BREAKING NEWS! Spain allows British expats to apply for residency post-Brexit

BREAKING NEWS! Spain allows British expats to apply for residency post-Brexit

  • Brits who missed TIE residency document application deadline can still apply
  • CostaLuz Lawyers highlights positive implications of the decision
  • Those with family links in Spain may also be able to apply for residency

Brexit may be well and truly done, but British citizens residing in Spain who have yet to complete the necessary paperwork have just been thrown a lifeline by the Spanish authorities. The government has announced that those who can prove they lived in Spain prior to 31 December 2020 may still apply for residency there.

Immigration officials have been instructed to follow the same procedure as they did for those applying for residency before the December deadline, though with particular attention paid to documentation that proves the individuals’ residency pre-dated the end of 2020.

Keith Rule of pioneering law firm CostaLuz Lawyers comments:

“This is excellent news for UK citizens who, for whatever reason, have yet to make their residency in Spain official. They can now apply for the TIE residency document without fear of reprisals or penalties for having missed the 31 December 2020 deadline. The move is a key signal of the value that Spain places on its long-standing relationship with the UK and a positive indicator for post-Brexit relations.”

The Spanish guidance states that British citizens arriving in Spain as of 1 January 2021 can also apply for residency in certain situations, such as if they have a family link with a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement.

“All of this spells good news for a close relationship between Spain and the UK over the coming years,” continues CostaLuz Lawyers’ Keith Rule. “There are hundreds of thousands of British expats living in Spain, while some 18 million Brits spend their holidays here each year. Making it easier for residents to obtain the TIE, despite missing the deadline, should be well received by both expats here in Spain and policymakers back home in the UK.”

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit

CostaLuz Lawyers wins millions for retirees who thought their money was gone for good

CostaLuz Lawyers wins millions for retirees who thought their money was gone for good

  • Spanish law firm has won nearly 500 cases for those who lost off-plan deposits
  • Total wins for property owners now exceed €25 million
  • Returned funds have given many retirees a significant boost

Losing tens of thousands of pounds can transform a dream retirement into a nightmare. Yet losing such sums became an all too familiar tale back in the mid-2000s, when the Spanish property market crashed. The global financial crisis meant that many second home buyers’ dreams of a sun-kissed retirement on the golf course or the beach instead turned into protracted legal battles.

For Brenda Wilkinson from Belfast, the dream was to buy a property overlooking the 18th hole at Sierra Golf in Murcia. Her husband was a keen golfer and the couple were looking for a holiday home that had the potential to serve as a retirement property.

Brenda paid £42,000 to Iberian International as a deposit but a visit to the site in 2008 to finalise the purchase revealed a poorly constructed home with an ‘underbuild’ that was full of mud. A neighbouring owner confided in Brenda that her own property was a mud-filled disaster.

Despite feeling pressured to sign the paperwork, Brenda refused, instead writing a list of complaints to the company. Nothing was done as a result of her complaints and, despite paying a solicitor, Brenda was unable to get her money back.

Brenda’s experience echoes that of John and Noleen Parkes, from Norfolk. Now in their mid-seventies, the couple paid €77,000 as a deposit on a property in La Marine, Alicante in February 2008, where they planned to live. When their developer failed to deliver, their lawyer informed them that there was no effective form of redress and that their money was lost.

Yet there was hope on the horizon. Brenda, who turns 64 this month, came across CostaLuz Lawyers, as did John and Noleen. The firm had grabbed property press headlines back in 2012 with a class action court victory over Finca Parcs, which saw almost €1.5 million in ‘lost’ deposits returned to Spanish second home buyers, many of them from the UK.

“We were delighted to act on behalf of Brenda and of John and Noleen, to try and win back their money and hopefully make a difference to their retirement plans. The Spanish justice system can move slowly but we were confident that both cases stood a good chance of successful outcomes, given the injustice of the claimants’ experiences.”

Keith Rule,

Both court cases, as expected, took several years to navigate the legal system. Brenda was delighted when, in June 2019, she received her full £42,000 deposit back. Additional payments awarded in October 2019 and August 2020 took that total up to over £50,000 including interest and costs.

In John and Noleen’s case, which has so far spent six years working its way through the Spanish legal system, CostaLuz Lawyers has already won back 75% of their deposit. A parallel court case is still being pursued and John and Noleen are confident that this separate and final case will also be brought to a successful conclusion.

