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Land Registry Fees

Buy Sell Properties Spain

Buying and Selling homes in Spain

Protect Yourself with those Property Bargains in Spain.

It can be nerve racking or a breeze buying a property in Spain. We are an agency in Andalusia and different autonomous regions have slightly different taxes but all require 3 main things: a foreigner’s tax number called an NIE number, Title Deeds signed before a Notary and Land Registry of the property purchase.

An NIE number is something you get from the Police Station. If you use a lawyer for your purchase they will get this for you or you can apply yourself. Here are a couple of examples of how to fill the form out and each line translated. The reason for needing an NIE must also be stated.

English instructions how to fill out NIE form

NIE form translated

Title Deed Price and Amount Paid

There was a time when properties were sold for two different prices, coyly known as ‘A’ and ‘B’ monies. The ‘A’ price was on the Title Deeds and the ‘B’ was cash in hand counted with spit dampened fingers far from the Notary walls. Even today the Spanish tax office turns a blind eye on a 15 – 20% difference plus or minus from the normal market price. Don’t be tempted though. In general, they don’t trust you and suspect something is afoot if you get too much of a good deal or agree to a bad bargain on your part. A Buyer will end up paying tax on the amount the government thinks the property was really sold for, the imputed amount. The only way to avoid it is to get a property valuation done and take your claim to court. Costly and time consuming if you lose.

For those of you interested, the imputed amount or REAL VALUE is based on coefficients from town halls, the Title Deed Price and the Cadastral Reference – based on sometimes outdated surveys of land boundaries. By or before July 2018 a land law reform is being introduced. Current recommendations by a government commissioned think tank is to change the REAL VALUE to reflect only the Title Deed Price. Another idea being mooted is to start charging a local capital gains tax on rural properties as well as the current policy of applying it to urban properties on gains from selling your property.

As we’ve seen, sales have picked up, still not a high percentage of conveyances, although slowly improving. The years of recession from 2007 hit Spain well below the belt with repossessed properties and ghost towns of brand new housing estates. In the noughties so many people were dependent in one way or another on the construction industry. When it ground to an almost complete halt, so too did the country. Fortunately, people and things evolve; no-one wants to return to those dark days, but the unscrupulous soon left the industry – why would they stay? There were no longer any rich pickings. The agents and agencies that managed to hang on in there during the lean times came through with a limp and a smile. Many, like TMT Spain Real Estate, offer more to Buyer and Seller as a matter of course. We feel we have a duty to explain and inform, both to our clients selling and the applicant looking to buy. Clearly, both form part of the same process. Naturally, we believe we always have done and our team have transferred skills and knowledge accrued in other professions as well.

What is an Agent?

An agent is just that, an entity acting on behalf of another. When it comes to properties the relationship is a tad contrived. The Buyer is usually an interested party whilst our client is almost always the Seller – but both come together in a bargain of offer, acceptance and consideration. The process can be incredibly fast or proceed slowly and cautiously. We don’t mind, we’re there to help however long the journey. Our local knowledge and connections are relied on by Seller and Applicant alike. Whether it be by acting merely as a de facto tourist information service – every Estate Agent recognises that function, or making sure you understand how properties are bought and sold. Our neck of the woods is the autonomous region of Andalusia, Spain.

Buying & Selling Resale Properties in Andalusia.

There are many more Resale properties on the market than new builds, but you can once more see cranes along the skyline. This is happening because of unfinished promotions being revamped and also due to brand new green field sites being built – both courtesy of new Land Law Legislation for Developers and Promoters to take the plunge and invest in Spain.

