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Problems found by RICS Residential Surveyors and Valuers in Spain

The Survey Spain Network has individually designed software linking 14 RICS residential chartered surveyors and valuers working all round the coastal and near inland areas of mainland Spain plus the Balearics and the Canaries plus the Portuguese Algarve and Gibraltar. All reports are reviewed by another chartered surveyor and covered by professional indemnity insurance.

Common problems found by our surveyors include

  1. Damp – mainly rising or coming through walls built against rock or earth, principally due to improper or no application of damp proofing at the time of construction.
  2. Damp – coming down from above, again due to improper or no application of damp proofing, especially around terraces.
  3. Lack of recognition of the fact that for at least 8 months the year the majority of Spain has a temperate climate with wind, rain and chill. This is especially the case in mountainous areas. Over-emphasis on dealing with the heat of summer.
  4. Lack of planning and/or other permissions and/or title registration for the initial construction and/or enlargement of the property, including encroachment on restricted areas affected by Ley de Costas.
  5. Inadequate, ineffective, illegal and/or absent electricity, water and drainage connections.
  6. Naïveté of the buyer in believing all that they are told without making simple checks and effectively without looking after themselves. ‘Misrepresentation’ and buying ‘in good faith’ are often euphemisms for buyers not accepting personal responsibility for their own imprudence.
  7. Absence of a ‘professional conscience’ by lawyers who shrug their shoulders when asked ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ and reply ‘You didn’t ask’, when it was obvious that the client didn’t know to ask. Linked to 6 above.
  8. Lack of realisation by house buyers that a mortgage is a personal loan that will have to be repaid no matter whether the house that is used as security can be sold at a price that will cover the loan. When a 100% mortgage is given by a bank over a property that the bank is selling at more than its market value, it is not a bargain but a liability for instant negative equity that is being offered.

The residential RICS chartered surveyor and valuer gives an unbiased, professional opinion of market value, neighbourhood, condition, construction and permissions. They are instructed by their client and work only for them. They have no conflicting loyalty to banks, developers, contractors, owners, estate agents, lawyers, family or town halls.