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How to formally end long-term lease agreements in Spain (Part I) - Serving legal notice

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, June, 15. 2020

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers has over 17 years' taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 50 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

You can review here our client’s testimonials.

Article copyrighted © 2019, 2020. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

 

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer - Abogado
16th of June 2020

Because of its length, I will split my blog post into two parts. In today's post we'll deal only with the first part, serving your landlord notice by recorded delivery. The second one will deal with the formal keys handover procedure. 

Introduction

The (bad) experience of one of our clients cancelling a rental contract has prompted me to write up this short article. For many this topic may seem rather pointless or even futile, but the fact of the matter is that if you fail to cancel a lease agreement properly in Spain it may have serious legal repercussions for a tenant (read financial).

In Spain long-term contracts, which act as the permanent place of abode of a tenant, need to be terminated formally subject to strict guidelines.

Failure to comply may result in a contract’s automatic or silent renewal. Which results in the tenant owing the landlord several extra months of rental they had not planned for! This leads to landlords pocketing tenant's deposits as contractual penalty. Which explains why many landlords never hand back tenant's deposits in Spain, because tenants did not follow the rules to cancel their contracts!

Bottom line, if you do not cancel your rental contract properly expect no refund on your security deposit.

At LNA lawyers, we assist you both cancelling a rental contract and recovering your tenant deposit.

In this short blog post we will only focus on long-term rentals, as short-term ones hardly have any effects worth noting.

Steps to resolve a rental contract

To formally terminate long-term lease agreements in Spain, you need to meet two requirements:

 

I. Serving legal notice of termination

 

I. Long-term contracts signed before the 6th of March 2019

As a general rule, Spain’s Tenancy Act (or LAU, in Spanish) in its art. 11 rules you must give your landlord 30 days’ notice ahead of the agreed termination date. This notice period likewise also applies to landlords. At least six months must have elapsed before a tenant is allowed to legally cancel a long-term contract (if cancellation is triggered under 6 months, penalties apply).

For example, a long-term contract that starts on the 1st of June 2019 and ends on the 31st of May 2020 (one year). If you do not fancy renewing for a further year, and want to pull out of the contract, you must notify your landlord on or before the 30th of April 2020. Meaning he must receive your notice no later than the 30th of April 2020. This avoids an automatic contractual renewal for a further year.

To end a lease agreement, you must serve him notice by means of a registered communication, that is by recorded delivery. This requires a landlord having to sign for it upon notification with a record of date and time.

Faxes, e-mails, phone calls, text messages and WhatsApp messages are not accepted as valid methods to formally terminate a lease agreement. No law court upholds them as proof of communication and will be disregarded.

It is strongly advised a law firm, such as our company LNA, drafts this legal letter to comply with existing laws, otherwise, it may be understood the termination has not been done according to law and will yield no legal effects. Meaning your rental contract will still be active. Some landlords are proficient at turning down undue termination requests so as to legally pocket tenant’s deposits and additional guarantees as ‘penalty.

II. Long-term contracts signed on or after the 6th of March 2019 (Spain's new rental laws in 2019)

Regarding ordinary annual extensions, the notice period for a tenant is 30 days’ ahead of the agreed termination date (for annual renewal periods).

Regarding silent renewals, we must distinguish between who serves the termination notice, whether landlord or tenant:

  • Landlord: 4-month notice ahead of agreed termination date to avoid triggering a silent renewal for a further 3 years.
  • Tenant: 2-month notice ahead of agreed termination date to avoid triggering a silent renewal for a further 3 years.

 

How can LNA assist you?

 

At LNA, we offer you the following legal service: recorded delivery service.

For a flat fee, we draft and serve your landlord (or tenant) legal notice by recorded delivery in our headed paper anywhere in Spain. This formal communication can then be used as irrefutable proof (in any ensuing court proceeding) that you correctly terminated the lease agreement, giving your landlord (or tenant) due notice as the law demands. This is a necessary step to recover your security deposit (fianza legal, in Spanish).

 

We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on (+34) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form to book an appointment.

Legal services Larraín Nesbitt Abogados (LNA) 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.

2.019 and 2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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Recorded delivery service

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, June, 1. 2020

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers has over 17 years' taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 50 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

You can review here our client’s testimonials.

Article copyrighted © 2020. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer - Abogado
1st of June 2020

In Spain, the law requires you send notice to individuals or companies only by recorded delivery in a number of cases.

