Property Law in Spain

Spanish Property Law InfoPoint 

Advocate Abroad is unique in providing access to English-speaking lawyers across Spain with local expert knowledge. Please click on the map to locate an English-speaking lawyer where you plan to purchase your new home in Spain.

The number one cause of financial catastrophe in Spain is, without doubt, failing to secure the services of an independent property lawyer who will ensure that your rights and your investment are protected throughout the conveyancing process.

Below you will find answers to common questions relating to property dealings in Spain. The topics covered relate not just to buying property in Spain but also selling and owning property, property taxes and the tax deductions you may avail of as well as landlord and tenant law.

 

What information do I need before buying a second-hand property in Spain?

There are a number of legal issues that need to be considered before it is prudent to consider purchasing. In particular the vendor must provide the following documentation:

 

  • Registry information regarding the property
  • Receipt of payment of the most recent IBI tax bill (rates bill)
  • Letter from the Community of Owners of the building or complex confirming that the community payments relating to the property are up to date

In addition, the buyer should confirm the following:

  • Name of the current owner of the property
  • If there is any mortgage or other charge over the property
  • The physical property conforms to the description
  • That the land is correctly zoned for building
  • The buyer should also make sure there are no sitting tenants in the property

 

And what if it is a new property?

Before buying a new property it is advisable to confirm the following:

  • The existence of a project license in which the relevant technical department confirms that the building project has been carried-out in accordance with the original  approval originally issued by the town hall
  • That the license of first occupation has been issued
  • The certificate of habitability of the properties should be available
  • Inscription in the property registry of the urbanization along with the necessary insurance for purposes of dealing with any defects in the building work
  • That any sums advanced (via instalments) for the purpose of purchasing a property ‘off-plan’ are protected by bank guarantee.

 

Client Testimonials

Recent Advocate Abroad property lawyer reviews as added by clients directly to the Wufoo client survey platform:

  • Default Avatar75
    George Salib, London
    Monday, April 23, 2018
    Jose Antonio was very professional and has assisted me in every step of the purchase of my flat in Alicante.

    He also assisted me by advising of the most suitable area according to my needs. His com...mitment and dedication is excellent.

    Jose Antonio was very easy to approach and happy to help in any way he can.

    I will definitely recommend him to my family and friends.
  • Default Avatar75
    Pernilla, London
    Friday, April 13, 2018
    We had excellent service from Esther at Advocate Abroad when buying a property in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.

    Esther speaks both Spanish and English, and is very friendly, professional and genuine. ...She took care of the whole purchasing process and explained all the steps for us, including giving advice on Spanish bank account, NIE numbers etc.

    We are very pleased with all the help we have received and can highly recommend Esther. Thank you so much!
  • Default Avatar75
    L Marshall, London
    Wednesday, March 28, 2018
    Rosa was excellent. Very efficient and professional.

    Responsive and always available. Extremely helpful - we did not understand the process and she guided us through.

    We would not hesitate to ...recommend her.
  • Default Avatar75
    Robert Scott, UK
    Wednesday, March 07, 2018
    First class service. Rosa's professionalism, advice and patience were all exemplary! Keep up the good work. Will certainly recommend the service to friends!
  • Default Avatar75
    M Pearce, Marbella
    Monday, March 05, 2018
    Miguel was extremely helpful, he couldn't have done more:

    Always kept us updated on the progress of our purchase
    Always responded to emails in a professional and timely manner
    Always explained to... our understanding all aspects of the legalities about the purchase
    Very approachable,courteous and professional

    So much better to deal with than UK property lawyers!

  • Default Avatar75
    Andrew Bullen, UK
    Friday, February 16, 2018
    Rosa was very professional at all times when dealing with me. Her English was second to none and she always kept me informed of progress via email promptly.

    I wouldn't hesitate to use Rosa in the ...future for any legal issues I have.
  • Default Avatar75
    Tamara Reeves, Australia
    Thursday, February 15, 2018
    Anna was very knowledgeable and had prior experience dealing with English clients. She spent a lot of time explaining information and I was never rushed.

