Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Why do I need a Spanish Lawyer when buying in Spain

The importance of legal advice in Spain

Most of the horror stories reported in the press could of been avoided with expert and sound legal advice from a Spanish Lawyer.

Spain has well defined regulations applicable to all property in Spain both at a national and a local level. As long as the correct process is followed and detailed checks undertaken you should not experience any future issues.

The key issue when undertaking conveyance on a purchase in Spain is that the relevant information and checks that need to take place cannot be done with one authority or office.

What types of issues should be looked out for


Over builds or extensions to the property that do not have the correct permissions are one of the major types of infractions that affect property in Spain. Due to past lax implementation of regulations or an ignoring of the legal process a number of properties in Spain have historic issues relating to the number of meters seen and that registered at land registry.

Only square meters registered at land registry and registered as living accommodation can be deemed to be completely legal.

Catastral values and purchase taxes

It should always be checked that the price you are paying for the property is not below the Catastral value and if it is that advice taken as to what possible tax implications this may have. Paying below the Catastral value may incur future purchase taxes as the tax authorities work off minimum catastral values.

Embargos and Liens

Outstanding embargos and debts can remain with the property in Spain and be inherited by you unless the debts are cleared and registered as cleared before completion. It is important a full check with all utility companies, local authorities, communities and tax offices are undertaken during the legal searches.

Spanish mortgages are cleared on day of completion and a representative of the Bank must attend completion to remove the loan.

First occupation licences

All property built in the last few years must hold an occupation licence. A few properties will not have the certificate because outstanding fines must be paid before the certificate is issued, but the property itself does fall into current planning regulations. At all times if an occupation licence is not available caution should be taken.

10 year building warranties

All properties 10 years old or less should hold a 10 year building warranty which protects you against build issues during the first 10 years.

Read the full article : Spanish Lawyers and their function in the buying process

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