Any communication sent by e-mail, fax, text messages, WhatsApp messages, etc, are not admissible by law courts and do not serve as proof of communication.

At LNA, we offer a competitively priced service to send notice by recorded delivery in our headed paper within 48 working hours. This acts as irrefutable proof in any ensuing court case. This service is of particular interest to tenants and landlords who must be able to prove any communication sent i.e. when a tenant seeks to recover his security deposit.

Cases in which it is required:

  • Termination of lease agreements (commercial or residential)
  • Notice to landlord of household appliance flaws, damp patches, mould growths, noise, neighbour disturbance, other, etc.
  • Notice to landlord of keys handover
  • Notice to landlord on security deposit refund
  • Start of legal proceedings
  • Letter to non-paying tenant threatening eviction
  • Letter threatening to take legal action on lack of payment
  • Community of Owners disputes (AGMs, EGMs)
  • Other.

 

We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on (+34) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form to book an appointment.

Related service

 

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.

2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

 

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IRPF, Personal Income Tax

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, May, 18. 2020

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers has over 17 years' taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 40 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

You can review here our client’s testimonials.

Article copyrighted © 2020. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer - Abogado
18th of May 2020

 

This post is a gentle reminder that all Spanish tax residents need to file once a year IRPF tax/Modelo 100 (Personal Income Tax). Spanish residents pay tax in Spain on their worldwide income and assets.

You are a Spanish tax resident if:

  • You spend more than 183 days in a calendar year in Spanish territory.
  • Your centre of financial interests is located in Spain.
  • Your spouse and/or underage children live in Spain.

 

If you were tax resident in Spain in 2019, and earned income (i.e. pensions), you need to file IRPF now in 2020. You are taxed on the previous year, running from the 1st of January till the 31st of December 2019.

Our cut-off date to accept filing IRPF tax returns this year is Wednesday the 24th of June 2020. Please do not wait until the last moment to submit your tax return. We file this tax online all over Spain within 24 working hours.

We can offer you this tax service starting at a very competitive fee. Couples have a discount. Contact us for a quote.

We can submit your tax form starting from early April through to the end of June. We strongly advice you to file your tax return as soon as possible and not to wait until the last week of June. If you are leasing properties in Spain, we can offset property-related expenses and local tax rates resulting in a tax mitigation of 70%, or more on your landlord income.

2020 submission period

From the 1st of April until the 30th of June 2020.

 

We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on (+34) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form to book an appointment.

Related tax service

 

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.

2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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Rental deposit scheme: how to get your deposit back!

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, May, 1. 2020

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers has over 17 years' taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 40 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

You can review here our client’s testimonials.

Article copyrighted © 2019, 2020. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer - Abogado
1st of May 2020

We've all been there. You rent a property in Spain, the rental comes to an end and your landlord refuses to pay you back the deposit!

In this short blog post we explain what a tenant should do to protect himself against this landlord abuse and how you can claim back your lease deposit assisted by a lawyer.

On our previous blog post (Renting in Spain? Five clauses you should be mindful of) on point five we discussed how some devious landlords in Spain, after a lease is over, like to pocket a tenant’s one-month deposit and did not hand it back giving all sorts of lame excuses.

Spain is divided administratively into 17 different autonomous regions. Each region has devolved competencies on this matter and has an admin institution that is tasked with receiving this rental deposit (one month for long-term lets, two month deposit for seasonal contracts). On paying this rental deposit into an official public organization you are guaranteed to recover it, unless you have made damages to the property which the landlord will need to prove and justify.

The obligation to make this deposit falls squarely on the landlord (not on the tenant) and the landlord can be reported to the public regional Authority if they fail to do so (large fines apply on non-compliance, normally amounting to a percentage of the rental deposit). Additional Disposition 3 of Spain’s Tenancy Act (Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos or LAU, for short) which rules nationwide all over Spain, compels all landlords to make these deposits as outlined in its art. 36.1.

As we write, in practice most landlords conveniently ‘ignore’ their legal obligation to secure the rental deposits, whether deliberately or out of neglect, and may need to be ‘incentivized’ by their tenants to fulfil their legal duties (read veiled threat of reporting them and face stiff fines on non-compliance).

If you want a shot at recovering your rental deposit, please follow our advice. You are welcome.