If the house you want to buy has had others living there already, a Resale, termed ‘second-hand’ in Spain, you need to check the following documentation:

  • Title Deeds. Make sure the person selling the property really is the owner or authorised to sell. We check this as part of our general due diligence when we list a property.
  • Ownership and status of housing charges. (Simple Note of the Property Registry). For this you need to ask for ‘Datos Registrales’ which give ‘Finca, Tomo, Libro & Inscripción’ stating what the property registration number is and where it is filed – both literally and in which district. This information is on the Title Deeds or a copy of a ‘Nota Simple’
  • Last annual IBI receipt (Council Tax or Urban Tax, Impuestos Bienes Inmuebles).
  • Community of Owners’ receipts proving that the seller is up to date with payments of shared community expenses. (It’s a proprietor owned management company.)
  • Latest receipts of utilities: water, electricity, gas, etc.
  • Completion on Property. If the conveyance follows the normal convention the Seller pays the costs of cancelling his/her mortgage and the bulk of the Notary costs for drafting the new Title Deeds. The Buyer pays for the Title Deed copies, registration fees and, as appropriate, VAT or Property Transfer Tax. However, it is not mandatory to follow that convention although common.
  • The Seller needs to make sure they have a certificate of the energy value which they hand to the notary before sale.

The Buyer should allow approx. 12% – 15% on top for costs. You pay Stamp Duty, Transmission Taxes, Notary Fees and Land Registry Fees. Plus, lawyer’s fees should you decide to instruct one. (It is not obligatory.) In the past, you also had to pay the mortgage lenders’ Notary and Stamp Duty costs for putting the mortgage in place – which with the admin fee added up to about 4% of the amount borrowed. But this practice has been ruled out by the Supreme Court as an unfair contract term and now you only pay an admin fee on taking out the mortgage, the valuation and any costs that fall directly to you. Those who paid this in the past can claim back these costs providing the mortgage is still in place or was paid up in the last four years. Refunds in Andalusia are on average 4,313 € according to the property portal Idealista and Legal Services Provider, Reclamador. (a ‘crowd complainer’ platform,). The protection available for the consumer does serve to underline how the legislature has acted to inject confidence in the property market once more.

Property Taxes are levied against the price of the property as stated in the Title Deeds. At the time of writing, assuming no special cases, THE BUYER pays 8% ITP on a property up to 400,000 €, 9% from 400,001 € up to 700,000 € and 10% thereafter.

Garages and Parking Spaces in Underground Garages can either have a separate Property Title Deed or be annexed to the Residence’s Title Deed. For separate Deeds it’s 8% tax up to 30,000 €, 9% to 50,000 € and 10% thereafter for a maximum of 2 garages or parking bays. Make sure you know which parking space belongs to the house or apartment that you are buying, it’s an area that can sometimes be overlooked. The applicable Property Taxes are the same as for properties when sold in the same Deeds.

como comprar a una casa en España

Property Sellers are responsible for:

  • Certificate of Energy Rating. ‘Calificación Energética’. Drawn up by an architect evaluating the energy consumption of the dwelling. In Andalusia, almost all resale properties rate as Grade E, with Grade A being the highest, it may not be perfect, but it is normal.
  • Town Hall Capital Gains Tax – Incremento del Valor de los Terrenos de Naturaleza Urbana (IVTNU), more commonly known as plusvalía municipal. The clue should be in the name – you have to make a capital gain to pay this. But many local authorities have been exacting payment form Sellers even when they sold at a loss, basing the value on the cadastral reference as well as the old inflated market prices and opting for whichever price was higher. Note, a Supreme Court decision enshrined in law 15th June 2017, has tried to make it illegal for town halls to invoice Sellers for this if they have sold their home at a loss. People who were forced in the past to pay it despite making a loss can now claim this tax back from the Town Hall. It’s an odd remedy called a revocation process (Procedimiento de revocación.) What makes it strange is how the decision to go ahead with the claim lays in the hands of the local authority. (IKR.) Court decisions are now starting to create their own precedent. And yet, we are still awaiting legislation that stops town halls from invoicing. This is the complication. They have up to 4 years to do so. This means that in practice the Seller needs to file claiming 0€ owed. But at present the town hall could challenge this in that 4 year time frame. Really not acceptable in our opinion when people have sold at a loss and it shows this on the title deeds.

