The Ask a Lawyer! feature will allow you to clear some of your initial doubts regarding the legal aspects of purchasing property in Spain, getting you one step closer to relaxing in your sunny seaside abode.
Questions will be answered with accurate and useful information, but please don't rely on this service as an alternative to hiring your own lawyer. As you get further along the buying process, you'll definitely need more in-depth legal counsel and assistance.
Some of the topics discussed in this section include:
Amilcar Sardiñas is a lawyer based in Spain specialising in legal and extra-judicial actions throghout the country. With many years of experience in Spanish property, Amilcar can provide legal assistance and representation for a wide range of needs, including assistance during the purchasing process, contract redaction, debt recovery and other judicial actions in both civil and labour courts.
To contact Amilcar please use the form below.
Below you can find a few examples of standard questions and answers. Before submitting a new question, please read through these examples to make sure your doubt hasn't already been addressed. If you don't find a satisfying answer to your query, submit a new question keeping in mind that it must be of potential use to other visitors to this section.
Since we receive a large volume of questions, we can't always guarantee you'll get answer. If you don't find a response within a few days, we recommend contacting Access Lawyers directly to receive more personalized attention.
What expenses are involved when purchasing property in Spain?
Typically, once all is said and done, total fees associated with the purchase of a property in Spain amount to around 10% of the total purchase price. This includes costs such as (among others): transfer tax (IVA), 6% for a pre-owned property and 7% for new property; stamp duty, 0.5%; 1-2% for legal assistance, approximately 300€ to transfer title deeds; and notary charges, which vary on a scale depending on the sale price.
What will a lawyer do for me if I decide to contract one?
A lawyer can take you through the entire purchase process. It starts with the pre-contract reservation agreement, which is signed to reserve your right to purchase a given property once you've paid a deposit. There are a number of decisions to be made at this point that, carried out skillfully and thoroughly, can save you money and time further along the line.
The decision to sign a contract individually, jointly with a spouse or in a company's name is another matter that must be considered by someone with extensive knowledge of the Spanish legal system and your individual needs (this can also help avoid considerable expenses in the long term, especially with regards to inheritance tax).
Legal representation becomes particularly handy in the purchase of new properties from developers. In these cases, payment is usually made by an initial down-payment and subsequent staged payments. These interim payments are linked to the stages of progress on the construction of the property, with the last one being delivered upon the signing of the Conveyance Deed.
An experienced legal professional is best qualified to make these types of decisions.
I've been directed to a lawyer by my estate agency – should I trust their recommendation?
A recommendation is just that (a suggestion). You're under no obligation whatsoever to follow it. On the other hand, you needn't be immediately skeptical. As always, you should engage in comparative research to find the legal representation that best suits your needs; which may or may not end up falling in line with that suggested by your estate agency. But make sure that the lawyer is a qualified member of a recognized Spanish bar association and not just a "property consultant".
There are a lot of stories in the media about illegal construction in Spain, especially in the Costa del Sol, where people end up losing their investments. I would love to have a home in Spain, but how can I be absolutely sure this won't happen to me?
While this may sound like blatant self-promotion, it's the simple truth: contract the services of a reputable and thorough lawyer and your chances of being involved in an illegal transaction will be reduced to the lowest possible denominator.
In particular, it's highly recommendable to solicit the services of a lawyer with a good deal of experience and detailed knowledge of the legal and fiscal aspects of property conveyances in Spain.
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