“Many of our friends, whilst supportive, I suspect have quietly thought we were delusional in ever thinking we would recover our deposit. But we have done it. To say we are pleased and relieved is an understatement! We are very grateful and appreciative for the work CostaLuz Lawyers has done, and is continuing to do, on our behalf.”

John Parkes

While the deadline has now passed for those who lost off-plan deposits in the mid-2000s to initiate legal action, the CostaLuz Lawyers team remains busy with around 200 cases still in progress. The company is also working with those who have lost money in a range of other situations, from timeshares to mortgage prisoners trapped in negative equity for over a decade. In total, the company has won over €25 million for those who paid deposits on homes that were never finished or built, making a huge difference to many claimants’ retirement plans, often as much as a decade after they thought their money was gone for good.

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit

Own a home in Spain? What will Brexit mean for you?

Own a home in Spain? What will Brexit mean for you?

  • Property law firm shares expert advice as deadline looms
  • Many British property owners seeking clarification on Brexit’s likely impact
  • Just days left for Britons in Spain to apply for residency

There’s been plenty of talk about how Brexit will impact Britons’ ability to go on holiday within the EU from 1 January 2021 onwards but what about those who own property there? Brexit tasks are, of course, ongoing, but in response to a wide range of queries from anxious British owners of property in Spain, the experts at CostaLuz Lawyers have shared their insights into what Brexit will and won’t affect, based on what we know so far.

“We’ve been responding to plenty of queries about residency over the course of this year but also about property ownership in Spain and how that is affected. As the Brexit deadline looms, many property owners’ concerns are increasing, so we wanted to share some detail about what the future holds in order to allay property owners’ concerns – and those of anyone looking to buy property in Spain in 2021 as well.”

Keith Rule,

Will the property purchase process change as a result of Brexit?

No. Britons who buy property in Spain will still have to follow the same purchase process.

I own property in Spain – will Brexit affect my rights as a homeowner?

No, it won’t.  Property rights are never linked to residency status.  All owners of property in Spain have the same rights and obligations, regardless of where they are from.

Are there any tax implications?

There aren’t any tax implications in relation to property ownership. However, the rate of non-resident income tax that British nationals have to pay will increase from 19% to 24% from 1 January 2021. This is because Spain, along with other EU countries, distinguishes between EEA and non-EEA nationals.

How long can I stay in my Spanish property after Brexit?

From 1 January 2021, rules regarding the length of your stay in Spain will change. You will no longer be allowed to stay for more than 90 days at a time in a 180-day period.

Note that the 90 days starts as soon as you enter the Schengen Area. This means that if you travel to Spain via France, for example, the time you spend in France counts towards your tally of 90 days.

What if I want to stay for longer – can I join two periods of 90 days?

No. At present you can only spend up to 90 days in Spain, then you must leave the country. You will then not be able to return to the Schengen Area until 180 days have passed since your date of entry into Spain (or elsewhere in the Schengen Area).

You can, however, divide the 90-day period into smaller chunks, for example by spending two periods of 45 days each in Spain.

Does the 90-day rule apply even if I own property in Spain?

Yes, it does. Spain may, of course, introduce new legislation to favour British property owners and allow them to spend longer periods of time in the country. However, at present the government has not announced any new rules.

Will Brexit affect my rights as a homeowner in Spain?

No. The UK’s decision to leave the EU does not affect homeownership rights in Spain. These will continue to be the same as they were prior to Brexit.

Will my NIE change when the UK leaves the EU?

No. Your NIE (foreigner’s identification number) is valid throughout your lifetime and does not change.

What if I am officially resident?

If you have a Spanish residence permit (known as the Tarjeta de Identidad Extranjero/TIE), your status falls under the Withdrawal Agreement set up between the UK and EU. This means your rights in Spain and the rest of the EU do not change after Brexit.

What if I live in Spain but am not officially resident?

In this case, you need to act fast. Very fast. You have until 31 December 2020 to apply for residency. If you don’t, you won’t enjoy the same benefits as other EU citizens in Spain.

Note that, on 4 July 2020, the Spanish authorities introduced a new residency card for British nationals in Spain. Known as the TIE (tarjeta de identidad de extranjero), the card expressly states that the holder is a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU. It also confirms the holder’s right to live in Spain.

