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Spanish Off-Plan Property Deposits Reclaim: All our clients have been able to recoup their money directly from the banks involved. 100% success rate so far!

The good news is that we are winning all the lawsuits against Spanish banks, and as a result, all our clients have been able to recover all their money back, lost as a result of a failed building promotion. For more information please visit any of our websites www.ricorabogados.com or www.englishsolicitorsinspain.com
Thank you very much and we look forward to helping you!
Mr. Oscar Ricor
Abogado/Solicitor
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BUYING OFF-PLAN IN SPAIN: DO NOT TAKE ANY RISKS! FREQUENT PITFALLS TO BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS

Spain has a unique appeal to foreigners. With its enviable climate and year-round sunshine, coupled with the relaxed, easy going Spanish life style, makes it quite tempting. You might have probably read on the news that Spain’s property market is in good shape and it continues to recover fast, amidst continuous amelioration in economic conditions. In fact, all indicators confirm that the trend will continue throughout 2018, especially off-the-plan properties. However, if you have the intention of acquiring a property in Spain, you need to know all that is necessary, so that your dream do not turn into a nightmare.

First of all, urban law is very confusing and unfair to the buyers. It is confusing because there is a maze of complex legislation, - not only national legislation (that covers the whole of Spain), - but each autonomous region and town halls have their own legislation as well.

Likewise, it is unfair and harsh, because when faced with an infringement, (which many foreign buyers have fallen victim to), government authorities will hold the buyers/owners who bought in good faith accountable for the infringements, fines and/or demolitions, without considering that the buyers are the real victims, and the ones actually being defrauded by an unscrupulous agent or builder.

In the second place, Spain’s criminal law does not protect those who are victims of it, and the fines/penalties against the real offenders (the developers) are very lenient. To seek for compensation might involve protracted litigation, sometimes with little chance of success for example if the developer might go into liquidation.
This factor clearly acts as an incentive for corrupt and unscrupulous agents and developers to continue with their illegal activities and defraud innocent foreign buyers with almost total impunity.

Taking the above into consideration, remember that it is always better being safe than sorry and know exactly what to look for in order to avoid making critical mistakes in the first place, that might turn your dream of living in Spain into a real nightmare. Remember that time is in your side. Therefore, please find below some useful advice and recommendations:

First. - Check the ownership and any charges, encumbrances or liens registered on the “land registry certificate” of the property as well as planning permission.

Searches will determine whether there might be any hidden charges or encumbrances over the title of the property that might need to be addressed prior to signing any purchase contract. All the property searches and investigations must be thoroughly performed to identify potential legal property issues, before any deposit is paid in advance to the Developer or agent.

Second. - Verify that the purchase agreement is 100% legal and it doesn’t contain abusive clauses.

Many unscrupulous Builders might try to mislead you into signing a purchase contract containing abusive clauses. Do not fall into the trap! The contract must include a comprehensive description of the property, land registry details, vendor’s details, plans of the property as well as an accurate outline description of the materials, fixtures and fittings, etc.

More examples of abusive clauses are charging the buyer for builder’s electricity & water supply or forcing the buyer to pay for a multitude of extra charges including damage repair, finishing incomplete work, etc

On the other hand, time is of the essence when buying off-plan. Consequently, the contract must state a clear and specific completion’s date, and never a generic or vague one. This must always be considered as an essential term or condition of the purchase contract, in case the Builder might fail to deliver the dwelling in the stipulated deadline.

Third. - Keep a careful record of all advanced stage payments, and verify that all the money paid to the Developer is allocated in a special bank account, which is mandatory in accordance to the Act 57/68.

Fourth. - Request for ORIGINAL BANK GUARANTEE CERTIFICATES on all the deposits paid, including the initial reservation deposit as well.

A bank guarantee is truly a document of crucial relevance for off-plan purchasers, (they are not however applicable to resale or self-Built Properties). Its basic aim is to secure the stage payments in off-plan properties, should the developer for example, fail to complete the development on time, or might file for bankruptcy, etc.

We cannot sufficiently emphasize the importance of attaining a bank guarantee by all off-plan purchasers. In fact, our Firm has managed to successfully recover for many clients, their deposits in full plus legal interests, thanks to the fact that the bank issued bank guarantees to each single individual buyer, securing the full amount of deposits paid to the developers. Consequently, do never accept a “generic collective bank guarantee document”, because at the event of dispute, it will be much more difficult to claim the money back from the bank.

