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19/04/2009 - Warehouse or House?

Another ‘tool shed’ owner has come forward to slam lawyers who left him with an illegal house and a 15,000 euro fine.

Incredibly the British artist Peter Smith used the SAME legal firm as a group of other British owners who highlighted the scandal in our last issue.

He insists the big firm that the Olive Press is not naming for legal reasons, did the conveyancing for the house, which is only listed as a warehouse. They told him it would be legal in four years

But when he asked for confirmation in writing they said that would not be possible.


The sculptor, who built the house in Tolox, dreamed of ‘doing a Picasso’, spending several months each year working in Spain.

“But I ended up doing less work over here than I did back in Oxfordshire because of all the stress,” he said. “I am so disillusioned with the Spanish housing industry, it is farcical.”

The father of two had bought the land for 140,000 euros in 2004.

But after moving in his legal problems began.

“I got a fine of 15,000 euros which I am having to pay despite assurances for my lawyers that I would be able to legalise the house with no problem.”

He also claims the mayor of Tolox, Juan Vera, who has been charged with 23 separate planning offences, was present at two of the meetings between himself and his builder.

However, this has not protected Peter from the town hall, who are determined to fine him heavily for his unwitting crime.

While furious with his lawyers he has been told he may be able to legalise his house through the official channels.

Mr Smith’s name has been changed for legal reasons