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Buying Spanish property – a Spanish lawyer’s guide


Property buying in Spain continues to hold an irresistible attraction to the many Britons who yearn for a place in the sun (especially having just come back from a summer holiday there), but is often tainted by a lack of authoritative legal advice about the benefits, pitfalls and procedures. Senior Spanish lawyer Alejandro Collantes, who is managing partner of Iuris Online, a network of established Spanish law firms that covers the entirety of Spain, therefore offers a simple five-point guide to buying property in Spain, which is free to use in the UK media, crediting Sr Collantes and Iuris Online.

5 key points if you’re thinking of buying a property in Spain

If you’re thinking about buying a property in Spain, these are the top five points you should take into account:

1) Possessing an NIE.
In Spanish, NIE means “Number of Identification for Foreigners”, which is unique, exclusive and issued by the “Oficina de Extranjeros” (Foreigners Office). This number doesn’t allow you to live in Spain but it’s necessary for any financial transaction. To request this number you need to show simple documents such as your passport, pictures of yourself or flight tickets.

You could also instruct a legal representative to get an NIE on your behalf.

2) Opening a bank account.
If you need to open a bank account in Spain, you should start proceedings ASAP, as the law against money laundering is very restrictive and a lot of paperwork needs to be done.

3) Obtaining your visa.
After you’ve signed the deed, you have to send a copy to the “Registro de la Propiedad” (Property Register) and owners can now obtain a “Nota Simple del Registro” (Simple Note of Register), which is necessary for their annual multi-visa.

Owners with this visa are allowed to enter and leave Spain and stay up to 180 days per year (90 each semester). In case you already had a visa before buying a property, then you acquire a multi-visa for two years.

4) Paying taxes.
Spain has a tax called “Renta de No Residentes” (IRNR) which is a tax paid by those who aren’t residents. There’s also a tax called IRPF (Income Tax) for residents – considering resident a person who stays in Spain more than 183 days a year. In any case, all the taxes of the property like registers, IBI or garbage cleaning are paid in Spain.

5) Make sure the property is not in trouble.
Buyers may also need legal support as sometimes there are legal restrictions on the property, financial charges, urban planning issues or other unexpected trouble that can be easily avoided before turning the purchase into an overseas nightmare.

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