Likewise, bank guarantees should only be issued by a Spanish bank, or alternatively by a Spanish insurance company fully registered and regulated under the Spanish law. Be extremely careful with this requirement, because we have recently detected a real case of a new luxury off-plan development in Alicante, where a well-known developer is currently issuing guarantee’s documents issued by an unregulated Canadian company. This is extremely hazardous, because if at the worst scenario, the developer might default, it will be highly unlikely for the off-plan purchasers to get their money back, from a dubious scam investment scheme or “fly-by-night" operation.
Also, the bank guarantees will be valid until the town hall grants the dwelling the License of First Occupation. This is explained more fully in the next paragraph.

Finally. - Handing over of the property without being completed, or with faults that affect habitability of the house or the whole urbanization is extremely risky. Subsequently, do NOT sign the title Deed at the Notary, until the Developer gives you the 10-year Building Guarantee as well as the License of First occupation.

Some developers might exert pressure on you by compelling you to sign the title deed upon reception of the Certificate of End of Construction (CEC) instead of the License of First Occupation. (LFO). Beware of this illegal practice, as it might have dire consequences for you in the future. (Impossibility to hire the utility bills, planning permission’s infractions, pending unpaid urbanization charges, etc, etc). Bear in mind that the CEC, is just a private certificate produced by the own architect’s developer, which does not imply that the development might be deemed as legal. Remember, only the LFO does, because it is always issued “officially” by the local town hall’s Planning Department.

Moreover, carefully review before completion the book of the building, that must include an accurate description of the property’s code regulations concerning noise; humidity/dampness; thermal insulation, handicap access and for elderly people, etc…

In short, buying off-plan property in Spain, has undoubtedly significant advantages (i.e., important discounts or premiums compared to a key-ready resale dwelling), but it also involves potential risks. We keep noticing that many foreign buyers blindly keep paying up front deposits to dubious agents and developers, but without double checking very carefully the legal situation of the property in advance, and without signing a proper and well-written purchase agreement.

Beware of this perilous practice and remember that without proper and independent legal representation at the onset to negotiate your rights as a buyer, you could fall short of securing critical terms and agreements on the title deeds and contracts, such as the ones described before. Always avoid “low cost” Solicitors or the use of solicitors that are on the developer’s payroll, as they will protect the vendor’s rights, not yours.
When buying off-plan (or resale property) in Spain, it is absolutely crucial to put your trust only in an independent Solicitor, - like our Firm, - fully conversant on all aspects of the property conveyancing’s process.

“Ricor Solicitors” has a strong legal team with proven extensive experience in all areas of law. We run an independent and cost-effective Law Firm helping clients across a range of legal services in Spain, and we continually provide complete and “home-made” tailored solutions to individuals and businesses alike.

Our high rate of success is subsequently explained by the fact that after conducting a background legal investigation about the property, we always prepare for all our clients a written comprehensive LEGAL REPORT, (please see below a real sample pg Nº1 out of 7), which would contain accurate legal information about the legal situation of the dwelling. Our Legal Reports offer independent, clear and accurate advice, and we ensure that relevant searches are rigorously carried out at the local town hall and land registry, tracking all property records and investigating any possible local urbanization plans affecting the property. In short, our Reports will confirm whether the property might be subject to any current or known future urbanization plans or licenses issued by government, or affected by any land grab problem, hidden charges or encumbrances. In fact, our fully comprehensive legal reports have fortunately saved many of our clients from being the victims of frauds and as a result, our clients have been able to save thousands of euros in protracted litigation.

If you kindly check our testimonials section of our website www.englishsolicitorinspain.com, you will find plenty of testimonials form real clients who put their trust in our Firm, and they are now all extremely grateful to our Firm for the excellent work and protection offered, which fills us with a lot of professional pride.

In conclusion, we would like-if we may- to stress the point that buying a property in Spain is a serious matter. Considering how much is at stake (most of the life savings of many private investors) and the huge number of swindles and frauds committed by unreliable builders and agents in Spain over the past few years, do not be rushed into paying a deposit up front, just because the agent or developer is exerting a huge pressure on you. Bear in mind that when purchasing a property in Spain, you are granted with inalienable rights that cannot be waived by the vendor party in any circumstance.

