“Plusvalía” Tax declared unconstitutional, but its not all good news.

For those who do not know, the “Impuesto sobre el Incremento de Valor de los Terrenos Urbanos”, more commonly referred to as the “Plusvalía” Tax, is a local capital gains tax on the value of urban land, levied when a property in Spain is sold, inherited o gifted. However, the gain being taxed was not a real gain, but rather a fictitious, which resulted in the tax always being owed irrespective of whether there had been an actual gain as a result of the transaction. In 2017 the Constitutional Court started by ruling that levying the tax when there was no real increase in value of the property (e.g. when the property is sold at a loss) is unconstitutional, although it was not particularly clear about when it should be considered that such an increase in value exists (see our post «Plusvalía» Tax declared unconstitutional in certain cases). The Constitutional Court ruling of the 26th October 2021 has declared the method of calculation of the “Pluvalía” Tax unconstitutional, thereby cancelling the tax. However, much like the ruling on mortgage floor clauses, which was eventually overturned by the European Court (see our post “Floor clauses” in Spanish mortgage contracts: What are they? What do they mean? What can you claim?…so many questions.), this ruling is yet another example of the politicization of the Constitutional Court to protect public funds. Despite having ruled the method of calculation to be unconstitutional, the ruling also states that tax bills issued before the date of the ruling will not be subject to revision when a court ruling with the force of res judicata or... read more

Residency post-Brexit: Am I still covered by the Withdrawal Agreement?

Some people may be concerned as to whether their residency application, after the 31st December 2020, will still be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. Well the Spanish Foreign Office has made it clear that as long as the applicant can prove, by any legally admissible means, that they were residing in Spain before the 31st December 2020, their application will be covered under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. Specifically, if the applicant was registered on their Town Hall census (“padrón de habitantes”) or they had an existing work contract before said date, this will be sufficient evidence, although other means of proof are possible. In this instance, this means that these applicants will only need to meet the residency requirements as an EU citizen and they will be able to apply from Spain. See our post Living and working in Spain for more information. However, if the applicant’s entry into Spain takes place after the 31st December 2020, they will have to apply for the appropriate residency visa through the Spanish Consulate in the UK, before traveling to Spain. In this case, if the applicant has travelled to Spain without the visa, they will be entitled to remain in Spain for up to the 90 days permitted under the Schengen rules, but they will need to return to the UK for the residency visa application, as these applications require a physical appointment at the Spanish Consulate in the UK. If you are interested in applying for residency in Spain and need further guidance, we recommend you seek the assistance of a legally trained professional. Gabriella Mary Trussler RowlandLawyer4408... read more

When do I need an Apostille?

The general rule is that for any official document issued in a foreign country to be valid and recognised in another, the document will need to legalised, or in the case of countries party to the Apostille Convention apostilled. Exemption within the EU As part of the EU’s administrative cooperation EU Regulation 2016/1191 came into effect on the 16th February 2019, simplifying the circulation of public documents between EU member States, and it applies to: Administrative documents (such as certificates)Notarial actsJudgmentsConsular documents Said Regulation establishes an exemption from the Apostille, between EU member States, for these documents when they relate to the following subject matters: BirthA person being aliveDeathNameMarriage (including capacity to marry and marriage status)DivorceLegal separation or marriage annulmentRegistered partnership (including capacity to enter into a registered partnership and registered partnership status)Dissolution of a registered partnership, legal separation or annulment or a registered partnershipParenthoodAdoptionDomicile and/or residenceNationalityAbsence of a criminal recordRight to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal/EU Parliament elections Furthermore, the Regulation also establishes an exemption from translations, under certain conditions. This means that if the original document is not issued in a multilingual format, you will be able to request a Multilingual Standard Form from the issuing authority, which saves on translation costs. What about the UK? The UK was of course an EU member State at the time that the Regulation was passed, but some people may be wondering if this exemption continues to apply to documents issued by UK authorities after Brexit. Said Regulation was applicable in the UK immediately before the implementation period completion day (31st December 2020), which means that, in... read more

The new TIE for UK nationals: Who needs it?

