We all know that most estate agents would sell their own grandmother’s ancient ballerina jewellery box to buy themselves a crusty bacon roll, so just imagine the sort of dodgy tricks the ones in Spain are trying to pull.
If you’re thinking of buying a place in Spain via an estate agent then there are a few traps you need to be aware of which could save you thousands.
Check out my latest article for Expat Focus titled Be Careful of Dodgy Estate Agents in Spain to get an insight into the types of sneaky scams these conniving money suckers are trying to bring off, including hidden fees, illegal tax evasion techniques and plain daylight robbery.
Not to be read if you are about to have lunch, especially if you’re thinking of serving up sausages, mini chipolatas, or chocolate flakes.
A couple of weeks back, on a chilly morning as I took out my dog Pepa to do her daily necessities, I had an uplifting chat with an elderly Spanish lady. Pepa was scrunched up in a ball, squeezing out her chocolate tum tums, when I caught a glimpse of a seventy-odd year old couple waddling towards me.
Damn, she’s bound to say one of the following, I thought.
“Take her to the dog park.” (What the one about 3kms away?)
“How can something so little make something so big?” (I ask myself that everyday)
We’ve only bloody well done it again. Why do we pick those flats, which at the start seem so perfect, so pleasant, such a step up from the previous one, only to find that once we are settled, with books on the shelves, photos on the wall, and all the light switches found, the neighbours begin to chisel away like an annoying wassup message tone.
Following on from my two blogs about Why housemates are so weird, I thought I’d expand the theme onto the rowdy, boisterous, and even aggressive neighbours we’ve had to put up with over the years. These anecdotes are in chronological, and possibly hate, order.
The Bike Hobbits
First up were the Bike Hobbits. They weren’t your ordinary, friendly, welcoming hobbits, but a family of bike obsessed hobbits. At least I think they were a family, I never saw the mother; it was just the son and father who I had to deal with, or to put better, hide from.
The Bike Hobbits were my neighbours while I lived at the end of the Alameda, back in the day when botellones– street booze parties, were merely frowned upon by the police. Now they are supposedly banned, but I think they must still go on, not that I ever get out to join in on them now. Anyway, the Alameda is known for its mixed range of habitants: students, hippies, families, dog-lovers, and even transvestites. Unfortunately, I chose the only flat with two aggressive, psychopathic hobbits as neighbours. Continue reading “Neighbours from Hell: The Bike Hobbits – Part 1”→
Oh how I love my landlady. She’s such an understanding, polite, honest and sincere person. Or not, as the case is. This is a blog for all those renting in Spain, who may not know about a certain ‘law’ that exists.
We’ve been living in our current flat since 2009 (on a yearly rolling contract). When we moved in it was a palace compared to the box flat we were previously in. The kitchen (no window) was so tiny that the fridge had to be in the lounge (handy for grabbing a cold one while watching the footy). The windowless bathroom was so minute you could brush your teeth while going for a number two. We lasted a year, left during the contract, and there were no problems with our landlord.
Our current flat is a pleasant two bed place with plenty of wardrobe space, a little balcony to put some flowers and right in the heart of Seville about two minutes away from the cathedral. My only real qualm is the windowless kitchen and bathroom, again. We were happy here, until about a year ago.
The problems started just before last Semana Santa when the dimwit workers in the warehouse directly underneath started making loads of noise. Up until then I hadn’t really noticed the warehouse, which belongs to Robles, one of the most prestigious, stuck up, restaurants in Seville.
The half-brained muppets suddenly started slamming the thick metal door, getting together and chatting loudly right under our window all morning, rolling metal beer barrels on the floor down the street, and they even started working on Sunday mornings, waking us up at 7 am. Then we noticed the lift they used for bringing up stock from the cellar sent pulsing vibrations throughout the whole flat, especially in the bedroom. Throughout Semana Santa it got worse, some days they would start at 6 am. We both started to get really annoyed, unsure how we hadn’t noticed the racket before. So we contacted our landlady, who I shall call R. Continue reading “Never rent a flat from a lawyer”→
Author of From Something Old, The Road to Zoe, You Then Me Now, Things We Never Said, The Bottle of Tears, The Other Son, The Photographer's Wife, The Half-Life of Hannah, the 50 Reasons Series. And more...