You might be under the impression that you can only buy Spanish property in Spain and euros. But as we explain in this article, it’s perfectly possible to carry out the transaction in the UK, in pounds and using a lawyer based in the UK.
Sometimes for practical reasons or personal circumstances, it may not suit you to buy or sell property in Spain or pay or receive the price in euros. In this case, buying or selling in the UK with the financial translation in pounds may be the answer.
Advantages of using a UK-based lawyer to buy or sell Spanish property
As well as your situation, a UK-based lawyer for the transaction also has the following benefits:
An absolute understanding of all documents
As well as a major investment, a property purchase can be a complex process that may be accentuated by language barriers. If you’re not fluent in Spanish, the chances are that you’ll overlook a detail or misinterpret an explanation.
If you use a UK-based lawyer experienced in Spanish property law, you can rest assured that all the legal aspects of your investments will be explained to you. You’ll also get accurate translations of all documents. As a result, you will know exactly what you’re signing.
Advice on property-related matters
Buying or selling a property in Spain impacts your tax and residency situations. A UK-based lawyer versed in conveyancing in Spain will be conversant, if not an expert, in these matters and offer you advice to take action in your best interests. In addition, the lawyer will advise you on will and inheritance issues to ensure your assets are safeguarded.
Substantial indemnity insurance cover
Under UK regulations, lawyers operating in the country must have minimum professional indemnity insurance cover. This insurance is highly regulated and runs to several million pounds. While Spain also requires indemnity insurance cover, it may not be as high and if your Spanish lawyer is negligent, you could stand to lose money. It is paramount to check your lawyer’s insurance cover in the client care letter.
Buy or sell in pounds
Exchange rate fluctuations can easily wipe thousands off a transaction, particularly if you haven’t secured a fixed rate ahead of the purchase or sale. You can futureproof this possibility by using a UK-based lawyer and buying or selling in pounds. That way, you know exactly how much you’re paying or receiving and don’t have to worry about adverse exchange rates.
What you need to know about buying or selling Spanish property in the UK
As seen above, there are several advantages to using a UK-based lawyer for the transaction. “However, there are some caveats to this possibility,” says Julio Prieto at Del Canto Chambers. “It’s imperative that buyers and sellers be aware of them from the start of proceedings”.
Remember that Spanish conveyancing regulations apply
If it suits you better to buy or sell your Spanish property from the UK, you first need to know that the process will take place according to Spanish conveyancing rules and regulations. They apply because the property is physically in Spain.
Spanish law stands in place throughout the process from the private contract to the transfer of title and registration in the appropriate Land Registry. “Don’t expect UK conveyancing protocols,” cautions Del Canto’s lawyer, “and be prepared for a totally new process if you’re not familiar with how buying and selling work in Spain.”
Ensure your lawyer is qualified in Spain
As well as the transaction taking place as per Spanish regulations, your lawyer must be qualified in Spain. Make sure your chosen professional has extensive experience in the Spanish property market as well as a sound understanding of the tax system and other implications of buying a home in Spain.
Check your lawyer has indemnity insurance cover
As mentioned above, the UK requires lawyers to take out this insurance, but it’s worth checking to make sure. While you’re asking, enquire about their knowledge of Spanish and UK tax and residency rules too.
At Del Canto Chambers, we offer comprehensive conveyancing services if you’re buying or selling property in Spain. We have offices in London as well as several towns and cities across Spain.