Buying Off Plan or New Builds confirm the following:

  • Works Licence in place
  • Bank Guarantee to protect in case developer goes belly up
  • Occupancy Licence issued before completion
  • Building Specifications have been adhered to
  • Stage Payments where appropriate coincide with actual completion of construction stage as described
  • Snagging List done and signed by both parties
  • Utilities supply and connection paperwork formalised
  • Value Added Tax is 10%

Other than that, enjoy your home in the sun, next to a pool in summer and a wood burning stove in winter.

There’s never been a better time this decade to move home or shuffle portfolios.

And if you are looking to buy or sell a property in Southern Spain, get in touch with TMT Spain Estate Agents – we’re happy to help.

(Article updated 5th April 2019 to reflect changes in the mortgage law.)

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Property Purchase Taxes Andalusia

Property Taxes in Andalusia when Buying a Property

Property Taxes when Buying a Property in Andalusia

Buying a property in Spain is a straight-forward process. Each autonomous region has the right to set its own taxes, so differences do exist, although small. We help people buy and sell properties in Andalusia, in the provinces of Málaga and Cádiz. So, we provide information from the Junta de Andalucia’s website regarding the taxes levied on purchase and you can find general information on taxes levied on the Seller by the Town Hall, here. On the whole, budget about 13 – 15% on top of property purchase price for attendant costs. (Buying at auction has different requirements, find more here.)

 

Tax Payable – New Properties

First Transmissions of properties attract 10% tax plus a stamp duty on the drafting of the first title deed which is 1.5%. Total is 11.5%

 

Tax Payable – Resale Properties

For most people you pay 8% up to the first 400,000€, 9% on next 300,000€ and 10% on all amounts accruing after that.

The amount owing is calculated by multiplying the relevant band with the applicable coefficient as follows:

  1. Transfer of Tangible Assets

a) Property Transfer:

  • As a general rule, in the transfer of immovable property, as well as in the constitution and assignment of rights in rem over them, except in the real rights of guarantee, the tax rate will be obtained by applying, on the basis of the liquidation, the rate that results from the following rate:
Band payable in Euros Total Fees Euros Amount Due Euros Rate Applicable
0.00 0.00 400,000.00 8.00%
400,000.01 32,000.00 300,000.00 9.00%
700,000.01 59,000.00 There after 10.0%
  • Garages attached to the Property Purchase are included in the rates above, with a maximum of two. After which, in the case of transmission of buildings classified as urban parking space, the following rates apply:
Band payable in Euros Total Fees Euros Amount Due Euros Rate Applicable
0.00 0.00 30,000.00 8.00%
30,000.01 2,400.00 20,000.00 9.00%
50,000.01 4,200.00 There after 10.0%

b) Transmission of movable property and livestock

(as well as the constitution of real rights over them other than the guarantee):

  • 4 %, in general
  • 8%, on the transfer of boats of more than 8 metres in length and on vehicles of more than 15 horse power and objects of art and historical antiquities.
  • 5% in the transmission of real estate where the real value does not exceed 130,000 euros and it is to be the Buyer’s permanent residence and the buyer is under 35 years of age, or 180,000 euros in the case of a permanent residence where the Buyer suffers from a disability which is registered and measured as being equal to or greater than 33%.
  • 2% in the acquisition of housing for resale by a natural or legal person who carries on a business activity to which the rules of adaptation of the General Plan for the Real Estate Sector apply. (Aimed at constructors, developers and banks with repossessions, for example.)
  • 1%, for financial instruments of real security rights, pensions, bonds, loans and cession of credits.
  • Leases are governed by the scale of tax fixed by Law.

* With effect from January 1, 2015, tax rate offsets will be applied in the creation and exercise of purchase options in lease agreements related to certain payment operations.

Budget 13 – 15% on top of Property Purchase Price

In addition to the taxes there is also the need to pay stamp duty for new builds on the pages notarised for the Title Deeds, as well as general application of Notary’s fees, Land Registry fees and Lawyer’s / legal assessor’s fees (Gestor).  These days, most mortgage set-up costs are assumed by the lender. As a rough rule of thumb, allow 13% – 15% on top of the Purchase Price and note stamp duty for new builds.

