Blog / News

The magic of lettings in Spain

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, November, 21. 2017

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer and Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
21st of November 2017

 

So, you’ve heard all the good news surrounding the explosive double-digit growth on Spanish rental asking prices and your curiosity has been peaked? You may feel half tempted to jump onto the bandwagon of landlords that make a nice little extra income in the summertime renting out to tourists.

But what is holding you back is being put off by all the newspaper articles hammering on the new batch of regional regulations sweeping Spain that have put in place stringent requirements to let properties out to tourists, require a mandatory rental licence from regional Authorities and which are subject to humongous fines on non-compliance. I know, what a bummer.

What if I were to tell you that you could legally sidestep all the above pesky requirements? There is a perfectly legal way to rent out your property in Spain to tourists during the summer season which does NOT require:

  • Registration of your rental with the regional Authorities. Tick.
  • No need to apply for a tourist rental licence. Tick.
  • Your property will not be subject to inspections by regional Authorities. Tick.
  • You do not need to meet daft expensive requirements such as A/C installed in every room, WIFI, mandatory rental insurance etc. Tick.
  • You will not be liable for massive fines on non-compliance. Tick.

 

Interested? Well, come and speak to the experts; we can make it happen for you. *

Making life simple.

 

*Not everyone qualifies, ask us.

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in conveyancing, taxation, litigation and inheritance. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. Please contact us for a free initial consultation. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbittabogados.com, by telephone on (+34) 951 894 675 or by completing our contact form.

 

Legal services Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can offer you

 

Rental-related articles

 

 

Please note the information provided in this blog post is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.

2.017 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

 

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Nota Simple – Land Registry Search (LRS)

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, November, 10. 2017

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer and Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
10th of November 2017

 

A Land Registry Search (LRS) is a legal service thought for those who need to find assets in Spain under the name of individuals or companies. In Spanish, it is known as a 'nota simple'. The nota simple is one of the most important documents used in the Spanish property conveyancing process.

What is a Nota Simple used for?

  • Buying property.
  • Selling property.
  • Letting property.
  • Applying for a mortgage loan.
  • Asset-hunting.

 

What key information can be found in a Nota Simple?

  • Ownership.
  • General property description.
  • Charges, debts, easements or encumbrances.
  • Other.

 

Nota Simple example

This legal service is suitable for:

  • Matrimonial proceedings: tracing Spanish property ownership of an opponent party.
  • Inheritance proceedings: tracing Spanish assets of a deceased.
  • Debt recovery: trace assets in Spain belonging to individuals or companies, seize them legally (separate legal service applies, ask us).
  • Buying, selling or renting property in Spain: Find out if a property has charges, liens, encumbrances, long term tenants, if the vendor is who he really says he is (avoid sale scams), if a property is classified as rural or urban, if it has legal proceedings against it under way, embargoed etc.
  • Loan applications: if you are applying for a (mortgage) loan on a property you will be asked for an updated nota simple.

 

What this service includes:

  • Property search.
  • Reply within 24 hours (contingent on the Land Registry).
  • Basic translation into English of legal terms and property extract. *

 

*optional, additional fees apply.

What you need to supply us (one or more of the following):

  • First name and surname of owner/s.
  • Identification details of owner i.e. NIE number.
  • Identification details of property i.e. IDUFIR (single property registration identifier).
  • Region in Spain where you think the property may be located (optional).

 

Legal fees (per property):

  • No English translation: €50 (plus VAT)
  • With basic English translation: €70 (plus VAT)
  • Bulk orders: fees on application.

 

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in conveyancing, taxation, litigation and inheritance. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. Please contact us for a free initial consultation. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbittabogados.com, by telephone on (+34) 951 894 675 or by completing our contact form.

 

Legal services Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can offer you

 

Related articles

 

Please note the information provided in this blog post is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.

2.017 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

 

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Andalusia starts fining holiday home landlords

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, October, 31. 2017

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer and Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
31st of October 2017

 

In my article on Decree 28/2016, which details the requirements to register oneself before Andalusia’s Tourism Registry as a holiday home, I made it clear that the most important requirement was to attain a Licence of First Occupation. I also wrote a specific blog post last July warning landlords not to register before the ATR unless they were fully compliant least they risk being fined at least two thousand euros on non-compliance.

