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This blog post is the second of a two-part series dealing on possession. First part is: Possession: why you should never hand over your house keys BEFORE completion – 21st August 2020.
By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer - Abogado
1st of September 2020
Congratulations, you finally bought a house in Spain and you are all giddy at the thought! It is an exciting moment for a buyer. However, some devious sellers take advantage of a buyer’s good faith at this moment of weakness requesting to remain in the property post-completion only “for a few days” until they sort out some matters.
If you are buying property in Spain, you should never allow a seller to remain in the property after you complete at a Notary - ever.
The excuses given are all assorted (preferably tear-shedding ones that build rapport appealing to lofty values, which always work best on gentle souls):
The fact is that some shrewd cookies, after selling a property, have no intention whatsoever of leaving the property they have just sold you. And why would they? It is all advantages for them to (over) stay in it:
Some vendors abuse their position, and besides cashing in on the property, they get a free pass on a free rental, all scot-free.
Buyers naively think they can just waltz in and change the locks to the property or shut off the utilities. Well, they are in for a rude awakening on how law works in Spain. The vendor can file a police report (denuncia) and the naïve buyer can be remanded into custody for illegal trespassing and or coercion. This is because the vendor only handed over the title to the property, NOT the possession.
If a buyer wants to vacate an abusive vendor, he will be forced to hire a litigation lawyer and go through a full-blown eviction procedure at his own cost. These, on average, are taking 6 to 9 months in Spain. So, for the next 6 to 9 months the vendor avails himself with free rental and his lifestyle continues just the same as it was (well, with a few extra zeros in the bank and without having to pay any bills or taxes). Not bad, eh? Win-win.
Bottom line, don’t be a muppet, never allow a vendor to stay in a property post-completion, ever. Always demand possession on completing before a Notary Public. No house keys, no completion, period.
It all boils down to possession.
Pro-tip: NEVER allow a seller to remain in a property after you sign the Title deed at a Notary Public. Ever. You must always DEMAND the house keys and full possession at the time of completion before a notary. Settle for nothing less.
“Possession is nine-tenths of the law.” Scottish expression.
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Article originally published at IDEALISTA: Possession: why you should never allow a seller to remain in a property post-completion
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 legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.
2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.