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Buying Rural Property in Spain

Foreign investors are increasingly interested in buying a rural property in Spain, with land upon which the new owners will be able to not only farm, but also enjoy the peace and tranquility that nature provides. While the purchase cost of buying property in Spain can be lower in rural areas, there are other considerations to take into account.

When you find a plot that is legally classified as rústico you have to be aware that you will be buying a legally-protected plot as a result of a particular reason (environmental, historical, touristic, heritage value, etc.) being its right to use solely permitted in compliance with its nature and specific purposes. Rustic land is known as being highly-preserved from the urban development. Its common use is connected with agriculture and livestock, horticulture, or traditional elements (windmills, water-sources, etc.).

It can also be frequent that the property of your choice is classified as rural. Despite being located in similar areas as the rústico ones, rural areas are mainly conceived for residential purposes and development is not as restricted as in rústico areas, being focused on fulfilling its population needs according to the local traditions and idiosyncrasy.

However, often properties located on land that has been declared to be rural, are properties that are not inscribed in the land registry, or are in such poor condition that their refurbishment is essential to obtain a certificate of occupancy. An important question therefore arises: how should a prospective investor approach such properties?

The first step will be to speak with a lawyer who can advise you of the legal status of the property. The lawyer will obtain a report from an architect which will specify whether, according to local by-laws and planning regulations, there is any real possibility that the Town Hall will concede a works licence to permit the rebuilding of the property (in case this is needed).

Rehabilitation Licence

In the normal course of events, if there is already a property built on the land in question, even if it has to be completely refurbished, the Town Hall typically will grant a licence to “rehabilitate” the property, always taking into account that there are certain rules that have to be followed, such as, for example, not building more than one or two floors high, or related to the maximum square metres that the property can have.

What is certainly not advisable is to buy a land in a rural area where there’s never been any property located.

This is because Town Halls base their decisions to grant (or not to grant) planning permission on the fact that there is an existing property located on the land that the investor wishes to buy.

So, once a favourable report with respect to the property is obtained from the architect, it is then safe to buy the rural property (bearing in mind that unfortunately no-one can 100% guarantee that the Town Hall will give the licence to refurbish the property).

At the same time as carrying-out the purchase, and in a simultaneous operation before a Notary Public, we can, with the report of the architect, make a New Build Declaration (declaración de obra nueva), so the Notary would write in the deeds that in the land there’s a house, and then would send it to the property Register so the house would be legally registered. Once acquired, the new owners may initiate steps for reform.

Rural property in Spain for Tourism business

Beyond the wish (some may say dream) of having your residence in a rural area, some expats are particularly interested to buy property in Spain to rent out to tourists: if this is your objective, you will need to consider making a Tourism License application – something that we can help with.

However, having a complete overview on the whole process of purchasing property is an advantage: this said we offer you as well another great time & money saver: our up-to-date guide for Buying Property in Spain: a guide that we recommend all purchasers to read before going ahead with a property purchase in Spain.

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Property Purchase

Available in the following locations: Alicante, Barcelona, Benidorm, Cadiz, Castellon, Córdoba, El Campello, Estepona, Fuengirola, Gandia, Girona, Granada, Jaen, L`Eliana, La Manga del Mar Menor, Las Palmas, Los Alcázares, Los Cristianos, Madrid, Malaga, Marbella, Maspalomas, Mazarron, Murcia, Nerja, Orihuela Costa, Oviedo, Palma de Mallorca, Puerto del Rosario, Puzol, Seville, Torrevieja, Valencia, Velez Malaga, Vigo, Zaragoza.

* If your local town is not listed, a lawyer from our nearest office will be happy to assist you.

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1Who is this Service for?

Buying property abroad is a very popular activity but can be fraught with dangers.

Given that the purchase of a property is one of the most important investments that most people will make in their lifetime, it is crucial to be advised by an independent expert.

2What does this service consist of?

  • Review of the purchase contract.
  • Management of negotiations and counter-offers.
  • Verification that the seller is able to pass good title.
  • Registry search to ensure property free of any charges or other mortgages.
  • Ensure outstanding taxes on the property are up-to-date before transfer.
  • Make sure that all items included in the sale (fixtures and fittings etc.).
  • Attendance and assistance when signing the deeds of the property.
  • Management of negotiations and counter-offers
  • In depth information about schools, sports clubs, shops, cultural organisations, etc.
  • Payment of stamp duty.
Support services

3Free Support Services Included

When combined with the free and innovative Advocate Abroad support services you can be sure that you are obtaining completely transparent legal services from registered and regulated English-speaking lawyers abroad.These support services include:

  • Verification of the regulatory status of your professional.
  • Fees as recommended by the Local Professional Body
  • Fees specified in advance and legally guaranteed.
  • Service levels agreed in advance and guaranteed.
  • All professionals must hold professional indemnity insurance.
  • Professionals' proficiency in English monitored.
  • Continuous quality controls and reviews.

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