A Licence of First Occupation (LFO, for short) is an administrative licence issued by the town hall, where the property is located, and certifies the development is in full compliance with the Building Licence (BL) and all associated Planning laws.

Despite these repeated warnings, hundreds of landlords ploughed ahead and self-registered themselves to take advantage of the summer season or else used non-qualified acquaintances to register them (in exchange of a fee). The idea was that they could register provisionally and rent the properties out and subsequently receive from the ATR their rental number in the following weeks or months despite not being fully compliant. Almost 30,000 properties have been registered so far in Andalusia.

Many landlords registered without using a lawyer, not fully understanding the legal consequences of their own actions and as a result are being landed with €2,001 fines, at the least. Fines in Andalusia range from €2,000 up to €150,000.

All along September and October landlords have been receiving these fines (see blog post photo) in the region of Andalusia from the ATR informing them a case had been brought against them and classified as a serious breach.

Failure to pay these fines will result in the ATR placing a charge against your property. There is only a 10-day deadline to appeal a fine. You need to hire a lawyer to lodge an appeal.

What we can glean from the above is:

  • You should apply for a touristic rental licence in Andalusia and declare and pay your rental income (in Spain) if you do not want to be heavily fined by the Authorities.
  • Do NOT register before Andalusia’s Tourism Registry unless you are fully compliant with the requirements set out in Decree 28/2016.
  • I strongly advise would-be holiday home landlords to register only using the services of a law firm such as ours which fully understands what’s being asked and avoid the client humongous fines and court cases. You should also hire a law firm to deal with the taxation side of things, applying for landlord tax relief which significantly reduces your taxable base (on average by 30 to 40%). More information on this service: Holiday Rental Accounting Service (HRAS).

 

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in conveyancing, taxation, litigation and inheritance. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. Please contact us for a free initial consultation. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbittabogados.com, by telephone on (+34) 951 894 675 or by completing our contact form.

 

Legal services Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can offer you

 

Holiday-homes related articles

 

Please note the information provided in this blog post is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.

2.017 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

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Let-to-buy contracts: do not forget to add a clause forbidding sublets!

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, October, 20. 2017

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer and Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
20th of October 2017

 

Back in 2009, I wrote an article on the advantages of let-to-buy contracts as opposed to buying outright a property (Let-to-Buy in Spain: The Smart Choice). The idea behind the article was that if you waited long enough, you could benefit from a steep drop in property prices. In retrospective, the year 2011 marked the inflection point as property prices reached their trough in Spain and have been steadily rising ever since.

Resale property vendors have faced a challenging sales environment over the last years as sales remain sluggish (as opposed to off-plan properties and holiday rentals which have been booming in some areas in Spain). The bid for independence in Catalonia has not been helpful either to build up confidence in the resales market.

Given this sales scenario, I was struck the other day on being queried by the wording of a rent-to-buy contract. The landlords had drafted a contract, and in their haste to sell, had bent over backwards to be accommodating as much as possible towards the prospective would-be buyer. So much so, that the landlords had forgotten to add a clause whereby subletting was forbidden. This mistake was compounded by the fact that they had also agreed to arrange a let which was significantly below the market value to sweeten the deal. The property is in a prime location in Marbella…

In their desperation, and acting in good faith, the vendors omitted this clause on renting a two-storey townhouse (with – hopefully – a view to sell). Unbeknownst to the non-resident owners, the tenant was devious as they come. Wasting no time, the artful dodger immediately set about subletting the property to multiple tenants with a significant mark up. Given the properties prime location, it was rented out in no time. The ground floor was rented to a business, and the upper floors were rented out as a long-term contract.

The sly ‘tenant’, banking on the landlord’s good faith and desperation to sell, had made a shrewd move which netted him a substantial amount in a short span of time using in the process someone else’s property as if it were his own. Needless to say, the tenant has no intention whatsoever to buy the property and was unfazed when confronted on what he had done. The saddest part of it all was that it was perfectly legal.

