Spanish Honorary Consulate office in Manchester

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The Spanish Consulate in Manchester closed more than 2 years ago. Since then, all consular matters for the North West were transferred to the Spanish General Consulate in Edinburgh. Very recently an Honorary Consular office has been opened in Manchester and located in our Manchester office. The Honorary Consul is Antonio Guillen, writer of this blog, a dual qualified Spanish lawyer and English Solicitor at DWF LLP in Manchester. Antonio will cover the regions of Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire.

The functions of an Honorary Consul vary depending on the Country. When it comes to Spain and the Honorary Consulate in Manchester, the functions are restricted to giving support to both Spanish and UK nationals in those matters where the Spanish Consulate in Edinburgh requires assistance. Some of those functions are the following:

– Dealing with passport applications for Spanish nationals who are less than 12 years old

– Eventual support to Spanish nationals that require urgent assistance in this area of the country (subject to permission from the General Consulate in Edinburgh)

– NIE application forms for those cases where the applicant cannot travel to Edinburgh

– And in very specific cases, certificates and consular documents

The Spanish Honorary Consulate in Manchester cannot prepare Spanish powers of attorneys, wills or deeds but the firm where the Consulate is based can provide this service. Alternatively, those who need one of the 3 things quoted above can travel to the Spanish Consulate in Edinburgh where this service can be provided or fly to Spain and get the said documents done by a Notary Public.

For further information on Consular matters please contact Spanishconsul@dwf.co.uk

For further information on Spanish legal matters please contact antonio.guillen@dwf.co.uk

TIMESHARES: HERE WE GO AGAIN

Hamacas

 

 

 

 

 

 

It happens sometimes that hiring certain kind of services is easier than getting rid of them. An original idea could become a burden and we may struggle to get rid of the facilities that have made our life happier and more comfortable in the past. This situation is closely related to the well-known  timeshares.

They were usually introduced as a safe and affordable way to enjoy our holidays in a wonderful and sunny place full of amenities with the sole obligation, apart from the initial payment of the price, to pay an annual fee for covering the maintenance.

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and those timeshare rights ceased to be an asset and became a hindrance. These days most people want to get rid of their timeshares and would even pay to dispose of these. In those cases, the most advisable thing is to dust off the title deeds and study this in order to see if there is a way out.

Whether we are talking of a timeshare or a vacation club, the potential scenarios that we can face are the following:

-No title deeds but a proper private contract

This is the rare case where the buyer bought a timeshare in a properly executed private contract but this contract was never formalised into a Deed. In this case, there are different alternatives. The first one is to formalise the contract into a proper Deed. This will involve Notary fees, stamp duty and Land registry fees but at least it will allow us to have a proper Deed and perhaps increase our chances of transferring this legally to an interested buyer. Another option is to leave things as they are and wait until the timeshare expires (usually 50 years).

-Proper title deeds

In this option we can include the cases where the buyer bought a timeshare and formalised the appropriate title deed. The buyer has proper title and is entitled to sell the timeshare. However, the main problem is that no one is interested in buying the timeshare except perhaps for the owner of the property or the company that manages the timeshare. We have recently seen an increase in enquiries from clients who have been approached by the Management agents with offers to acquire the timeshare from them for free. In most of those cases, the client needs to pay for all l the expenses of the transfer but he is happy to do it as this could involve getting rid of the timeshare.

 

In those cases, the management agents request a very wide power of attorney that would enable them to transfer the timeshare to themselves. We are not comfortable with clients signing this type of powers of attorney but clients sometimes prefer to take the risk and go ahead with the power of attorney in the hope that their obligations will cease. As indicated, we would recommend tailoring the power of attorney to the specific timeshare but we are aware that some timeshare owners have opted for wide powers of attorney due to pure desperation and we hope that no adverse consequences will arise.

-A contract that does not comply with the law. (see the post “everything you wanted to know about timeshares , but were afraid to ask” which was posted in this blog in ………. 2011).

In this type of cases, the buyer has a contract but this contract has many irregularities, some of them so relevant that they may deem the contract null. These contracts can probably be terminated on the basis that they have irregularities and do not comply with former and existent laws.

In our daily practice we have seen it all: proper deeds, proper contracts with no deeds and dubious contracts. Clients are usually surprised when we tell them that a time share does not have to be for life and they always welcome the advice and the options we gave them with the arms open as few people are now interested in keeping their timeshares and prefer to get rid of them. If you are one of them, feel free to give us a call and we will see if we can help you.