“There is bound to be a period of adjustment following 1 January 2021 for Britons who own property in Spain, particularly for those impacted by the 90-day rule. It’s important for property owners to stay abreast of any further developments over the course of 2021 (and beyond) to ensure that they are fully aware of their rights and obligations.”

Keith Rule,

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit

Shock announcement on mortgage expenses leaves Spanish property owners reeling

Shock announcement on mortgage expenses leaves Spanish property owners reeling

  • Government announces deadline of 21 January 2021 for mortgage-related cases against banks
  • Consumer law experts incensed
  • CostaLuz Lawyers appealing to all those impacted to take immediate action

Spain’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs has caused controversy with a shock announcement on mortgage-related cases against banks. The government department issued a notice via social media that the final deadline for all such claims would be 21 January 2021. The surprising decision has riled consumer law experts, as well as those across the property sector.

“Nobody really saw this coming. The announcement itself, with its talk of judicial deadlines, is very unusual. There was already a huge lack of clarity on this issue and this short-notice deadline by which mortgage holders must take action is adding fuel to the fire.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

The issue in question relates to an oft-included clause in mortgage contracts issued by Spanish banks. The clause requires the mortgage holder to pay all mortgage-related expenses, including IAJD tax (mortgage tax/stamp duty), notary and land registry fees. However, on 21 January 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that this was unfair on the mortgage holder and that the cost should not be solely borne by them. This was because many of those expenses were in place in order to protect the bank issuing the mortgage, rather than the borrower.

The 2016 ruling opened the doors for mortgage holders to begin claiming such expenses – often amounting to several thousand euros – back from their banks. A ruling on 26 October 2020 then clarified further that the expenses should be split as:

Now, less than two months after this clarification, the government has announced a final deadline for making claims of 21 January 2021 (this being five years after the initial ruling).

The team at CostaLuz Lawyers points out that this short-notice deadline, given just before many people start to relax for the Christmas break, means that thousands of potential claimants will miss out on the chance to reclaim money that is rightfully theirs.

“The lack of notice of this final deadline by which mortgage holders must begin legal proceedings feels like the government giving a Christmas gift to the banks. We would call on all those with the potential to make a claim to act immediately and spread the word to others in the same position.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit

COVID can’t stop justice as €25 million now won for Spanish property owners by CostaLuz Lawyers

COVID can’t stop justice as €25 million now won for Spanish property owners by CostaLuz Lawyers

  • 500 cases now won using 50-year-old Spanish law
  • Cases for 71 clients won in 2020 despite COVID-19 disruption to courts
  • Decade-long cases see some clients spending entire retirement years fighting for justice

Spanish property law firm CostaLuz Lawyers has announced the recovery of €25 million for clients who paid deposits on homes that were never built (or finished) due to the global financial crisis back in 2007/08.

With another 200 cases in progress, the company expects that figure to rise significantly over the months and years ahead, despite the fact that 28 December 2020 marks the final date for buyers in this position to start legal proceedings.

“Since our first landmark victory using Law 57/1968 back in 2012, when we won €1.5 million plus costs and fees, we’ve won around 500 cases for clients who thought their deposits were gone forever. With some cases taking as long as a decade, this really highlights the value of persistence when it comes to navigating the Spanish legal system.”

Keith Rule,

47 of those wins, representing a total of 71 clients, have been won in 2020. That means the CostaLuz Lawyers team has won approximately €3.5 million this year alone, despite courts closing and other significant disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With cases taking as long as a decade to work their way through the courts, some of the clients that CostaLuz Lawyers is winning money back for are now in their 80s. Many were on the verge of retirement when they originally put deposits down on their dream Spanish homes back in the boom years of 2004 to 2008. They’ve since spent years of their retirement fighting for justice.

Other of CostaLuz Lawyers’ clients are just approaching retirement now – a prospect made vastly more appealing by wins representing tens of thousands of pounds. Chris Nairn, for example, was 50 when he first paid a deposit of around €125,000 for a property in Murcia. When the developer didn’t deliver on time, Chris asked for his deposit back. He finally got it back – plus interest and fees – a full decade later, thanks to the CostaLuz Lawyers team.

