Now this was an unusual case that came to us, our client is an astute property investor and has properties in Marbella, but lives in Abu Dhabi.
He purchased the property as a holiday home for him and his family and also owned several other properties in Spain.
As he does not live in Spain he has one of his trusted employees manage the properties in his absence, the employee lives in one property and is responsible for maintenance and upkeep of all his properties.
His employee had been living in the property since 2003, and had ‘Power of Attorney’ to pay all the bills associated with running a property.
In 2012 our clients’ employee took a holiday to visit his relatives over the Christmas period and returned 26th December 2012 and found the locks had been changed on the property he was living in.
As an existing client of ours we stepped in immediately, and it soon became clear yes the property had been auctioned and had new owners.
On investigation there appeared to be an outstanding debt on the property that had not been paid, this had escalated to the point that it went to court and judgment was made that the property would go to auction to pay the debt.
BUT our client and his employee were unaware of the proceedings or the debt as nothing had been served to the address of the property. Remember his employee lived at that property so to serve any papers would have been easy.
On further enquiries there appeared to be a catalogue of errors in the whole procedure, which clearly showed that nothing had been served to our client. So our client was denied the right to defend himself as he was unaware he had to.
Due to all these errors the Judge ruled that our client had not had the right to defend himself so declared the sale of the property null and void.
The outcome was our client had his property back and was able to address the matter correctly regarding the debt and resolve it.
The moral of this story is, if you have had judgment made against you and you have not had the opportunity to defend yourself then employ a good lawyer to give you that right.
Written by Rafael Berdaguer Abogados - 28th July 2017