How to ensure your Spanish property investment is safe

Published:  20 May at 6 PM
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The recent increase in the number of investors buying into the Spanish property market ha been fuelled by non-EU buyers, but are they doing enough to safeguard their investment?

Since the Spanish government introduced its investment residency permit scheme, open to those who purchase a property worth more than £411,000, real estate agents have noted increased demand at this level by non-EU buyers. However, Spanish property law is a minefield for purchasers who don’t know the system, and a number of points need to be kept in mind.

Firstly, it’s essential to ensure any borrowing needed for the purchase well before the legalities kick in, and even more important to allow enough spare cash to take care of all legal and local government fees. Expats are allowed to borrow up to 60 per cent of the purchase price, but the cost of notaries, lawyers, setting up amenities, insurances and the provision of services such as water, power and internet access soon mounts up.

Using a reliable estate agent in your chosen area is a must, but taking the agent’s recommendation as regards a local lawyer may not be the best idea, as many purchasers have found to their cost. A bilingual lawyer able to translate every detail into your own language and advise if there are any hitches will ensure your transaction is protected.

Another essential is a surveyors’ report, covering both the condition of the property and the security of its lease, if any. Again, it’s best to ask for recommendations within the local expat community, and an exact translation of the report, especially as regards building permits and other local government requirements, is a safeguard.

If you’re planning to let the property, a reliable agent with a proven track record in property management is essential. It’s complicated to get together the complete picture of every aspect of your purchase but, given the Spanish property scandal and other negatives, it’s the only way forward.
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