Friday, January 30, 2015

A naughty Landlord in Sotogrande. Renters be careful

Looking for a rental villa in Sotogrande Interestingly I have now come across two people who have rented off the same Spanish Landlord in Sotogrande who has played the same awful game twice now.Whilst for obvious reasons I cannot give you exact information I know there are lessons to be learnt from this story.
The trick he plays is to initially demand a large deposit. In the first instance 4 months deposit was paid over. The owner hides the problems of the property which is riddled with damp. The tenants move in realizes the walls are ringing wet and they soon turn moldy. This Landlord rarely deals with anything in writing very friendly and prefers verbal arrangements. Within 8 months the tenants hit winter weather and the problems of damp get worst. Various remedies are tried and then the walls cleaned and repainted within 2 months mold is back in the bedrooms. Tenants complain as they do not want to renew tenancy. The Landlord offers a rent reduction for the inconvenience which the tenant unwittingly accepts whilst continuing to complain beyond the expiry date of the fixed term.
The tenant being nice people say they cannot stay any longer and give 3 months notice feeling that a long notice would be generous of them. However the Landlord then demands tenant to leave within 3 weeks telling them he will get major money for summer lets. Tenants being nice people move heaven and earth to be out within the three weeks. They wash down moldy walls they clean the house top to bottom polishing floors and even a fresh coat of pain to many rooms. They video the house as they close the door behind them to go to their next home.
Three months later the Landlord finally announces he will not return the 16k deposit as they left the place in a mess and creates a fictitious list of damages and cleaning. He also tells them that he agreed with them a new 12 month term as from the date the rent was reduced and they must now pay him 18.000,00 euros to the end of the contract this is in addition to keeping the deposit.He denies asking them to leave immediately.
The tenant soon receives a denuncio {court order} to pay a further 18.000,00 in rent. The tenant cannot believe it and spends 10.000,00 euros to defend and counter claim in the San Roque Court. The first shock for the tenant is that they were told in Court photo or video evidence is not accepted by the Court unless a notary was present when film was taken. Second shock for tenant was that he finds out that by accepting a reduced rent to stay on the Court decided a new fixed term had been negotiated. You will recall the Landlord had verbally told him he could stay on a month to month basis during which time the builders would be curing the damp.
The tenant made the mistake of not confirming everything in writing and insisting the owner responded to written requests or arrangements. The awful thing is that I have found out that the same Landlord has played virtually the same game with the next tenants. Beware of this Landlord from Madrid and incredibly the same agency who put the tenants in is still offering the property knowing the history Article by Francis Payne of Tailor Made estate agency

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