We briefly collate the contact details of the regional admin institutions to pay the rental deposit into. Please note we only list the regions where the majority of expats rent out, there are far more institutions we care not to include:

  1. Andalusia

AVRA gestión fianzas de alquiler

Internet:  www.juntadeandalucia.es/avra/fianzas

Tel: 900920220

 

  1. Balearic Islands

IBAVI

Form F1

Tel: 900 780 000

 

  1. Canary Islands

Instituto Canario de la Vivenda
Tel: 928 30 60 00

Email: icv@gobiernodecanarias.org

  1. Catalonia (Barcelona)

Institut Català del Sòl

Email: incasol.fiances@gencat.cat 

Tel:  932954410

 

  1. Madrid

Comunidad de Madrid

Portal de la vivienda

Tel: 012

 

  1. Valencia

Fianzas Generalitat Valencia

Complete form 806

 

We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on (+34) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form to book an appointment.

Related legal services

 

Original article posted in IDEALISTA: Rental deposit scheme: how to get your deposit back!

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.

2.019 and 2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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Renting in Spain? Five clauses you should be mindful of

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, April, 21. 2020

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers has over 17 years' taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 40 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

You can review here our client’s testimonials.

Article copyrighted © 2019, 2020. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer - Abogado
21st of April 2020

Spain, such a great place to live and work in. You are young, carefree, and have yielded into temptation to move into this beautiful country for a while to test the waters. You are now on the brink of signing a lease agreement with your landlord (worded only in Spanish!) and you begin to feel a familiar knot at the pit of your stomach.

You better make yourself a favour and read carefully through this short blog to avoid those pesky clauses in long term lets that will bring you (the tenant) so much aggravation.

 

  1. Clause stating all household appliances are in perfect working order. Really? Have you actually bothered to turn on the kitchen appliances, open the faucets, switch on the lights and verify they all work? No? Well you’re heading for trouble. Because when you sign on the dotted line you actually acknowledge that everything is in good working order, meaning a legal presumption is created that in the event something breaks down you – the tenant – are at fault and are liable to pay for its repair or replacement.
  2. In the event of a sale, the tenant must leave with one-months’ notice. Well, I’m afraid not after the new change in rental laws in 2019. Any buyer of the property you are renting must respect the whole duration of the lease agreement until it ends. You cannot be legally compelled to leave ahead of the termination of your contract.
  3. The landlord reserves the right to enter the rented property at will, giving a one-day notice for ‘inspection purposes.’ Unless a tenant expressly agrees to this in writing, a landlord cannot enter a leased property at any time. On letting a property, a landlord loses possession of the property. Should the landlord attempt to enter a rented property - without a tenant’s permission - he can be criminally prosecuted for illegal trespassing.
  4. The duration of the lease agreement is 11 months. If the property serves as your main abode in Spain, and it is not a holiday letting, this clause is null and void. Long term lets in Spain are for a minimum duration of 5 years (7 years, if the landlord is a legal entity). They are 12 month renewable contracts. And don’t get me started on ‘silent renewals’ which pile another three years to the overall duration of long term contracts.
  5. The security deposit is equivalent to three months rental. I don’t think so. In Spain, a landlord may only request, by law, a one-month deposit on long term lets (this rule applies all over Spain, no exceptions). In addition to this, a landlord may request additional guarantees (i.e. more money) but they are not legally labelled as a security deposit (fianza, in Spanish). Watch out, because some landlords are notorious for pocketing tenant’s deposits when the contract ends. They will never refund them, giving all sort of lame excuses.

We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on (+34) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form to book an appointment.

Related legal services

 

Rental-related articles

 

Original article posted in IDEALISTA: Renting in Spain? Five clauses you should be mindful of

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.

2.019 and 2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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Covid-19: 11 Tips to Avoid Contagion

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, March, 31. 2020

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
31st of March 2020

11 Tips to Avoid Contagion

 

  1. Stay home.
  2. Wash your hands with soap (for 20 seconds at least).
  3. Don’t shake hands. Keep your social distancing, avoid gatherings.
  4. Don’t touch your face with unwashed hands (mouth, nose and eyes).
  5. On leaving your house, wear a face mask. Asymptomatic virus carriers can avoid spreading the virus on wearing them.
  6. When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth (use a handkerchief). Avoid using your bare hands. If you don't have a handkerchief, cough or sneeze into your flexed elbow.
  7. Avoid using lifts (where possible). The virus remains airborne for up to 3 hours. If you are forced to use a lift, do not touch anything. The virus can survive in plastic and stainless steel surfaces for up to 3 days.
  8. When shopping, use gloves and bring your own reusable bags. Pay only with cards, do not use banknotes or coins (virus carriers).
  9. Remove your external clothing when you get home and leave it outside in a terrace, if you can. The virus can live up to two days on your worn clothes. When doing the laundry, ensure the temperature is warm, between 60º and 90º.
  10. Quarantine all delivered parcels leaving them untouched for 3 days. The virus can survive in cardboard surfaces for up to 24 hours.
  11. Car engine. Not strictly related to contagion, every 3 or 4 days run your car engine for at least 5 minutes to avoid battery loss. The last thing you want is to lose your car in a lockdown.

