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British sailors unite to save their Spanish berths

By Val Ellis last modified Jul 06, 2010 08:59 AM

Published: 2010-07-06 08:59:24
Countries: Spain , United Kingdom

Mon, 28 Jun 2010

British sailors with a marina berth in Spain are being urged to contact their local Member of Parliament about the now tenuous situation of berth leasing in the sunny country.

The Law of the Coast or Ley de Costas sounds like something you would associate with romantic pirate stories of the nineteenth century. However, during the last few months Genus Marine, a leading marina berth broker in Europe, has noticed a minefield developing in the Spanish legal system and British sailors want to do something urgent to counteract the trend.

Law of the Coast is a long-ignored law recently invoked, which has the effect of slashing the lease periods and values of marina properties and berths at a stroke.

For marina operators the law was introduced in 1988 with the intention of limiting the concession (or lease) period for all new marinas to 30 years. But, as is the case with so many Spanish property laws, there are a lot of ambiguities and the law has, until now, never been enforced. However, in the last month, the experts at Genus Marine have seen the Andalucian authorities starting to apply the original 2018 end date to all marina concessions, even those signed prior to 1988.

Previously, during the purchase of a marina berth in Spain, a local notary would generally re-draft the existing property deeds with the necessary changes of ownership and submit them to legal record. However, this paperwork is now being re-routed to central government in Seville. On their return, the deeds have had their concession end dates changed to 2018, the original termination date of the long-ignored Ley de Costas.

UK berth owners currently caught-up in the Spanish system are now urged to contact your local MP to ensure that an official government response can be co-ordinated effectively.

A full list of all the UK MPs is available at it gives telephone numbers, postal and e-mail addresses.

by Genus Marine