Buying Spanish Property – The Legal Issues
In the United Kingdom, we are quite used to appointing a solicitor to carry out the conveyancing when it comes to the purchase of a home, many us don’t really stop to think what are the processes involved. In Spain, the legal system is a little more complicated, although once you understand everyone’s job function, it will all fall in to place In you search for property you many come across a number of professionals with different job titles to the help you through the maze, here is what they do.
The Gestor – In Spain, you will still find a good deal of bureaucracy, red tape, endless filling in, queuing at departments for forms to be checked, wading through this plethora can be an absolute night mare, especially if you are not fluent in Spanish, enter The Gestor. The Spanish authorities noting that they have a problem with bureaucracy( even surrounding relatively minor things such as a the purchase of a Holiday Home in Spain) have invented this position to act as representative between Spanish Nationals and Foreigners when dealing with officialdom. Gestors are licensed, and although not offering the same services as solicitor, they are experts at filling in forms, and will be familiar with all forms of red tape, you can save a lot of time and energy if you simply employ one to help you complete whatever official documents you encounter. You will mind their fess and charges to be quite reasonable. You will find many in the area where you choose to purchase your holiday or retirement home and sometimes enquiries amongst the local Ex pat community will bring forth a recommendation of a Gestor who has excellent local knowledge that may be of assistance to you. They can advise you on a variety of matters relating to health care, applying for residency setting up a new business etc.
Abogado – when we purchase a home in the United kingdom, we make use of a solicitor or a lawyer, in Spain, this person is call an Abogado. These are highly qualified individuals and in Spain this is a much respected occupation, however when considering the services of a Abogado to assist you with your property purchase you should seek out one that is fluent in both English & Spanish and one that has a good understanding of both UK & Spanish Tax & Inheritance laws. There are many Abogados that have set up and specialize in this field and it is probably best to do your own research when trying to locate one. The Abogado will perform all the local checks relating to purchasing a Home in Spain and draw up the contract of sale
Notary – In Spain a notary is an Abogado that has taken further qualifications to hold the position as notary and as such represents the state and can not be appointed to act for an individual. In Spain, the notary will not check the contractual terms that are being offered to you, they many point out a number of legal pit falls to you and comment on legal matters but really they exist to make sure that contracts between parties are legalized. It all seems a bit formal but you will usually encounter this person at the exchange date of your property purchase when the Escritura is signed.
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