Buying a property in a foreign country can be a complicated affair and fraught with formalities and obligations that the purchaser might be completely unaware of until it is possibly too late.
Whether you are a resident of the island of Menorca, or a non-resident, the process of buying a Spanish property is the same for all stages involved: from the initial acceptance of your offer through to the final and all-important transfer of ownership, as well as the registration of the property. It is important for both parties to have an independent solicitor.
The initial steps or “due diligence” include the process of accessing information contained on the Title Registration, which is a public record. This Registration will confirm the registered owner of the property and provide information on any charges outstanding on the property.
Another important step within the due diligence process is to look at the Ministry of Economy and Finance Cadastral Record. The final step is the urban location of the property and the recognition of its existence by the planning authority covering the area in which the property lies.
Once all due diligence checks have been carried out and the purchase option agreement is in place, the purchaser usually puts down a deposit or down payment. The agreement of transfer of ownership is formalised before a Public Notary in accordance with the terms of the contract. Once the contract is completed, the transfer or delivery of the property (‘tradición’ in Spanish) is made to the purchaser.
At the time confirmed in the agreement with a notary, the buyer becomes the owner, who then has the option to register the deed of sale with the Land Registry in the area responsible for the acquired property (this step is voluntary).
The transaction fees then have to be paid, e.g. Property Transfer Tax (IPT), VAT (IVA) and Stamp Duty (AJD), which can be up to 1.2% of the purchase price.
Ripoll Mateu Solicitors of Menorca understand that the process of buying a property in Spain differs from that in the UK. Therefore, it is vitally important for any purchaser of a property in Spain to obtain independent and professional advice. Ripoll Mateu can advise you on all matters relating to the purchase of your property.
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Our clients know to turn to us with any legal matter, and that if the particular issue is beyond the scope of our practice areas, we will assist them in finding the professional assistance that is required. Our lawyers practice exclusively in civil matters.