Rayos de sol
Rayos de sol
Rayos de sol

Why do you need a lawyer to purchase a home in Spain?

Aug 03, 2018

When you purchase a home in Spain, it is important that you hire a lawyer or ‘gestor’ (similar to an accountant) to check several important matters. On average, you will pay the lawyer 1% of the purchase price of the home. It is a worthwhile investment because a lawyer can help you avoid many problems.

A lawyer is useful

If you purchase a home in Spain, there is a lot that you have to arrange. The water and energy bills must be transferred into your name and you have to apply for things such as an NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero), which is a tax number specifically for foreigners in Spain. You can do all of that yourself, but a lawyer knows the ins and outs better than you do. If you sign a power of attorney document, you do not even need to come to Spain to handle all such work. Your lawyer will take care of your affairs and ensure that everything is in order.

A lawyer is a must

It is great to allow a lawyer to take all the work and worry out of the process for you. However, there are even more important reasons to bring in a lawyer. In Spain, home debt is not specifically designated to one person; it is attached to the home. If you buy a home with mortgage or tax debts in the hundreds of thousands that you are unaware of, you automatically become responsible for that debt. After all, you are the new owner of the house. A lawyer will check to see what debts are attached to the house and ensure that these are settled before you become the new owner. A lawyer prevents other problems, too.

  • They will check whether or not the seller of the house is actually the current owner. You may end up buying a home from someone pretending to be the owner.
  • The lawyer will also check the status of the home with the municipality. Does the house meet all the requirements? Does the municipality have any outstanding claims? Is the home legally in order?
  • The lawyer will then check all of the paperwork, too. Of course, the property deed is the main document (de escritura), but other paperwork such as the cédula de habitabilidad - the administrative document confirming that a house meets the basic conditions for occupation - is also important. A licencia de primera ocupación (loosely translated as ‘licence of first occupation’) is a good example as well. The municipality issues this document after the sale of the home is complete.

More information

Would you like to know more about the advantages of involving a lawyer when purchasing a home in Spain? Rayos de Sol specialises in the purchase and sale of residences along the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida. We would be happy to answer your questions. Click here for our contact information and here for more information about our services.

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