 

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 medical 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.

2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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Updating a rental in a lease agreement

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, March, 19. 2020

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer - Abogado
19th of March 2020

Well, well, well how things change in only a matter of ten days.

Only a few days ago we lived in a young Democracy, now, a week on, we live in a Police State, locked in our own houses, with drones overflying giving us orders.

I was planning to write a new article titled ‘8 Tips to Avoid Virus Contagion’, but I thought it through better and it would make for depressive reading. So, I’ll just publish one on good old rental agreements.

This short concise article will help me put my mind off the post-apocalyptic virus-ridden world we now live in. So much for saving the planet; it’s now save ourselves!

A question we frequently get asked is if a landlord can increase the rental from one year to the next in line with inflation. The short answers is no, you may not, unless you worded it into the contract previously.

As a general rule, you can only update rentals, year on year, if the lease agreement you sign with your tenant includes a specific provision whereby the lease is automatically updated annually. If you neglect to include such a clause, you cannot raise the rental afterwards, sorry. The only exception is if your tenant agrees to sign an addendum including it, but they are not forced to.

Pro-tip: On drafting a rental contract in Spain you should ensure to include a clause updating the monthly rental from one year to the next. You can either set a fixed amount i.e. 3.5% or else link it to a benchmark index that tracks inflation i.e. Spain’s popular Consumer Price Index (or IPC, for short).

You are welcome.

 

"So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause." – Senator Padme Amidala (as played by Natalie Portman).

 

At Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers we can draft rental agreements, whether long-term, seasonal or commercial ones for a very competitive fee. For a mark-up, we also offer contracts in double barrel, English and Spanish. All lease contracts completed within 72 working hours, as from the time we receive all the required information.

We can also put you in touch with other reputed professionals that will assist you to choose properties and make the most out of your property portfolio, maximizing your ROI.

 

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers, small on fees, big on service.

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in taxation, inheritance, conveyancing, and litigation. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on (+34) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form to book an appointment.

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.

2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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Post-Brexit Taxation in Spain

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, March, 10. 2020

Lawyer Raymond Nesbitt gives us a sweeping overview of the tax changes we can expect in Spain for UK resident taxpayers as from the 1st January 2021.

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers has over 17 years’ taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 40 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

You can review here our client’s testimonials.

Article copyrighted © 2020. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

 

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
10th of March 2020

I keep getting nagged on why I haven’t published an updated article on this key matter. Probably because I am fed up with Brexit and dislike thinking about it, let alone writing on it. So, here it goes under popular demand.

Please note this taxation article is only aimed at UK resident taxpayers. If you are a UK national, and are resident in Spain, please disregard the whole article. Your nationality is irrelevant, what matters, for the purpose of this taxation article, is if you are tax resident in the UK.

I am going to keep it nice and simple so as many people as possible understand it clearly, leaving aside esoterics. I had already covered this topic back in 2018: Brexit and You – 21st February 2018

Following the Withdrawal Agreement, ratified by the Union and the United Kingdom, the Authorities have agreed a transition period which extends to all of 2020; basically, it’s a status quo on tax matters. For the avoidance of doubt, during 2020 it is going to be business as usual, NOTHING will change.

However, as from the 1st January 2021, there will be significant taxation changes that UK nationals should be aware of. Take good note.

Inheritance & Gift tax

As most readers are probably aware, UK nationals have been paying almost no IHT since 2015 in several regions of Spain, namely Andalusia and Madrid.

However, as from the 01/01/2021 these uber lenient regional tax reliefs (and also local town hall tax reliefs that apply to Plusvalia tax on inheriting) will be discontinued for all UK resident beneficiaries. Only national tax reliefs will continue to apply next year, albeit they are pitiful. In other words, any UK national that stands to inherit as from 2021 onwards can expect a much higher IHT bill in Spain.

