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:
- 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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