As we all know, the Brexit transition period means that UK nationals are able to enjoy their rights of free movement in Spain until the 31st December 2020. What you may not know is that UK nationals and their family members residing in Spain under the conditions laid down in the Withdrawal Agreement before the end of 2020 shall not be required to apply for a new resident status or to submit to a new documentation process. This means that anyone in possession of a green EU citizen registration certificate (A4 or card size) can use this document post-Brexit to establish their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. However, although not required to, they will be entitled to receive a residence document expressly reflecting their status as beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement (i.e TIE card). This means there a three scenarios in which a TIE (“Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero”) card can be applied for by a UK national: 1. Those already in possession of an EU citizen registration certificate (green A4 page or green card without photo), but have not been legally residing for 5 years. These people are able to request a TIE card, which will be issued for a period of 5 years and once they have been residing in Spain legally for 5 years they will be able to apply for permanent resident TIE card. 2. Those already in possession of an EU citizen registration certificate (green A4 page or green card without photo) and have been legally residing for 5 years, or possess a permanent residency certificate. These can apply for a TIE card valid... read more

Get Brexit Ready!

As we all know after the approval of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement the UK now finds itself in a transition period which will last until the 31st December 2020, assuming that it is not extended. During this transition period UK citizens can continue to live, work and study in the EU as they did before the 31st January 2020, but it is important for those who have not done so yet to start preparing for their stay in Spain after the end of the transition period. Legal residency and NIE If you are living in Spain, but have not yet obtained your legal residency certificate (green A4 or card size document) you can still do so before the 31st December under current EU regulations, which we highly recommend. Any application made after this date, unless the transition period is extended of course, will be considered under whatever new regulation is agreed between the UK and EU, or under Spain’s current regulation for non-EU citizens if no agreement is reached on residency. This could mean a substantial increase in minimum income requirements, employment law requirements, etc. depending on the basis for your residency application. The NIE document (white A4 document), as you will already know, is not proof of residency and is a way of assigning a legal and tax identification number to non-residents, which is required for certain transactions, such as buying a property, registering a vehicle, etc. The regulation surrounding this document will not change after the 31st December, as it is already a document which has exactly the same requirements for EU and non-EU citizens alike. For... read more

“Plusvalía” Tax declared unconstitutional in certain cases

On the 31st October 2019 the Spanish Constitutional Court issued a significant ruling concerning the infamous “Plusvalía” Tax (Municipal Capital Gains Tax). For those not already aware of it, it is a local tax on the increase in the value of urban land. The controversy surrounding the “Plusvalía” Tax in recent years is due to the fact that the value assigned to the urban land in question is not the transactional value of the property, but rather a value assigned by local administrations. This means that the actual gain is not what was being taxed in reality, resulting in the tax being levied even in cases where properties were sold at a loss in Spain. As a result of this uncertainty, brought about by a Supreme Court ruling in 2017, a lot of Town Halls decided to hold off on levying the tax until the doctrine on this subject had been further clarified, though others decided to carry on with business as usual. In its ruling the Constitutional Court declared the “Plusvalía” Tax to be unconstitutional when it is confiscatory for the taxpayer. What this means, in effect, is that the tax may not be levied where the property is sold at a loss, or even in the event of a real capital gain existing, except when the capital gain outweighs the amount owed in tax. The final consolidation of this position will come to an end with the approval of the Draft Bill for the reform of the Local Tax Authorities Act, although a lot of the Town Hall’s that had suspended issuing “Plusvalía” Tax bills have already... read more

How to set up a Spanish limited company

Private Limited Company (Sociedad Limitada) Activity: With the exception of certain types of activity reserved exclusively to public limited companies, private limited companies can carry out any type of activity. Number of shareholders: Whilst the capital paid in by each member of the company is important, in the private limited company importance is given to the personal qualities of each member, which makes this type of company more appropriate for activities that work with a small membership, family or professional companies, as well as to carry out business with a low initial capital outlay. Minimum capital: The minimum share capital for a private limited company is 3,000 €. This amount does not need to be outlaid entirely at the signing of the memorandum of association, but if it is not the company will be categorised at “company in organisation” until the minimum capital is reached. Public Limited Company (Sociedad Anónima) Activity: Public limited companies can carry out any type of activity, but there are certain activities reserved exclusively to them (e.g. banking, pharmaceutical, insurance, etc.). This is also the formation needed for the company to go public. Number of shareholders: This is a strongly capitalist format, which means that greater value is placed on the capital paid in by each shareholder rather than their personal qualities, which allows for the free trade of the shares. All of this makes it suited for activities requiring a larger number of shareholders, as well as greater capital mobility. Minimum capital: The minimum share capital for a public limited company is 60,000 €, of which at least 25% must be laid out at... read more

