Property in Spain: Legal Keys to understand ownership in Spain

Property in Spain: Legal Keys to understand ownership in Spain

We provide some simple legal guidelines to understand the process of sell-purchase in Spain:

Types of ownership: The most common type of ownership in Spain is absolute ownership, similar to the English concept of “free-hold”. It grants the tittle holder the absolute right to sell, use and mortgage the property.

Transfer formalities: The transfer of real estate is carried through a transfer deed executed before a notary public and recorded at the Land Registry.

Costs related to transfer and registration: Notaries’ fees and registry fees are calculated on the basis of the transaction as a percentage of the amount of the deal. By other side Transfer Tax (to be paid by the purchaser party) amounts (in Catalonia) 10% of the sell prize.

Transfer process: First, the parties sign a private agreement (“contrato de arras”) that sets out the essential elements of the transaction. The buyer provides a deposit to secure the due completion of the sell-purchase. Generally the purchaser’s lawyer prepares this document.

Second, the parties appear before a notary public and sign a public deed of sale. Only public deeds authorized by a Notary have access to land registry. After that the Transfer Tax must be paid. And finally, the buyer will register the deed at the land registry. The deed constitutes the valid and legal title to the property.

Foreign investment: There are not nationality restrictions on land ownership for foreigners, without distinguishing between EU residents and non-EU residents. Both will need a foreign identification number or NIE (número de identidad de extranjero) that can be obtained in the Spanish Consulate of your home country or in the Police in Spain.

The information contained herein does not constitute legal advice.

Gemma Perez Boye

VBB Lawyers

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