 

We can learn from above the following:

  1. Legal contracts in Spain should be drawn up only by professionals (lawyers). We offer a professional drafting conveyancing service: rentals.
  2. Let-to-buy contracts should always have a clause forbidding subletting.
  3. Let-to-buy contracts should have a normal rental in line with the market. Do not go out of your way agreeing to below market rentals because you do not know if your tenant will end up buying your property (or not).  

 

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in conveyancing, taxation, litigation and inheritance. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. Please contact us for a free initial consultation. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbittabogados.com, by telephone on (+34) 951 894 675 or by completing our contact form.

 

Legal services Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can offer you

 

Rental-related articles

 

Please note the information provided in this blog post is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.

2.017 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

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Spanish Inheritance Tax Assessment Report (SITAR)

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, October, 9. 2017

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer and Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
8th of October 2017

Spanish Inheritance Tax Assessment Report (SITAR)

Inheritance

 

  • Are you worried sick thinking how much money your heirs stand to pay the Spanish taxman?
  • Do you find yourself stressed out at night over your inheritor’s Spanish Inheritance Tax liability?
  • Are you keen to find out personalised tax solutions, in plain English, that adapt to your particular case, protecting your loved one’s interests?

 

A Spanish Inheritance Tax Assessment Report (SITAR, for short) is a comprehensive tax report written in plain English by our joint team of seasoned economists and lawyers. We study your family case in light of existing Spanish inheritance laws (national, regional and local) providing you with a tailored tax report which allows heirs to know exactly how much Spanish Inheritance Tax they are liable for. Additionally, we suggest alternative solutions to mitigate, within the law, the taxable base (to pay less taxes).

Did you know that Spain’s 17 autonomous regions have devolved competencies over Spanish Inheritance Tax (IHT) which meaningfully impact inheritance taxation from one region to the next? This translates into significant tax differences when heirs face IHT and allows for tax-planning strategies.

Commanding a SITAR from us is useful for all the following reasons:

  • It allows forward tax-planning
  • It enables to mitigate exposure to IHT
  • It allows owners to re-arrange property holding structures in a tax-efficient manner
  • It discloses and highlights non-optimal taxation scenarios to avoid
  • It studies all the available tax allowances from which heirs can benefit from, both at a national and regional level
  • The report outlines legal alternatives to shield against IHT that adapt to your family’s specific needs. No one-trick ponies or one-size-fits-all generic solutions.

 

Legal fees: standard SITAR report from €595 (plus VAT) *

 

 *Specially complex matters will be billed at a higher rate.

 

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in inheritance, taxation, litigation and conveyancing. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. Please contact us for a free initial consultation. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbittabogados.com, by telephone on 951 894 675 or by completing our contact form.

 

Legal services Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can offer you

 

Inheritance-related articles

 

Please note the information provided in this blog post is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.

2.017 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

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Buying in a Community of Owners – outstanding debts!

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, October, 1. 2017

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer – Abogado
21st of September 2017

 

Did you know that on buying in what is known as a community of owners (residential development) you could be held liable for the previous owner’s debts?

In Spain, a property is held liable for the debts of the current year plus the previous three years. So, whomever becomes the new owner 'inherits' the debt. Some community of owners, particularly those dotting the costas with lush tropical gardens and 24 hours concierge service, have steep maintenance fees; the arrears over time can be quite substantial.

For example, Mr Jones buys into a development in October 2017 without a lawyer and, unbeknownst to him, the seller is in arrears since 2013. After completion, Mr Jones moves into his new property and as a ‘welcome pack’ receives a nasty letter from the community Administrator threatening legal action as his property owes the community €21,000 (years 2014 through to 2017). The seller is a non-resident and already fled Spain (with the sales proceeds)!

If Mr Jones refuses to pay the debt, the community will approve in a General Assembly to instigate legal proceedings against him, placing a charge against his new property for the debt plus all the associated procedural expenses (easily a further €10,000 in legal fees). If he still does not pay, the community may auction off his property to recover the debt. Properties in Spain can be publicly auctioned off for small debts of only a couple thousand euros.

This is but one of many checks that a conveyancing lawyer will do on your behalf. If you are buying property in Spain, do it safely, hire an experienced law firm such as ours to safeguard your interests.