Disclaimer: TMT Spain Real Estate has provided this information as a general guide only and it must not be relied upon in place of legal advice. Legislation is constantly updated and the reader must satisfy herself/himself of the accuracy of these contents.

 

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” 
Maya Angelou

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Judicial Auction in Spain

Judicial Auction in Spain

What is a Judicial Auction?

It is an auction authorised under Spanish Law and executed by the law courts to sell a property usually burdened with debts. Without this special action, the property cannot be sold because of a mortgage or other charge levied against it which acts to prevent its sale as you cannot buy good title.

Anything that has an economic value can be auctioned: real estate, vehicles, furniture (Jewellery, pictures, machinery, etc.) and any other class of goods or rights.

The asking price is agreed between the creditor and debtor or by reliance upon a Judicial Report and in practice calculates the amount outstanding on the debt plus interest and costs, in an unpaid mortgage for example.

A Judicial Auction can also be used in the case where there are co-owners so that it acts alike a Trust for Sale where the money is divided up and allotted by the courts on a case by case basis.

The auction is presided over by a court clerk, who is also responsible for transmitting and delivering the sale.

Buying Existing Debts

Clearly, you need to know if the item being auctioned is sold subject to or free of debts and third party rights.

In the case of several charges against the property or goods, it is straightforward to know which is the one that gives rise to the auction, because the registrar states with respect to it that “it subsists and is not cancelled.”

By the mere fact of participating in the auction, the bidder acknowledges notice of the charges or third-party rights which appear on the Property Registry Certificate which were lodged prior to the Creditor’s claim that is being realised by the auction.  These rights to property or money lent against the property remain valid. And if you are finally awarded the Property, you agree to place yourself in the place of the previous debtor, so you will have to honour those debts. Make sure you know what remains outstanding prior to entering into the auction.  You are not liable for any charges which accrue after the notice of auction of the property. Should such a situation arise the Court clerk may order the Property Registrar to cancel them. The only thing that you would have to pay is your fees and taxes for that cancellation.

What if No Bids at Auction?

When the auction is held and no-one makes any bids, this fact is declared by the auctioneer. The next stage is where the Creditor who brought the auction requests an adjudication by the courts to arrive at a price for sale.

Certain factors must be taken into consideration:

If it is the main home of the Debtor that has been auctioned, the Creditor cannot ask for an adjudicated selling price of less than 70% of the valuation price. An exception to this is when all of the debts levied against the property are less than 60% of the property valuation.

In the case of a second home or any property that is not the Main Residence, the Creditor cannot ask for an adjudicated price of less than 50% of the valuation unless total debts, as in the above situation, are less.

In the case of Goods/Chattels the Creditor cannot ask for less than 30% of the valued of the Goods.

If the Creditor did not ask for an adjudication, the embargo on the property would be lifted.

Charges Against Property.

The law requires that this certification be available to all interested parties at the Judicial Court where the right is lodged.

In some cases, it may also be available through the internet, in the Portal of Judicial Auctions of the Portal of the Administration of Justice.

Where applicable, the file will also contain information relating to any goods auctioned.

How Much to Bid at Auction.

If the auction is brought because of an unpaid mortgage it’s generally just these debts and costs incurred. If a valuation has been placed on the property by a Valuer and it includes outstanding debts in effect at the time of the request for a Judicial Auction, these subsisting charges must be deducted from the auction price so the bidder knows what is outstanding from the Creditor bringing the action. You would be liable for the other debts itemised in the Property Register as still standing.

Bid Accepted. Now What?

If your bid is the highest you do not know for certain that you have acquired the Property/Goods until the Court Clerk issues a Resolution which is decreed and approved. Until that point, the debtor can claim back rights to the property by payment in full of the debt outstanding. Where you have underbid (less than 70% or 50% respectively,) and been the highest bid at auction the courts can offer the Debtor and the Creditor the right to raise the price and claim the auctioned property or goods.

