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Having assisted clients for more than 15 years in Lanzarote, I have seen the rise in popularity of the island among northern Europeans. Perhaps it is the year-round mild weather and the relative value of the property here. In any case, it is clear that Lanzarote is now considered one of the best places to buy in Spain.
However, there are a few important things you should know if you are purchasing a property here.
Please find below some advice that will help you to avoid any problems when buying a house in Lanzarote, or indeed generally if buying property in Spain.
1. Know the costs of buying a house in lanzarote
Costs can vary depending on the type of property and the personal circumstances of vendors and buyers so that, those who are non-resident, will need to consider the non-resident tax in Spain, for example. All buyers, regardless of their residency situation, are subject to government property taxes in the Canary Islands ie a transmission tax which varies according to the value of the property.
It is recommended to obtain a report of tax costs, notary and land registry costs, legal fees, community fees, utility bills, alarm costs, etc. before confirming the purchase, so you will not receive any unpleasant surprises.
2. Paying a holding deposit
This is a critical moment because we see frauds being carried-out frequently. Please make sure you are absolutely sure that you want to go ahead with the purchase, that you are dealing with a reliable real estate agency, that the vendor has good title to sell and that you understand the conditions of the holding deposit contract.
We have had to deal with some very difficult situations, such as losing the deposit because the terms of the deposit contract were not clear enough. This can mean that a claim has to be lodged in Court, and it is not unknown for the real estate agency to disappear with deposits, etc. So make sure you check the contract deposit properly before signing it.
3. Check any restrictions
When buying an apartment or villa on a community of owners in Lanzarote, make sure that you understand any restrictions there may be in place. Such restrictions may include not being able to let the property to tourists or restrictions on having pets.
There may also be problems with squatters, which unfortunately is a not uncommon situation at the moment in Spain as a result of the rather ineffective regulation supporting evictions in Spain of trespassers.
4. Date for signature at public notary
Never attend the public notary office for signing your purchase by yourself, even if you speak fluent Spanish. 90% of purchases, problems and doubts will come up at the Notary Office and you need somebody watching your back and translating from Spanish.
For example: a certificate from the land registry must be checked on the same day before signing the purchase to avoid surprises, several important clauses and documents such as certificates, tax payment receipts must be attached to the deed, etc.
An independent lawyer will make sure every detail is properly done. Buying a property in Lanzarote does not need to be a risky or stressful activity, but you should ensure that you have appropriate independent legal advice in order to ensure that everything runs smoothly.