A number of charges payable when buying a property in Spain are better referred to as taxes and we have looked at these in other articles. These would include IVA or value added tax, ITP (an equivalent tax to IVA but one which is paid when the property is second hand), IBI or rates and Plusvália or Capital Gains Tax. In addition to these taxes, there are also charges which are payable for the use of the property and these may include:
Spain, similar to other mainland European countries has a much higher proportion of apartment style properties than in the UK or Ireland. When multiple proprietors share common parts of a property such as the lifts in the building, porter facilities, the building edifice, the car-park or swimming-pool there is a cost associated with the upkeep of such shared amenities.
Accordingly each proprietor is required to contribute financially to the upkeep by way of a community charge, known in Spain as the ‘comunidad’. The amount payable varies from building to building or urbanization to urbanisation but will also be determined by the property owned within the building (some may be much larger than others and therefore should pay a larger share).
For purchasers of property, an important point to note is that the purchaser of a second-hand apartment within a building or community assumes the debts and pending community charge for the previous and current years. For this reason the seller is required to present the purchaser with a certificate of proof of payment of the community charge unless the purchaser has expressly waived this requirement.
In addition to the main taxes and charges outlined above it may be necessary to make provision for other ancillary charges such as rubbish collection and water rates. If a community charge is being paid then this will most likely include the charge for collection of rubbish but if the property is a separate building such as a villa with its own rubbish bins then it may not be.
Likewise the supply of water may be included in any community charge but in the absence of one will need to be paid for as is the case with other utilities. Some autonomous communities are introducing water meters in an effort to reduce consumption.
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