work but only at the expense of other european nations. Spain’s contribution to the compensation will be nada and they will stand to gain the most.do these people in the eu not realise that spain is full of tricksters, husters, con-men, liars, cheats,at all levels. they will relish the prospect of more money being doled out. lambs to the slaughter. please do not waste my contributions on these scoundrels. any surplus funds you have use it to jail the villians who strut around telling everyone how noble they are.

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