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Tom

Is It Madness / Naive To Not Use A Solicitor For Offplan Moroccan Purchase?

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I am in the process of buying in Tanjah beach. I have decided not to bother using a solicitor at all for this purchase. You may think i am mad, but from everything i have read, I honestly don't see the point.

1. 3500 people are all buying properties on the same plot of land. The due diligence process that lawyers carry out is essential for existing properties that have been pre owned and occupied where there could be several family members who jointly own the property. If there are any issues over title in tanjah then it can only be on the land and no title exists on property as there is none. if there is an issue with the land then this will be pulled up by the other 3499 people who emply the solicitor recommended by dreamworld. as this is a new development, i think title rights will be very straight forward.

2. I don't see the point in employing a solicitor to review a contract which i know the developer won't change.

I will just employ a notaire to complete my legal title deed and tax payments saving me 1500 euros on pointless legal fees.

what do other people think? Do you think this is madness/naive? would like the view from seasoned property investors or anyone who has purchased in Morocco off plan and has used a solicitor.

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Tom,

I have not purchased in Morocco, but I would not purchase anywhere without using an independent solicitor.

Personally, I think it is equally inadvisable to buy on a development so large; if it's for personal use that's one thing, but if you are looking for realistic rental returns.............

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I have also purchased in Morocco - Saidia (I considered Tanjah) and did not use a Lawyer for exactly the reasons you give.

I did ammend the contract sucesfully without a Lawyer.

Radio - on the rent returns - I've been looking at Calcan in Turkey and see villas rent from about £1000 - £4000 per week in high season. Saidia has far more to offer and is in a different league.

Even if I only get £1000 per week (I think £2k is more realistic for a 5 star experience with unrivaled breadth of facilities) in high season (3 months) and £400 in low (its a year round resort) I still make a gross yield of 20% with 4 months void (I realise 8 months is a lot to expect but see no reason Saidia will not achieve this). Some people achieve 8 months in decent Spannish developments. Saidia has 11 hotels to feed the 3000 private property owners with (of which 20% probably wont let out anyway).

Edited by dogbox

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Dogbox. We don't know what return the leaseback will offer, but it won't be anything like 20%. (Appreciate you bought in earlier and that your circa £32k rental calculation is being expressed as a proportion of your purchase price.)

Agree with other comments though - particularly if you are close to others that have employed a solicitor for thier acquisition there!

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Dogbox do you know how many resorts are going to better Saidia, this is just one of 6 plan azur resorts. The others benifit from being near something. The southern atlantic ones will be truely all year round resorts because of the weather.

Look at 'Royal sports moroc' for facilities, this ones not even plan azur

Edited by Jesus of nazareth

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Jezus, I prefer the fact Saidia is the only Plan Azure in the Med, and I like the isolation, the wide open marina and so on.

Plus I got in at a low price. Other Plan Azure developments from memory were quite different from Saidia. P Lixus does have the marina but less facilities, on the windy Atlantic (lots of parents I know dont like the chilly Atlantic as much as the Med) and more expensive.

I dont know Royal Sports Maroc - does it have an 800 berth marina, 500 shops and so on?

The Atlantic resorts and those around Tangiers will be numerous. Saidia is out on it's own so I feel from a competetion point of view it should fare ok.

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Dogbox. We don't know what return the leaseback will offer, but it won't be anything like 20%.

Soup - I have it in writing from PL that under no circumstances will I be obliged to join the rental pool.

I quote from a letter - "The role of such companies (rental Mangement) is to administer the common services and expenses and to manage the rental of those properties of owners that OPT into the leaseback arrangment". It goes on to express that owners are free to rent as they see fit.

For arguments sake let's suppose I do end up having to join the pool (which I dont), why do you think 20% gross, so say 12% net yield against capital employed is not achievable? I paid £168 for a villa.

I realise that leasebacks in France achieve about 7% (a freind gets this level) but he is up against thousands of other similar devlopemts - again all much of a muchness, nothing unique and certainly nothing with anything like the facilities Saidia will have AND NOT POSITIONED OR INTENDED FOR YEAR ROUND USE - THIS IS A CRUCIAL FACTOR.

