What will happen to prices in Spain after coronavirus, can we view Spanish property online, will there be a Brexit extension?
Over the past few weekends, Raquel Perez has been the legal expert in a series of webinars run by Spain Property Guides. Raquel, and experts in real estate, have answered a number of questions surrounding the property market during this period of uncertainty in order to help those wishing to buy in Spain gain some clarity.
If you have any concerns about buying property in Spain from a legal standpoint, contact the team at Perez Legal Group by clicking here.
Questions around the current lockdown in Spain
Are you still able to work in the lockdown? Karsten Ryder of Vincent Real Estate: Our business is working just as before Covid-19, except that cannot see clients face to face. All staff are working remotely, speaking to clients and vendors on Skype, Whatsapp etc. We’re in contact with all client base; we all love to talk! The government is bringing in a phased de-escalation in four 2-week phases and we should be up and running as normal by summer.
Can we do online viewings? Karsten Ryder of Vincent Real Estate: We’ve offered them for many years, but now more vendors will allow us to do them. People still buy properties unviewed and we had two this week: one at €230,000 and the other at 4% below asking price, at €45,000. We have five other offers that we’re working through.
So, yes, it’s very possible. If you like what you see we will make a reservation contract on a “subject to viewing basis”, and the viewing needs to happen within about two weeks of the travel restrictions being lifted. The process is simple for us and hasn’t changed, it’s just a question of the buyer not being able to look at it.
Can we get a surveyor to check over a property for us? Karsten Ryder of Vincent Real Estate: Architect/surveyors will be able to get physical access to a property from 11 May. It is standard for the buyer to pay for that, around €300.
Questions on the NIE
What is it and how can I get one? Raquel Perez of Perez Legal Group: It’s an A4 document that is a foreigners’ identification number that you will need in Spain if you are going to buy a property. You apply at the police station, or we can go on behalf of clients, and the number should be raised by tax office. It’s essential.
How do I get my Spanish NIE from here in the UK? Raquel Perez of Perez Legal Group: You can apply in London for your NIE, but it’s not easy. To apply you need a Spanish address or a concept of what you want it for. We sometimes give our office address, but not all police stations accept that. The price for your NIE is €165 per person.
Questions on Spanish Banks
How do I open a Spanish bank account? Raquel Perez of Perez Legal Group: You’ll start with a non-resident’s bank account in Spain, and to open it you need your last tax return, your passport and NIE number. The process is basically the same for all banks, but Santander doesn’t require an NIE number. If you’re retired you need the conformation that you get a pension. You don’t need to be there in person; I can do it with power of attorney. When you become resident you will change it to a residents account, for which the charges are normally lower.
Questions on Power of Attorney
How do I organise POA? Raquel Perez of Perez Legal Group: You can do this from the UK very simply. We request a copy of your passport, proof of address and occupation. We then prepare the document, send the document to you by email with a link to your nearest UK notary, who will organise it all. This allows you to do everything for the property. You don’t have to worry about it being misused – If anyone misused it they would simply go to jail. Then the POA is revoked after the transaction is finished.
Karen O’Hagan, Casa y Campo: The average cost of obtaining a Power Of Attorney (POA) in the UK is £400, compared to in Spain where you will pay around €85. Once must consider that you will be saving on flight and accommodation costs to visit and make your POA here in Spain. In addition, with the travel restrictions in place for now obtaining your POA in the UK can be a good solution.
Questions on Brexit
How do I apply for residency before Brexit? Raquel Perez of Perez Legal Group: We are in the Brexit transition period. In this period, if you are in Spain for three months or more you have to apply for residencia. You need to go to the police station with documents showing:
- private health cover for the first year at least
- registration on the town hall padreon,
- proof of renting or owning a property,
- the application form
- a certificate from your English bank showing that in the previous six months your balance was more than £7,000. For a married couple that is £10,000 and in a joint account. If unmarried £7,000 each.
- The cost of residencia is €280 per person.
For Spanish bureaucracy, these are actually quite easy documents to get! You can apply the first day you arrive in Spain. That’s the rules until 31 December but I believe it will be extended for a quarter – 3 months – at least. This will change after Brexit, but we don’t know by how much. Probably there will be more questions about the financial situation.
What other restrictions might Brexit bring? Raquel Perez of Perez Legal Group: To get to Spain there will a visado(permit), and you’ll get a stamp in your passport with an entry and exit date. Permission which will be provided for one month, three months, six months or whatever, depending on whether you want to be resident. You will apply for a different visado if you’re a tourist wanting to visit your holiday home, or a resident, or wanting to work.
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Contact our legal experts at Perez Legal Group by email email@example.com or call us from the UK on this freephone number 0 20 36 95 23 30