1. Do I need a Spanish lawyer or Spanish solicitor?
You do not need to instruct a lawyer however this is advisable. Your independent Spanish lawyer will look after your interests and advise you throughout the transaction. Make sure that your lawyer is fluent in both languages, English and Spanish, and has expert knowledge. A dually qualified Spanish lawyer and English solicitor will maximise your advice.
2. Who is the Notario?
The Notario is a Spanish Official. Spanish properties can only be legally conveyed by them. The Notario would certify and confirm the capacity of the parties involved in the property purchase/sale and convey the Spanish property by way of executing a Public Deed.
3. What is an NIE number?
An NIE number is a Spanish Identification number. Any non-Spanish national wishing to purchase a property in Spain is required to have one.
4. I do not have the deed; can I still sell our Spanish property?
The original signed deeds are always kept by the Notario in Spain. The fact that you cannot locate the deed is therefore not a major issue and new copies can always be requested from the Notario who dealt with the transaction.
5. One of the owners has died and I have inherited the Spanish property; can I sell the property?
Upon the death of a Spanish owner, the beneficiaries would need to organise and accept the Spanish Estate before they can proceed to sell the property. Until then, they would not be able to sell the property.
6. What is the best ownership structure to buy a property in Spain?
This a very frequently asked question that requires in-depth consideration. Many are the options available including purchasing the Spanish property in personal names, descendants and family members, together with corporate structures including Spanish and UK companies. One structure will not work well for everyone and there is no “golden” ownership structure that can be advised to everyone. Your personal circumstances, wishes and case will need to be considered and reviewed not only in Spain but also in conjunction with your UK advisors and taking into account your position both in Spain and in the UK.
7. How much will the purchase cost and what are the costs/taxes associated?
As a rule of thumb allow an additional 12-15% to cover and include taxes and costs that will be payable in Spain on the purchase of your property. Taxes vary from one area to another in Spain and taxes are also different should you be purchasing a new built property from a developer or a second hand property.
8. Do I have to travel to Spain on completion?
The Spanish deed of purchase/sale will be signed in Spain before a Notario (Spanish Public official). At that time the parties involved will need to attend the Notario’s office for the signature of the Deed. Should this not be convenient or should you prefer/decide not to travel to Spain, powers of attorney can be organised, in the UK/country where you live, for a member of your family, friend or third party attorney to sign the Deed in Spain on your behalf. Our Spanish solicitor will be delighted to assist you with this.
9. Do I need a Spanish Will?
You can dispose of your Spanish assets in your English Will or Spanish Will. Both are valid options and it is a personal choice to deal with all your assets in only one Will or have various Wills to deal with the assets situated in each country. Most clients opt for having a separate Spanish Will to deal with their Spanish assets as this is usually more straight forward and it also usually simplifies the Probate and Estate administration process in Spain.
10. Am I liable for any taxes once I am the owner of a Spanish property?
Yes, once you own a property in Spain you will be liable to pay local IBI (Council tax) together with any income tax on any rentals and profits made or alternatively on a deemed income, should this be a second home and not your main home.