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Who wouldn´t want to wake up to this
Due to the crippling economic situation, particularly in Spain where unemployment stands at 25% (50% for  youth) there has been a visible return of property conmen and time share/holiday club sellers along the Costa coastline.

As you head down to the beach, obviously looking like a tourist you are being preyed upon by unscrupulous rep´s waiting to lure you in. Seduced by the sun,  sea and sangria many are tempted to buy into relaxed lifestyle. Please, DO NOT fall into the trap - I have heard so many horror stories of people signing up then unable to cancel so called contracts.

Firstly property sales....  you are offered a brand new beautiful villa at an unbelievably knocked down price . Yes there is a possibility but proceed with caution. During the property boom here the banks lent money without ever questioning the developers ability to pay back the loans. The Costa Blanca became one big building site with cranes going up everywhere - you can still see them erected but works abandoned years ago.

Many unsold brand new property developements
However,  many of the properties never had proper planning permission so do not legally exist. IF you are ever tempted make sure that you ask an Independent law firm to check all the paperwork - do not trust the estate agent or their lawyer (abogado) to do the translation. Many international firms have offices here and in the UK so my advice would be to go to one of them. They will check that the property has been registered on the land registry and has all the planning licenses required. The house may be completely finished - tiled and fitted out with brand new kitchen and bathroom, but without the correct paperwork you will not be able to live there! Would you ever buy a property back home without going to a solicitor? NO - so don´t do it here where the laws are different and you cannot understand the language.

Tempted? Make sure all paperwork is there first
The most important document is the "Cedula de Habitabilidad" - this is issued by the local Town Hall once the property has been completed. The certificate is confirmation that the property has been built correctly and in accordance with the planning permission obtained from the local Town Hall. Without this vital document you will not be able to arrange a mortgage as any bank will insist on receiving a copy before considering an application. Utility companies such as water, gas and electricity also require a valid certificate before connecting up or setting up a contract for new owners.

As far as any lawyer is concerned if there is no certificate then the property is not legally ready to sell. It can take several months to obtain and if any changes have been made without the appropriate permission then the new owners will be liable to pay the fines. In Spain the property carries the fine NOT the person.

Favorite spot for scratch card girls - Sol Pelicanos hotel
The next big growth is the "Holiday Club" sector.... STAY AWAY! There are several that operate in Benidorm. As you head down to the beach you will be stopped by usually an English speaking girl offering you a scratch card or carrying out a holiday survey. They often hang out by Ale Hop at the bottom of the Calle Ruzafa or outside the hotels. Feeling comfortable because she is a "fellow Brit and they don´t rip off their own" you take the scratch card and surprise surprise you have won! The girl will be jumping up and down with excitement telling you how lucky you are and all you need to do to claim your prize is to pop down to the office. They will go with you in a taxi and then the heartache begins .. and believe me when I say that! You will then be made to sit through a "presentation" that I have been told could last up to four hours - if you thought that the blanket trips where bad then that was child´s play. You may think that you won´t fall for it but these are pro´s... you will be seduced and eventually desperate and sign just to get away and back to the beach to enjoy the rest of your holiday.

You will be told that you can save up to 40% on your holidays by joining but this is a scam - as one unfortunate client Steve from Nottingham found out. He paid 3995GBP but then found the best discount he could find was 4% off the brochure price! After many calls and emails threatening court action and bailiffs he contacted the credit card company who won the case and refunded the money - but he is one of the lucky ones. Betsy from London also received recorded letters threatening court action and that they would approach her employers to extract the debt owed!  Many older people, especially pensioners are too embarrassed to admit to family that they have been conned and continue to pay the money to these scumbags - if you thought that peamen were bad then this lot take the biscuit!

Comments  

0 #2 Samuel 2014-10-08 23:33
I was suggested this web site by my cousin. You're amazing! Thanks!
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0 #1 Dianna 2014-10-08 19:06
This is a topic which is close to my heart...
Many thanks! Where are your contact details though?
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