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El blog de Maria

Your daily Spanish Law reporter. Have it with a cafe con leche.

Legal tip 579. Spain is possible
26 August 2011

Let me propose you something I have been dreaming about for years, since we started our adventure back in 2006.

Come and believe in Spain and in that dream that you saw as broken for some time. Yes, I am not losing my sense.

We have been extendedly discussing on this for hours today in Alcaidesa, with my friend Gerardo and his work partner Antonio: now property consultants after working for developers for many years. Both with an exquisite and sensible taste for bringing real Spain and all its treasures to you. 

I am definitely using their company when  helping you to reach your dream, and when doing so, we are turning Banks to your side..... yes,we are. It is not easy, but who said that valuable things are easy? We already have some of them thinking throug this.... and more will come. No doubt.

We will let you know more about this initiative for returning good to many: both foreign and spaniards, based on the richness that Spain has, is and will always be able to offer to you.

Anyone willing to join us is also invited to come.... Do you want to work with us?

Cheers and have a great weekend,



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Legal tip 578. A good proposal for mortgage debtor rescue
26 August 2011

Adicae, an organization for Banks, Saving Banks and Insurance Consumers in Spain has brought to Zapatero a  draft Royal Decree which ask for stopping of judicial procedures for repossessions.  It is directed to all debtors under a determined level of financial or economic need.
It is estimated that around 400k repossessions are being currently performed in Spain. According to Adicae, previous measures established by the Government for these same aims have not been used. The ICO fund which was reserved for the measure has just been used in a 0, 08%. They propose this measure to be paid by Official funds such as ICO and FROB ( Banks Correction Fund)
The proposal suggests the aid to be implemented for mortgage debtors with loans of 200k to 300k Euros being used for the buying of habitual dwelling. Timeframes are of 3 years extendable up to five years if there are real possibilities of economic recuperation and meeting of payments.

The applier should have had 3 or more unpaid mortgage installments and reasons for unpayment need to be linked to unemployment, workhours reduction, long term illness or sustaining of dependant persons.

Adicae is also suggesting the aid to be implemented to those whose judicial procedure has already started. 


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Legal tip 577. Flexible purpose corporations: California dreamin
24 August 2011

 In my opinion, a silent revolution.

For more information on this, just click on here:

California dreamin!


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Legal tip 576. NEW! VAT reduced to 4% when buying property in Spain
19 August 2011

Government has just reduced the VAT for the puchase of new built units from 8% to 4%.

It is an exceptional and temporary measure till next December the 31st  in order to promote the buying of new-built units in Spain.

Tarifa House by Ricky Salvatierra at


Like 0        Published at 17:21   Comments (6)

Legal tip 575. Boom Lawyers
17 August 2011

From the Forum today on: 

The Cross Border Electronic Conveyancing (CROBECO) scheme

Maria posted:


It is not easy for a non Spanish lawyer to do accurate conveyancing in Spain due to the complexity of some institutions which registered on the Land Registry precise  a good understanding and mastering of Registry and Property Law to be fully covered.



At other basic levels, it is a very good idea that we all understand all better and better...


Goodstich posted: 

I agree that this would only work if a lawyer has a clear understanding of land registry and property law.  It's not something that could be achieved quickly. Those working in the property industry in all EU countries would need to learn a minimum EU industry standard. In the meantime though, those already cheated should be recognized and moves made for compensation.

The property purchaser must not be compromised by lack of regulation or non implementatation of law, court delays etc, or any fault in the system that is not their fault. This is where it's all so wrong in Spain.  The model must be based on fully implemented common sense laws, regulation and justice that we take for granted in the UK, not on the lies, deception and corruption that is so common in Spanish property purchase.

In counties where property purchase is based on common sense law, legal trust and integrity then there isn't a problem, so those rules should be taken as a minimum requirement throughout the EU.  Anything less will leave purchasers open to the abuse many have suffered when trying to buy property in Spain.

 Maria posted:



Completely agree with you that during the real estate boom, some lawyers, which worked along with big real estate agencies, selling properties per dozens a day, did not perform the legal work that was due according to our Property Law and our Proffessional Ethical Code.

