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How to buy property in Spain from UK or from abroad

Como comprar una vivienda en España desde otro país

Since March 2020 it has become very difficult for some buyers to travel to Spain in order to start the procedures for the purchase and sale of property.

However, in our law firm we continue to formalise property sales and purchases on a daily basis, without the need for the buyer to travel to our country.

If you want to know how to buy a property in Spain from UK, in this post we will solve all your doubts and tell you how we do it at Savloir.

Granting power of attorney to a Spanish lawyer in order to buy property in Spain from UK

There are three ways to grant power of attorney to a lawyer in Spain so that he or she can handle the purchase of property in Spain on your behalf.

  1. Power of attorney in Spain. When the buyer is in Spain, the way to do this is to go to a notary public to grant power of attorney to the chosen lawyer. The identity card or passport of the person granting the power of attorney is needed, as well as the full name of the lawyer and his or her area of practice.
  2. Power of attorney in another European country. When the buyer is in another European country, he or she should go to his nearest notary public to grant power of attorney to the Spanish lawyer of his or her choice. This document would then have to be legalised by means of the Apostille of The Hague, which certifies its legality in Spain. This document should also be translated into Spanish by means of a sworn translation.
  3. Power of attorney before the Spanish Consul in a European country: Consuls are responsible for the exercise of notarial attestation. Therefore, they may grant powers of attorney in the same way as a notary public. This option is simpler than the previous one, as a sworn translation would not be necessary, and the document would be issued in Spanish. The buyer would simply have to go to the Spanish consulate in his or her country to carry out the procedure.
como comprar una vivienda en espana desde otro pais

Obtaining the NIE (ID-number) in Spain from UK or from abroad

A fundamental step in buying a property in Spain from UK is to obtain your foreigner’s identification number, better known as NIE. This “citizen” number will also allow you to carry out other types of formalities in Spain, such as buying a car, registering with the tax authorities, etc.

This step can also be processed through the consulate. However, the consulate will only act as a courier, and this process will delay the time it takes to obtain it.

The fastest way to obtain the NIE while residing in a European country is to grant power of attorney to a Spanish lawyer so that he/she can carry out the following steps for you:

  • Make an appointment
  • Fill in form EX-18
  • Submit a photocopy of the passport of the interested party, the power of attorney document and the ID of the legal representative.
  • Go to the appointment to obtain the NIE

Opening a bank account at a Spanish bank from UK or from abroad

Another recommended step is to open a bank account in Spain. This way you can transfer the funds with which you will buy the property.

This procedure is easy, simple and very useful if you plan to spend some time in Spain. You may need a Spanish visa card, for example. Likewise, you may need to carry out other actions related to your stay, such as transfers, which will save you time and probably a few headaches.

Your legal representative can easily open an account for you in Spain with a photocopy of your ID or passport, address, employment status and certificate of non-residence.

This step is not compulsory. At Savloir we offer our clients a solution: in our law firm we have a client account that can be used for these purposes.

Signing the contract for the purchase of property in Spain from UK

The step prior to signing the purchase contract is the signing of the reservation order. By signing this document, you will freeze the purchase price, as well as to stop the property from being offered to other potential buyers, thus guaranteeing your “reservation”.

The next step is to sign the earnest money contract from UK. There are different ways to do this.

  1. The most convenient method for you is by granting power of attorney to a lawyer who can do this for you.
  2. If you have decided not to grant power of attorney to a lawyer, you can also sign the purchase contract in other ways: by sending the document by email or by courier. The latter may take a little longer than expected.

Taxes when buying a home in Spain as a non-resident from UK

The taxes for buying a property in Spain as a non-resident are between 10% and 11.5% of the value of the property. Savloir advises you to have the calculation done by an expert tax lawyer in Spain.

The most common taxes you will encounter in Spain are:

  • Value added tax (VAT/IVA): for the purchase of new properties in Spain. It is 10% of the price of the house.
  • Property transfer tax (ITP): if the purchase is of a used or second-hand property, on the Costa Blanca the ITP for this type of purchase is 10%.

Stamp Duty (AJD):If the property is purchased with a mortgage you will be obliged to pay this tax to the Spanish Treasury. In the Valencian Community this tax is 1.5% of the value of the property.

Other expenses to take into account

  • Lawyer fees
  • Notary fees
  • Land Registry fees
  • Contracting fees and utility charges

Registration as owner of the property from UK

To register as a property owner in Spain it is necessary to do so in front of a notary public. This entails some costs that you must take into account, as we have already mentioned above.

Signing the Title Deed before a notary publicfrom UK

Signing the Title Deed before a notary public from UK can also be done by granting power of attorney to a lawyer.

As we mentioned in the first section of this post, it is possible to grant power of attorney to a lawyer to buy a property in Spain so that he/she can carry out all the necessary procedures on your behalf.

Registration of the property in the Land Registry from UK

Once the purchase of the property has been completed, it must be registered in the Land Registry. This Spanish public institution is in charge of creating ownership real estate titles in order to favour the legal security of the property.

This step can also be done for you by a lawyer. Therefore, it is also possible to register property in the Land Registry from UK.

At Savloir, we also offer a number of other services that you may need when buying a property in Spain from UK:

  • Statement of works
  • Mortgage Cancellation
  • Tourist rental procedures
  • Name changes on utility bills such as water or electricity
  • Home insurance

If you have decided to buy a house in Spain and are unable to travel to our country due to the pandemic or other circumstances, we encourage you to contact our law firm to find out all the details regarding how to can start the procedures from UK.

The Savloir Team

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