Thank you very much again for your attention and we look forward to giving you a personalized service and the benefit of a high quality and cost-effective advice.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Oscar Ricor Morales.
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor
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Another great success achieved by “Ricor Solicitors&Abogados”



Two landmark Court’s judgments rendered by the Alicante and Murcia Courts against two well-known Spanish banks:

We have managed to recover all our clients’ money directly from the banks involved!


Dear Readers, clients and friends, 


A few months ago, we posted an article, with regards to the landmark Supreme Court’s decision that forced Spanish banks to return millions of Euros to EU consumers.

The good news is that we have recently won another two important cases against two different Spanish banks, and as a result, our very good English clients, at last been able to recover all their money back, lost as a result of a failed building promotion. (for your information, the criminal builders disappeared with our client’s money and also with their hopes).

In a nutshell, both Judgments confirm that the bank was negligent because it failed to grant individual bank guarantee policies to the buyers and as a consequence, they have been forced to pay our clients now, a significant amount of money. (in capital, legal interests plus costs). 
Please find below the testimonials received by our grateful clients:


“I have used the services of Snr. Oscar Ricor Morales at Ricor Solicitors in Spain over the past eight years and have received a five-star service through the complexities of Spanish Law regarding getting a reimbursement of my deposit on a Spanish property made in 2003.This involved many court visits and a complete understanding of Spanish Law of which he holds greatly. I thoroughly recommend this firm and cannot speak highly enough of them.”


“Dear Oscar.
Thank you for your swift Email and may I add it was our pleasure to meet you and your assistant, also I can only commend the way you both looked after us it was a great comfort that you were both there to hold our hands through the complicated procedure, as I said to you both” V and myself just don’t know how to thank you enough. “Once again, many thanks sending you our kind regards, V and D”.


Therefore, if your developer or builder went bankrupt stealing your money and leaving your dwelling unfinished, we hope you will find the following information useful:

In a landmark Judgment of December 21st 2015, (STS 5263/2015), the Supreme Court delivers a new blow to the Spanish banking system. Spanish banks will be forced to return millions of Euros to EU consumers buried in failed building promotions.
The Spanish Supreme Court, - taking as a reference point the important 57/1968 Act, - has set a new legal precedent, by ordering banks to refund all the deposits paid in advance by Buyers to developers, in order to buy off-plan properties in Spain that were never built. 

Until now, the usual procedure available for the victim in order to claim the deposit back, was to sue the developer or Builder. However, in practice, the majority of Spanish Builders went into liquidation or filed for bankruptcy, which made an almost impossible task for the innocent buyers to recover any money back.

However, the Supreme Court’s decision judgment gives now a new hope to those thousands of off-plan property buyers who have failed to get their money back from the Builder. The “ratio decidendi” of the landmark Supreme Court’s Judgment can be summarized as follows:

Regarding Off-plan properties governed by the Act 57/1968, Banks that might accept any income deposits paid by buyers into the Developer’s account, - but without requiring for the establishment of a special separate account and the corresponding bank guarantee, - will be now liable to reimburse to the buyers, the full amount of the off-plan deposits received.

In other words, the Court’s decision affirms that Off-plan deposits should be guaranteed in any event and regardless of private conventions agreed between developer and bank. Likewise, the ruling confirms that it is abusive and contrary to the Act 57/68, to make conditional the validity of a “collective guarantee” granted to the builder, to the issuing of a specific individual bank guarantee certificate given to the Buyer. Otherwise, the bank could easily deny liability at the event of payment’s default by the negligent builder.

In other words, Off-plan property buyers are bestowed with an “inalienable right” to have their off-plan deposit underwritten, and this right that cannot be waived by banks that failed to grant individual bank guarantee policies to buyers, under the pretense of having issued a collective insurance cover. 

“Ricor Abogados&Solicitors” has a strong legal team with proven extensive experience in all areas of law. We run a totally independent and honest Law Firm, helping clients across a range of legal services in Spain, from corporate and individual civil&criminal litigation, and we are proficient in conducting successful civil claims against developers and banks. Our high rate of success is subsequently explained by the fact that we continually provide complete and “home-made” tailored solutions both to individuals and businesses alike.

