Nowadays, if you want to come to live or invest in Spain and Costa Blanca it’s vital to employ a lawyer to carry out the following checks:
Why a Lawyaer for conveyancing in Costa Blanca
Verifying that a property belongs to the vendor or that he has legal authority to sell it – shown in the property register ( registro de la propiedad). If a property isn’t registered or has no deed you should be extremely wary.
Making sure that there are no tenants. If there are, you must ensure that you will obtain vacant possession, as the law protects long-term tenants and it can be difficult to make them leave.
Checking that there are no pre-emption rights over a property and that there are no plans to construct anything that would adversely affect the value, enjoyment or use of the property such as roads, railway lines, airports, shops, factories or any other developments.
Checking that the boundaries and measurements in the deed are accurate. Spain has two property registries: one (the registro de la propiedad) is concerned mainly with the ownership of property and kept at the property registry office ( Oficina del Registro de la Propiedad), which is usually in the nearest main town, although some towns have more than one office; the other (known as the registro catastral or, more commonly, catastro) is concerned with the physical description of a property and its boundaries and is kept at the regional property registry office ( Registro Catastral or Oficina del Catastro), which is located in the provincial capital. Obtain a certificado catastral from the Catastro, which contains an accurate physical description of the property and maps.
Ensuring that planning or building permits are in order (e.g. for water, electricity and sewage connection) and are genuine, and that a property was built in accordance with the plans. This can be done by checking the original plan ( plan parcial), which must be registered with the local urban development office ( urbanismo). You can obtain a building report (informe urbanístico) from the local town hall verifying that a property has been built legally.
If a building is located on a beach-front, you should also check that it was approved by the coastal authorities (Jefatura de Costas). Beach-front properties are subject to special building licences and it can be difficult (if not impossible) to restore or rebuild the original building.
A newly completed building must have a ‘certificate of new work’ ( certificado de fin de obra nueva) certifying the completion of work in accordance with the building plans and a ‘licence for the first occupation’ ( licencia de primera ocupación). The latter is necessary in order to get electricity and water meters installed. Building certificates are issued by the town hall for most services such as electricity and water ( boletín de instalaciones eléctricas/de agua).
Make sure than any extensions or major structures, such as a swimming pool, have planning permission. It isn’t unusual for alterations to be made illegally without planning permission, which can result in them having to be demolished or the owner incurring huge fines.
Checking that there are no encumbrances or liens, e.g. mortgages or loans, against a property or any outstanding debts such as local taxes (rates), community charges, water, electricity or telephone bills. This includes the following:
Obtaining the registration number ( referencia catastral) of the property and an extract ( nota simple) of the property register ( registro de la propiedad), which costs around €10. This tells you if the vendor is the owner, the size of the property and whether there are any charges or encumbrances registered against it (e.g. mortgages or debts).
Where a property is part of a community development, checking that there are no outstanding community charges for the last five years. The law now requires that a vendor presents a certificate from the community stating that payments are up to date, which must be presented to the notary when the deed is signed.
Vives Pons & Asociados-lawyers: the best conveyance in Spain for your business and investment in Costa Blanca (www.vivespons.com)
Contact with Vives Pons & Asociados-Lawyers by telephone (96 643 2624) or emailing us: email@example.com