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10 Reasons you need to use a solicitor when buying a property in Spain

10 Reasons you need to use a solicitor when buying a property in Spain

Hiring a property lawyer who is a specialist in Spanish conveyancing laws will prevent you from walking unwittingly into a disadvantageous contract with your seller. Here are the top 10 reasons to hire a solicitor in Spain:

 

  1. The laws in Spain are quite different from the UK and USA and closer to other mainland EU countries like France, Italy and Portugal. So finding a specialist in Spanish conveyancing law is imperative. Using either a bilingual lawyer or a translator will make the bureaucratic process crystal clear.
  2. There are three levels of lawmaking in Spain; the EU, Spanish national law and individual Autonomous Community laws. This means there are small differences between the regions on everything from taxes to rental agreements. Having someone help you to navigate these complexities will give you an advantage in your property purchase.
  3. It’s easy to underestimate costs (such as taxes and fees for example) and finding a property lawyer well versed in Spanish law could save you time and money.
  4. If your lawyer is independent, and not protecting their relationship to the seller, it will avoid a conflict of interest. Reading independent reviews or getting a personal recommendation can help.
  5. There may be pitfalls to buying certain properties. For example, when new developers are known in the local area to have caused problems for their buyers. A vigilant lawyer may be aware of any previous complaints.
  6. It’s relatively common to find your desired property has land access issues such as a public right of way passing through the garden. A legal search can alert you to this and further ensure your right to privacy is protected.
  7. An unhindered view is fantastic, but it’s worth hiring a lawyer to find out why the land around you isn’t being built upon. Land-related issues such as subsidence or erosion can cause future damage to your property. A simple survey will let you know if your property’s address is safe from potential harm.
  8. It has been known for sellers to alter their properties after accepting an offer but before completion. For example, removing solar panels, electrical fittings or even windows. A lawyer can include a binding inventory as part of your contract to protect you against this possibility.
  9. Many people believe that the notary system in Spain provides enough legal protection when purchasing a house. However, the notary is a public servant and it’s not their job to ensure the contract you have with your seller protects your best interests. Their role is limited to overseeing signatures and transactions on completion.
  10. It’s easy to come to Spain and slip into holiday mode, to relax and get caught in the romanticism of buying abroad. A lawyer will use their analytical eye to double check that you are getting what is best for you in the long term.   

 

Essentially, a property lawyer will save you time, money and stress. You can listen to advice from an independent international property law expert on our podcast, or read more about buying in Spain in our free How to buy in Spain 2019 guide.

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