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Buying Property In Spain?

10 Top Tips For Buying Property In Spain

Buying your dream vacation property in Spain is exciting however getting over the legal obstacles of the buying process can seem daunting.

The more information you have about the property and the Spanish legal process the better so Worldwide Lawyers have provided a list of ten basic tips to help you buy your dream Spanish property with minimum hassle!

1. Find a good Spanish lawyer

Instructing a reliable Spanish lawyer from the outset can prove to be invaluable and can minimise any worry and hassle later on. Your lawyer should be entirely independent from the estate agent or any developer so that you can be confident that they will work only to protect your interests and not any other party.

You should check that the Spanish lawyer is registered with the relevant bar association, that they have professional indemnity insurance and have experience dealing with international transactions. They also need to speak your language! 

2. Get a property survey

If your walls do not provide the strength required to support the roof or if your swimming pool starts to sink further down into the valley, you may find that the relatively small price of a survey would have been money well spent.

If you wouldn't buy a home in England without a survey, why do it in Spain?!

3. Check the ownership of the property 

You will need to ensure that the names of the registered owners of the property match the information you have about the sellers. (This may sound obvious but you would be surprised!). 

This information is set out on a report known as the Nota Simple. This is a document provided by the Land Registry in Spain and provides information about the property. 

4. Check the description of the property 

The boundaries, the total area of the land and details of the property will need to checked against what you have actually seen. 

Never ever buy a property without actually going to see it first- You may laugh but this does happen!

5. Know the applicable local laws

Check out the how the property is classified (i.e. is it rustico, urbano or urbanizable) as this may affect how regional laws may be applied to the property.

You should also check when buying rural land that is not reserved for agricultural use and that full permission has been obtained for residential use.. 

Considering buying a coastal property? It has been known for properties to be built on public coastal land without the required consents. Check with your lawyer whether such laws could affect the property you wish to purchase.

6. Check building permissions have been complied with

It is not uncommon for resale properties in Spain to have extensions or additions carried out without planning permission. Check with your lawyer that any such alterations are identified, and legalized before you proceed to buy the property.

7. Determine any future building restrictions

If you are buying the property due to its development potential you should make sure you ask your lawyer to check the latest town the town planning department of the local town hall to see if the land you wish to buy is affected by any building restrictions, green zones or public pathways etc.

8. Ensure there are no debts against the property

In Spain debts such as mortgages and unpaid taxes are attached to the property rather that the individual. Your lawyer should ask to see proof of payment of the mortgage, utilities, taxes and any community fees to ensure that any debts have been paid before you purchase the property

9. Find out the extra costs of your property purchase

Purchase Tax is charged on the local council’s valuation of the property and not the purchase price of the property. You should ensure that you know the cadastral value of the property and how much purchase tax will be due. 

You should also find out what the continuing costs associated with the property will be and check that you can realistically afford these.

10. Check out the rental restrictions

Some regions of Spain do not allow properties to be let to tourists as short-term holiday lets. Breaches of these regulations can lead to heavy fines. 

Even if you are not planning to rent out the property yourself, you should check whether any such regulations apply to your property as this could impact on the resale value of your property.

This list is not-exhaustive and there is no substitute for the advice of a property qualified and experienced independent Spanish lawyer who can guide you through the buying process. 

If you need assistance from a lawyer in Spain, contact Worldwide Lawyers who will be able to point you in the right direction.


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