Buying a Property
If you are thinking of buying a property in Spain, you need legal advice from a specialist lawyer who can make sure that your interests are protected.
For more than 25 years, we have been providing that protection to our clients. We take pride in our personal attention, professionalism and experience. These are the cornerstones that guarantee our clients constant access to sound legal advice from specialists in Spanish Property Law.
Our legal services include the following:
· Obtain a Land Registry statement (nota simple) and check its contents to verify that the seller is the rightful owner of the property;
· Make a search in the Land Registry to ensure that there are no debts or encumbrances, e.g. a mortgage, on the property;
Check that planning permissions are in order and that the building is completely legal. This is especially important when buying off plan or directly from a developer;
· In the case of a resale, contact the seller’s Solicitor to request all the necessary paperwork, including:
- The previous Title Deed;
- All utility bills with their corresponding receipts proving that the bills have been paid by the seller;
- A certificate from the Community of Property Owners stating that there are no outstanding debts on the Property;
- A valid Habitation Certificate or Second Occupancy License (Declaración responsable de segunda ocupación) or, in the case of a new project, the First Occupancy License (Declaración responsable de primera ocupación), issued by the Town Hall. You will need this document for your electricity and water contracts;
- The Energy Efficiency Certificate, required by Spanish law since 1st June, 2013;
· Procure the Foreigners’ Identification Number (NIE), either by assisting the client in filling in and signing the form or acting by Power of Attorney so that the client does not have to lose valuable time in long queues;
· Give the client a detailed cost estimate for the purchase;
· Should there be a mortgage on the property, contact the bank to cancel it in advance or simultaneously to the purchase, ensuring that the property is freehold;
· Draw up a Private Contract in order to fix the price and the rest of the terms and conditions of the purchase, and negotiate details where necessary;
· Obtain Bank Guarantees from the Developer to cover your stage payments when you are purchasing off plan. Developers of off-plan properties are legally obliged under the Spanish law 57/1968 to secure all deposits with a bank guarantee.
- Personal guidance and easy access to those members of our staff who are looking after your interests;
- Assist you and interpret the proceedings at the Notary Public’s office;
- Represent you by Power of Attorney if you are unable to come to Spain to sign the Deeds in person;
- Make a final search in the Land Registry again on the date of completion.
- Manage all associated tax payments and present the Title Deed at the Land Registry to be registered in your name;
- Notify the Tax Office of your NIE number and obtain the identification labels;
- Contact the Utility companies (water, electricity, gas etc.) to change the supplies to your name and set up direct debits;
- Inform the Community of Owners and set up a direct debit.
NEWBUILD UNDER CONSTRUCTION:
Buying a property off plan inevitably involves a higher risk than buying a resale property. If you are considering an off-plan property, there are a number of points to consider:
1. Make sure you have a bank guarantee (aval bancario) to cover your stage payments. Developers are legally obliged under the Spanish law 57/1968 to secure all deposits with a bank guarantee.
2. Check at the Land Registry to make sure the building plot is actually owned by the developer you are doing business with.
3. Ensure that the developer has an insurance covering any damage due to structural defects and that he has provided a Property Manual (Libro de edificio).
4. Check that the project has a planning permission. Verify that the project has been duly authorized by the Town Hall and also carries an approval from the Regional Government. This can be checked at the Land Registry, because if the description of the future building is registered, the Registrar will have seen evidence that the planning permission exists and work has begun in accordance with the approved design.
5. Once construction has finished, and before you sign the title deed, ask for proof from the seller that the construction has been finished in accordance with the description given in the plans. This is issued as a certificate (Certificado final de obra) and can also be checked at the Land Registry.
6. Make sure that you have the First Occupancy License (Licencia de primera occupación) which is issued by the Town Hall and certifies that the property is habitable. You will need this document to connect to mains supplies for electricity and water. Developers cannot force you to complete without this license.