I have just come back from a wonderful holiday in Spain and would love to buy a holiday apartment on the Costa Brava. Does the purchase process work differently out there? Are there any risks related to Brexit?
Yes the system to purchase property in Spain will differ from that in England and Wales, as each country has its own legal system which prevails according to the local laws drawn up over centuries.
There will obviously be similarities in what you need to look out for when buying the property, which will include ensuring you have checked that the details of the property for sale matches the details in the register and that the sellers are the registered owners, that there are no legal proceedings initiated against the property for contravening land planning law, and that it is legally built. You should have the property surveyed, and you should check the tax you will have to pay on the property, just as you would do in England and Wales.
In order to do so you should be very sure that all the people you instruct to act for you are qualified to do so, reliable and specialise in Spanish property law. A Spanish notary public will prepare the contract of sale and issue the public deeds. A notary is a public servant who has a duty to provide free and impartial legal advice on all aspect of the contract before you sign, and you have 3 days beforehand to visit the notary and raise any questions about the contract. You may wish to use a gestor to carry out the bureaucracy side for you. This is a person who is professionally qualified and certified to process paperwork directly with the Spanish administration. Finally you may need an interpreter.
With regard to Brexit any risks at the moment remain just risks , as the position is so uncertain. It would be prudent though to keep the Brexit in mind when deciding on your purchase.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.