Perhaps I'm suffering wishful thinking :unsure:

PS - I dont expect rental levels to find thier natural weight until the resort is fully open

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Dogbox, some French leasebacks are aimed at students so, although not all year round, they are pretty close to it. At the end of the lease, under some schemes, it is possible to rent them out to non-students and, if you have invested in a city or busy town, the rent should then be all year round.

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Soup - I have it in writing from PL that under no circumstances will I be obliged to join the rental pool.

I quote from a letter - "The role of such companies (rental Mangement) is to administer the common services and expenses and to manage the rental of those properties of owners that OPT into the leaseback arrangment". It goes on to express that owners are free to rent as they see fit.

For arguments sake let's suppose I do end up having to join the pool (which I dont), why do you think 20% gross, so say 12% net yield against capital employed is not achievable? I paid £168 for a villa.

I realise that leasebacks in France achieve about 7% (a freind gets this level) but he is up against thousands of other similar devlopemts - again all much of a muchness, nothing unique and certainly nothing with anything like the facilities Saidia will have AND NOT POSITIONED OR INTENDED FOR YEAR ROUND USE - THIS IS A CRUCIAL FACTOR.

Perhaps I'm suffering wishful thinking :unsure:

PS - I dont expect rental levels to find thier natural weight until the resort is fully open

I think you are suffering from wishful thinking !!

We own a leaseback in France (bought in 2002) and we did a lot of research into typical returns and anything that is 5.5%+ (never saw 7%) is all year round with negligible personal use and you still have extra costs to pay for maintenance etc. from this. The additional costs from Sadia are not clear and could be anything from £1,000 upwards.

On the main thread - I did employ a solicitor to look over contract for LJDF villa and in the end Property Logic wouldn't change the key issues with the contact (which were lack of bank gurantees and penalties for late delivery) - so not convinced of the value. Solicitor did amend certain wording as some terms and definitions were ambigous.

We have decided not to sign contract in the end as I am not convinced about this development as an 'owner', its isolation and also the slump in sales led us to believe we could look at this product again in 6 months time and not much would have changed...meanwhile we have our money in the bank earning a good return rather than sitting in PL bank account.

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Dogbox. French leasebacks typically get between 3% and 6%. Many of these leasebacks are in areas that attract tourists and delegates all year round, while some, like Sean has pointed out, are for students and will achieve high occupancy rates.

On opting in / out, you will also have it in writing that a minimum of 70% of owners must Opt In to the rental pool. This is to make the development more attractive to rental companies – they don’t want to manage ghost towns.

I acknowledged price you are paying for your villa being lower than for most other purchasers and in doing so was appreciating that returns (%) for you will be higher than most others.

Revisiting your calculations above:

3 months full occupancy at £1k per week in high season: £13k.

5 months full occupancy at £400 per week in mid season: £8.4k.

Total gross rental: £21.4k.

Gross rental expressed as percentage of cost of villa: 12.7% (21.4 divided by 168)

I realise you feel the weekly rates above are pessimistic and that occupancy levels will be good*, but even if they are, you will have management costs, rental company taking a cut, taxes, insurance, upkeep and other ongoing expenses. So I don’t think you will get any more than 10% net (will be much less if you have second thoughts and decide to mortgage the property.)

* For what its worth, I think that the calculation of £21,4k isn’t unreasonable once the whole resort is complete and on the tourist map. For most that will represent a return of no more than 10%.

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I am in the process of buying in Tanjah beach. I have decided not to bother using a solicitor at all for this purchase. You may think i am mad, but from everything i have read, I honestly don't see the point.

1. 3500 people are all buying properties on the same plot of land. The due diligence process that lawyers carry out is essential for existing properties that have been pre owned and occupied where there could be several family members who jointly own the property. If there are any issues over title in tanjah then it can only be on the land and no title exists on property as there is none. if there is an issue with the land then this will be pulled up by the other 3499 people who emply the solicitor recommended by dreamworld. as this is a new development, i think title rights will be very straight forward.

2. I don't see the point in employing a solicitor to review a contract which i know the developer won't change.

I will just employ a notaire to complete my legal title deed and tax payments saving me 1500 euros on pointless legal fees.

what do other people think? Do you think this is madness/naive? would like the view from seasoned property investors or anyone who has purchased in Morocco off plan and has used a solicitor.