“When I first bought, putting down a 30% deposit, it was a dream come true, but the property was not completed on time and the nightmare began. CostaLuz Lawyers warned me the road ahead would be long and tough and that Spanish Law is complex and not easy to navigate. It took 10 years, with a lot of ups and downs, but I remembered what they said and held firm. Finally, we got our money back with interest.”

Chris Nairn, client of

The majority of those who have won their money back had put deposits down on properties on the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca. However, CostaLuz Lawyers has also successfully represented clients in relation to off-plan properties on the Costa del Azahar, Costa Brava and inland. Most hail from the UK and Ireland originally, along with a number of Spanish nationals and residents from elsewhere in Europe.

“There is just a handful of days left for buyers who lost deposits to initiate legal proceedings. It can be a long, arduous process to obtain a refund, but with so much at stake, it’s a process that’s worth persevering with. The sums of money in question, particularly once interest and fees are factored in, can make a huge difference to the course of people’s retirement years.”

Keith Rule,

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit

Just one month left to claim for lost Spanish property deposits

Just one month left to claim for lost Spanish property deposits

  • 28 December deadline looms for buyers who lost deposits to make claims
  • Opportunity applies to off-plan property buyers whose homes were never completed
  • CostaLuz Lawyers urging buyers who lost out to take action before it’s too late

There is just one month left for those who lost deposits on Spanish off-plan properties that were never completed to begin legal proceedings to try and get their money back. After 28 December 2020, these buyers will no longer have the option to take legal action against the banks and developers who took their money but never delivered the promised homes. As such, the team at CostaLuz Lawyers is urging any buyer who has not yet taken action to do so without delay.

The financial crisis hit Spain’s property market hard, causing a string of developers to go bust. Buyers from around the world – and in particular from the UK, due to the country’s long-standing love of Spain – suddenly found themselves without the properties they had been promised and without any means of claiming back their deposits.

CostaLuz Lawyers and Keith Rule changed all that in 2012, when they used a 45-year-old law to win a class action for off-plan deposits of almost €1.5 million plus interest and costs. It meant that those who lost their deposits now had recourse to take legal action against the banks who took their funds, as well as the developers.

The CostaLuz Lawyers team, with Keith now onboard, has won 450 such off-plan cases, including 110 in 2019 and 70 in 2020 despite the pandemic closing down much of the judicial system in Spain. Altogether, the CostaLuz Laywers team has won around €22 million for clients who lost off-plan deposits, but time is running out for those who have yet to start legal proceedings.

“In many cases, buyers are nervous about ‘throwing good money after bad,’ but we’ve proven time and again that legal action is the only way to win back not just the buyer’s original deposit, but costs and interest as well. Any buyers who don’t take action at this stage are effectively saying goodbye to tens of thousands of pounds – and sometimes more – forever.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit

CostaLuz Lawyers releasing ‘mortgage prisoners’ through distressed holiday home service

CostaLuz Lawyers releasing ‘mortgage prisoners’ through distressed holiday home service

  • Global financial crisis saw 36% fall in Spanish house prices (INE)
  • Prices now falling again, with 3.1% drop between March and September (Tinsa)
  • CostaLuz Lawyers facilitating below market value sales of distressed holiday homes before repossession

As Spain battles to cope with the economic impact of COVID-19, figures from Tinsa show that house prices have fallen by 3.1% since March – and by 7.6% in the Balearic and Canary Islands. It means that the country recorded its first year-on-year price drop for four years in September, with an average fall in value of 0.6%.

Yet for some of those who own property in Spain, this is just the latest instalment in a negative equity story that stretches back well over a decade. According to CostaLuz Lawyers, many families who bought holiday homes in Spain back at the peak of the bubble that burst so spectacularly back in the mid-2000s are still trapped in huge negative equity situations.

“Spanish house prices fell by 36.3% from 2007 to 2015 and many buyers are still trapped owning properties that are worth significantly less than they paid 14 or 15 years ago. With the economic situations in the UK and Spain both deteriorating as a result of the pandemic, and house prices in Spain starting to fall once more, many banks are open to taking back properties in lieu of the pending mortgage debt.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

Foreclosures in Spain were already on the increase before anyone had even heard the term “COVID-19.” According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), foreclosures in the first three quarters of 2019 were 11% up on the same period a year earlier. For new dwellings, that figure shot up to 36.9%.

