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  • Writer's pictureDave

Trouble at th’ Mill!

During this trip we also discovered Intercambio, a local group of folk living in Vejer who meet up at La Ventana every Thursday evening to chat and practice their English and Spanish - strictly 10 minutes in one language before swapping to the other. I found I could understand quite a lot of the Spanish conversation but wasn’t equipped enough to join in and reply very often.

Jerez moorish palace courtyard

Further afield we enjoyed a day in Jerez exploring the alcazar moorish palace and delightful gardens - well worth a visit if you are staying at Casa Colina Blanca.

Jerez moorish palace arches

Finally there was some of the mundane stuff associated with owning a typical Spanish property! Broken blind pulls were dealt with. Walking around on the roof terrace indicated some bowed and hollow areas of floor tiles which could soon lead to water ingress so we recognised need for new roof tiles. Replacing the whole of the roof tiling and bedding layer would involve our builders in a couple of weeks’ work and was to be our biggest single refurbishment cost to date. However, securing the roof from the seasonal torrential rain was a necessary improvement and in the long run money well spent.

We also found an English-speaking Accountant in Conil who could deal with our quarterly required tax returns listing rental income and related expenditure. With Antonio’s help I just spend an hour or two populating a spreadsheet and Antonio does the hard sums and sends off the return on my behalf - money well spent and tax deductible!

Less straightforward was a letter, out of the blue, from the local council which, when translated, took issue with my letting activity! The gist was that the property was not registered as a hotel, it was a private residence and thus should not receive paying guests. Prosecution was threatened! This was beyond me and I passed the letter on to our local solicitor who believed there was some over-zealous interpretation of rules going on in the local bureaucracy. There could be a lot of unhappy property owners in Vejer if the council missive is going out widely!

This was particularly puzzling as I had registered the property for tourist letting with the regional authority in Cádiz and had all the authorisation, registration and necessary permissions from them. So whilst the regional authority had Casa Colina Blanca registered and approved for holiday letting the Vejer Ayuntamiento seemed to be blissfully unaware and taking a contradictory stance. Who was it said Italian bureaucracy was the pits?

Anyway, following my solicitor’s response querying the interpretation nothing more was heard, thankfully. The advice being if the council did not respond within three months that was a legal cut-off point and the matter was deemed to be dropped. I was able to breath a sigh of relief at the end of January and the issue has never surfaced again.

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