Friday, November 27, 2009

The saga goes on and on……

We received a couple of letters recently from the land registry(The Catastro) which stated that the registry couldn’t be updated due to some problems. See here. So this morning with Sheila we took these letters to the Notary over in Los Llanos expecting to be able to pick up yet another piece of paper to take down the offices of the land registry in Santa Cruz. But no it would seem to be a little more complicated and thus more expensive.

It would seem that on one plot the size of the plot has been updated in the land registry at some point and no longer agrees with the size recorded in the deed, So we have two options; the first is to track down the original seller and get a new deed drawn up with the correct size in it, But as from what I have been told he now lives in Venezuela (a lot of people for La Palma went there in poor times for work, including his farther who built the house in the first place). The other option in to hire an official surveyor for about 200€ to produce an exact measured plan of the plot that we can take to the land registry. This is the least of the problems.

It would seem that the other plot of land is much more complicated. I don’t quite understand the exact problem but it would seem that the ownership registered in the land registry doesn’t tie up with what is on our deed or the previous owners. So in order to sort this out we need to get a affidavit done by the Notary to prove that we are the owners of the land. But in order to do this we need to gather up the following people; The owners of  all the land which borders ours, four witnesses from the area, and uncle Tom Cobley and all. We also need to put adverts in the local press, get a piece of paper from the town hall which says that the land doesn’t belong to them. As you might guess this whole lot is going to be expensive, we were told about 700€.

We are pretty annoyed because we are sure that the previous owner had to do something similar to this before he could sell to us, and it would seem that this didn’t get as far as the land registry.

This has made Helen feel very upset and hasn’t helped with her depression, and with the ongoing stress  it has made of us feel very unsecure.

But on a lighter note when we got home we checked the post box and found a letter from the Land registry which confirmed that the house registration had been updated. So at least we own the house but not just the land around us.

Friday, November 20, 2009

LET THERE BE LIGHT, in the loo

After 2 and a half years we have finally got mains lights in the out side loo. Up until now we have been using a solar powered shed light. It worked fine as long as you did not use it much (it only had about 15 minutes of illumination time). We have had a few problems with the tube going twice and now the batteries have failed and the replacements don't work..

So we thought it was about time to get the mains power out there. We put in the conduit from the Kitchen to the loo when we did the Patio But needed to add junction boxes by the loo and run the conduit around the loo, add switch and light. As well as sorting out the power to the Kitchen (which meant adding a temporary Junction box in there as well).

Main Junction box

Main junction box for power and data outside loo

Junction boxies and conduit

Conduit etc at rear of loo
More conduit will be added later to the bottom box to supply the observatory

Running the conduit around the loo and adding all the junction boxes was not a problem, What was a problem was getting the power cable through the conduit from the main breakers to the kitchen and then from the kitchen to the loo. It would seem that the cable puller only functions for pulls of half its length and these two runs were longer that this. But after the adding of grease  and digging up the conduit in two different places we managed to get the cable through.

external switch

External light switch (outside due to the shower)

So finally we have nice bright electric light in the loo. Makes it feel a lot more inviting at night out there.

Let there be light

Let there be light

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Trouble with the land Registry

When we brought the house we specifically asked if there was anything else we needed to do, And were told that there was not. Then about a year later we realised that the land registry(The Catastro) had not been updated. (The only way that you know is that when we pay out taxes in November the house is not in our name).

So the next time we were in the town hall with Sheila, we tried to sort the problem out but the Guy there said that as the plot numbers had changed we would have to get the house sale (the deed?) changed. So we had to go and see the Notary.

They said that there was nothing wrong as the changes was due to the subdivision of land between agricultural and urban land, and she suggested that we should see the head office in Santa Cruz. Which we did….  And all went off ok.. simple fill in form and hand over copies of all our documents.

THEN about a month later we received a document by registered post that seemed to say that there was a problem with the documentation. That amounted to the previous owner not having updated the registry when he inherited the house. So €9.00 and another document later all seemed to be happy.

THEN today we received to recorded letters from the Catastro, and I thought “Ah here are the registration certificates for the land..” But NO. It seems they have not updated the registry as: One parcel has the wrong owner in the register. The other they will not update it as the size of the parcel of land in the Sale document is more that 10% different from that in the Register. The thing is, is that the land size is only listed in a copy of the register entry. So they will not up date the register as they have changed it since the house was sold….

Oh fun….!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

It pays to complain

A few weeks ago while we were shopping we decided to by a tub of cheese dip and some nachos to have as a treat sometime. You can imagine my disappointment when I got home to discover that the jars lid hadn't been fitted correctly and the contents of the jar had a nice cover of mould. So I wrote an email to the company to complain instead of taking the jar back to the shop which would have meant a trip back to the capital. Well today a box turned up with a whole load of products from the same firm. So it pays to complain.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Working in the forest.

With Theresa starting the private classes this year I am again helping out with the young ones. This means that I have to come in with her to school and amuse my self until we go to the classes in San Pedro (near Santa Cruz), as it happens to be  on the day that she has a full morning at School and two private classes in Los Sauces. I have to find something to do for around 5 hours in the morning and 2 in the afternoon (we meet for lunch). I could go home, but that uses petrol so at the moment I read, walk and do other things.

So here I am at 10:20 am sitting in the car with the Laptop powered from a 12v power pack and Inverter catching up with the Blog. Ok no internet here (no mobile coverage ether) but it is a nice environment working in the trees in Los Tilos,  Just took the picture below so you can see the spot.


One day I may try to take the laptop up to the picnic area, really up in the trees and work up there for an hour or so. (I just have not got the courage up yet, and its raining on and off at the moment.)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Paying the Bills

Well its that time of year again when we have to make the trek over to the main town of Garafia, Santa Domingo to go to the town hall and pay our bills for this year.  the bills we have to pay at this time  are the council tax (25€), rubbish collection (38€), Car Tax (51.72€) and the water bill for the previous six months (17.65€).  The only big problem with paying the bills is that they don’t get sent to you, you just have to keep an eye on the village notice board where a notice will be posted telling you that the bills are available to be paid and you just have to turn up some time in the two month period and pay the bills in cash at the office.