10 things that can complicate an international inheritance

Due to the increasing amount of foreign retirees choosing it as their retirement destination, international inheritances and the issues they present have become much more common in Spain. By international inheritances we mean any inheritance with an international dynamic (e.g. the deceased is a foreign national, a foreign law applies to the inheritance, etc.). Here are just a few of the complications that can arise.   Locating last will and testament. When the deceased is a foreign national, the likelihood that the last will and testament was made abroad is obviously higher. Although within Spain we have an extremely effective system for the registry of wills, this is not often the case in other countries. In the event that the last will and testament has been made in Spain, any notary is able to request information from the Spanish Registry of Wills to ascertain where and when the last will was made and obtain a copy. However, if the last will was made abroad this will need to be obtained, and this can become very difficult if there is no national registry of wills. Legalisation and translation of foreign documents. Whenever there is an international dynamic to inheritance, some form of foreign documentation has to be submitted (e.g. death, birth and marriage certificates, certificate of foreign law, etc.). All foreign documentation will have to legalised/apostilled, depending on its origin, unless it is an exception as regulated by an international convention. Furthermore, unless the notary dealing with the inheritance has sufficient knowledge of the language of the document, or it is a multilingual document, sworn translation will be needed.   Determining... read more

Further improvements to Inheritance Tax in Andalucia

As you will already be aware if you read our post on “Inheritance Tax reform in Andalucia”, a much needed revamp of Inheritance Tax legislation took place in Andalucia in 2017. As you may also have heard, thanks to a political agreement between PSOE and Ciudadanos, further improvement on this legislation came into effect on the 1st January 2018 and April 2019, by which a tax allowance of 1,000,000 € was introduced for some direct family members, as well as a fied 1% tax rate in all cases. Who does this apply to? This news, as often happens, has given way to some confusion that this in fact refers to a general tax allowance, which is not the case. The 1,000,000 € exemption per beneficiary (in Spain each beneficiary is taxed rather than the estate – for more information check out our post “Inheritance Tax reform in Andalucia”) will only apply to family members that come under Group I and II in accordance with Andalucia’s Inheritance Tax legislation. The groups under this legislation are as follows, and are based on the beneficiary’s relation to the deceased: Group I Blood or adoptive descendants under 21. Group II Blood or adoptive descendants 21+, spouses and blood or adoptive ascendants. Group III Collateral relations of 2nd and 3rd degree (siblings, nephews, nieces, etc.), and other ascendants and descendants (stepparents, stepchildren, etc.). Group IV Other collateral relations (cousins) and strangers. This means that the 1,000,000 € tax exemption does not apply to siblings, nephews, nieces, cousins, strangers, etc. These have their own, much lower allowances. Finally, a further condition to being entitled to this exemption... read more

Bringing your vehicle to Spain

In view of the crackdown on foreigners driving in Spain with foreign plates on their vehicles, many foreigners are becoming interested in exactly what the requirements are in these cases and the procedure which needs to be followed. It has become a fairly common practice in Spain for foreigners to move to Spain with their vehicle without carrying out the necessary registration in Spain and continuing to circulate with foreign plates. This, however, is illegal under Spanish law after a certain period has lapsed, and can result in steep fines for the driver caught doing so.   How long can I drive with foreign plates before I am required to register the vehicle in Spain? Non-residents may drive their foreign-registered vehicles (cars, motorbikes and caravans) in Spain for up 6 months before they are required to acquire Spanish plates. This means that, even if you are still resident abroad, but you spend more than 6 months in Spain with your vehicle, it will need to be registered in Spain. In the case of Spanish residents, however, the moment you acquire legal residency you are required to register your vehicle in Spain, even if the vehicle has not remained in Spain the full 6 months.   Exceptions There are certain exceptions to these rules in the case of the following: Students carrying out studies in Spain Cross-border commuters However, certain requirements must be met to qualify as one of these exceptions.   Transfering an EU registered vehicle to Spain The procedures relating to importing and registering a foreign vehicle are complex. It is possible to complete the process yourself or to... read more

Buying property from a developer in Spain

The procedure when buying a property from a developer in Spain differs significantly from buying from a private party, which is why the subject requires its own article as the pitfalls vary meaningfully from one another.   The Deposit Contract It is important to remember that, in most cases, you are paying a deposit on a property which does not even exist yet and will not be completed for a couple of years. New constructions have an inherent element of risk associated to them, entirely different to that of resale properties. Developers or real estate agencies will often encourage you to sign a deposit contract, which takes the property off the market for a pre-agreed period of time (usually around 30 days). The deposit contract is a succinct document and the amount paid will be deducted from the final purchase price at completion. It is highly recommended that you hire an independent conveyance lawyer from the outset (prior to signing a deposit contract), rather than the lawyers recommended by the developer, much less use their own lawyers. You must remember that it is the developer’s best interests they will be concerned with, not your own, and this can be an expensive mistake in the long run. Furthermore, no deposit should be paid unless the developer or estate agency have supplied you with an approved building licence. If there is no building licence it could void the bank guarantees securing your stage payments, that is to say that you would lose all your money without any legal recourse. In addition to all of this, reservation deposits are normally non-refundable unless the contract expressly states... read more

Income Tax in Spain: Am I liable to pay it?

