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UK landlord's champion comes to the aid of expat landlords in Spain

Source: Press Release - Paragon Advance España - Fri 24th Sep 2010

With offices in Malaga and Madrid, the company is offering security to landlords in the form of tenant referencing and a rent warranty, services which Paul found from personal experience were not readily available in the Spanish property rental industry.

Paul Shamplina, a leading and renowned UK tenant eviction expert and founder of Landlord Action, has brought his services to Spain to help expat landlords protect themselves against rogue tenants.

Working with the UK's leading independent referencing agency, FCC Paragon, Paul formed Spanish based company Paragon Advance España.

Paul comments, "when I purchased an apartment in Mijas, I trawled numerous agents in an attempt to find someone that could offer me the cover I wanted to ensure I not only found a legitimate tenant but, if they did end up defaulting on the payments, I wouldn't lose out financially.

Last year there were 25,000 eviction cases proceeding through the Spanish courts, a figure which more than proved that landlords needed a safeguard, and yet I couldn't find anyone that could offer me the type of landlord protection which is so readily available in the UK. There was a definite gap in the marketplace. The Spanish economy is currently very fragile and, with unemployment standing at around 20%, an increasing number of expats are resorting to letting out their property as they struggle to pay their mortgage.

Without proper referencing, landlords could end up with a tenant who is not financially sound or credible. The Spanish legal system can take up to 18 months to progress an eviction and, during this time, the landlord will still be liable for the mortgage and utility bills and will have no redress over the non paying tenant."

John Radley is a landlord who found that not having a safety measure in place cost him dearly, explaining, "when I asked my agent to carry out some checks on the prospective tenant, I was told "we don't do that sort of thing over here". Ultimately, the tenant stopped paying the rent and I had to start eviction proceedings which, from start to finish took 12 months through the Spanish courts and cost me €9,350 in loss of rent, a phone bill of €800 and €3000 in legal fees."

In contrast, Frances Jonathan Romero Molina, did take out the warranty at a cost of just €348 inclusive of IVA, pointing out that this was a small price to pay compared to what it would have cost had he not done so, "I had complete peace of mind knowing that Paragon were taking charge of all the steps and legal procedures and, whilst this was going on, they were also paying the rent into my bank account."

Paragon España works closely with The European Association of Arbitration (AEADE) who has invested time and effort to ensure that a more specialised system of tenancy arbitration is facilitated and quicker outcomes gained. Last year AEADE handled 650 cases for landlords. Through arbitration, landlords can get sentences within 28 days after which time, if the tenant does not leave, they can apply to the local courts for bailiffs to evict the tenant.

The warranty supplied by Paragon Advance España costs €348 inclusive of IVA and includes a standard loss of rent cover for up to €2000 per month for up to 6 months, and legal expenses cover up to €15,000 plus the inclusion of an arbitration document.

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