25 August 2013

€12,000 nightmare to reconnect electricity to a repossessed property


HANDS UP if you did not have an electrical survey done before purchasing a property in Spain. Both hands up if your estate agent said “they don’t do surveys in Spain”. Now let’s do the largest ever Mexican Wave seen across the Costa Blanca.

It’s not surprising to find that people are bypassing surveys in the current economic climate in a bid to save money. Some estate agents even discourage the practice fearing surveys may reveal problems that will cause potential buyers to withdraw from sales. 

Here is a tale about what can happen when a small saving results in a nightmare and you ask yourself “was it really worth it?” I received this email asking for some much needed advice for a repossessed property on an urbanisation somewhere in the Valencian region:

“We purchased a repossessed property in January and told we would have to apply to Iberdrola for an electricity supply because the electric meter had been removed. The previous occupants vacated the property some 18 months ago.”

“We contacted a builder who said he would arrange for boletins to get the electric and water put back on for us. The water was no problem. However, it transpires that the builder’s electrician was informed by Iberdrola that we could not be reconnected because to do so would take them over capacity. This is despite being told by the neighbour that there had been a supply to the property previously for several years. Every other property around us has electricity.” 

“The electrician continued negotiating with Iberdrola who have now said they can connect us if the electricity supply comes from "the other side of the property." They want us to pay €12,000 for a 9 metre galvanised pole to be put up and for wiring to be re-routed.”

“Our builder explained that Iberdrola has given our electricity supply away and now they want us to pay for a new supply. We are gutted and came with a very tight budget. We don't seem to be getting anywhere. We have had nothing official from Iberdrola yet.”

A survey is essential for properties purchases in Spain, especially repossessions. It is important to distinguish between an electrical survey and a building survey. A building surveyor will not fully understand how to test and inspect an electrical installation. Just because you may be getting a bargain, don't cut corners on areas such as surveys and searches. Treat the purchase as you would in the UK and make sure it is a bargain, not something you may regret.

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