Conveyancing in Spain from €995 plus VAT

 

Legal services Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can offer you

 

Buying in Spain related articles

 

Please note the information provided in this blog post is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.

2.017 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

 

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Andalusia to slash Inheritance tax for inheritances under 1 million euros

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, September, 21. 2017

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer – Abogado
21st of September 2017

 

Senior Andalusian politicians agreed last night to significantly reduce Spanish Inheritance Tax (IHT) in the autonomous region of Andalusia. This landmark tax reform is without a shadow of a doubt the most important tax milestone in the autonomous region of Andalusia in the last 35 years (since its inception in 1982). 

The change will mean 95% of inheritors in Andalusia will no longer need to pay inheritance tax on inheriting assets from their parents or spouse which is a welcome respite. These fiscal changes are in addition to those approved last year which I already reviewed in my article Inheritance Tax Novelties in Andalusia. FAQ on IHT.

This bold move allows Andalusia to finally jump onto the band wagon of other autonomous regions in Spain which are applying reductions on IHT to such an extent which in practice translates to almost suppressing it i.e. Madrid, Basque Country, La Rioja, Navarre, Catalonia, Valencia, Balearic, Canary Islands and now Andalusia as well.

As I had pointed out in previous articles of mine relating to Spanish Inheritance Tax, there was an ongoing trend throughout Spain over the last decade to supress or greatly reduce inheritance tax to the point of negating it. Andalusia finally joined the trend yesterday. Better late than never. Notwithstanding yesterday’s agreement, there are still political forces vying to completely abolish it (Partido Popular).

Mrs Susana Diaz (PSOE) and Juan Marin (Ciudadanos) agreed that as from the first of January 2018 these changes would come into effect. No law has been enacted yet with these changes.

To benefit from these new tax allowances, taxpayers must be EEA/EU-residents.

In a nutshell, the changes are:

Spanish Inheritance Tax

  • Inheritances equal to or below €1,000,000 will go untaxed (per inheritor).
  • Pre-existing wealth nil-rate band of inheritor raised to €1,000,000.

 

Gift Tax

  • Gifts between parents and children of up to €1,000,000 will also go untaxed provided certain criteria is met (gift for the purpose of job creation or to set up a company). Exact details to be specified by further regulation.

 

Who benefits?

  • Natural and adopted children.
  • Surviving spouse.

 

Conclusion

On average, every day 19 inheritors turn down their inheritances in Andalusia in order to avoid paying steep inheritance taxes. Following this new regulation, this will no longer be the case. 95% of taxpayers will benefit from this change as from next year.

The Autonomous region of Madrid had attracted last year alone the residence of over 2,000 HNWI (with average estates of 9mn) escaping other less lenient inheritance tax regions such as Andalusia. This new measure was also necessary to avoid wealthy individuals bailing out to other communities in Spain with the consequent loss of wealth and jobs this resulted in.

For once, I’m happy to commend politicians on adopting a sensible tax measure that benefits so many and contributes towards dynamising the Andalusian economy. Kudos to them!

 

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in inheritance, taxation, litigation and conveyancing. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. Please contact us for a free initial consultation. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbittabogados.com, by telephone on 951 894 675 or by completing our contact form.

 

Legal services Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can offer you


Inheritance-related articles

New EU Regulation to be Passed on Succession and Wills –18th May 2010
Non-residents: Six Advantages of Making a Will in Spain – 8th August 2012
Buying and Owning Spanish Property through Companies: Pros and Cons – 7th March 2014
Taxes on Selling Spanish Property – 8th December 2014
Spanish Wills and Probate Law in Light of European Regulation 650/2012 – 8th January 2015
Changes to Spain’s Inheritance and Gift Tax Law – 21st February 2015
Dispelling Spanish Inheritance Tax Myths – 8th August 2015
Spanish Inheritance Tax for Non-Residents (Part I) – 21st February 2016
Spanish Inheritance Tax for Non-Residents (Part II) – 8th March 2016
Inheritance Tax Novelties in Andalusia. FAQ on IHT – 8th September 2016
Which beneficiaries are hit worst by Spanish Inheritance Tax (IHT)? – 2nd June 2017
Non-Resident: Why you need to make a Spanish will – 24th June 2017
Non-resident: careful on making a will in Spain – 30th August 2017

 

Please note the information provided in this blog post is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.

