18 Jun 2014
The Mallorca Lawyer’s Duties during the Purchase Process
There are many practising on the islands, some who also specialise in Real Estate law. Of course, Balearic Properties can advise and recommend a lawyer in Mallorca, or should you wish an independent recommendation the British Consulate can give you a list of lawyers on the Balearic Islands.
It makes sense to choose a local lawyer, who lives near to where you are going to purchase, to avoid any unnecessary travel costs on your bills and as he / she will also represent you after the sales process with regards to tax issues etc. But what exactly will your lawyer be doing for you – and the hard earned money you will be paying him / her?
The process of buying property in Mallorca differs from the system that you are used to in the UK, therefore it is important for any purchaser of a property in Mallorca to obtain independent and professional advice. You should ideally instruct your lawyer at the earliest possible opportunity and certainly before signing a reservation or paying a preliminary deposit.
The standard procedure for your lawyer would be as follows:
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- Advice and assistance will be given to obtain a Spanish NIE number (Foreigner’s ID Number)
- Negotiate, amend and finalise the terms and conditions of the purchase contract
- Conduct a land registry search to ascertain the official owner, the description of the property, whether the building is registered and finally whether any charges such as a mortgage, easements or positive / negative covenants are attached to the property.
- Search at the local council planning department to discover whether the building itself has a building license/permit. Ascertain whether the described property surface at the land registry is covered (or is in accordance) with the local council license/permit. Search at the habitation department to see if the property has a certificate of habitation
- Search at the catastro registry in order to confirm the catastral value and the official surface declared within the catastro
- In case of urban apartment, confirm any communal obligations and also ensure that the vendor has an updated record of the community charges.
- Verify whether or not all General and Local taxes have been paid up to date.
- A Spanish Power of Attorney will be provided if necessary in the event that the client is unable to be present upon completion.
- Completion of the transaction before a Notary Public. A notary public is a Spanish Public Servant who certifies the capacity of the parties and the content of the “escritura” or title-deed.
- After signing, the deal has been completed and in accordance to a general rule tax, ITP Property Transfer Tax (currently a progressive tax from 8 to 10%) has to be paid to the Balearics Tax Authorities within 30 days of completion. In other types of transactions VAT might be also be applicable.
- Formally notify the utility companies (electricity, water, etc) of the change of ownership and organise payment arrangements with your Spanish bank.
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