    I have continued to use Anna since my firs...t meeting as I trust her judgement and know that she will look after my best interests.
  • Default Avatar75
    Lisa Jones, UK
    Thursday, January 25, 2018
    Kristina was extremely helpful throughout the process of buying my property in Spain. She was very easy to reach at all times and very professional. I would highly recommend Kristina to anyone buying ...a property in the area.
  • Default Avatar75
    Jackie Acres, UK
    Thursday, January 25, 2018
    Miguel is fantastic, his English is superb. He responds clearly and concisely and always quickly too.

    He is helpful and approachable and has always answered all my questions very thoroughly. He’...s very polite and an absolute pleasure to deal with.

    I hope he never retires!
  • Default Avatar75
    Yuka Mizota Lockey, Kent, Uk
    Monday, January 22, 2018
    Olga responded promptly and efficiently. She was accommodating in terms of arranging meetings. She was really knowledgeable, diplomatic when dealing with our estate agents and was dedicated to our int...erests.

    All my family found Olga very approachable, professional and we were grateful to have someone who could explain and guide us through a process that is foreign to us.
  • Default Avatar75
    Norman McElroy, Northern Ireland
    Thursday, January 18, 2018
    Erardo was very professional, always available and most courteous in all the dealings I had with him. I would be happy to recommend Erardo to anyone.
  • Default Avatar75
    Gearóid Foyle, London
    Friday, January 12, 2018
    Emma was bilingual, helpful and always happy to assist. In particular, I appreciated her approachability and understanding. I would definitely use her services again.
  • Default Avatar75
    Larry Karns, Valencia
    Wednesday, January 10, 2018
    Inma is a very approachable, open and knowledgeable professional.

    She is available to meet with us on short notice, is attentive to our needs, answers each of our questions fully and provides appr...opriate legal solutions.

    Inma is bilingual which has simplified communication and avoids misunderstandings. Her fees are definitely value for the money paid, and we will continue to seek her professional services.
  • Default Avatar75
    DP, United States
    Wednesday, January 03, 2018
    He has been very attentive, efficient, and always anticipates our needs in a timely manner. We enjoy working with him and look forward to other future business arrangements when needed.
  • Default Avatar75
    Delphine Harrison, England
    Thursday, December 21, 2017
    Jose was excellent from my initial contact to the exchange of the contracts, always responding quickly to my emails even out of work hours, very professional and understanding.

    Jose made the whole... experience stress free and quite enjoyable, I would highly recommend him for anybody needing legal advise or business abroad.
  • Default Avatar75
    Tim Burley, Mallorca
    Friday, December 15, 2017
    A very strange phenomenon with lawyers in Spain - she was working for me rather than just trying to line her own pockets!
  • Default Avatar75
    Theo Kleynhans, Castellón de la Plana
    Tuesday, December 05, 2017
    I always felt safe with Lidia. She knows what she is doing and was extremely professional and helpful.

    I think she was priced perfectly and I believe that she always understood me. I will recommen...d her with ease. She will remain my spanish Lawyer.
  • Default Avatar75
    YB & CB, Scotland
    Thursday, November 30, 2017
    Our lawyer Rossana has really looked after our interests in the most comprehensive way possible.

    As novice property purchasers in a foreign land, she has done everything (including things we could... not imagine as necessary due to our ignorance of local laws, customs & practices) to keep us free from unforseen trouble!

    We have been impressed to such a degree and now have so much confidence in Rossana that we have arranged for her to have ongoing Powers of Attorney, so that she may represent our interests in our absence. She is a most impressive lady!

    I have not the slightest hesitation in recommending her, based on our direct experiences.
  • Default Avatar75
    Nigel Griffiths, UK
    Wednesday, November 29, 2017
    My situation was complicated because the correct documentation was not done at the time of sale....

    Rosa contacted the purchaser and arranged to receive all the information required to submit to th...e Spanish authorities.

    Without Rosa, whose understanding of English (which was perfect),I would have had serious problems.We were kept informed at all stages of the process, by phone and e-mail.