If you are living or working in Spain, you will be liable to pay Spanish taxes on your income and assets and will need to file a Spanish tax return. Who is a resident? The first question to answer is who is considered a resident for tax purposes. This consideration must not be confused with the legal status of resident, which I have explained in detail y my previous post “Living and working in Spain”. Natural persons (private individuals) are considered resident in Spain for tax purposes if they remain in Spain for more than 183 days of the calendar year. Anyone who does not find themselves in this situation will be considered a Non-Resident Income Tax payer (see our previous post “Non-Resident Income Tax: What is it and why do I have to pay it?”). Who has to pay taxes in Spain? As a Spanish resident, you will need to submit a Spanish tax return and pay Spanish Income Tax, at progressive scale rates, on your worldwide income if: your annual income from one source of employment is over 22.000 €; you are self-employed or run your own business; you receive rental income of over 1.000 € a year; you have capital gains and savings income of more than 1.600 € a year; it is your first year declaring tax residency in Spain; Among other examples. You will have to declare all overseas assets worth more than 50.000 € (using Form 720). Your taxable income is the income left after deductions for social security contributions, pension, personal allowance, professional costs, etc. Do I have to register for taxation in Spain? You... read more

“Floor clauses” in Spanish mortgage contracts: What are they? What do they mean? What can you claim?…so many questions.

I am sure you have all heard of the infamous “floor clauses” (“cláusulas suelo”) contained in Spanish mortgage contracts. However, as much as I am sure you have heard I am just as sure that you are not entirely clear on what they are or what they entail. This confusion, which already exists in the Spanish community and more so in the foreign community, is due to huge amount of contradictory, and sometimes outright false, information spread by the media. Though I must admit this is not helped by the zigzag course taken in Spanish judicial precedent. I hope this post will help to clarify the situation and any doubts you may have as to whether they could apply to you, and how to submit your claim.   What is a “floor clause”? A “floor clause” is a clause of a mortgage contract that establishes a minimum for the mortgage payments, regardless of whether the ordinary interest agreed upon with the financial institution are below this minimum. The majority of mortgages given in Spain apply an interest rate which is fixed according to a reference rate, usually the Euribor, although there are others, plus a spread that varies depending on the financial institution in question. Therefore, the “floor” of the mortgage exists when there is a minimum fixed percentage, even if the interest resulting from the Euribor and the spread is less. In addition, there is also a mortgage “floor” when a minimum value is assigned to the Euribor, despite its market value being inferior. On some occasions a mortgage “roof” may also be applied, maximum amount of interest... read more

Legalisation of illegally constructed properties in Spain: Can my property be legalised?

As every foreigner living in Spain is more than aware, Spain has been receiving a lot of media attention for its large amount of illegally constructed properties extended all over the country, and the attempts being made by local and regional governments to facilitate the legalisation of said constructions. This post applies to properties built on both urban and rustic land in the region of Andalucía, as the details can vary from one autonomous region to another.   Background Historically building regulations in Spain have been largely ignored, especially in the countryside. As a result Spain has been left littered with all manner of illegal buildings, such as: Properties constructed without any building permission being obtained at all. Properties constructed with little regard to the plans submitted and the building permit issued (i.e. construction in excess of the square metres permitted by the permit). Older properties extended during renovations without obtaining building permission, or registering or declaring any extensions built. Rustic Land and Protected Rustic Land Land classification is extremely important in determining if there is a solution. Generally it is possible to legalise buildings on rustic land, but to legalise buildings on protected rustic land is almost unfeasible.   General conditions for legalisation The regional government of Andalucia (Junta de Andalucía) has attempted to clarify the legal status of such illegal buildings and provide a mechanism to legalise or regularise where possible, as long as certain requirements are met: That more than 6 years have passed since the completion of the construction (previously 4 years under old legislation). The property is not part of an urban planning disciplinary... read more

Why is it more important than ever to have a Spanish Will?