In direct answer to the title of the thread YES. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU - there are hundreds of posts (all you have to do is find them and read them) warning you against this sort of folly.

OKAY, I GIVE IN. NONE OF MY BUSINESS. LOOK FORWARD TO READING A POST FROM YOU TWELVE MONTHS FROM NOW.

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Thought this may be of interest;

La Loma sport resort Murcia.

Villa Morelia 316m2 plot, 157m2 property, 3 bed, 2 bath

e500800+

Front line golf villas here starting from e650,000.

15 minutes DRIVE to Mar Menor beaches

1 x9 hole golf on site.

Good sports facilities.

No hotels to feed future rental traffic.

No marina.

http://www.murciagolfproperties.co.uk/laloma.html

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Thought this may be of interest;

La Loma sport resort Murcia.

Villa Morelia 316m2 plot, 157m2 property, 3 bed, 2 bath

e500800+

Front line golf villas here starting from e650,000.

15 minutes DRIVE to Mar Menor beaches

1 x9 hole golf on site.

Good sports facilities.

No hotels to feed future rental traffic.

No marina.

http://www.murciagolfproperties.co.uk/laloma.html

Dogbox where the **** did that come from? Are you still trying to convince everyone that your pearls of wisdom are just that?

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This is the response i had from posing my thoughts about not using a solicitor on another forum. Does anyone know if this is true?

Thanks.

"First of all you will have to go over to Morocco to the notaire and request your contract and start the procedure and again on completion.

You will have to do your own due diligence as required for the contract i.e. land searches, title deeds outstanding claims etc.

Also make sure the title transfer is free and clear.

Contracts will have to be validated at the Common Wealth office and the Moroccan Embassy here in the UK

The above is done in French or Arabic and is not the responsibility of the notaire.

All of the guarantees in the VEFA contract, you will be liable for.

I think this will be just the tip of the iceberg."

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Also this:-

"Getting your money out of Morocco will be straight forward as long as you register the investment at the Moroccan exchange control office beforehand, if monies are not recorded properly going into the country there will be issues taking it out and could leave you being able to take just 20% per annum. A solicitor will ensure that the procedure is done correctly without you having to be there.

If you don't use a solicitor and something goes wrong with the purchase, you are relying on having done everything correctly in the purchase process and the supporting paper work being in order. I am not an expert on these things but I know that BCP over in Spain have taken weeks doing their due diligence on the whole Tanjah project and making sure that all of the legalities and paperwork will be in place for each client. Dont forget this is not a bog standard contract, it's a VEFA. You would need to speak to a solicitor regarding the legalities and guarantees within this type of contract, this is why I am using BCP to ensure that everything is in place allowing the contract to be robust."

Can anyone provide their thoughts about this. should i get a solicitor to deal with these issues?

Thanks.

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Also this:-

"Getting your money out of Morocco will be straight forward as long as you register the investment at the Moroccan exchange control office beforehand, if monies are not recorded properly going into the country there will be issues taking it out and could leave you being able to take just 20% per annum. A solicitor will ensure that the procedure is done correctly without you having to be there.

If you don't use a solicitor and something goes wrong with the purchase, you are relying on having done everything correctly in the purchase process and the supporting paper work being in order. I am not an expert on these things but I know that BCP over in Spain have taken weeks doing their due diligence on the whole Tanjah project and making sure that all of the legalities and paperwork will be in place for each client. Dont forget this is not a bog standard contract, it's a VEFA. You would need to speak to a solicitor regarding the legalities and guarantees within this type of contract, this is why I am using BCP to ensure that everything is in place allowing the contract to be robust."

Can anyone provide their thoughts about this. should i get a solicitor to deal with these issues?

Thanks.

You're obviously not taking any notice of the advice given you so why bother asking the same question again.

What do you reckon you should do? I know - play eenie meanie minie mo and see what that tells you to do.

Before you talk to a legal advisor talk to a shrink, maybe that's the sort of advice you need.

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Also this:-

"Getting your money out of Morocco will be straight forward as long as you register the investment at the Moroccan exchange control office beforehand, if monies are not recorded properly going into the country there will be issues taking it out and could leave you being able to take just 20% per annum. A solicitor will ensure that the procedure is done correctly without you having to be there.