If your bid has been successful, but you fail to come up with the money in a set time frame, the other bidders have the right to buy at the price settled at auction by your highest bid. (You have 10 working days to pay in the event of Goods/Chattels and 40 working days for property.) If you don’t put the money together in time you lose your initial stake and the auction is deemed ‘bankrupt auction’.

Transmission of Property and Tax Due from Assignment after Adjudication or Highest Bid

The Creditor bringing the Auction can avoid paying the Property taxes in the event that the property will be assigned by the Creditor to a third party via auction or adjudication. This can be done in the event where the Creditor is the sole bidder and also where there are no bids at all.

Buying at Less than Amount Owed

When you succeed at auction and your bid is less than the amount outstanding against the Creditor who brought then action you are not liable for the outstanding amount. The amount you pay is put towards the Debt and the Creditor then has the right to offset this outstanding amount by going after any other assets the Debtor may have.

Property Taxes

There is no pre-requirement of registering ownership in the Land Registry before receiving the property, but you must pay the taxes and it is this that allows the Courts to confirm the purchase and if necessary evict the previous owners. This also allows you to then register the property in your name at the Land Registry.

Queuing Creditors

Always be aware of outstanding Creditors waiting to be paid. That is why they have placed a charge against the property and in so doing have earned the status of Priority Creditor. In the case of a second or third mortgage against the property the Buyer is expected to pay the updated charges including interest. If you consider them to be excessive you can lodge an appeal.

If you think you might like to take part in a Judicial Auction and don’t wish to do it yourself, get in touch to find out more.

Please note this has been based on content redacted and informally translated from Guia nº 5 Subastas Judiciales. TMT Spain has provided no more than an overview and it is not in any way to be relied upon legally.

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Spanish Mortgage Costs Supreme Court Ruling – Lender Pays.

Good news for people buying Spanish Property with a Spanish Mortgage: Spanish Mortgage Costs Supreme Court Ruling – Lender Pays.

Spanish Mortgage Cheaper

In the past, buying a Spanish property by taking out a mortgage added up to 4% on the Property Purchase Price. This pushed the costs on top of the net property price to as high as 15%. Much of this happened because the mortgage lender forced you to assume the costs of the mortgage. Incidentally, this was a cost you could not claim against or offset as costs against income when you submitted your tax return because you were not the benefactor of the arrangement.

Spanish Legal System Defends Consumer

The Spanish Legal System should be applauded for its support of the ordinary consumer in this way and let’s hope it leads to renewed confidence in the property sector within Spain. Once more, the conclusion is that, with property prices still subdued, it is a Buyer’s Market and there has never been a better time to dip your toe’s in the market. This applies if you seek to take out a mortgage or pay for the property outright.

[Sentencia TS 705/2015]

The Supreme Court has analysed contractual terms between banks and consumer and adjudged them to be Unfair Contract Terms. As a result, all costs attributed by the bank to the consumer in which it is the bank who is the passive subject and could, in theory, deduct such costs from tax returns, must be borne by the bank.

Obiter Dictum

The Obiter Dictum of the decision looked at costs derived as a by-product of contracting the mortgage. This refers to Notarial, Land Registry (notifying the Charge against the Property  on behalf of the Mortgage Lender), Transmission Tax, Stamp Duty for documents drafted in the Notary and other costs stemming from the mortgage – including Mortgage Indemnity Protection.

The judgment is available here, (in Spanish only): http://www.poderjudicial.es/stfls/TRIBUNAL%20SUPREMO/DOCUMENTOS%20DE%20INTER%C3%89S/TSCivil%2023.12.15%20%282658-13%29.pdf

Minutes of the Decision here, (in Spanish only):

http://www.poderjudicial.es/stfls/TRIBUNAL%20SUPREMO/DOCUMENTOS%20DE%20INTER%C3%89S/Nota%20de%20la%20Sala%20de%20lo%20Civil%2021%20de%20enero%202016.pdf

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