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Squatters

The present economic outlook for Spain is far better than few years ago. Nevertheless, unemployment is still high with figures around 18%. Specifically, in Andalusia the unemployment rate is around 28% with a rate of 57.8% for people under 25 years old. While some of...

Mortgage Floor Clauses

On the 21 December 2016, the European Court of Justice produced a Judgment, in relation to mortgage loans and the limitations set by the Spanish Supreme Court, regarding the unfair practice of clauses relating to minimum interest rates. The Bank of Spain has estimated...

Changes in the regulations Inheritance tax in Andalusia 2016-2017

The amount of inheritance tax paid in Andalucía differs from other autonomous regions, such as Madrid, Catalonia, Valencia or the Balearics. The Decree-Law 4/2016, of July 26th, on urgent measures relating to the Inheritance and Donation Tax in Andalusia brings...

Catastro, cadastral value and the implication of the revision 2016

The cadastre office is an administrative register belonging to the tax office department (Ministerio de Economia y Hacienda) which is used as an inventory of real estate in Spain and contains information regarding the tax value of the properties inscribed.It also...

What is a First Occupation licence?

A first occupation licence is a very important document and purchasing brand new properties without it might have serious consequences. When a builder completes a construction for residential use, the Spanish legislation forces the owner to ask the town hall a First...

Social-Security Aid for Pregnancy in Spain

Pregnant women, resident in Spain and registered in the Spanish social security, are entitled to a series of benefits depending on their particular situation. There are also additional benefits depending on the autonomous community in which you are resident.

Purchasing Property in Spain

The first step is to request a Nota Simple from the Land Registry (Registro de la Propiedad in Spanish). A Nota Simple is a standardised report describing the property in all its aspects, including:

Building or Renovating Property

There are strict planning regulations in Spain. Nowadays, local administrations enforce these regulations rigorously; certainly a big change from just few years ago. Failure to follow the planning regulations can result in fines. If the modernisation or repair of the building requires making external alterations, such as erecting external walls, installing larger windows or new doorways, you need planning permission and a building license from the local town hall. This is called in Spain “Licencia de Obra” (works license).

New Law on Citizen Security

This is one of the most controversial laws of the last 10 years. It came into force on the 1st July 2015 under the general condemnation of the opposition parties.

Capital-Gain Tax for Non-Residents in 2015 & 2016

The introduction of law 26/2014 of the 27 of November changed dramatically the way Capital-Gain Tax from the sale of an unmovable asset (a property) is calculated. This law entered in application from the 1st January 2015 end will set a roadmap for the next few years.

Disputes between Neighbours

Interactions with neighbours are sometimes difficult. Statistics show that at least 2 in 3 Spanish households have had past conflicts with a neighbour. Sources of conflict can be comprised of unpaid, community-owners’ fees, noise & disturbances created by pets, occupation of parking spaces, foul odours and water leaking from balconies. In rural land, the most common disputes come from right of ways and settlements over plot boundaries.

Crowd funding legislation in Spain

Crowdfunding is a financing model that is rapidly gaining momentum all over the world. It works by collecting monetary contributions from a large number of people through an internet platform, with the objective to finance a project or a venture.

Ownership of Firearms in Spain

The Legislation on the use and ownership of firearms in Spain is probably one of the most restrictive in Europe. This is included in the Spanish constitution under article 149.26 where it is said that the Spanish government has exclusive competence control over production, sale, possession and use of firearms and explosives.

Support & protection of Crime victims

Directive 2012/29/UE of the European Union is a very ambitious law project, with the aim of setting a minimum standard of rights for the victims of crimes in the European Union. The diversity of legal systems in the EU makes this project very challenging.

Exceptional Weather Insurance Claims

Most of the time, in cases of extraordinary weather conditions, damages to your house will be covered by your house insurance. In special cases certain damages will be covered by a semi-public organisation called Consorcio de Compensación de seguros (CCS in short).

Loss of Work Compensation

If a company in Spain employs you and for any reason you get fired, there are several administration procedures that have to be pursued.

January Sales: Consumer Rights

January and July are traditionally periods when shops are offering discounts and sales. In Spain this is regulated by the law 1/2007 of the 30 November. This law which is also called “ley de consumidores” has been updated several times (last update came on the 29 March 2014).

Broadband: What You Get

In Spain consumer-grade, fixed broadband is delivered to the clients using mainly 5 types of technologies: ADSL2+, VDSL2, FTTH (or fibre to the home), Coaxial cable and WLL (Wireless local loop, long range WiFi or any other wireless technology with the objective of simulating a fixed landline connection).

Starting a Business in Spain

The report Doing Business 2014, published by The World Bank put Spain at rank 142 in the ease of starting a business, with an average of 23 days for the time to create a company (a very long time if we compare with other EU economies)

School Admission in Spain

In Spain, the education system is regulated by the LOE or Ley Organica de Education. This law states the major principles and requirements for running the system. Nevertheless the implementation of these principles is delegated to the different autonomous regions resulting in many differences in the day-to-day functioning of schools.