Which is why I stress that UK nationals should take this seriously and do some forward tax-planning. I strongly advise British nationals to explore gifting Spanish assets (money & property) to their loved ones so as to avoid being landed with a massive inheritance tax bill as from 2021 onwards. To put this in perspective, in the case of Andalusia, you are looking at a tax difference of 10,000% on average (sic). That is a lot of tax money that can be legally avoided following my tax advice.

Many UK taxpayers have already pre-empted this through us already, but I am well aware there are far more that could also take advantage of huge tax savings. Ignoring my advice will lead many to saddle their loved ones (spouse and children) with huge tax bills on inheriting. Unlike in the UK, it is not the estate itself that is taxed, it is the inheritor. Meaning a beneficiary of an estate in Spain cannot pay inheritance tax out of the Spanish estate itself, you need to raise the tax money independently. Which is why, dependent on cases, it is advised you plan ahead for this event. Don’t sleep on this, be proactive if you want to avoid a whole deal of stress, aggravation and extra taxes to your loved ones.

During all of 2020, UK nationals can gift assets to their loved ones paying little to no Gift tax in several regions of Spain. Take advantage of it while it lasts.

And last but not least, is a point which makes this issue pressing; Spain’s newly-elected government. A hard-left wing coalition (some call it social-communist) has taken power in Madrid and has vowed to put a stop to this regional nil inheritance taxation on IHT. There are serious talks they plan to roll back devolved competencies in all regions on IHT and pass a new nationwide Inheritance Act that will quash (generous) regional tax reliefs, levelling the playing field. Everyone will be taxed equally (read higher) ironing out any and all pesky regional discrepancies. Don’t you love politicians?

We have covered this topic extensively in several articles, pay heed to our tax advice:

 

Rental tax

Tax on rental income will be increased from 19 to 24%, with no tax relief allowed.

Non-Resident Imputed Income Tax (NRIIT)

This annual tax is increased from 19% to 24%.

Capital Gains Tax – Rollover relief

Rollover relief (under 65-year-olds) will no longer apply on reinvesting the sales proceeds in a new main home located in the United Kingdom (for those expats that sell up in Spain and relocate back home to the UK). Which means CGT must now be paid on selling your main home in Spain.

 

 

 “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” – Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865). From an impoverished humble background of corn farmers, this self-taught American lawyer, strategist and politician would rise to serve as the 16th US President. He resolutely ensured a pro-Union victory, strengthened the federal government, modernized the economy, brought about the emancipation of slaves and preserved the Union. During his tenure, he held presidential elections in 1864 to be re-elected, amid a devastating Civil War that threatened to tear his country apart and engulf it in a sea of darkness; yet he gave example in the face of adversity, holding steadfast to his ideals, steering the ship safely into port and acting as a beacon of Democracy which light shone with a fierce intensity the likes of which the world has never witnessed, before or since. Never again would a country hold presidential elections amidst a bloody civil war in what constitutes one of History’s greatest democratic feats to date. But most importantly, he went into great lengths to ensure the festering wounds left open during the fratricidal Civil War were healed; generously reconciling both sides in equal terms, as one nation, indivisible, under God. It is for this very reason, that more than two centuries on, he is widely regarded as the greatest American president to grace the White House. Through his courage and sacrifice, which ultimately would claim his own life, he laid the groundwork of what was to become the greatest and most powerful nation on earth over the next two centuries. A true statesman that would always put ahead of any consideration the best interests of his people, by tearing down divisive walls and fostering at every opportunity union. He is likely the greatest American of all time, towering above the rest.

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers, small on fees, big on service.

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in taxation, inheritance, conveyancing, and litigation. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form.

 

Legal services Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can offer you

 

Brexit-related articles

 

Article originally published at Spanish Property Insight: Post-Brexit Taxation in Spain

Please note the information provided in this article 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. No delusional secessionist politician was harmed on writing this article. VOV.

2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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The (GREAT) importance of the Land Registry in Spain

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, March, 1. 2020

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers has over 17 years' taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 40 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

You can review here our client’s testimonials.

Article copyrighted © 2020. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer - Abogado
1st March 2020

 

The short blog post is my follow-up to this one: The (non) importance of a Spanish Title deed – 21st September 2019

Unlike a Title deed, which in truth bears little to no importance, what matters in Spain is who is the registered owner before the Land Registry. I’ll provide a quaint example that will help to explain the important role the Land Registry plays out in Spain.

Back in 2006, when I was still young and idealistic, I worked for an English law firm on behalf of an institutional investor. We were approached by an elderly borrower who wanted to take out a Lifetime Loan against her property on the Costa del Sol. The lady showed us her original Title deed witnessed by a Spanish Notary almost 30 years prior; in principle all seemed good and checked out.

