Legal advice for the purchase of a property on the Costa del Sol
Congratulations, you have found the property of your dreams on the Costa del Sol!
Now it is important to consider all the details involved in settling the necessary legal agreements of your property on the Costa del Sol. As every real estate deal is different we generally recommend you to consult a lawyer who is familiar with Spanish law (see affiliations). The following key points will give you an idea of what needs to be kept in mind:
1. IBI (Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles) = land tax
The following must be checked:
Have the annual land taxes (IBI) been paid? You will be able to obtain this information from the local authorities.
Is the property you are buying a new development on the Costa del Sol? If it is, the seller has to present the following documents: The Declaration of New Construction and a copy of the declaration of alteration of property of an urban nature. This will provide sufficient information for verifying whether or not the details relevant to the payment of the IBI have been registered.
2. Check the property registration:
At the Land register, which is available for public inspection, you can check if the owners of the property or land are registered and if there are any outstanding mortgages or claims against the title holder. We recommend not to buy a property before you have received the current land register information. Your lawyer would do this for you.
In Spain, the initial conclusion of an option deal or a purchase agreement between the buyer and the seller is common practice. This written document includes agreements regarding an advance payment. The notary appointment will then take place within the period of time that has been agreed upon by both parties. Before signing the option deal or purchase agreement the buyer needs to make sure that the property will be free of any mortgage repayments, tenancy agreements, etc. before being handed over. After the property purchase agreement has been signed by the buyer and the seller or their authorized representatives in the presence of a notary, the change of property ownership will be recorded at land registry.
4. Property owner communities
Should the seller be an owner community, it is important to ensure that all past duties, maintenance costs and community reserves have been paid. The community’s spokesperson should confirm this in writing. A copy of the meeting minutes of the latest proprietors’ reunion can provide you with useful information about maintenance measures, etc.
5. Charges and taxes:
According to Spanish law the buyer has to pay:
Land purchase tax (or VAT + stamp duty in the case of purchasing a new development from a building contractor) and other expenses for notary charges and registration fees.
The seller will pay:
The municipal tax fort the value increase of the land, which is based on the increase of the registered value of the plot of land.
Please take advantage of our experience. Estate agency Engel & Völkers Marbella West would be pleased to give you useful advice and explain the details of Spanish property law to you.