The Spanish fiscal reform 2014

On the 20th June 2014 the government published a draft for a package of fiscal reforms intended to decrease the level of fiscal pressure on the Spanish economy. The general level of income tax will be lowered, both for companies and individuals, however as many tax allowances are to be abolished, there will be situations where this new law will effectively increase fiscal pressure.

Divorce in Spain – planning and first steps

In cases of irretrievable breakdown of a marriage sometimes the only solution is to file for a divorce. Spain has one of the most comprehensive and fair family laws in Europe making the process quick and easy, moreover Spanish law doesn’t require stating a reason for the divorce and the process can be initiated by a single party.

The new Spanish law on private security 2014

This law has a very wide range of applications; covering private guards services (the guards that for example work in Banks and shopping malls), private detectives, alarm and video security systems companies, IT security firms and bodyguards.

Holiday Rentals in Andalusia

Many UK newspapers incorrectly reported that there was a ban on holiday rentals for property owned by private individuals. This is absolutely not true as the objective of these changes is not to protect the interests of the Hostelry Sector, but simply to set minimum quality standards that will make the whole tourism industry more competitive.

Health Service for Foreigners

Since the law 16/2012 dated 20 April came into force in Spain (Law of urgent measures to ensure the sustainability of the national health system) many things have changed regarding the requirements for accessing the Spanish public health care system.

Caritas and the Spanish Food Bank Federation

Caritas and the Spanish Food Bank Federation (in Spanish Federación Española de Bancos de Alimentos FESBAL) are two NGOs operating in Spain that received several awards and accolades in 2013 and both received the prestigious Human Right Award from the Spanish lawyers council.

The 2013 update of the “ley de costas” Coastal law

This law affects the prime locations for the tourist and building industry, with obvious impact on economic interests. On one hand the new law is accused of legalizing illegal properties that eventually would have been demolished and on the other hand it clarifies the fate of entire areas that were  in a judicial limbo

Spanish Golden Visa for investors

Last September the Spanish parliament approved Law 14/2013 of the 27 September also called “law for the support to entrepreneurs and their internationalization”. The law came into effect on the 29th September and its main objectives are to make life easier for self-employed people and to make access to credit easier for small medium enterprises.

New Road Regulations 2014

The new upgrade to the law on road safety (“Ley de Seguridad Vial” in Spanish) has been approved by the Spanish parliament and will be enforced sometime in the first half of 2014. No date has been announced yet but it will be one month after the law is published in the official government gazette.

Defects in a newly purchased property

It’s not uncommon that after purchasing a property, a new buyer finds concealed defects that seriously affect the value or the usage of the property. For example this could be a leaking swimming pool or more serious, a structural problem which compromises the stability of the building.

Do You Have a Spanish Tracker Mortgage?

In the UK the principle of a tracker mortgage is that it tracks the Bank of England base rate. Now, with an historical low Euribor of 0.15% anyone with such a mortgage should feel lucky, but perhaps due to the inclusion of a clause in the terms and conditions, you are not achieving the maximum savings.

Change of ownership of a car in Spain

When a private person sells a vehicle to another physical person, it is very important to go through the complete set of administrative procedures in order to change the ownership. Failure to do this will incur different types of problems including fines and road tax of the new owner being sent and charged to the former owner.

Non-profit Associations in Spain

Spanish law defines an association as “a group of people who enter into an agreement, in order to accomplish a common objective with a non -profit motive, independent (at least formally) from government, public administration, political parties and companies.” National associations are regulated by Law 1/2002 of the 22 March and by royal decree 1497/2003 of the 28 November.

Luxembourg EU justice court and Spanish mortgage law

On March 14th 2013, the Luxembourg Court of Justice of the European Union ruled against the present Spanish mortgage laws and will force Spain to adapt the present legislation governing evictions and foreclosures to EU directives. The slowly recovering Spanish economic situation and unemployment (now at 22.2%) continues to make it difficult for homeowners to meet mortgage payments and consequently the number of property foreclosures increased sharply from 2008 when the real estate bubble busted.

New laws against fiscal fraud 2012

Restriction on the use of cash Any cash payment, in which one of the parties is acting as a company or as a business, will be limited to 2,500€ (or its equivalent in foreign currency). This amount will increase to 15,000€ if the payer is a non-fiscal resident in Spain and is acting as a private individual.

New law on judicial costs in Spain

On the 20th of November the Spanish parliament approved law 10/2012 on the taxation of judicial proceedings. In short this law will introduce an additional fee every time that someone initiates a legal proceeding in: the Civil court, the Labour court and courts dealing with public disputes. Not affected are the criminal courts and the military court (criminal cases represent approximately 70% of all legal proceedings in Spain).

Credit blacklists and consumer protection in Spain

The current economic climate has led to an increase in people and companies going into bad debts all over Europe. This has in turn fostered the emergence of “credit blacklists”, where people and companies that have defaulted payments are recorded. In principle credit blacklists are tools intended to help assessing the risk of financial and commercial transactions. Therefore, they are instruments with a legitimate and useful objective, helping to safeguard the economy.