That does not mean though that following these two bodies of rules a completely safe purchases would have not been possible. Was the same as with many other actors those days : overemphasis on the benefit rather than on the mission of the proffession.

Of course I agree that commun understanding and commun practises in Europe ( as much as possibe ) are advisable and will be an element of promotion for a healthy market.

Caños de Meca, Costa de la Luz, Cadiz, Spain by Txikita69 at





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Legal tip 574. Tax claims when buying a distressed house in Spain
17 August 2011

An answer and a question from yesterday´s post:



16 August 2011 @ 23:28

I read in a few places that buying under duress can lead to tax issues - the hacienda is still valuing properties on a 2007/8 scale and therefore taxing plus valia and IBI based on outdated scales. There could possibly be a hidden tax bill to purchases that needs to be factored into prices?

Maria said:
17 August 2011 @ 09:33

It is always necessary to check on the tax value of the property when setting a price. This is composed by catastro Value plus a factor which varies or every locality. 

It is also possible to establish a clause in the sale contract covering this possibility and offfering compensation/solution.

It is also possible that the tax valuations of properties will change in the near future (as the market is being promoted) and

there is always the possibility of a claim against the Taxman valuation. 
Caños de Meca, Costa de la Luz, Cadiz, Spain by Abduletski at


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Legal tip 573. Most recent Supreme Court´s on off plan publicity
16 August 2011

Again, a great Court decission by our Supreme Court. Dated 2011, July the 12th, one month ago , just before the Magistrates were leaving for vacations:


Principal matter under discussion in this Court decission is the value of publicity and publicity statements.


Against what the developer defended and was supported by First Instance Court: views to golf course, sea and mountains were refereing to the development in general, not to every individual apartment, and therefore the lack of it for one individual unit is not a cause for contract cancellation,  the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court establish:


Publicity is part of the contract as it is most relevant when the buyer is making the decision.

Contract is finally cancelled and developer needs to refund full amount plus legal interests, plus legal costs.

Tarifa, by Von Boot at



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Legal tip 572. Buying a distressed house in Spain
12 August 2011

 It seems to be very much of a topic these days. We are receiving requests from clients interested in buying this type of properties in Spain due to the current prices.

There are some legal checks to be done and different legal work to be done depending on the legal status of the same:

Some examples:

1.- Buying a house which has been repossessed by a Bank: Corresponding check at the Land Registry on current ownership status + requesting first occupation license status from the Bank + technical report for possible building deffect or deterioration which will affect the price +debt free proved ( community fees, taxes...)

2.- Buying  a highly discounted house from a developer:Corresponding check at the Land Registry on current ownership status + requesting first occupation license status from the developer + technical report for possible building deffect or deterioration which will affect the price + debt free proved ( community of owners...)  

3.- Buying from a buyer who is under claiming process of inital deposit: The agreement of the developer is necessary if there is no specific clause which allows this type of transmission on the initial private contract. If the claim is in Courts, it is advisable to also have the developer agreeing on a cost-free withdraw of the case from Courts.Corresponding check at the Land Registry on current ownership status + requesting first occupation license status from the developer + technical report for possible building deffect or deterioration which will affect the price.

4.- Buying from an owner who is in a dation process ( handing the keys back to the Bank): Agreement with the Bank for the subrogation of the mortgage or a new mortgage contract with another Bank if you are using financiation.Corresponding check at the Land Registry on current ownership status + requesting first occupation license status from owner + technical report for possible building deffect or deterioration which will affect the price + debt free proved ( community of owners, taxes...)

Many oportunities now in Spain but never forget the required legal check by a good, specialist lawyer



"Faro de Punta Camarinal",Zahara de los Atunes, Spain, by Luis López-Cortijo


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Legal tip 571. A brilliant home insurance
11 August 2011

There is no specific legal obligation to have coberture for damages that your house can produce on third persons ( your tenant for instance), but of course it is highly recommendable. On the contrary, it will be you, the owner, with your own means and patrimony who will have to bear with the compensation.