Therefore, should you be affected by such serious problem, don’t delay, as time is of the essence. Please contact us and we will be most delighted to help you.
If you kindly check our testimonials section of our website www.ricorabogados.com you will find plenty of testimonials form real clients who put their trust in our Firm. 
All our clients are very grateful to our Firm for the excellent work and protection offered, which fills us with a lot of professional satisfaction and pride

Thank you very much again for your attention and should you be affected by this serious problem (or by any other legal need or problem in Spain), please do not hesitate to contact our Firm and we will be delighted to help you.

We look forward to giving you a personalized service and the benefit of a high quality and cost-effective advice.


Yours sincerely,

Mr. Oscar Ricor Morales.
 
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor under the "Colegio de Abogados de Orihuela".




Please note the information provided in this article is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional individual legal advice. Likewise, due to confidential protection, the personal identification details of the clients and the court have been deleted. However, the court’s decisions are totally genuine and real, and we can provide further details privately to anyone who might be interested.

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Another Successful outcome and very happy client Saved from serving between 2 and 5 Years Prison Sentence

We are so happy to inform all our readers, clients and friends that after a fierce legal battle, we have managed to save our client from serving between 2 to 5 years prison. Our client was unfairly charged with a very serious offence. The Court considered that there was absolutely no chance or material to make the accused liable for criminal misappropriation. As a result, our client has been declared NON-GUILTY and acquitted of all charges.
Please find below the testimonial received by our grateful client. We wish to clarify that this is NOT an advert and both the testimonial and the Court’s decision are REAL:

“Dear Mr Ricor,
I am writing to thank you for you unfailing support and effort in my recent court case. Despite periods when I was unsure of the outcome you were always positive and supportive.
Your confidence was inspiring and I thank you sincerely, you saved the day for me, and won the case, thank you thank you thank you. I can now move forward and may I add that you will always be on the very top of my recommended list should I ever meet anyone requiring the help of a professional solicitor.
My very best regards
S.M”

“Ricor Abogados&Solicitors” has a strong legal team with proven extensive experience in all areas of law. We run an independent and cost-effective Law Firm helping clients across a range of legal services in Spain, from corporate and individual civil&criminal litigation, and we are proficient in conducting successful civil claims against developers and banks. Our high rate of success is subsequently explained by the fact that we continually provide complete and “home-made” tailored solutions to individuals and businesses alike.
If you kindly check our testimonials section of our website www.ricorabogados.com you will find plenty of testimonials form real clients who put their trust in our Firm. 
All our clients are very grateful to our Firm for the excellent work and protection offered, which fills us with a lot of professional satisfaction and pride.

Thank you very much again for your attention and should you be affected by this serious problem (or by any other legal need or problem in Spain), please do not hesitate to contact our Firm and we will be delighted to help you. We look forward to giving you a personalized service and the benefit of a high quality and cost-effective advice. Yours sincerely,

Mr. Oscar Ricor Morales. 
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor under the "Colegio de Abogados de Orihuela".
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GOOD NEWS! UPDATE: New law to settle mortgage floor disputes has recently been passed by the Spanish Government

Dear readers, clients and friends,

We hope you are all well. A few months ago, we posted an article on Facebook and several other social networks, regarding the abusive FLOOR CLAUSE and how Banks have been forced to repay to their clients all earnings charged in excess from “abusive” mortgages. On May 9, 2013, the Supreme Court analyzed in its ruling No. 241/2013, (in the context of a class action brought by a consumer association against several banks), the abusive character of the floor clause, declaring it null and void. However, the declaration of nullity would not affect those cases already decided by the Courts before 9 May 2013. In other words, the Supreme Court (wrongly) declared the non-retroactivity of its decision, because it would basically cause a “serious disruption to the public economic order” (in other words it was a ruling made to protect the Spanish banking sector). This erratic interpretation of the EU Law was further confirmed by another Supreme Court’s judgment of March 25, 2015.

In a nutshell, what the Supreme Court said in their two mentioned obscure Judgments was that in those cases where the existence of a floor clause had been confirmed by the Court, the Banks would be obliged to refund any interest charged in excess ONLY FROM 9 May 2013, but not retroactively to the year in which the banks began to apply floor clauses.