2.017 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

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Dissolution of Joint Property Ownership

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, September, 7. 2017

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer – Abogado
8th of September 2017

 

Are you fed up with your partner? Did you know there is a special procedure in Spain to terminate property co-ownership which can save you up to 80% in taxes? Interested? Read on.

Most property owners are unaware there is a legal way that can be followed in Spain to re-arrange property holdings which can save co-owners a considerable amount in taxes. On buying resale property in Spain, a buyer is normally liable for Property Transfer Tax or ITP (which ranges between 7% to 10% depending on the region in Spain where the property is located). However, on following what is known as a “Dissolution of Joint Property Ownership” (DJPO, for short) a buyer only attracts 1.5% Stamp Duty.

Signing a deed of Dissolution of Joint Property Ownership allows joint owners to re-arrange their share on a property in a tax-efficient manner as it enables the outgoing joint owner to transfer his share to an existing co-owner legally waiving the extreme Property Transfer Tax and paying in lieu 1.5% Stamp Duty on the full property value. This results in average tax savings of up to 86%!

 

This service is suitable:

  • In a divorce or separation.
  • Re-arranging inheritances.
  • Re-arranging property holdings between family and friends.

 

DJPO Requirements

  • Both buyer and vendor need to be pre-existing owners of the property.
  • If there is an outstanding mortgage on the property, a lender’s permission may be required to release the outgoing borrower/owner from his commitment.

 

Associated Taxes and Fees

 

Buyer

  • Liable for 1.5% Stamp Duty on the full property value (not only on the outgoing share).
  • Lawyer’s fees.
  • Notary fees.
  • Land Registry fees.

 

Vendor

  • Capital gains tax on the outgoing share.
  • Lawyer’s fees.

 

If the vendor is non-resident, a 3% retention is practiced on the outgoing share.

CGT payable:

  • 19% EU/EEA-residents
  • 24% non-EU/EEA-residents

 

Example: Married couple own a property in joint names. One of them wishes to terminate the situation and sell his share to his ex-partner.

Property is worth €300,000. Husband only pays 1.5% on the full property value or €4,500 in lieu of 8% Property Transfer Tax. This amounts to a tax reduction of over 80%!

Legal fees: From €995 euros, plus VAT.

 

Legal service Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can offer you

 

NOTE: this blog post is copyrighted © 2007. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

DJPO related articles

 

Please note the information provided in this blog post is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.

2007, 2011 and 2.017 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

 

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No win no fee: not always a good idea

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, September, 3. 2017

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer – Abogado
3rd of September 2017

 

 

No win no fee: not always a bright idea

 

Perhaps you have been assailed lately by enticing radio wedges softly cooing into your ear, or maybe you have felt drawn by tantalizing ads in glossy magazines, luring you into a new exciting world of promises of wealth and glory at (apparently) no risk to you with these four magic words: “no win no fee.”

Tempting as this may sound, there are in fact serious risks for a client if the agreement with a law firm is not worded properly. As can be read today in The Sunday Times, a woman was made homeless by her own law firm after she owed them £1m following a no win no fee case.

I had already admonished would-be litigants in my 2016 article Off-Plan Guarantees and Supreme Court Rulings – Payback Time on the consequences of failing a no win no fee case in Spain.

Most people that enter into these agreements with lawyers do so blindly without fully grasping what they are actually agreeing to. They wrongly assume that the worst case scenario entails losing their case and the money they are entitled to but at least, as self-consolation, they find solace thinking they won’t have to pay any legal bills. Wrong!!!

Instigating legal proceedings racks up huge legal fees and someone, sooner or later, will have to foot the bill. Make sure that when the lights go off, and the musical chairs swing to an end, you are not the chump!

