Building specifications, methods and results vary according to terrain, climate and cultures and those of Spain are no different. However, as Spain’s climate and culture are most certainly different from those of Northern Europe, some of the practices and materials may baffle the average expat property buyer. On the Spanish Costas, the humid and salty air associated with strong sunlight and heat, cause the less durable elements of buildings to weather quickly. Further inland, the extreme daily and seasonal temperature and humidity changes have equally serious effects. Advancements in style and materials have also been rapid, as promoters, architects and builders have taken on and sometimes led the expectations of their foreign buyers, so that property built just 20 years ago is considered to be old. However, there is also the sticking to conventions despite evidence of poor results – to use a Scottish phrase, ‘it’s aye been’, meaning the way things have always been done – that leads to many of the common problems experienced by property buyers. With so much publicity of past problems illustrating the ‘naivety’ of some buyers, newcomers to the Spanish market are becoming much more aware of the need to seek advice when considering the purchase of a property. Continue reading
Living in an apartment block has many advantages – especially if you’re not permanently resident in Spain – but you must bear in mind that any building problems that you might experience could be shared by your neighbours. Even if this is not strictly your fault it can quickly cause a deterioration in relations if swift action is not taken.
Recently, one of our clients found himself in such a situation when malfunctioning rainwater troughs led a neighbour to complain about the maintenance of their apartment. Clearly, when living in an apartment block, a problem shared can be a problem doubled. (Names have been changed to ensure confidentiality) Continue reading
RICS stands for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, an organisation of property professionals that sets, maintains and regulates standards in the property industry. This illustrious association can trace its roots in the UK all the way back to 1792, when the Surveyors Club was formed. Continue reading