You may or may not know that a European regulation has been approved to regulate questions of jurisdiction, applicable law and enforcement of all successions where the deceased has passed away on or after the 17th August 2015 (Regulation No. 650/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012). This regulation can cause difficulties for those foreigners who have not made certain provisions regarding their last Will and Testament, especially for those habitually resident in Spain. We must pay particular attention to the provisions of Articles 21 and 22 of the regulation. On the one hand, Article 21 establishes that “Unless otherwise provided for in this Regulation, the law applicable to the succession as a whole shall be the law of the State in which the deceased had his habitual residence at the time of death.” But on the other hand, Article 22 points out that “A person may choose as the law to govern his succession as a whole the law of the State whose nationality he possesses at the time of making the choice or at the time of death.” But what is the difference between these two options? And how can this be resolved? For those of you who don’t know, Spanish inheritance law provides a certain amount of protection for legal heirs which, to those who originate from other jurisdictions, seems completely foreign. Certain inheritors are deemed, under Spanish law, to be what are called “compulsory heirs”, entitling them to a legal minimum share of the deceased’s estate. The new European regulation sets the place of habitual residence of the deceased as... read more

Non-Resident Income Tax: What is it and why do I have to pay it?

The determining factor regarding what kind of Income Tax a natural o legal person pays in Spain is residence. Residents pay regular Income Tax (IRPF) or Corporation Tax (IS), and non-residents, both natural and legal persons, must pay Non-resident Income Tax (IRNR). Who is a resident? The first question to answer is who is considered a resident for tax purposes. This consideration must not be confused with the legal status of resident, which I have explained in detail y my previous post “Living and working in Spain”. Natural persons (private individuals) are considered resident in Spain for tax purposes if they remain in Spain for more than 183 days of the calendar year. Anyone who does not find themselves in this situation will be considered a Non-Resident Income Tax payer insofar as they obtain income or own real-estate in Spanish territory. Income to be declared on real-estate in Spain According to Spanish law, non-resident natural persons who own urban real-estate assets in Spanish territory, for their own personal use, rather than for economic activity or which are vacant, are subject to Non-Resident Income Tax for the income obtained from these buildings. To clarify, although there is no actual income received in these cases, a “fictional” income is calculated based on the value of the said property. This is not to be confused with the local Property Tax (I.B.I.), the payment of which does not exempt you from Non-Resident Income Tax. If you are renting out your property you will have to declare the income you obtain from said rental. Will I be notified I have to pay? The system for... read more

Inheritance Tax reform in Andalucia

Finally, a much needed change to Inheritance Tax in Andalucia has arrived and will be coming into effect on the 1st January 2017. With Andalucia being one of the poorest regions of Spain it was becoming increasingly difficult to justify it being the region with the highest level of Inheritance Tax, forcing many inheritors to renounce their inheritance because of the unaffordable tax bill that came with it. Consequently, a restructuring of the tax had long been a matter of debate and negotiation, on a regional as well as a national scale.   Higher threshold The main change brought about by the new Inheritance Tax reform is the increase of the general threshold from 175,000 € to 250,000 € for each individual beneficiary. This means that as long as the value of the part of the entire estate being inherited is under this amount, no Inheritance Tax will be owed by said heir. In addition, to inheritances of between 250,000 € and 350,000 € a 200,000 € reduction is applied (e.g. if an inheritor’s share is valued in 270,000 € tax will only be due on 70,000 €). The effect of this change is to correct the leap that currently exists where, the moment the inheritance is even a euro over the threshold, Inheritance Tax is owed on the entire amount. This circumstance quite clearly placed inheritors at a comparative disadvantage, and was one of the main criticisms made of Inheritance Tax regulation in Andalucia.   Main residence Another important change is the introduction of increased allowances for the inheritance of the deceased’s main residence by spouses, ascendants or descendants,... read more

Opportunity to buy in Spain: Bank repossessions

The negative effects of the financial crisis on Spanish society are well known, with the high number of bank repossessions being the most widely publicised side-effect. Whilst this has created a social problem, it has also given way to a huge opportunity for property buyers and investors in Spain thanks to the incredibly low prices these repossessed properties are being offered at, with an estimated increase of 15% in property sales for this year. Spanish banks have become inundated with repossessed properties in the last few years and their urgency to offload them so as not to incur in further losses puts the buyers of these types of properties in an extremely powerful negotiating position. Furthermore, accepting one of the bank’s products (e.g. deposit account, home insurance, life insurance, credit card, etc.), some of which the buyer is already considering anyway, can bring down the purchase price even further. Although repossessed properties in Spain are particularly appealing to cash buyers because of their low prices, they can also be very interesting for those considering a financed purchase, as some banks are currently offering 100% mortgages for these properties. This change to the Spanish real estate market makes it the best time to buy in Spain in recent years. However, locating these properties and negotiating with the banks can prove complex and challenging, and specific legal checks are required. It is therefore important that potential buyers seek proper legal advice before engaging in the purchase of repossessed, or any other kind of properties in Spain.   Gabriella Mary Trussler Rowland Lawyer 4408 Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de... read more

