Overseas property law can be very different to Irish property law. If you’ve had trouble with an overseas property investment, believe you were missold an overseas investment, or that you want your money back for any reason, then you might feel at a loss as to how to pursue the matter to a legal end.
Luckily, we’ve got all the advice you need.
Rescuing Overseas Property: Advice From A Property Solicitor
How The Problem Started
The overseas property market is minefield for everyone. A huge amount of people from Ireland bought overseas property during the boom without knowing their legal rights should something go wrong. Sadly problems with overseas properties are now very common.
Most of the problems associated with overseas property investments stem from the fact that the sector was left unregulated. There was no system of control imposed on who could sell properties or how they were sold, despite the fact that transactions involved large amounts of money. This left buyers at the mercy of unscrupulous sellers and, unless they were very careful, it was extremely easy for them to lose money.
The problem was compounded by lax lending rules by the banks. Loans were granted that should not have been under normal circumstances.
The banks should’ve been more careful and given more consideration their obligations to their customers such as ‘Duty of Care’. The financial regulator should have also controlled more closely how these loans were granted.
Taking Legal Action
If you believe there is a problem with your purchase there are a number of avenues you can take action to recover your money.
Depending on where and how you bought the property you can still have the right to take action against the agent who sold the property. Often the Irish agents also acted as full or part developers of the property. In both theses case you may be able to take action to seize assets from the agents or developers. Even if the company is no longer operating you may be able to take a case personally against those involved.
There can often be a great advantage in forming an action group in order to share the cost of the legal case, exchange information and provide strengths in numbers. We have put a number of these groups together and can help find other investors in the same position and build a strong legal case.
Often forming and promoting the grievances of a group of investors can be enough to bring the agents or developers to the negotiating table. We can then often negotiate a successful conclusion on behalf of the investors without having to instigate full legal proceedings. The threat of legal action from a group of investors can often be enough to get a satisfactory conclusion.
Make sure you have an experienced property law solicitor to help you with all of these legalities.
It Is Crucial That You Don’t Delay
The single biggest mistake that overseas property investors do is they delay taking action. If you believe there is a problem you should not wait.
The longer you wait the harder it will be for you to recover your funds. This is often because we have to follow a money trail in order to recover your funds. The longer it is left the more opportunity there is for an unscrupulous developer to move any funds that they have left out of reach and the colder the money trail gets.
Where a development has genuinely run into trouble the funds could simple run out if action is delayed to long. By instigating legal action often accounts can be frozen to ensure funds are protected. Therefore, time is very valuable. If you think a developer might go into liquidation it is important to be the first group to take action, in order to be able to gain compensation whilst there are still funds in a company or project.
Information To Gather
If you need to take legal action property the more information you can provide the quicker it will be to establish your case and take action.
Gather the following ASAP:
The original sale’s agreement.
- Your contract with the developer or agent.
- Hard copies of any correspondence with your developer, agent or legal adviser (pre-sale and post-sale).
- Sales brochures or website information on the project.
- Any information relating to the transfer of your funds, such as bank documents, your escrow account or receipts.
- Any maps, plans or images of the development.
- Provide a timeline of when you first contacted the agent and developer, including when funds were paid, meetings, phone calls etc.
- Any other information relating to the investment, no matter how insignificant.
As solicitors specialising in property law we have extensive experience in helping overseas property investors with legal issues surrounding their overseas property. Legal cases that we have been involved range from India, to Dubai, Morocco and Cape Verde. This has been done for individuals, investors’ groups, syndicates and funds.
Contact a member of our legal team to get your problem fixed today.