Luckily, a number of Spanish courts challenged before the Court of Justice of the European Union again the interpretation of the EU law made by the Supreme Court, and finally, on 21 December 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union has recently handed down a landmark ruling (Cases C-154/15, C-307/15 and C-308/15), confirming that the Spanish Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to limit refunds to the period from May 2013 on, “failed to provide complete protection” to consumers” and subsequently, The ECJ has ordered Spain’s banks to repay all earnings from “abusive” mortgages from the year in which the banks began to apply those illegal floor clauses.

As a consequence of this recent ECJ DECISION, last 20th January 2017, the Spanish Government has finally approved a Royal Decree 1/2017, basically giving banks three months to reach agreements with customers who were offered mortgages with an abusive floor interest rate clause. As a result, the Royal Decree 1/2017 has approved several measures aimed at reaching possible out of court settlements, thereby preventing thousands of new litigants from reaching the already overloaded courts.

Subsequently, once the bank has received a letter before claim from the client’s Solicitor, it will have three months to make an offer. If an agreement is not reached within this deadline, the negotiation process will be understood to have concluded, and the client will be then able to sue the bank in Court.
However, according to the provisions of the Royal Decree-Law 1/2017, if the customer might reject the offer made by the bank and later on, he might decide to sue the bank, costs will be imposed on the bank, only if the compensation finally granted by the Court might be higher than the initial offer received from the bank.

Therefore, as litigators Solicitors, we are always mindful of alternative ways of settling disputes if possible, as it will be in our client’s best interests to pursue a satisfactory out of court settlement without litigation if possible. However, if despite all efforts, legal proceedings might have to be finally issued as a step of last resort, (if for instance the bank is intransigently opposed, we would continue to bear in mind the benefits of reaching a satisfactory out of court settlement before trial).
Our honest opinion is that the new law is very lenient with the banks. We believe that stronger penalties should be imposed on those banks that might intransigently be opposed to reach settlements. ( i.e double costs).

On the other hand, in addition to the Floor clause, we would like- if we may- to take this opportunity to inform you that the Supreme Court in its Ruling 705/2015 (dated 23th December 2015) has also declared abusive those clauses which impose on the borrower the payment of all fees, taxes and commissions associated with the mortgage loan.
Subsequently, if you are currently paying a mortgage in Spain or even if you have already paid it off up to four years ago, you may be entitled to claim, among others, a refund of the following concepts related to the Mortgage (not to the purchase of the property):

NOTARY AND LAND REGISTRY FEES, PROPERTY VALUATION COSTS, ABUSIVE COMMISSIONS, AS WELL AS THE STAMP DUTY TAX. (In total, perhaps around 2.500 Euros or more). However, bear in mind that time is of the essence, as the limitation period on order to claim these costs will expire on December 24th 2019.

In conclusion, remember if you have a mortgage and you have the suspicion that you might have serious abusive clauses in your mortgage contract, please follow the following instructions:

The first step would be to send us by e-mail your mortgage Deed as well as your latest mortgage’s monthly receipt, which will show the amount of pending capital as well as the current interest rate applied to your mortgage.

The best way to illustrate this is by giving you an example. Please see the attached photograph of a real receipt issued on-line by the bank. (Due to confidential reasons, we have obviously removed the bank’s name and our client’s personal details). However, you can clearly see highlighted in yellow, how our client has been charged last month with an outrageously high interest rate of 4,25%. Considering that the Euribor now is -0,070 %, the impact of this abusive floor clause in our client’s case is VERY SIGNIFICANT. The other attached document is an extract of a real mortgage Deed, containing a very abusive ceiling-floor clause.

In the second place, should you be affected by any of these above mentioned abusive clauses in your mortgage, - as a prior step, - we always recommend entering into correspondence or friendly negotiation with the bank. The negotiation process will aim to reach a satisfactory out of court settlement, saving the time and costs involved in protracted litigation. However, it is important that you DO NOT ACCEPT ANY PRESSURE FROM THE BANK. All banks are losing the court cases, so it is in their best interest to reach an amicable agreement with you, offering the best possible financial terms and conditions. Likewise, remember NEVER TO NEGOTIATE WITH OUR BANK ON YOUR OWN AND DO NOT SIGN ANY AGREEMENT, unless an independent qualified Solicitor-like our Firm-has already verified very carefully the content as well as the legal and financial implications of the proposed agreement in the long term.