However, on requesting an updated nota simple for her property from the Land Registry, I was shell-shocked. It pans out it was still registered under the name of her developer, the same one that sold her the offplan property almost three decades earlier!

Now, what struck me most was not that it was not under her name, but the fact that her property had not been taken over by some creditor, or even by some beneficiary, of the developer after all these years! Needless to say, we were forced to turn down her loan application.

She had not retained a lawyer at the time, and once she had signed the property at the Notary, she had blissfully entrusted the developer’s lawyer to register her property under her name at the Land Registry; which of course never took place.

The error she made was not to do a follow up and verify that her Title deed had been lodged correctly at the Land Registry under her name as the new owner. To all legal intent and purposes, the developer was very much still the owner three decades on. You may think this is a one-off, a fluke, you’d be sorely mistaken. I tell you it is not, in fact, it is a far more frequent ‘error’ than what most professionals would care to admit.

This whimsical example goes on to show the (great) importance of the Land Registry in Spain. She felt certain her Title deed categorically proved her ownership and even had it stored in a safe! When in fact the reality was her Title deed meant nothing from a legal point of view (wet paper).

That is why I write that in truth a Title deed bears little to no importance in Spain, as opposed to other countries, specifically Anglo-Saxon ones, where it is required to transmit ownership.

In Spain we have a robust two-tier system (Notary and Land Registry) that secures ownership rights and which I personally find very good.

In Spain what matters really is who appears before the Land Registry as the registered owner. For it is this person, and he alone, who can sell it, rent it or dispose of it as he sees fit.

My example explains the Land Registrar’s motto in Spain, “prior in tempore, potior in iure” which roughly translated is first in right, greater in right. Or more colloquially, first come, first served. He who lodges his right first, has the better claim over a property.

Pro-tip: Always verify your name is duly registered at the Land Registry after you buy property in Spain, never take it for granted. You can request from us a nota simple service (Land Registry report) for a testimonial fee in under 24 working hours.

 

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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.

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Home-Seller’s Checklist

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, February, 21. 2020

Lawyer Raymundo Larraín gives us a rundown on the points we should have ready on selling a house in Spain. This is the third of a three-part series on buying & selling property in Spain.

Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers has over 17 years' taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 40 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

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Article copyrighted © 2020. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer - Abogado
21st of February 2020

 

Congratulations, you have found a buyer for your Spanish property! You should now instruct a lawyer to represent you in the sale, particularly if you are non-resident in Spain.

To secure the deal, your appointed lawyer will require from you a long list of documents you should have ready at hand. These documents will then be forwarded to the buyer, or his legal representative, as they are necessary to prepare a due diligence. Following this, the next step would be to sign the all-important Private Purchase Contract.

The below list is thought only for non-resident sellers acting as physical persons. If the seller is a holding company, there would be additional documents that need to be handed over to a buyer, or his representative.

Selling a property may at times be a daunting prospect for sellers; to save yourself time, stress and aggravation it is most advisable a seller pre-empts this by collating the below list well ahead of time. You are welcome.

  • Full scanned copy of your purchase Title Deed
  • Scanned copy of a Nota Simple
  • Copies of your national ID, passport and NIE Number certificate (in force). A duplicate NIE certificate may be required at times by notaries if your certificate expired (the assigned number never changes)
  • Copy of recent utility invoices (water & electricity)
  • Copy of IBI tax invoices for the previous 4 years
  • Copy of Refuse Charge (Basura, in Spanish) for the previous 4 years
  • Energy Performance Certificate
  • Licence of First Occupation
  • Community of Owner’s administrator contact details
  • Scanned copies of the minutes of the last three General Assemblies (Junta General Ordinaria, in Spanish)
  • Community of Owner’s Certificate stating the property is not in arrears
  • Spanish fiscal residency certificate (to avoid a 3% retention on the sales proceeds on selling).
  • Copy of Power of Attorney, if instructing a lawyer
  • If renting out, copy of the signed lease agreement

 

 

At Larrain Nesbitt Abogados we can assist you buying & selling property in Spain and deal with its taxation. Ask us.

 

Original article commissioned and published by IDEALISTA: Home-Seller’s Checklist

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers, small on fees, big on service.

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in taxation, inheritance, conveyancing, and litigation. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on (+34) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form to book an appointment.

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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. Voluntas omnia vincit.

2.020 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All Rights Reserved.

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