    I cannot recommend Rosa to highly,...she was fantastic.
    Thank you Rosa.
  • Default Avatar75
    Arthur & Patricia Chamberlain, Palma de Mallorca
    Friday, November 17, 2017
    Rosa understood what we wanted and carried out our instructions very professionally. Gave us confidence in her abilities.
  • Default Avatar75
    Jane Armstrong, Playa Flamenca, Spain
    Wednesday, November 15, 2017
    Carmen was efficient and professional at all times. Always available to help and advise. Would definitely recommend.
  • Default Avatar75
    Bruce Moore, United Kingdom
    Tuesday, October 31, 2017
    Complete confidence and removed any hassle from the process. Even better was the willingness to provide follow up support and guidance. A great service!
  • Default Avatar75
    Graham & Josephine Flinders, UK
    Thursday, October 26, 2017
    Rosa is a excellent lawyer and a extremely nice person, very efficient and helped us though the sale of our apartment.

    It all went very smoothly and it was mostly down to Rosa who dealt with anyth...ing that came up in a very professional manner. Rosa explained all what was happening in English and always returned our calls with any answers to our questions.

    Her fees are very very reasonable and we felt we got real value for money, we cannot recommend Rosa enough.she is a throughy nice approachable person.We would not hesitate using Rosa again and have recommended her to other people in majorca.
  • Default Avatar75
    David Gough, Villamartin,
    Wednesday, October 18, 2017
    We found Carmen to be very approachable and professional - she guided us all the way through the process of buying our property always available to answer our many questions either by phone or email. ...

    The cost of this service was very reasonable and after the sale was complete she then went on to complete our Spanish wills expertly guiding us through the Spanish inheritance laws.

    We would not hesitate to use her services again in the future or to recommend her to friends.
  • Default Avatar75
    Paul Pears & Gareth Roberts, Cádiz
    Thursday, October 05, 2017
    We found Francisco to be extremely professional and responsive to any questions we had, completely understood our needs and assisted with appropriate solutions to everything we needed.

    In fact he ...goes the extra mile to ensure everything is correct down to the micro details. Nothing was too much trouble.

    We have never received such good and efficient service from a Lawyer!
  • Default Avatar75
    Peter Brumder, England
    Wednesday, October 04, 2017
    Alvaro has always been very approachable and friendly and I value his judgement and advice.

    Alvaro has taken away the headaches associated with a property abroad and has helped me with all my probl...ems including payment of bills, decorating and taxes.

    I couldn't have coped without him
  • Default Avatar75
    Sarah Finnagan, England
    Thursday, September 21, 2017
    Francisco was fantastic and helped me through every single step and helping understanding everything.

    Price was very reasonable i have no complaints at all.

    Very easy to get hold of and very qu...ick at responding would definitely go back to him - thankyou so much Francisco for everything.
  • Default Avatar75
    David Bird, England
    Thursday, September 21, 2017
    Our lawyer Carmen was absolutely fantastic in everything. Brilliant!
  • Default Avatar75
    Dariush Mirzajani, Scotland
    Tuesday, September 12, 2017
    My solicitor was very honest and helpful. I am recommending him to my friends on their legal matters - everything was above my expectations.
  • Default Avatar75
    Graham & Karen Pell, Nottingham England
    Tuesday, September 05, 2017
    I found Erardo very approachable, he always answered all the questions that we asked of him quickly, giving us all the information we needed.

    He offered a good value for money service & met with u...s anytime we needed assistance, but did provide most of the information we needed by e-mail (which were all in good quality of our language - English).

    I would use Erardo again to do other legal matters & would not go elsewhere e.g. writing our Spanish wills etc. We would recommend him to others if asked.

What legal and financial obligations do sellers have?

The vendor of the property has the following legal obligations:

  • To conserve the property until it is handed over to the purchaser
  • Transfer the property
  • Make good any defects or deficiencies in the property
  • To pay certain costs and taxes

If there are any defects in the property known to the seller and which may have not been communicated to the buyer, the buyer may rescind the contract or claim damages instead. There is a two year time limit, from the date of purchase, in which to exercise this right.

Unless there is agreement to the contrary, the vendor is obliged to pay the costs relating to the drawing up of the deeds of transfer as well as those costs necessary to effect the transfer of the property – this would include notary costs.

Any capital gains tax that is due will also be payable by the vendor.

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