There are many legal issues to take into consideration when buying, owning or selling property overseas. We want to bring your attention to the most important ones here. Please note that since we are not solicitors nor qualified to give legal advice we recommend that you consult with an independent qualified solicitor for your legal queries.
In who’s name will you buy the property?
There are several ways to buy property in Spain. You can buy it:
– In your own name,
– In the joint names you and your partner(s) or co-buyers,
– In your children’s name or someone who will inherit the property from you,
– In the name of a limited company, either registered in the UK, in Spain or “Off-shore”
– Please consult with a financial advisor and/or solicitor for in depth advice on these issues.
– Signing the Escritura in front of the Notary Public
The Escritura is the title document proving who is the owner of the property and contains detailed information about the property itself. It has to be signed in front of a Spanish Notary Public by you or someone with a power of attorney granted by you. We will help arrange a time and date for this for our buyers and make sure that it runs as smoothly as possible. The notary public is a public official who puts on public record the fact that the title deed has been signed in his presence and understood by both buyer and seller. When the escritura is signed is signed the purchase price is either handed over to the seller or the seller confirms that payment has already been received for the property. Proof of payment is then incorporated into the title deed of the property.
Legal fees associated with the purchase
A fee is paid to the Notary Public for the preparation of the Escritura. This fee is usually in between € 280-560.
The land registry also charges a fee for registering the deed. The amount depends on the value of the property but is usually around € 280.
All these fees are included in the 3% on top of the purchase fee we ask you to allow for when buying property with us. There are no hidden costs.
Spending less than 183 days per year in Spain?
Then you are classed as a non-resident but you should still:
– Name a fiscal representative in Spain (optional)
– Pay your local rates (constribucion urbana/IBI)
– Make a declaration of all your capital assets in Spain and, where appropriate, pay wealth tax on them.
– Make a Spanish income tax declaration and pay income tax on any income from your activities in Spain
– If you have a car in Spain you need to pay car tax and arrange car insurance
– Pay your electricity, water and other bills.
What happens if one co-owner should die?
Jointly owned property does not automatically pass to the survivor. It will be handled according to instruction in your will, either Spanish or English. It is generally cheaper and simpler to handle your affairs in Spain if you have made a Spanish will. Please consult with a solicitor for more information about this.
This is the Spanish equivalent of VAT. It is currently 7% of the sales price of your property. You pay this in two instalments, once on your 20% deposit and once on your 80% completion payment.
In addition to the IVA you have to pay document tax or stamp duty at 0.5% of the property price. This tax is included in the 3% additional fees we mention to you in the buying letter.