Legal Aspects of Buying Property in Costa Blanca, Spain
In the UK, all aspects regarding the purchase of the property are usually handled by a solicitor. However, in Spain a lawyer will focus only on details such as the charges/embargoes recorded on the property register and determining whether the seller is in fact legally authorised to sell the property. The final part of the sale is carried out at a notary's office. However, when it comes to preparation for purchasing your dream Costa Blanca property, Hamiltons of London will take care of these factors, including assisting you with finding an English-speaking lawyer and can also help you in obtaining a mortgage, if this is a requirement.
Another important point concerned with buying property in Costa Blanca, Spain is that debts of previous owners are carried forward to the new owners, such as unpaid electricity, water bills etc.
Once you have found a property you wish to purchase, a reservation deposit will need to be paid to withdraw the property from the market. Most vendors would expect Hamiltons of London to take a 5000 Euro deposit. This will be held by Hamiltons of London. Then once your legal representative has done his searches on the property you have chosen and he/she is happy for you to proceed, a further 10% less the initial 5000 Euro deposit will then be paid either directly to the owner/s of the property or the solicitor of the owner/s. This is generally two to three weeks after the initial deposit.The final payment would then be at the Notary office for the outstanding balance and legal fees etc. The Costa Blanca property market attracts a large quantity of buyers, and as a result we will need to confirm you are in a position to put a deposit down in order to begin viewing our properties. In the contract, an obligatory completion date will be stated, and the purchaser must meet this deadline or else lose the deposit on the property. The only time that one of the deposits made will be returned to the property buyer is when the seller does not meet his/her obligations as stated on the sale/purchase contract.
The seller will then need to produce an escritura (title deed), a nota simple informativa detailing if the property has any outstanding charges, and to confirm official ownership, an impuesto de bienes inmuebles (paid local property tax receipt). If you are buying a plot of land, the lawyer will also need to see proof that a house can be legally built on it. To complete the sale, you will need an NIE (Foreigner Identification Number), which a gestor (local lawyer) will be able to obtain for you. For more information, see our section on settling on the Costa Blanca. The final part of the process is carried out by a notary, an impartial public official. Both parties and the notary will sign the escritura de compraventa, and the keys are obtained. The notary is unable to verify the accuracy of statements contained in the contracts, and is only present to ensure that both parties understand the terms on which the property is sold and agree on them. If you are unable to be in Spain for this final step, you can attribute power of attorney to a person of your trust, preferably to a solicitor or the property agent.