Investing your money in the Spanish real estate has become quite popular in recent years due to the rise in property value and low interest rates. As always, though, when you make an investment, try and avoid impulse buying.
So to make sure that all goes to plan, here is what you should know in order to avoid unpleasant surprises.
This list is not exhaustive, but when buying an apartment in Spain, you should be careful. Beware when things seem almost too simple, too interesting or even suspicious.
1. Beware of the latent defects!
A latent defect is a fault in the property that could not have been discovered by a reasonably thorough inspection before the sale. Sometimes it is only after buying a property that latent defects appear. So be aware and make sure you spot them; hence the need in going to visit the property more than once.
If the apartment you bought is less than 10 years old, you must claim a 10-year warranty for a series of damage. This covers manufacturing defects.
However, an apartment which is more than 10 years old is not covered by any contractual warranty, only in case of hidden defects. When a latent defect appears at the time of sale, the buyer can use this warranty. To do this, you will need to take legal action to prove that the seller has been dishonest and to obtain payment of compensation or the cancellation of the sale.
It is advisable to ask for all the necessary documents of heating, building material (asbestos), termites, and lead (used in building constructions) and attach these documents to the deed of sale.
2. Do not forget to read the report of joint-ownership!
When you have found an apartment that you like, it’s important to visit it at different times during the week and if possible the weekend.
With regard to the property maintenance regulations, make sure you verify the costs in maintaining all common areas, security, heating, medical evacuations etc. .. Remember to ask for them because the seller does not always show them to you.
When signing the contract, it is important to pay special attention regarding the sale price and time limits for carrying out works. All additional works carried out after the sale date shall be paid for by the owner even if it was decided at a meeting without his presence.
3. Before making any payment, do a thorough check.
When you transfer a large sum of money, be very careful to who you send it. Do not hesitate to ask for information on the person. It has happened that malicious people sold goods that they did not own.
Never sign anything and do not pay any money until you have sought legal advice and from a professional who has experience in Spanish property law.
4. Make sure that all debts have been paid.
One thing you should know before buying an apartment in Spain is that all debts of the property, including mortgages, local taxes and community fees, remain attached to the property. As a result, the new buyer will have to pay the remaining debts. So check if there are debts on the property. This verification can be done through the notary when signing the preliminary contract and a few days before the final signature.
5. Go through a professional.
For all real estate acquisition in Spain, it is advisable to get advice from a professional who has a good knowledge in the field of real estate and who could advise you: Someone you can trust and speaks good English.
Problems often encountered when buying
Often, buyers face many problems, here are some examples:
- Apartments with missing foundations, bought without a legal title or simply does not exist;
- Builders or developers who go bankrupt;
- Apartments built without building permits, sold with falsified deeds of sale or sold to more than one buyer;
- Mortgage on the property from the previous owner.
Using our services
Using professional services is a necessary security to avoid any scams.
TAS Consultoria, an accounting firm in Barcelona, will facilitate the formalities, advise you and assist you during the purchase of your property in Spain. Our legal experts will be at your side in the negotiation of the contract and will be responsible for reviewing the sales contract.