Costa Blanca Property Buyers Guide

A Guide for Buyers of Investment & Retirement Properties in Costa Blanca

Costa Blanca Property Buyers Guide

By Colin Scriven
See Colin Scriven's Bio

ARTICLE 2 - Legal Issues for Costa Blanca Property Buyers

INDEX - Costa Blanca Buyer Guide

Costa Blanca Property | Search for property for sale in Gandia (Costa Blanca) Costa Blanca property | Search for property for sale in Denia (Costa Blanca) Costa Blanca Property | Search for property for sale in Javea (Costa Blanca) Costa Blanca Property | Search for property for sale in Moraira (Costa Blanca) Costa Blanca Property | Search for properties for sale in Calpe (Costa Blanca) Costa Blanca Property | Search for property for sale in Jalon Valley (Costa Blanca) Costa Blanca Property | Search for property for sale in Albir (Costa Blanca) Costa Blanca Property | Search for property for sale in Pego (Costa Blanca)

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INDEX TO ARTICLE 2: Legal Issues for Costa Blanca Property Buyers.

The NIE number

Bank accounts

Legal representation

Duties of your lawyer

ARTICLE 1:  Locating a suitable Costa Blanca property.

Your first steps.

How much will it cost?

What type of property?

Searching for and viewing properties.

ARTICLE 3. Buying your Costa Blanca property

Financing the purchase

Making an offer on a property

Formal Acceptance

Exchange of Contracts

Final completion

Registering the property

ARTICLE 4. After the Purchase of your Costa Blanca Property

Post Completion

Banks Accounts

Exchanging/Transferring your money

Insuring the property

Inheritance tax

Renting your Costa Blanca property


Legal issues for Costa Blanca property buyers | THE NIE NUMBER

An NIE Number is a tax identification number to be used in Spain. Prior to purchasing a property, selling a property, obtaining a mortgage, starting up a business, working or simply residing in Spain, it is a requirement by law that every individual possess an NIE Number.

The actual NIE Number, when produced from a National Police Station in Spain is printed out on a piece of paper, and this sheet of paper is often used as a form of identity. Once you have been issued an NIE number, it is yours for life.

Spanish law states very clearly that the person must apply for the documents in person. However, the Spanish law also clearly states that a legalised, Spanish power-of-attorney document enables any individual to be represented by another for all legal purposes in Spain (as long as it is declared as such within the power-of-attorney).

Of course, anyone that can enter Spain legally can apply for their own NIE number. To do this they must present themselves at the National Police Station in whatever town they are living. Unfortunately, contrary to countries such as England and Ireland, there is very little standardization for exactly how the physical process of application works from one police station to the next, so if you chose to apply in person, please make sure you find out beforehand which are the requirements to apply for a NIE Number at your local police station. This will save you from having to arrange several trips to have your application presented, with the corresponding lengthy queues.

You can also apply through a Spanish Consulate. The average time required for an individual to obtain their NIE number via applying through a Spanish consulate is 12 weeks. This varies from one country to the next. We encourage people to contact their closest Spanish consulate first and enquire about their turnaround time.

Legal issues for Costa Blanca property buyers | BANK ACCOUNTS

If you intend to stay in Spain for a significant period, it is advisable to open a bank account. It is a very simple procedure which can be done at home or upon arrival. All you need to bring with you is your valid passport and the initial deposit. Banking hours for most banks are between 9am and 2pm on weekdays and from 9am until 1pm on Saturdays.

A Bank account will also be useful in the event that you wish to set up direct debits for payments such as mortgages, utilities, insurances etc.

There are many banks and all banking activity is controlled by the Bank of Spain (Banco de España), which has its central office in Madrid and branches in all provincial capitals.

Most Banks tend to provide English Speaking staff and these are some of the things you should take into account prior to choosing your new bank.

Do they have English speaking staff?

Do they have English internet banking facilities in English?

What type of Bank do you want? I.E. a Savings bank (Caja de ahorro) or a regular bank.

What charges will they make? Most things that a Bank does for you are chargeable here in Spain but you will need to find out the costs involved, especially for large transactions such as transfers from or to a U.K. Sterling account.

Their location to your property. Will you have to drive miles to your nearest ATM or to visit your Bank?

Legal issues for Costa Blanca property buyers | LEGAL REPRESENTATION

One of the most important things at this stage is making sure you have legal representation.
You probably wouldn't buy or sell a property where you currently reside without using the services of a solicitor and the same should apply here in Spain.

Your consulate can provide a list of English speaking solicitors although this is not a recommendation in any way. If you have internet access you should do a search of the Spanish Property forums and either look for an English speaking solicitor that has been recommended, or ask on the forum if anyone can recommend one in the area that you are looking in. Quite often someone will be able to give you the details of a solicitor they have used.
Alternatively, speak to your bank, look in your local English speaking newspaper or magazine or, and this is probably the best way to find a good lawyer, ask around for recommendations.

You solicitor must be fully conversant with Spanish Law and must be able to speak Spanish and English.
Solicitors are regulated by the Ilustre Colegio de Abogados and you are able to complain to this organisation if you need to.

Fees for lawyers vary as they do anywhere, but a general rule of thumb would be around 1% of the purchase amount. Some, however, will try to charge more if they can get away with it.
Establish an agreed fee before employing a lawyer and you won’t be disappointed.

Legal issues for Costa Blanca property buyers | DUTIES OF YOUR LAWYER

There are many, but it need not be as complicated or time consuming as it is in the U.K. Among the duties of your Lawyer -

Checking the Escritura: Every property should have an Escritura. Some of the things your lawyer will ensure are that the plot on which the house stands is where it says it is, the size is correct and the owners are who they say they are. These are just a few of the checks he will undertake but among the most important.

Checking the Referencia Catastral and Certificado Catastral (Fiscal Details).

Obtaining a Nota Simple (land Registry Certificate) which will show if there are any debts or encumbrances on the property.

Checking that there are no outstanding bills for:

IBI (Local Rates)
Community charges

Note: Debts remain attached to the property and not the individual and it is therefore important that a local lawyer conducts the necessary searches and checks to ensure that your property is free of any debt before completion.

Checking the contract for any irregularities prior to any deposits being paid and to explain the contents to you so that you understand fully what will happen if anything goes wrong.

Advising you of all the fees and taxes involved.

Explain the process of paying for your property at the Notary and helping you organise any financial transactions that need to take place prior to and at time of completion.

Explain the post completion process and what will happen to your documents.

Author’s Bio 

Colin Scriven has worked as an estate agent for 17 years, the past 5½ years of which have been in Spain. Currently he is the General Manager of Hamiltons of London SL with 4 offices covering the Costa Blanca North area, from Benidorm to Gandia (Costa de Azahar), with headquarters in Jalon.
Colin lives near Denia and has two young children who attend local Spanish School.

Buying or selling Costa Blanca property? – Consult Hamiltons of London, the Costa Blanca estate agents, with over 2,000 properties listed, and offices & affiliates in all Costa Blanca areas.
Hamiltons Homepage for Properties for Sales in Costa Blanca or the Costa Blanca area offices for -
Albir Properties | Calpe Properties | Denia Properties | Gandia Properties | Jalon Properties | Javea Properties | Moraira Properties | Pego Properties