The sale or purchase of property in Spain can be particularly daunting for most foreign nationals, not only because of language and cultural differences. In general terms, the residential property sector in Spain has traditionally held a very poor reputation in terms of professionalism, transparency and customer service. So, how does a buyer know who to trust?
Marow Chartered Surveyors is a firm that is regulated by RICS (The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). The Chartered Surveyors who work for us are bound by the same RICS code of practice as in the UK or indeed, any other part of the world. We can be trusted to offer professional, ethical and impartial advice in relation to all property matters.
At Marow Chartered Surveyors we offer a range of Surveys that have been specifically designed for residential property purchases in Spain. Apart from identifying physical defects in the property, we also comment upon the location of the property and environmental issues. The reports have been developed in the knowledge that most buyers also require additional guidance relating to legal issues. In Spain, the technical inspection of a property is fundamental in identifying matters that should be addressed by your Legal Adviser. During the inspection, we take an approximate measurement of the constructed area of the property because it is very common for there to be errors or discrepancies in the legal documentation – whether in the Escritura documentation (Title Deeds) or the Catastral Registration (Land Registry) – that may not be readily identified by a lawyer.
In our experience it is generally the norm rather than the exception for older properties to have been altered or extended without amending the legal documentation. It is also common for swimming pools or extensions/outbuildings to be added to properties without obtaining the relevant permissions. Often, the physical plot boundaries may not correlate with the Land Registry documentation – particularly in rural plots. Apartments are not exempt from such issues – we have even inspected an apartment that had been extended into an adjacent building! Most lawyers, even with the best will in the world, are unlikely to identify many of these issues because they rarely visit the property. This is a fact that many buyers simply do not consider.
Our aim at Marow Chartered Surveyors is to ensure that every client is properly and fully informed prior to purchasing a property. We help them to select the appropriate survey for their needs so that they can understand exactly what they are buying, and ultimately purchase the property that they thought they were buying. We prompt our clients to ask the right questions of the owner/estate agent and/or their Legal Adviser. Generally speaking, if you want to be properly informed in Spain, you need to ask the right questions.
Our advice is simple – take the same precautions that you would take in your own country. Seek the assistance of qualified professionals to help you to ensure that your dream does not turn into a nightmare – use an RICS Chartered Surveyor to survey the property. Do not leave it to your instincts.