A British couple have won their case against a negligent Spanish lawyer who cost them around £300,000.
Overseas property investors, Stewart and Lynda Forrester, of Nottage, Porthcawl, have finally won compensation after a six year legal battle to claim back money they lost on a property in Alicante.
The couple first decided to purchase a property in Alicante from the developer in 2000 for £120,000.
At first everything was fine, but the problems started after the foundations of the property collapsed causing irreparable damage. The developers offered them a second property which they accepted.
However, the Forresters then found that neighbours who had bought properties from the same developer were discovering that mortgages had been taken out on their homes, despite buying the properties outright.
When questioned the Spanish lawyer, Miguel Angel Aroca Seiquer, communicated that there was nothing to worry about and they would have the title deeds soon.
The Forresters went out to live in Alicante in 2012, luckily deciding to keep their property in Nottage, and discovered that the Alicante property along with neighbouring properties was up for repossession.
The couple decided to part with the house voluntarily and put it in the possession of the bank. They cleared all their possessions and returned to Nottage to seek legal advice.
They then joined a group of people including seven couples and two individuals taking legal action against the developers, agents and the Spanish lawyer.
The legal battle began in 2012 and has so far included four court hearings at The Royal Courts of Justice and The Court of Appeal. After the third court hearing, Atlas International Property Services were liquidated which left Spanish lawyer Seiquer as the only remaining party in the case.
Last month the Court of Appeal upheld the decision that Seiquer had been negligent. Lord Justice David Richards said Seiquer failed in his duty to advise the buyers about the risk of paying final instalments on their flats without ensuring that they would get mortgage-free title to the properties.
Despite the positive conclusion of their legal battle, the couple still must wait for a future court date to determine how much of their money they will get back.
Overseas property investors should never part with funds until the developer can prove that mortgage-free title to the property is available.