In conclusion, there is very little that is "standard" in these kinds of mortgage contracts and agreements signed with banks, making it especially important that you know exactly what you're agreeing to. That’s why, in matters of such complexity and importance where a lot of money is at stake, it is vital that you seek the right professional, - only a qualified registered Lawyer, - in order to give you the most adequate professional advice.

“Ricor Abogados&Solicitors” has a strong legal team with proven extensive experience in all areas of law. We run an independent and cost effective Law Firm helping hundreds of clients across a range of legal services in Spain, from corporate and individual civil and criminal litigation, and we are proficient in dealing with banks with regards to the removal of abusive clauses from mortgage contracts. 

Our high rate of success is subsequently explained by the fact that we continually provide complete and “home-made” tailored solutions to individuals and businesses alike. If you kindly check our testimonials section of our website www.ricorabogados.com, you will find plenty of testimonials from real clients who put their trust in our Firm and they are all now all extremely grateful to our Firm for the excellent work and legal protection offered, which fills us with a lot of professional pride.

Therefore, should be interested in receiving specific advice regarding this matter (or any other legal issue), please do not hesitate to send us an e-mail to: ricorsolicitors@yahoo.co.uk, and we will be most delighted to be of assistance to you. Alternatively, you can also know more about our services by logging to our website www.ricorabogados.com.
Thank you very much again for your attention and we look forward to giving you a personalized service and the benefit of a high quality and cost effective advice.
Kindest regards

Mr. Oscar Ricor Morales
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor.
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Our best wishes for a prosperous New Year 2017! NEW TESTIMONIALS RECEIVED BY CLIENTS

Dear friends, clients and readers,

As the Holiday Season is upon us, and after a very busy year helping clients, I must say that one of the true privileges of working as a Solicitor, is to receive testimonials like the ones below, which fills me with a lot of professional pride and sincere gratitude. Subsequently, I would like-if we may- to take this opportunity once more to thank you and wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season and the very best for the new year. We sincerely look forward to keep helping you in the years to come. Warmest regards to all.

Mr. Oscar Ricor Morales.

“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor under the "Colegio de Abogados de Orihuela".

_____________________________________________________

Real testimonials received from three very good clients:

Testimonial 1:
"Thank you for explaining so eloquently and precise the process of purchasing Villa in Pilar de la Horadada, I really appreciated you protecting John and myself. I felt very happy that you have our interests at heart. I will most certainly recommend both yourself in the future, as I have some friends whom are looking to purchase a property in Spain. Once again thank you. Mary C. and John F.".- (SEE PHOTOGRAPH BELOW)

Testimonial 2:
" I recently consulted Oscar Ricor regarding a lease to purchase contract I needed on a property in Murcia. I found his service to be knowledgeable, efficient and good value for money. He enabled the whole process to be carried out smoothly and within a tight timeframe and was readily available to offer advice and reassurance when necessary. I would certainly recommend Oscar Ricor to friends and other ex-pats as it was refreshing to find a solicitor with such a client cantered approach. I am certainly one very satisfied customer! David B".

Testimonial 3:
“I have complete confidence in Oscar Ricor, who has now helped me to buy two properties in Orihuela Costa, Spain. The transactions have proceeded smoothly due to Oscar's diligence and professionalism. The fact that he is fluent in English and holds an English legal qualification, alongside his Spanish ones, together with his extensive experience has given me 'peace of mind' throughout. Oscar has also assisted us to obtain our N.I.E. numbers, advised us with preparing our Spanish wills and submitting our annual tax declarations. Furthermore, he is able to offer very competitive insurance quotes. I therefore have no hesitation in recommending his services to everyone. Susan J. Chichester, UK. (SEE PHOTOGRAPH BELOW).
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Case lab of the week; Problems with the Community of owners
Real consultation just received by a very good client;

“Dear Oscar;
The owner’s community has decided during the last AGM, to install an elevator in the building. Am I legally obliged to contribute to the installation’s cost, even though I am just the owner of a local for business and not the owner of any dwelling?”

