Home News Four Arrested for impersonating owner of €400,000 plot in Marbella

Four Arrested for impersonating owner of €400,000 plot in Marbella

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Four people have been arrested over a ‘fake’ €400,000 land deal in Marbella (Málaga)

Officers from the Guardia Cavil’s Investigation Unit at the Los Barrios Main Station, part of the Algeciras Command (Cádiz), have arrested four individuals as suspected perpetrators of fraud. They allegedly sold a plot of land in Marbella (Málaga) without the knowledge of its rightful owners, using their personal information.

The investigation began after a resident of Albacete reported paying €400,000 to purchase a plot located in the Malaga town of Marbella. However, the ownership was never transferred to them.

Following extensive inquiries, the agents identified four people involved in the plot sale operation. These individuals allegedly acted in an organized manner, according to a statement by the Guardia Civil.

The perpetrators managed to attract the buyer’s attention by offering the plot at a significantly lower price than its market value. Subsequently, using forged documents, they impersonated the true owners to complete the sale transaction.

Guardia Civil officers conducted four home searches in the towns of Marbella, Jimena, and Toledo—where the suspects reside. During these searches, they discovered over €130,000 in cash, along with falsified documents used to assume the identity of the legitimate plot owners.

The four individuals have been arrested on suspicion of crimes including fraud, identity theft, falsification of public documents, and participation in a criminal organization. They, along with the evidence collected, have been handed over to the judicial authorities.

How easy is it to impersonate the owner of a property in Spain?

Impersonating the owner of a property in Spain can be very challenging due to legal safeguards and documentation requirements. Here are some key points:

  1. Community of Owners (Comunidad de Propietarios): When you buy property in an urbanization or a block of flats, you automatically become a member of a Community of Owners (CO). COs are governed by their own statutes and bylaws, as well as national legal frameworks. These regulations help protect property owners’ rights and prevent unauthorized changes1.
  2. General Legal Framework: Spain has a nationwide legal framework for all communities, including the Commonhold Act (Ley de Propiedad Horizontal) and the Spanish Civil Code. These laws outline the rights and responsibilities of property owners within a community1.
  3. Community Statutes and Bylaws: Each CO has its own specific rules and regulations. These are drafted when the Master Deed (Escritura de División Horizontal) is lodged. The day-to-day functioning of the community is determined by these statutes. They cover aspects such as maintenance, common expenses, and decision-making processes1.
  4. General Assemblies: COs hold General Assemblies once or twice a year. These meetings can be contentious, with neighbors having different interests. Understanding your rights and duties as an owner is crucial to protect your investment. Familiarize yourself with the law and your specific community’s rules1.
  5. Challenging Resolutions: If you disagree with assembly resolutions, you can challenge them in court. However, this process can be complex and requires legal assistance1.
  6. Ownership Restrictions: While impersonating an owner is illegal, there are other restrictions related to property ownership. For example, foreign investors must notify the General Office for Trade and Investments for real estate transactions exceeding €3,005,060.52 or originating from tax havens2.
  7. Case-by-Case Basis: Impersonating an owner would likely be assessed on a case-by-case basis. However, it is generally unfeasible due to legal protections and documentation requirements3.

In summary, impersonating a property owner in Spain is not only ethically wrong but also legally- and of course, criminally, risky! The robust legal framework and community regulations make it difficult to carry out such deception123.

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