Spanish banks are often keen to close such deals by the end of December, to tie in with the end of the financial year. This means that many British owners of negative equity homes in Spain will be feeling the pressure to give the keys back to the bank, particularly in light of prices now starting to fall once again. Yet these property owners are not without options.

“Homeowners facing this scenario often refer to themselves as ‘mortgage prisoners’ and believe there’s no way out of their predicament but that’s not necessarily the case. We offer two services that mean those trapped in negative equity can finally escape the situation.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

CostaLuz Lawyers has a service that enables homeowners to offer their properties back to the bank in lieu of their outstanding mortgage debt, negotiating the property’s handover even when the amount of the debt is significantly higher than the value of the home.

However, the company doesn’t stop there. It also serves to pair those wanting a way out of negative equity with those looking to purchase a below market value property in Spain.

“Most services of this nature take the repossessed property after it has been returned to the bank, add on a percentage and then sell it. We take a different path. We negotiate the sale before the repossession, using legal arguments to show how this is favourable to both the bank and the owner. It’s also highly advantageous to the new buyer, who can usually pick up a property for around 60% of the price paid back in 2007.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

There is no time limit on the sale of these distressed properties, meaning that both seller and buyer can work together to find a solution that suits all parties, with CostaLuz Lawyers coordinating the legal side of the process.

CostaLuz Lawyers is already renowned for helping over 1,500 clients from across the UK and Ireland claim back deposits previously considered lost on properties that were never finished or built following the financial crisis. Now, their distressed property service is helping another swathe of property buyers who were caught out by the crisis.

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit

“You can’t hide from us!” – CLL offers fresh hope for owners scammed by ‘hidden’ developers

“You can’t hide from us!” – CLL offers fresh hope for owners scammed by ‘hidden’ developers

  • New hope for clients who lost money to developers posing as estate agents
  • Buyers have until 28 December to start legal proceedings
  • 100s of buyers in UK and Ireland could regain lost deposits

CostaLuz Lawyers has spent years helping clients who lost deposits on Spanish properties that were never built or never finished, winning nearly 850 cases against property developers and banks. Now, the firm is providing fresh hope for buyers who have previously been unable to take action to regain their lost deposits.

The new hope centres around growing case law in Spain in relation to ‘hidden’ developers. These are companies that operated as estate agents but were actually developers or co-developers, such as Ocean View Properties on the Costa Blanca and Palmera Properties on the Costa del Sol.

In these cases, this dual role of agent/developer was often hidden from the buyer. However, CostaLuz Lawyers advises that there is growing evidence that its existence opens up the possibility of the buyer claiming against such companies for a refund.

“These companies received huge amounts of off-plan payments for properties that were never built or never finished. Until now, they have escaped the rules of Law 57/68 by presenting themselves as estate agents, but there is now some strong case law stating that the developer is whoever takes the off-plan payments on account. That means there is a last chance for buyers to claim for refunds from these companies.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

Law 57/68 is the regulation under which those who lost deposits have successfully claimed against developers and banks for a refund. Claimants should have started proceedings by 7 October but that deadline has now been extended to 28 December 2020. This means that those who are out of pocket have a new window of opportunity. According to CostaLuz Lawyers, this could affect hundreds of buyers in the UK and Ireland.

The CostaLuz Lawyers team has already helped over 1,500 clients in their quest for financial justice. Those who now want their shot at obtaining a refund need to start proceedings before the new December deadline.

“28 December is the date by which action has to be started. But that just means sending a Burofax or submitting the Preliminary Diligences procedure – the actual lawsuit can be filed later, provided this initial action has been taken before the deadline.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

Cases submitted to Spain’s First Instance Court will take around two years to complete, while those that go on to the Provincial Appeal court could take around three. Any cases that go all the way to the Supreme Court could mean that buyers are looking at five to ten years before receiving a final ruling.

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit

Spanish homebuyers urged to make most of off-plan claims deadline extension

Spanish homebuyers urged to make most of off-plan claims deadline extension

  • New hope for buyers who lost deposits for Spanish off-plan homes
  • Deadline for taking action against banks extended to 28 December 2020
  • Nearly 850 claims from developers and banks now won by CostaLuz Lawyers

Buyers who paid and lost deposits on off-plan properties in Spain have fresh hope, as the country has extended the deadline for such claims from 7 October to 28 December 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, the team at CostaLuz Lawyers is encouraging homebuyers who were going to miss the October deadline to take advantage of this last chance to try and recover their money.

