HPC - Hartland Property Consultants

Hartland Property Consultants
 (+44)(0)757 2829 148

"Property Estate Agents Los Alcazares, Murcia, Spain."

Spanish Legal Matters

We make sure that all legal requirements are clearly understood for this important step in your life. Here's some useful information to assist you if you considering buying a house in the Murcia region of Spain.

"How to Buy a Property in Murcia, Spain."

Once you have decided to buy a property in Spain, you should follow the two golden rules: 

1. Choose an estate agent.

2. Find a lawyer to advise an assist you.

Understanding What's Involved

 • Preliminary Contract: usually a simple document in which the seller states their intention to transfer the property to the buyer, and the buyer, their intention to buy at the price and conditions agreed upon. At this time, the buyer also gives to the seller a percentage of the agreed-upon price as deposit. 


• Reservation Contract: with regards to the contract you must pay attention to: the purchasing price of the property, the deposit paid to the Builder, the total constructed and built area of the property, the completion date and the bank guarantees.

  • Full Contract: The builder must give you a copy of the Architect’s project approved by the local Town Hall plus a copy of the building licence and the cédula urbanística (planning certificate). Besides, all information explained in point 1.

 • What is an NIE number?  An NIE number is your Identification Number before the Spanish Authorities which will be compulsory before signing for your Spanish Purchasing Deed. It will also be needed for mortgage application, bank account, etc. 

 • What is a “Residencia”?: If you intend to live permanently or to spend more than 6 months each year in Spain, you are expected to apply for residencia 




• What is an Escritura? The property transfer must be certified by a notary who will ask proof of identity (NIE) of both parties, the seller's ownership of property (Nota Simple), and the buyer's payment together with a whole description of the property to be bought. The escritura is a formal written record of the transfer.

• Payments and Bank Guarantees for New Built Properties: For every payment instalment, we will obtain a bank guarantee from the builder who will guarantee each payment made. In which case, if builder goes bankrupt before completion, you will not lose the money you have paid. 

 • What is a Notary? Generally speaking, it is an officer of the law who can certify under his official seal deeds and other documents, including wills, conveyances and powers of attorney in such a manner as to render them acceptable in the eyes of the law. 

 • Notary Fees: are set by law and are based on the value of the transaction. Although it can seem a lot of money at the time for one signature but notaries have the obligation to keep the documents safe and to be able to retrieve them on demand. 
 


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• Land Registry and Fees: If you want to be sure that your rights to the property are fully protected, you must register your title at the local Land Registry office. You will be charged a standard fee (about .4% of the first 6010 €, down to .02% for over 6,010,121 €).  • Spanish Will: If you do not have a Spanish Will after purchasing a property, your inheritors will need to direct the case to the British authorities which will make the process long and expensive. If you have a Spanish Will, the process will take place in Spain and will be simpler and less time-consuming for your Heirs. We highly recommend you make a Spanish Will when purchasing a property in Spain. Taxes for the Buyer: VAT and Stamp Duty if property is off-plan. 7% VAT on the price of the purchase in the case of built residential property (villa, apartment, etc), and 16% in the case of plots of land (without built property) and commercial premises. The Stamp duty (known as AJD – Actos Jurídicos Documentados) is fixed at 1% of the price of the purchase. If the property is a resale, transfer tax (Impuesto de Transmisiones Patrimoniales) applies if the property is deemed to be a second or posterior transfer. The Transfer Tax is 6% or 7% on the price of the purchase, depending on the Spanish Autonomous Region in which the property is located.  

• Taxes for the Seller: A special reference should be made to the local capital gains tax - known as Plusvalía. This is a local / municipal tax that only applies to the increase in value of the land upon which urban properties are built, and that is levied at the time of transfer of such properties. It is calculated on the basis of the valor catastral (an administrative value that is usually lower than the market value, sometimes considerably so) of the property. The amount to be paid will depend on how long the seller has owned the property: the longer the period of time during which the seller has owned the property, the higher the amount of tax. 

• Capital Gains Tax: Spanish property sold by a non-resident owner will be charged capital gains tax with a 3% withholding provision.  

• Agents Commissions: Estate Agency fees or commissions are paid by the seller, unless otherwise agreed. However you should be aware that agents charge a variable fee, a percentage of the sale price, depending on type of property. Unless the buyer has specifically agreed to pay the agent's fee this cost will be built into the sale price.


 

• Banking Costs: To pay for the property, you will need to open an account in a Spanish bank and transfer money from the bank in your country. The cost of transferring the money can go up to 0,4% of the amount transferred. The Spanish banker's draft will most likely cost 0,5% of its amount when issuing to pay the final amount to the Developer. • Mortgage costs: If you choose to buy with a mortgage then this will incur several additional costs. First there will be the property valuation that the mortgage provider will require before granting the mortgage. This is paid for by the buyer and can cost around 500 Euros. Then there will be the costs of the mortgage itself. This varies according to the provider, and even according to the particular branch. However there is usually some kind of opening fee of around 1% of the value of the mortgage. Finally a mortgage will increase the Notary expenses.  


• Community Fees: Owners of property which is part of any development, building, or complex in which common zones are shared with other owners are by law obliged to be members of the community of owners, know as “Comunidad de Propietarios”. This will involve paying community fees for the maintenance of common areas, and any other services that the community of owners agreed. The fees will vary according to the size of the common areas, the costs for maintaining them and the services that the community of owners has voted for. A budget for annual community expenses is approved by majority vote of all owners (or representatives) who are present at the annual general meeting of the Comunidad de Propietarios. Costs of owning property in Spain. 

• Property Ownership Tax (Impuesto Sobre Bienes Inmuebles - IBI): This is a local tax on the ownership of property in Spain, irrespective of whether the owner is a resident or not. Calculated on the basis of the Valor Catastral (an administrative value which is usually lower than the market value, (sometimes considerably so), set by the town hall. The tax rate goes from 0.4% - 1.1% of the Valor Catastral depending on the Spanish region.
 


• Annual Wealth Tax (Impuesto Sobre Patrimonio): Both residents and non-residents have to pay an annual wealth tax on the net wealth they own on 31st December of each year. For non-residents this tax only applies to assets located in Spain. Non-residents who only own property in Spain (and no other types of assets) can expect to pay a wealth tax based on the value of the Escritura Publica or the Valor Catastral, or a value assigned by the tax administration for the purposes of other taxes - whichever being highest. The tax rate varies between 0.2 and 2.5%.  Visiting Spain. When buying a property overseas the most important consideration is the area and location, as most types of properties can be found at most locations.  


•Property Inspection Trips to Murcia Spain : With some of the "special offer " inspection trips advertised, you only have a couple of days stay to choose your property - and spend most of that time travelling from A to B trying to cram in as many properties as possible - in the hope that you will eventually buy.

Our purchasing trips offer a cost effective and flexible way to view properties, at your convenience. If you are unable to hire a car - we can meet and collect you from Murcia airport.  


Before you arrive in Murcia, Spain - we can organise or recommend a number of hotels providing accommodation. If you are seriously considering a property purchase we recommend you allow a minimum of 3 days (including at least one day during the week to carry out the legal requirements).
 




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