BUYING A HOUSE IN SPAIN.
To buy or to sell a house is quite complicated for the average citizen,
especially for the foreigner.
The lack of information, the professional intrusion and other factors may
hinder the Conveyancing business, apparently simple, but with a
huge amount of complexity, specially when it relates to country side properties.
Consequently, we always recommend to seek the help of an independent Lawyer properly registered with the Law Society and experienced, not only in Conveyancing, also in Development Laws.
Once you have identified the house you want to buy and prior to any deposit payment or contract signature, you (or your Conveyancing Lawyer) should check the following;
– The property has the First (or second) Ocupation Licence.
– There are no fine or demolition files opened at the Town Hall
– The house is properly registered at the Catastro.
– The description at the Catastro matches to reality
– The house has definitive electricity and water contracts.
– The house is registered at the Land Registry.
– The borders described at the Land Registry matches real ones
– The metric measurements for the plot and house at the different Registries match with real ones.
– There are no official notes written in the margin of the Land Registry House Certificate
– There are no encumbrances on the property; mortgages, taxes,etc
– There are no other rights charged to the property; dual ownership, etc.
3. Other issues.
– Local tax IBI and rubbish collection tax are paid.
– Last electricity and water bills are paid.
– If the house is in a compound; neighbours Association fees are paid.
– There are no tenants and the house is in good condition.
– The house is having the Energy Certificate.
Do not ever agree to make any payments in cash if requested to by the seller. What you pay is what should be shown in the deeds.
Please, remember that the price will be increased by approximately 13% to cover transaction tax, Notary and Registry.
If there is a mortgage on the house, the vendor should pay all the mortgage cancellation costs. The Mortgage cancellation deed should be signed always before the purchase-sale deeds.
In case the vendor is a non-resident in Spain then you should hold a 3% of the price in order to pay it to the tax authorities.
Remember that Banks will need at least three (3) working days to prepare the banker drafts or money transfers.
If you are not Spanish then you will need to apply for your Foreigner Identification card (NIE) and to open a Bank account in Spain before you start with the purchase process.
As you can see, process is not as simple as it can be in other countries. Notaries Association recommends to DO NOT pay any deposit and to DO NOT sign any document without proper and independent legal Advice – Our Lawyers can help you.- Contact us.
Connie Raymundo – Lawyer & Barrister at Alicante Solicitors > Raymundo & Hopman.