The issue relates to those who paid deposits on off-plan homes that were subsequently never built due to developers going bust. They are now able to make claims against the banks who partnered with the developers, provided their claims are in by 28 December 2020.

“The stress of losing a deposit on an off-plan property in a foreign country is immense. However, there is now considerable precedent for such monies being repaid by banks. As such, I would urge anyone who has lost an off-plan deposit to take action before the December deadline. It’s not too late to try to get your money back.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

CostaLuz Lawyers is a pioneer in this field. Having researched the issue since 2008, they filed their first off-plan deposit lawsuit against a property developer’s bank in 2011. In 2012, they won the case, with a landmark ruling resulting in a payout of nearly €1.5 million for the 47 buyers they were representing.

“It is a wonderful thing to be able to give hope to buyers who thought their hard earned money was gone for good. It’s even better to see their faces when we tell them that the courts have ruled in their favour and that the banks must repay them. Time is running out to make claims though, so buyers do need to act fast.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

Keith himself was part of that first off-plan deposit class action back in 2011/12. In fact, he was the instigator of it, working to bring the other 46 claimants on board to benefit from CostaLuz Lawyers’ expertise. Following the successful 2012 ruling, he took up a role with the firm and has worked as a core member of their team ever since.

The team has now successfully won nearly 850 claims from Spanish property developers and banks, with a further 500 in progress and 100 pending outcomes. Since that initial case, CostaLuz Lawyers has worked with more than 1,500 clients from the UK, Ireland, Spain and other European countries.

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit

Over €2,000,000 already won in 2017 against 6 Spanish banks by CostaLuz Lawyers

Over €2,000,000 already won in 2017 against 6 Spanish banks by CostaLuz Lawyers

Spain United Kingdom World

· 13 court cases already won to date in 2017

· British and Irish property buyers queuing up to reclaim lost deposits

· The highest payout in any one case was €958,000 plus interest

· Spanish judiciary working to restore faith in Spanish property market

2017 has been a busy year for the team at CostaLuz Lawyers. After successfully supporting Keith Rule in his quest for justice over the €54,000 deposit payment he made to a Spanish developer who never built the home Keith had paid towards, CostaLuz Lawyers has been inundated with requests for help.

Now working for CostaLuz Lawyers alongside legal eagle Maria de Castro, Keith and his colleagues have so far supported 13 British and Irish claimants to victory in 2017. The cases focus on reclaiming lost deposits from Spanish banks.

“The wording of Spanish law LEY 57/1968 and the ruling made in respect of my own case opened the doors for those in similar situations to come forward and try to recoup their lost investment. It’s not a quick process, but it is possible to beat the banks and reclaim funds that were handed over in good faith, even if the transaction dates back many years.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

So far, 6 banks have been ordered to make payments to CostaLuz Lawyers’ British and Irish clients this year: SGR, BBVA, Banco de Sabadell, Caixabank, Banco Popular and Caja Rural.

The amount awarded across all 13 cases totaled €2,155,072, plus an amount of interest that is still being calculated. The highest payout in any one case was €958,000 plus interest.

Those being represented hailed from all over the UK and Ireland, while their investment locations were spread out across Spain. The only thing they had in common was that they had paid out money for a dream home, only for their dream to turn into a nightmare.

The reasons for the clients’ legal wrangling were varied. In one case, at La Reserva de Marbella, the homes had been built illegally. Another related to the Malaya political and planning corruption saga at Marbella’s local council. Yet another was due to the developer’s descent into insolvency when Spain’s economy crumbled following the global financial crisis.

Whatever the reason, CostaLuz Lawyers has been fighting to gain back the money that British and Irish property buyers lost.

“These successful judgements are making a huge difference to people’s lives. The stress associated with going through the process of losing so much money can never be taken away, but at least a ruling that the bank is required to pay back the money (plus interest) finally draws a line under the matter.

“However, there’s more to it than simply getting people’s money back. The evolution of Spanish case law that we’re seeing is going a long way to restore faith in the Spanish property market. The Spanish judiciary is working hard to ensure that a system exists in which individuals’ rights are respected and that Spain is one of the safest countries in the world for the purchase of off plan property.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, please call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit