Legal Services and Advice
Once Marbella property agency have helped you find your perfect Spanish home and you’re ready to pay a deposit, you shouldn’t go any further without the assistance of a Spanish lawyer.
We never recommend you purchase a property without a Lawyer as you will require assistance from someone who is familiar with the procedures to represent and protect your interests. We can recommend various Spanish lawyers with extensive experience of helping both Spanish and overseas buyers purchase property in Spain. These lawyers have helped many of our clients and they will work on your behalf to ensure that the sale progresses as quickly and smoothly as possible. If you already have a lawyer in the area you are considering purchasing in, then obviously you are free to use whoever you feel comfortable with.
When you’re ready to make the purchase, your lawyer will step in and undertake all of the necessary conveyancing (paperwork involved in purchasing or selling property), ensuring that the Title Deed (escritura) is in order and there are no outstanding depts. or irregularities.
Steps your lawyer will undertake
- Verify that there is in fact a Title Deed and that the vendor owns the property and has the legal authority to sell it.
- Ensure the property doesn’t have a tenant (it can be difficult to evict long-term tenants) and that you will have vacant possession.
- Check for development plans that may adversely affect the property’s value or future expenses for future roads etc.
- Confirm that the Title Deed accurately records the boundaries, measurements and gives a true description of the property.
- Ensure that the necessary permits are in place for utilities and that the property is registered with the urban development office and is legally built in accordance with the ‘town plan’.
- Check that beachfront property is registered with the coastal authority and has the correct building licence.
- Ensure that a new build has the necessary certificates and occupancy permits. If not, it will not be possible to connect utilities.
- Obtain a ‘referencia catastral’ and make sure there are no outstanding debts, including taxes, loans, mortgages, utilities etc.
- Obtain a certificate from the ‘community’ stating whether there are any unpaid community fees for the last 5 years.
- Check that the utility bills have been paid over the last few years.
- Ensure the Title Deed is handed over in order to officially register you as the owner of the property.
It’s important to remember, that all unpaid debts will be inherited by you, but your lawyer can identify any issues and deal with them prior to completion.
- Reservation deposit and contract. (often a payment of 6,000€) This removes the property from the market whilst your lawyer makes the necessary searches.
- Private purchase contract (Exchange of contracts) where the purchaser pays normally 10% of purchase price as a non-refundable deposit (this is normally 10% – the 6,000 deposit). The vendor is now legally obliged to sell to you at the agreed price.
- Formal completion at the Notary. The Title Deed is handed over, the Notary legally recognise you and the vendor, the contract is signed, the keys are handed over and you pay the balance.
- Land Registry. You are registered as the legal owner of the property.
- Payment of fees and taxes.
NIE and Spanish bank account
Apart from the actual purchasing process your lawyer can also help you obtain a foreign fiscal identity number (NIE) from the local police station – this is compulsory for all non- residents when purchasing property and opening a bank account in Spain, which is also necessary to complete your property purchase.
Non EU residents can also apply for Golden Visas
Since the introduction of the new ‘Proyecto de Ley de apoyo a los emprendedores y su internacionalización’ legislation in September 2013, non-EU investors can apply for permanent residency in Spain. This residency permit is often referred to as the ‘Golden Visa‘, and is particularly popular amongst Russian and Chinese clients, as it allows free movement between EU member states.
Your lawyer will be able to find out if you are eligible.
Under current legislation to be eligible for a Golden Visa you will need to invest a minimum of 500,000€ per person in cash, mortgages and loans can only be used if supplementary to the cash investment – We can put you in touch with independent mortgage advisors if required.
We can put you in touch with Spanish lawyers experienced in this area, who can assist your application for a ‘Golden Visa’. Should you require.