If you don't use a solicitor and something goes wrong with the purchase, you are relying on having done everything correctly in the purchase process and the supporting paper work being in order. I am not an expert on these things but I know that BCP over in Spain have taken weeks doing their due diligence on the whole Tanjah project and making sure that all of the legalities and paperwork will be in place for each client. Dont forget this is not a bog standard contract, it's a VEFA. You would need to speak to a solicitor regarding the legalities and guarantees within this type of contract, this is why I am using BCP to ensure that everything is in place allowing the contract to be robust."

Can anyone provide their thoughts about this. should i get a solicitor to deal with these issues?

Thanks.

Tom, get a grip man.

I am using BCP for my Saidia purchase. They are indeed very thorough.

It is not expensive when set against the cost of property and gives some comfort when it comes to the little wrinkles that will inevitably surface when buying off-plan in a 'new' market.

Get one.

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I think I might use a Lawyer towards completion to tidy up some of the lose ends, I have a couple of freinds who have also bought in Saidia so we will likely club together to reduce legal costs.

When I said I was'nt using a Lawyer, to be clear I meant I was'nt going to bother until completion as the contract matters so far IMO are fairly straight forward and where issues have arrived these have been well aired amongst buyers some of whom have used Lawyers during these early stages.

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Dogbox, given that you have not used a lawyer, I wondered how you might reply to the overwhelming response from posters on this thread that disagree. It does appear that you have been swayed by the views of others. If so, good for you for having an open mind.

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DogBox has been of that view for a while. Can remember similar posts from him around a year ago. (For any new readers on the forum it is worth re-iterating that Dogbox is only going without a solicitor in the early stages as it is a huge development and the chances of issues arising and not making it onto the forums are slim. When the issues become visible to him he considers whether a solicitor should be instructed.)

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Sean, thanks for the compliment, I savoured it for all 328 mins.

Soup, towards completion we need to do some pretty rigorous due dilligence on income extraction out of Morocco. Furthermore the joint ownership procedures need to be followed to the letter.

CHECK THIS:

A good freind of mine purchased a non new build flat in Tenerife last year jointly with his longterm (20 yr) girl freind, both UK residents. Unfortunately she died recently. Despite involving seasoned international probate lawyers my freind has now found the Spannish authorities have deemed the estate INTESTATE meaning 50% of the property will be state owned!! A salutory tale.

These sorts of events help illustrate why I'm so anti investing in small one off developments. Better to be investing into a development which involves significant numbers of investors and where the state have a vested and high profile interest.

One must also consider the complexity for ones children should you die. I leave detailed notes with my Brothers / parents just in case my wife and I fall under a bus and leave young children - I bet not that many people have thought about this. Would for example your childrens guardians even be aware you had paid a deposit on a foreign property, and how they would deal with the completion monies due in the future.

Investing in one - offs or local Moroccan owned property is all very well, but some such investors dont give enough weight to the 'sleep at night premium'.

Happy days

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Dogbox, a good point.

I have recently bought in France.

I was told that I need a French will in addition to my UK will.

Morocco may follow French law on this??

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Yes, suspect Moroccan will is something we will need to consider for reason Sean gave. (Moroccan law is based on French law and inheritance isn't as simple in France as it is in the UK - it is designed to benefit the family and not long term partners / friends. There are steps you can take to address that in France, but all too often they are overlooked by foreigners buying there.)

As you say Dogbox, inheritance is but one issue that will need looked into nearer the time - sorry to hear about your friend's predicament, its the last thing he wants after losing his partner.

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I think I might use a Lawyer towards completion to tidy up some of the lose ends, I have a couple of freinds who have also bought in Saidia so we will likely club together to reduce legal costs.

When I said I was'nt using a Lawyer, to be clear I meant I was'nt going to bother until completion as the contract matters so far IMO are fairly straight forward and where issues have arrived these have been well aired amongst buyers some of whom have used Lawyers during these early stages.

Dogbox, to be clear, I take it you have signed your contract and paid your 40% 1st and second payment and you will only engage with a solicitor once your villa is finished and you pay the final 60%?

what are your reasons for leaving legal advice this late or will you just use a notaire for title deeds, property tax payments etc?

Thanks.

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