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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...

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...

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).

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Communities of Owners – Ramps and disabled access

The Spanish constitution protects the rights of people with disabilities. In particular section 49 of the Spanish constitution states: The public authorities shall carry out a policy of preventive care, treatment, rehabilitation and integration of the physically,...

Changes to the Spanish Urban Rental Law

At present in Spain, there are more than 3 millions properties that are empty without tenants. Real estate market specialists identify various reasons for this state of affairs, including: Imbalance between the rights of the Tenant and those of the Landlord which make...

Property rentals in Spain

By Maria Teresa Velasco Velasco Lawyers Property rentals in Spain are regulated by two laws, the Urban Rental Law 29/1994 (Ley de arrendamientos urbanos) and the Civil Code. Contracts for residential property are highly regulated in compare to business premises, but...

Liability for Construction Defects

Prior to the current Administrative Law for Construction (Ley de Ordenación de la Edificación, LOE 38/99 of November 5th), the responsibility of the Architect and the Builder were established in the civil code, section 1591; the decisions of the courts extends this...

Buying a Spanish property under a company name

In property transactions it is often possible to buy a property under a company name instead of a person’s name. This way the buyers create a limited company or a corporation, which will purchase the property. The buyers will own the property indirectly by owning...

Transfer tax explained in Andalusia

The purchase of a resale property in Spain requires the buyer the payment of a transfer tax or ITP (“Impuesto sobre Transmisiones Patrimoniales y Actos Jurídicos Documentados”in Spanish). The transfer tax for a property purchase is regulated by the...

The “Ley de Costas” – Coastal Law

Back in the early eighties the need to protect the Spanish coastline from an overly aggressive building industry, pushed the Spanish government to launch a series of measures intended to regulate constructions on the seafront. The result was an amendment of law...

The foreclosure process in Spain

Unlike other countries, in Spain the debtor responds to the mortgage with all his present and future assets; so failure to repay the mortgage has consequences not only with the loss of the house in the civil process of the foreclosure, but also with the seizure of...

Process of purchasing a property in Spain

In Spain a property purchase is a process that can be broken down in several steps: 1)    Collection of Background information The first step is to request a “Nota Simple” from the Land Registry (Registro de la Propiedad). A “Nota Simple” is a standardized report...

Crime against urban planning in Spain

The law 5/2010 introduces few changes in articles 319 and 320 of the penal code that are regulating the crimes against urban and town planning. The articles are mostly unchanged except for an increase of the penalties. The objective of the changes is to harmonize...

Renovation works and rental on commercial premises

When renting a property it is not always obvious who has to pay for works in the premises. In Spain the law is clear about the responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant. Law 29/1994, applicable to both residential use and commercial use, makes the distinction...

How does a community of owners work?

You belong to a community When you own a property in Spain, you almost certainly belong to a community of owners, or a residents association. There are nevertheless exceptions, if for example your property is a detached house in an isolated area. If your property is...

How to close a Pro Indiviso

Pro indiviso is a concept in property law that describes common or undivided property ownership. There are basically three different pro indiviso situations: Common purchase of a dwelling by more than one person Inheritance of a property (the heirs become the...

Community of owners fees

When you own a property in Spain, you will most probably belong to a community of owners or residents association, except where your property is a detached house and not within an urbanisation. If your property is on a development run by a resident’s association...

Changes in Building Regulations

The Decree 60/2010, of the 16th March approves the town planning disciplinary regulations of Andalucia. Article 92.2.a) of the Andalucian statutes state that the municipal councils are responsible for urban discipline and are answerable to the Junta de Andalucía.  The...

Rentals and Eviction

A new law has come into force: the law 19/2009 of 23rd November regarding measures to enhance and streamline court processes for rentals and the energy efficiency of buildings. The new legislation attempts to streamline the proceedings to evict tenants who do not pay...

Renovating a property in Spain

Many old country homes purchased in Spain are in need of restoration or renovation. It is always recommended to first check the building for faults and ask the expert advice of a local architect, as often the renovation costs are too high for the property to be...

How to reclaim the deposit after signing a purchase contract

We have recently been asked by a few clients about how they can get their cash back if they are not interested in the purchase of a property, after the private contract has been signed. Before signing any contract you should have your lawyer look at it and make sure...

Selling your property – Legal considerations and tax issues

Article updated to the new 2010 tax regulations At this time of economical unrest many people are trying to sell their second homes or holiday homes and in Spain and as in most places the procedure is complicated.  You should be aware of the legal considerations and...

Urban Disciplinary file

Working on your property without a license or doing work on a property which is not included in the license can have serious consequences. There are two kinds of urban disciplinary case files which are either for fines or legalisation. The legalisation file is where...

House rental in Spain

Renting a property for a short period of time when you first come to Spain is one of the best options as it gives you the chance to get familiarise yourselves with the country, its people, the climate and customs before you decide whether you would like to have a...

Property Purchase in Spain

In my first article in The Property Gazette I have been asked to write about the process of buying a property in Spain. I am aware that there have been many other articles about this subject, so I will try to highlight the differences between the process in Spain and...