In the 1990s there was an unprecedented boom in the number of UK nationals looking to by second homes, holiday homes, retirement or investment properties in foreign countries such as Spain, Cyprus, Malta, and France. While some anticipated rest and relaxation others looked forward to paradisal retirement or a steady stream of rental income.
Although many have realised their dreams of pleasant and secure foreign property ownership, others have been saddled with unviable investments, problem properties, or various other inconveniences.
In some cases the fault lies not with the individual investors but with the solicitors or financial advisors who represented them, ultimately convincing them that to make an investment in a foreign property was a good idea.
There have been a number of notable claims for negligent foreign property investment advice, particularly in relation to UK buyers who bought property that did not match the property advertised in the prospectus, or transactions that did not meet completion dates.
In other cases properties have been sold under contractual terms that were in breach of European directives and other consumer protection laws. Further, some individuals have been misled to buy properties that did not have adequate planning permission.
In recent years there have also been a spate of cases where UK buyers abroad have purchased property from fraudulent sellers who have limited or no right to sell.
The 2012 Cyprus example
In 2013 the Cypriot Supreme Court awarded €120,000 to a British couple who had received negligent foreign property investment advice from a Cypriot lawyer.
In a stark warning to British buyers in Cyprus – it was the first professional negligence claim against a lawyer in Cyprus in the country’s history.
The case came about because the Cypriot conveyancing lawyer failed to inform the couple that the property they were purchasing had a mortgage charge against it.
The professional negligence lawyer who represented the couple described the claim ruling as setting “a very good precedent, fully explaining a lawyer’s duties”. She explained that unlike in England where “the law society has special rules on conveyancing practice, there is no such thing in Cyprus”.
Claims for negligent property investment advice
Healys LLP London and Brighton lawyers can help you mount a claim for negligent property investment advice, whether it relates to a property purchased here in the UK or abroad.
If you have sustained financial loss you believe to be the result of the services of an investment advisor, financial advisor, or property or conveyancing solicitor, talk to us today by calling our Brighton or London offices.