We will conduct a land registry check to ensure the property/land matches the registry of the property.
This will also verify the vendors are the legal owners of the property. The land registry details will confirm whether there are any charges, such as a mortgage, registered against the property and any other debts or embargos.
As part of our service we will check the property has been built in compliance with all planning and building regulations. There have been many widely-publicised horror stories regarding properties built illegally.
Carrying out prudent checks prior to purchase alleviates any risk. As part of this process, GB Abogados will ensure the property has a habitation licence.
We will obtain up-to-date statements in respect of the present owners' utilities, council tax and community fees accounts.
In Spain debts can be registered against a property, so it is important all debts are cleared prior to completion at the notary.
GB Abogados differ to many Spanish solicitors in that we commission local searches via the local town hall. The main purpose of this is to ascertain whether there are any planning applications in the local area which may affect your property.
In the past many clients have purchased properties off-plan. When doing so, it is important to ensure your solicitor carries out checks at each stage of the build.
Initially, it is vitally important to confirm the developer has all the correct planning permissions and building licences.
We are able to research the builder on behalf of our clients to ensure they have the capacity to complete the build. When placing a deposit you are legally entitled to receive a bank guarantee from the builder.
We will ensure this is in place to protect our client's interests. Upon completion, we will verify that the property has been correctly registered and signed off by a registered architect and that the first occupation licence has been issued.
Whilst it is not mandatory to carry out a private survey of a property, it is a wise decision to receive a report from a registered surveyor or architect.
GB Abogados can obtain quotations on your behalf and arrange for a visit to the property. If you are purchasing with a mortgage from a Spanish bank, the lender will commission a valuation of the property.
It is important to understand this is a very basic report carried out for the benefit of the bank.
Many overseas buyers make the mistake of handing over a deposit payment, often directly to an estate agent, at outset.
We always advise that the deposit payment should wait until we have carried out the land registry checks.
We will draft a purchase contract and agree the terms with the vendor's solicitor. This agreement can then be signed with peace of mind and any agreed deposit paid.
When purchasing a property, overseas buyers need to obtain a NIE certificate. This is a fiscal number for non-residents. As part of our service we include applying for NIE certificates for all individuals on the purchase.
Remember that things are changing for UK residents. If you plan to move to Spain or want to spend more than 90 days in any 180 day period, you will need to apply for the TIE. The TIE is the Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjeros for non-EU residents, which includes UK expats after Brexit.
For more information about the NIE and TIE in Spain, please read our article about how to get your NIE number in Spain.
As from 2013, all properties sold in Spain are required by law to have an Energy Efficiency Certificate. We will ensure this document is in place as part of our conveyancing service.
Our service includes the provision of a Spanish will. The will is typically drafted in two column formats with an English translation.
The will is drafted to cover your assets in Spain. The document will need to be signed in front of a notary either in Spain or the UK.
Once the document has been notarised, and legalised if signed in the UK, we will register the will in Madrid.
When purchasing a property in Spain, you will need to make payment of various bills usually by direct debit.
We are able to offer a bank account with a Spanish bank as part of our conveyancing package. The account includes internet banking in English and a debit card.
Upon completion of the purchase, we will set up the utility accounts in your name. The providers usually require direct debits to be set up from your bank account.
Prior to completion you will receive a Completion Statement which details all of the associated costs of purchase. The main disbursements are the Land Registry Fees, Notary Fees and Property Transfer Tax.
Example costs based upon a purchase of €100,000 are approximately:
Notary Fees: €800.00
Land Registry Fees: €600.00
The Property Transfer Tax varies from region to region: Valencia: 10%, Andalucia 8% – 10% (depending upon price), Cataluna 10%, Balearics 10%, Canary Islands 6.5%.
If you purchase a property from a non-resident, a sum equal to 3% of the purchase price is deducted and paid to the tax authorities.
This is to ensure that the vendor does not leave Spain with taxes pending. The vendor can reclaim this amount providing all taxes are up to date.
Many clients purchase their property with finance from a Spanish bank.
Whilst, this has become more difficult in recent years, it is still possible to obtain finance of around 70% of the property value.
There are additional costs involved when purchasing with a mortgage, as the lender will charge a setup fee and there are taxes due. If you are buying with a mortgage, we will liaise with your mortgage lender throughout the conveyancing process. We are able to obtain mortgage quotations upon request.
Many clients are not able to be present in Spain on completion day. This is not necessarily an issue. We can draft a Power of Attorney to enable us to sign for the purchase on your behalf.
The completion of the transaction is confirmed at a notary signing in Spain. This is usually at a notary office close to where the property is located.
We will attend the notary signing, either with you or with the Power of Attorney. The notary appointment will typically take around 2 hours.
Following the notary signing, we will ensure that all the correct taxes are paid and the escritura is sent to the registry for inscribing.
You will receive the formal title deeds from the registry around one month after signing.
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