Check if the house insurance has civil liability on third presons coverage and if not, maybe it is the time to change it or to hire a supplement. 

Maybe you can look for a company which offer good rates for this together with the regular coverages of a home insurance and also a chapter for  specific renting related events: i.e.- lack of payment of rentals by tenant. That would be a brilliant home insurance if you plan to rent it out on a regular basis.

In terms of rentals I also always highly encourage people to submitt the contract to arbitration rather than Courts.

regular insurance + third parties liability + unpaid rents + arbitration

This formula abpve together with a check by a good lawyer will make your rentals smooth experiences! Word of lawyer ;)



"Playa de los Alemanes y Faro Punta Camarinal",Zahara de los Atunes, Cádiz, Spain by Luis López-Cortijo

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Legal tip 570. On Banks and information
10 August 2011

 A new Decree is being prepared by the Government by which  Banks need to offer specific and clear information about their services: including mortgage loans, commissions, interests…

Banks will have to periodically offer information on interests applied on financial services, both in credits and deposits, according to a draft model designed by Bank of Spain.

Banks will charge just for those services that are expressly and firmly requested or accepted by the client.  

Expenses will have to be specified both in periodicity and exact amount.

Publicity is also regulated. It will have to be objective; bringing precise information on what it is being publicized. 

Zahara de los Atunes by Asier Llaguno at

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Legal tip 569. New regulations foster foreign invest in Spain
05 August 2011

 New Foreign Persons Regulations Foster the Entry of Qualified Workers in Spain

The new Regulations contained in the Law on Foreign Persons came into effect on the 1st of July, having been passed by the Council of Ministers on the 15th of April. The regulations are a response to challenges set by a new wave of migration and foster the arrival of highly qualified foreigners in the country.

The main novelties affecting foreign workers and companies include a new situation for researchers. The regulations have established a fast-track entry procedure with a maximum of 45 days. It also aims to promote the automatic reunification of families without a need to wait a year to initiate procedures.

And it incorporates the European Directive on blue cards for highly qualified foreign professionals, setting conditions for the entry and residency of nationals from third countries for the purposes of highly qualified employment.

As for entrepreneurs, their entry in Spain has been improved. They must show they have sufficient funds for maintenance, accommodation and sustaining their company, but they are not required to generate profits from year one as in the previous regulations. 

As far as SMEs in strategic sectors set up in Spain are concerned, when they require foreign executives or highly qualified personnel, they can take advantage of a fast-track method for the granting of permits through the Large Companies Unit (UGE). This fast-track method enables the granting of permits in less than 30 days and includes the family of the person concerned.

The new Regulations have reduced the threshold of worker numbers required by large companies in order to benefit from the fast-track granting of permits from 1,000 to 500. They have also reduced the compulsory thresholds concerning foreign investment and net annual turnover. In addition the Regulations have included a “public interest case”, which allows permits to be processed through the UGE even when they do not meet the above-mentioned requirements, for companies with business projects generating employment in strategic sectors.

The Foreign Persons Regulations have the backing of a broad consensus and are one of the instruments the Government has at its disposal for the purposes of strengthening social cohesion, integration and equality of rights and responsibilities.

Source: InvestinSpain

If you want to know more or need assistance on investiong in Spain, you can contact us at



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Legal tip 568. Spanish Land Registry in English
02 August 2011

 Just launched: the service of the Land Registry in Spain in English, as a further  proof of continued consolidation of a tendency for international presence of property  buyers in our country. The buying trends are not the crazy ones of the 00 but more informed, valuated calm and genuine ones: in my opinion. much better and good for  a healthy market. 

We did  a couple of posts on the meaning and legal importance of the Land Registry in our country, which will certainly help you to grasp the whole importance of this information being now available in English.

Legal tip 61. What the hell is the Land Registry in Spain

Legal tip 62.More protection by the Land Registry

This will not exclude the necessary intervention of a lawyer for the proffessional interpretation of such information and the descrpription and assistance on advantages and disadvantages  and necessary legal managements related to the informations therein contained.



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