Our response: YES, as the owner of a local for business located in a building of 10 apartments, you would be obliged to contribute to the payment in accordance to your ownership’s share. 
The Spanish Horizontal Property Law is very specific in its articles 10 and 11 and it can oblige community of owners to take (and to pay) for all the necessary Works required to make the common areas “accessible”, like lifts or other electromechanical devices, like wheelchairs lifts. Likewise, the maintenance and upgrade of these new installations will be subjected to the same rules that any other common area facility.
This view is reinforced by recent jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, which widens or extends the meaning of habitability and subsequently it widens the scope and application of the “Law 51/2003, of 2 December, on Equal Opportunities, Non-discrimination and Universal Accessibility for People with Disabilities” as well as articles 9.2, 10,14 and 49 of the Spanish Constitution    
Finally, we hope you find this information useful and remember, should you ever need a reliable, 100% independent, honest, cost effective and efficient English speaking Spanish solicitor, to help you with your property conveyance matters, (or with any other legal dispute problem), make sure you bookmark this page, visit our websites: www.ricorabogados.com and www.englishsolicitorinspain.com
or alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail at ricorsolicitors@yahoo.co.uk
Also, please don’t forget to also “like” the Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/ricorabogados
Remember that you can also follow us in Linkdin or by visiting our google business page:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/101699650134478147323/101699650134478147323/posts

Thank you very much for your kind attention and we look forward to helping you!
Mr Oscar Ricor
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor Nº1247
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THE EU COURT OF JUSTICE DECLARES ILLEGAL “THE SPANISH INHERITANCE AND GIFT DONATION TAX”

In Spain, the “Inheritance and gift tax” is a state tax applicable throughout the national territory (except in the Basque Country and Navarra who have their own completely different tax system), but is transferred to the several autonomous communities, (i.e, Murcia region, Valencian Community, etc), which can approve their own rules in order to supplement or replace the basic rules laid down by the central Government. 
However, this chaotic situation of delegated regional legislation, has in practice led to very high differences in treatment between expats and non residents depending on the specific location of the property or assets.
In simple words, the current Spanish law IS DISCRIMINATORY because it establishes unjustified differences in treatment between residents and non-residents in the 17 different autonomous communities of Spain.
Fortunately, the good news is that this situation is about to chance as the European Court of Justice (ECJ), has determined in a recent landmark ruling (C127/12), that the Spanish Succession and Donation tax fails to comply with the European rules, by not permitting non-residents to benefit from the tax advantages and deductions offered by regional administrations to resident and Spanish citizens. Moreover, the ECJ ruling declares that the design of the Spanish tribute is a blatant restriction on the free movement of capital within the EU territory, which is one of the fundamental principles of the European Union market, infringing the Treaty of Operation of the European Union.
According to the EU Commission, discrimination occurs when the deceased or donor, the heir or donee are not resident in Spanish territory and particularly in the case of donations, where the property being transferred is located abroad, regardless of the place of residence of the taxpayer. 
The EU Court states that it is contrary to the free movement of capital, because it discourages non-residents from making or holding investments in any EU country.
To be accepted, any possible difference in treatment must be justified by overriding reasons of general public interest. In the Spanish case, the ECJ considers that there is no difference whatsoever between the “objective” situation of a resident and a nonresident that may justify a different tax treatment. Subsequently, as indicated before, any difference in treatment concerning tax reductions will simply lead to discrimination and as a result it will be forbidden. 
In conclusion, This ECJ decision will force Spain to implement a "new state regulation". Likewise, it implies a perfect argument for those non resident people who might have paid excessive taxes on inheritance or donations, to bring legal action against the Government aimed to claim back the refund of those taxes paid in excess.
Therefore, should you ever need a reliable, 100% independent, honest, cost effective and efficient English speaking Spanish solicitor, to help you with your inheritance taxation matters, (or with any other legal problem), make sure you bookmark this page, visit our websites: www.ricorabogados.com and www.englishsolicitorinspain.com
or alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail at ricorsolicitors@yahoo.co.uk
Also, please don’t forget to also “like” the Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/ricorabogados
Remember that you can also follow us in Linkdin or by visiting our google business page:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/101699650134478147323/101699650134478147323/posts
Thank you very much for your kind attention and we look forward to helping you!
Mr Oscar Ricor
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor Nº1247
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Spanish Valencian regional Government closing in on undeclared illegal buildings: 

A significant number of Expats and even Spanish people are probably still unaware that last 20th August 2014, a new Law DOGV 5/2014 of July 25, of Planning, Urbanism and Landscape was implemented and published almost inadvertedly during the August break, by the Valencian Community.

