Legal Matters When Buying in Spain

Legal Matters When Buying in Spain

We wish that all our clients have a smooth transition and journey right through their buying process. 

Casa y Campo can assist and guide you through each step of the way. This is all part of the journey and we aim to make this an enjoyable part of the journey and process of buying your new home here in Spain!

We have outlined the process here for you so that you are well informed and  give you a good idea of how the process here in Spain, works.

1  Once you have found your property here in Spain, instruct a lawyer or legal representative with experience of the Spanish legal system to act on your behalf. Meet and speak to your chosen lawyer before you commit yourself to buy.

2  You will need to have a NIE number (tax identity number in Spain) before opening a bank account and buying a property in Spain. Your legal representative can assist you with this.

3  Open a bank account in Spain. This is usually straightforward as all you require is your passport, NIE and an address in Spain. Ideally located close to your chosen village.

4  On agreement of an accepted offer on a property a Reservation Contract is drawn up between buyer and seller, normally by your agent, with a deposit (often €3,000) payable when reserving and agreeing terms for the property.

5   Please note that if your chosen property is later deemed to have issues with legalities and you are unable to continue to sale for this reason, your €3,000 deposit is refundable. Alternatively if your seller decides to withdraw from the sale, they are obliged to pay you double this deposit back to you.

6   Be aware of the taxes and costs payable in addition to the purchase price. Ask your legal representative to provide you with details. Taxes and costs will add approximately 10% to the agreed purchase price. If you are taking out a Spanish mortgage costs can be slightly higher.

7   At the same time obtain from your legal representative an indication of likely ongoing annual taxes and expenses, for example rates (IBI) and community charges.

8   Once the Reservation has been made and deposit paid, your legal representative will conduct a Land Registry search, ensuring there is no outstanding  debt on the property and that the property is correctly registered.

9   When buying a resale property, often the owner will include a number of items in the sale; furniture/white goods, it is good practise to include a detailed  inventory of furniture and all equipment that is being included in the sale. This will or can form part of the sale agreement and noted by the legal  representative.

10  Once the search is complete we move to the Contract of Sale" a further deposit is paid - 10% which includes the €3,000 already paid. A date is given by  which both parties agree to complete the purchase.

12  After a final check of the title and the grant of the necessary Licence of First Occupation (for a new property), you and your legal representative shall attend  the completion appointment at a local Notary's office. There the title transfer deed (Escritura de Compraventa) will be checked and signed by you, the final  purchase money paid over and the keys released (NB – it is worth considering giving your legal representative Power of Attorney to purchase, so that you do not have to attend the notary and run the risk of having to repeatedly travel to Spain should any small problem occur resulting in a delay in completion).

13 Following the completion of your new property, your legal representative will ensure that the relevant taxes and duties are paid and your title is registered at the local Land Registry office. They will then move to transfer into your name the utilities that are connected to the property.

14 It is advisable to make a will in Spain to deal with your Spanish property and add a codicil to your UK will to exclude the Spanish property.

15 Appoint a fiscal representative in he/she will be able to prepare and lodge the annual tax forms which will be required once you are living here.