Changes to the regulation of holiday rentals in Andalucia: Owners’ new obligations

As you may already be aware, Spain’s Law of Urban Rentals (Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos) was reformed in June 2013. Included in that reform was a key decision to transfer from the central government, to the autonomous regions of Spain, the responsibility of regulating holiday rentals agreements (holiday rentals are considered to be those which are of a period of two months or less). This transfer of responsibility lead to an absence of legislation across the board, as many regional governments (including that of Andalucia) did not previously have in place their own independent regulation regarding holiday rentals. This led to a considerable number of fines being levied on owners for non-compliance, who found themselves unable to comply as a result of this conflict between central and regional legislation on the subject. Following a considerable delay, (caused largely as a result of the temporary suspension of the Junta de Andalucía in 2013) the regulation of holiday rentals in Andalucía was finally approved in February of this year and came into effect on 11th May 2016.   Registration as a holiday rental The regulation introduces, among many other obligations, the obligation of all owners of properties offered for holiday rentals to register said property with the Tourism Registry of Andalucia, as it is now considered that holiday rentals constitute a tourism service. Registration of a holiday rental property with the Tourism Registry is compulsory in order to advertise your property in any way (e.g. estate agencies, accommodation websites, etc.) and the breach of this obligation, or any of the other extensive number of obligations contained in the new regulation, may result... read more

Living and working in Spain

As we all know, citizens of EU and EEA member states are allowed free movement throughout the Spanish territory. This is in theory. In reality, since 11th July 2012, the conditions for residence in Spain for more than 3 months have become much stricter. Workers’ rights in the EU Workers originating from another EU member state have the following rights: Freely enter, exit, travel and reside in Spanish territory with the exception of the exclusions made on the basis of public order, security or health. Perform any activity, as an employed or self-employed worker, to provide or receive services or to permanently reside after having carried out a work activity on the same terms as Spanish nationals, as well as to have access to public employment offers and be employed at the service of the public administrations. Match the Spanish workers in terms of: salaries, advancement, professional training, social security, working conditions, union affiliation, etc. Aggregation of insurance periods fulfilled in member states, for the purposes of social security benefits. New conditions introduced for residence in Spain of EU citizens and their families (since 11th July 2012) In 2007 the contents of a European Directive referring to the right of EU citizens and the family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the member states, was incorporated into Spanish Law (Directive 2004/38/CE). Although the incorporation included some of the conditions placed upon the rights of free movement and residence within the member states, it did not include all of the requirements under the Directive. This has caused a great deal of financial loss for Spain, especially where the inability to... read more

Conveyancing in Spain: If you a buyer or a seller be

Whether you are selling or buying property in Spain certain requirements must be met and procedures followed to ensure the purchase complies with Spanish Law and regulations. Legal representation and assistance is particularly necessary in Spain when purchasing or selling property. The Conveyancing process in Spain involves different degrees of participation by various parties: the seller, their legal representative, the real estate agent, the accountant, a notary public, the registrar, utilities companies, the town hall, banks, and in some cases the local courts, regional authorities, etc. The lawyer will ensure that all parties are appropriately co-ordinated and followed-up with and will perform an investigation to ensure that the property is purchased without any previous charge or liability that could incur additional costs or reduce the property’s value. To make sure that both parties are completely aware of the conditions of the property and the sale to allow for a “safe sale”, certain information has to be gathered by buyer and seller, such as: Searches on the legal status of the property and the developer/seller, so as to discover any issues that may influence the buyer’s decision or conditions of the purchase. Acquire an Energy Performance certificate for constructions, mandatory before even advertising the sale of the property and the seller’s responsibility. Liaise and agree with the seller and/or lawyers in respect of terms and conditions of the purchase, ensuring compliance with Spanish Law. Make preparations at the Notary Public for completion of the purchase or any further preparations required relating to the purchase (power of attorney, division or grouping of property, etc.). Ensure title deeds are properly registered in... read more