 

Pitfalls of conditional fee agreements (no win no fee)

  • If your relationship with the law firm breaks down you may be forced to cover charges and expenses.
  • On winning, a law firm will claim its pre-agreed success fee. Some law firms charge a steep fee, so you may want to have in writing exactly how much they are entitled to on winning.
  • Should you lose, you may still be held liable to cover costs despite not owing fees to your lawyers i.e. court runner’s fees, witness reports, special reports etc.
  • On losing, the judge may rule that you must pay for ALL the other party’s costs, including their solicitor’s fees, their court runner’s fees, reports, expenses etc. Knowing lender’s lawyers, their fees plus expenses will likely be very steep (tens of thousands).
  • Delay interests are accrued on top of the owed amounts, mounting exponentially over time on non-payment or on filing counter claims.

 

Conclusion

No win no fee agreements represent a good opportunity for some litigants to foray into the litigation arena which would otherwise be barred to them for lack of funds; however, one should urge caution. Plaintiffs should be made clearly aware that litigation is a double-edged sword that is not exempt from risk, far from it. Some companies are not fully disclosing to their clients the associated risks they are assuming on accepting conditional fee agreements should they happen to lose their case. Obviously, the higher the odds of success, the less risk that is assumed but there is always an inherent risk because ultimately the outcome of rulings hinges on a judge's whim which I dare say may be somewhat fickle at times. Litigation is not an exact science with guaranteed outcomes because we move in-between shades of grey.

If you decide to brave into a new world, following a no win no fee, make sure you read the fine print and that all the above points I mention are fully covered to your satisfaction.

If not, you may find yourself losing and the other party will place a charge against your property for a substantial amount of money which may lead eventually to losing your property because of non-payment.

Or in the worst case, you may find yourself being made derelict by the very swanky law firm you hired so confidently on a no win no fee such as the one featured in the newspaper article.

All that glitters is not gold.” – Aesop.

Ancient Greek fabulist or story teller.

 

Legal services Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can offer you

 

Litigation-related articles

 

Please note the information provided in this blog post is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.

2.017 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Non-resident: careful on making a will in Spain

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, August, 30. 2017

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer – Abogado
30th of August 2017

 

I was recently approached by a distressed English family who had a problem with their ‘Spanish’ will.

The deceased lady had made a Spanish will in 2003, witnessed by a Spanish Notary Public, leaving all her Spanish assets to a close relative. A decade later they had a fallout, and she decided best to make a new will, leaving the assets to someone else.

The logical thing would have been to pop over to the Spanish Notary Public and grant a new Spanish will (it takes at most half an hour). Unfortunately, the lady decided to follow advise from an English solicitor who supplied her the wording for a UK will to be signed in Spain with a Spanish witness.

The lady signed this English will and passed away shortly after.

The reason I was contacted by the family, was because they were having trouble with the Spanish Land Registry and Notary Publics. They refused to accept the English will as valid (which was unnotarized) and claimed the only valid will was the Spanish one from 2003.

Unfortunately, after examining the matter, I concurred with my Spanish colleagues. Had this English will been signed and witnessed in the United Kingdom it would have likely been accepted as valid in Spain and would have overruled the prior Spanish one from 2003. Unfortunately, as it was signed in Spain and witnessed only by the lady’s Spanish chambermaid (who did not know how to read or write in Spanish, much less in English!) she was deemed unsuitable as a reliable witness.

What we can learn from this case is that non-residents should take the appropriate legal advice from local qualified lawyers who are best suited to inform you on your rights in Spain.

Conclusion

Ideally, non-residents should make two wills; one in their home country ruling on their national assets and a second Spanish will which will rule exclusively on their Spanish estate.

Preparing a Spanish will – exclusive to your Spanish assets – will save your heirs considerable time, money and hassle at a time of bereavement. It will greatly streamline the succession procedure in Spain without attracting fines, surcharges and delay interests for late payment of inheritance tax.

If you want to delve further on how inheritance tax works in Spain, I have collated my articles below which cover the Spanish succession procedure from different angles.

Our law firm offers making a Spanish will legal service at a very competitive fee. Ask us, we don't bite!

Wills' service from €120 (plus VAT)

 

Legal services Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can offer you

 

Inheritance-related articles

 

Please note the information provided in this blog post is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.

2.017 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

 

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