This new Act has a direct impact on homeowners of illegal dwellings built on less than 10.000 M2 on rustic land, as well as on homeowners who made housing extensions to their properties that were never legalized. (i.e, swimming pools, garages, all kind of new buildings, etc)

In short, what you need to remember is that the new Act has dramatically changed for the worst the original deadlines related to the legalization of illegal buildings. 

For example, before the act, it existed a reasonable deadline of 4 years, which implied that homeowners were able to legalize their properties by submitting a “certificate of old age or certificado de antigüedad in Spanish”, issued by a regulated architect. Obviously, the payment of legalization’s licences would still be compulsory required, but at least the building work could become legal.

However, Article 236 of the new Act implements a new deadline of 15 years, which in practice means that the owner of a dwelling that might have been substantially enlarged without having planning permission, will have to wait now for a new period of 15 years in order to be able to legalize it!
Bear in mind that the 15 years will start counting from the date the illegal property was built and not from the 20th August 2014 (the Act implementation’s date).
In short, we do not personally believe that this new Act is going to improve in any way, the legal rights of expats homeowners when dealing with the local Authorities. On the contrary, it looks like the new Act has been specifically designed to grant a great length of time to the Regional and Local Government as to investigate possible infractions on planning permissions that took place many years ago. 
In fact, the real goal of this Act is not to facilitate an increase in the legal certainty, transparency and involvement from homeowners in the planning process, etc, but most likely is going to create more confusion on homeowners and foreign investors, who are at the mercy of these kind of outrageous, chaotic and frequently contradictory regional legislation, depending basically on the specific region of Spain, where the property is located. Moreover, this new Act will now make easier for these local and regional entities (which by the way are at the brink of bankruptcy), to collect money by imposing much more heavy fines on you. After so many years of widespread abuses and corruption from unscrupulous builders and local authorities, is this the correct path to restore public confidence especially on foreign investors willing to retire and live peacefully in Spain? I do not think so.

Therefore, should you ever need a reliable, 100% independent, honest, cost effective and efficient English speaking Spanish solicitor, to help you with your legalization matters, (or with any other problem), make sure you bookmark this page, visit our websites: www.ricorabogados.com and www.englishsolicitorinspain.com 

or alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail at ricorsolicitors@yahoo.co.uk

Also, please don’t forget to also “like” the Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/ricorabogados

Remember that you can also follow us in Linkdin or by visiting our google business page: 

https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/101699650134478147323/101699650134478147323/posts

Thank you very much for your kind attention and we look forward to helping you!

Mr Oscar Ricor
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor Nº1247
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LAWYERS AND TAX CONSULTANTS
AVOCATS ET FISCALISTES
RECHTSANWÄLTE UND STEUERBERATER

Ricor Abogados&Solicitors: Your best Lawyer’s choice in Spain.

First, we speak your language, we understand your needs and we will always fight for your interests. 
Second, we believe it is by providing added value that we have distinguished ourselves from the rest of the market. 
Third, we believe that “home-made” legal services, must always be provided with client care at the forefront and subsequently our long-term relationships with our clients and friends are crucial to our success.

Therefore, should you ever need a reliable, 100% independent, honest, cost effective and efficient English speaking Spanish solicitor, make sure you bookmark this page, visit our websites:
www.ricorabogados.com and www.englishsolicitorinspain.com 
or alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail at ricorsolicitors@yahoo.co.uk


Also, please don’t forget to also “like” the Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/ricorabogados

You can also follow us in Linkdin or by visiting our google business page: 

https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/101699650134478147323/101699650134478147323/posts

Thank you very much for your kind attention and we look forward to helping you!

 Mr Oscar Ricor
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA)
SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor Nº1247

REAL TESTIMONIAL FROM A VERY LOYAL CLIENT AND CLOSE FRIEND: “you are the best solicitor in spain would recommend you to every one x”. R. Nolan
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