Buying resale property in Spain? Never allow a vendor to stay in the property

Raymundo LarraĆ­n Nesbitt, March, 30. 2018

This blog post explains the legal reasons on why you should never allow a vendor to remain in a property after you have paid for it.

Blog post copyrighted © 2018. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.


By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
30th of March 2018



                                                                                                          Scammy needs to stay in your new home 'only' for a couple of days... he looks trusty.


Buyers, by nature, are hopeful and have a contagious positive outlook about them. However, this rose-tinted spectacles attitude may land them in hot water.

On buying property in Spain, some know-it-all vendors will politely ask his buyer if they can stay in the property ‘only’ for a couple of days until they have finished their move. The excuses they will give are multiple (preferably tear-shedding ones that build rapport appealing to your values, they work best with gentle souls):

  • “I am a single parent with young children. I need time to complete the move all by my own” (You care for young children, yes?).
  • “I only need a couple of days to pack my stuff up, you can trust me, I’m best friends with so and so, you know him/her” (You can trust a friend of a friend).
  • “It is now the summertime season and I cannot find affordable alternative accommodation” (I’m skint and homeless, have pity on me).
  • “I’m elderly and only need a couple of days to sort out some admin paperwork and I will be off in a jiffy” (I could be your father, you know).
  • “My pet Bungo can’t stand hotels. My vet says he needs fresh grass and sunlight for a few more days until I book my flight back to the UK” (you care for animals, yes?)
  • Other.


Fact is that some shrewd cookies, after selling a property have no intention whatsoever to leave the property they have just sold you. And why would they? It is all advantages for them to (over) stay in it:

  • They have just been paid for the property, so they are sitting on a pile of cash. It’s not as if they are cash-strapped.
  • They don’t need to pay a rental, because they ALREADY have the possession of the property, YOUR property.
  • They don’t need to move in their ‘stuff’, it is already there.
  • Any unpaid taxes or bills, they will not be responsible for, it is the new owner who is liable for them.
  • And God forbid the new owner stops paying the taxes or shuts off the utilities as he may find himself being criminally prosecuted by the vendor (coercion).


Some vendors abuse their position and besides cashing in on the property get a free pass with a free rental, all scot-free.

Buyers naively think they can just walk in and change the locks to the property or shut off the utilities. Well, they are in for a rude awakening on how Law works in Spain. The vendor can file a police report (denuncia) and the naïve buyer can be remanded into custody for illegal trespassing and or coercion. This is because the vendor only handed over the title to the property, NOT the possession.

If a buyer wants to vacate an abusive vendor he will be forced to hire a litigation lawyer and go through a full-blown eviction procedure at his own cost. These, on average, are taking 6 – 9 months in Spain. So, for the next 6 to 9 months the vendor avails himself with free rental and his lifestyle continues just the same as it was (well, with a few extra zeros in the bank and without having to pay any bills or taxes). Not bad, eh? Win-win.

Bottom line, buyer don’t be a muppet, never allow a vendor to stay in a property after you buy it. Demand possession on completing before a Notary Public. No house keys, no completion, period.

Possession is nine-tenths of the law.”  Scottish expression


This is one of many potential pitfalls resale buyers can be faced with. Our law firm has over 15 years’ experience dealing in conveyance matters. Don’t risk your hard-earned money, speak to independent lawyers.



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

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


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Conveyancing-related articles

Buying Resale Property in Spain – 21st February 2013
Buying Off-Plan Property in Spain – 8th of June 2013
Buying Property in Spain – 10 Reasons to Hire a Lawyer – 8th November 2016
Buying Property in Spain from a Private Seller (Resale Property) – 21st of February 2017
Buying Property in Spain from a Developer (Off-Plan Property) – 8th March 2017
How to inspect an off-plan property overseas – Q&A with The Sunday Times. July 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.

2.018 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.