Advice on breakdown of legal costs, pls

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    • #51637


      My lawyer in Spain has sent me a list of the charges that will apply when I take possession of our property in Murcia next month. I am listing these here, and would like to have people’s opinions on these please – are they realistic? Or too high? Also, I’m not sure what some of these are for – of course I’ll be asking my lawyer – but I don’t have much faith in Spanish lawyers after my dealing with them in the last 2 years – so any explanations on those would be appreciated as well.

      (Propety purchase price is 214,000E.)

      Notary Fees 1,000.00
      Land Registry Fees 800.00
      Community Fees 500.00
      Stamp Duties 2,145.00
      Solicitor´s fees 1,617.33
      Opening Commission 750.75
      Insurance 600.00

      Is there a standard charge in Spain for Notary and Land Registry Fees, or do lawyers charge what they think is best?
      What is the ‘opening commission’?
      By ‘insurance’ I assume he means buildings insurance – this seems a little high for my 2-bed, 2bath townhouse.

      Thanks in advance.


    • #61285

      Hi Punjabi,

      Why don’t you ask your lawyer for copies of the actual invoices from the Notary, Land Registry etc. so you can see if they are adding a mark up? The communtity fees should be set out in the purchase contract so you should be able to check this as well. There are defined amounts set down for Notary and Land Registry charges.

      Best Regards

      Terry English

    • #61287

      Stamp duty is correct for a new property in Murcia

      Did you use a mortgage? If so what was the mortgage amount? If you used a mortgage for more than 50% of price, then Notary and Registry fees look about right. But as Terry says, insist on an official receipt for both. It’s your right.

      Talk to the president or secretary of the community about the fees. I don’t understand what this expense is. Is it a yearly community fee to be paid up front at the start or what?

      Solicitor’s fee looks normal.

      What is the opening commission? Is it a mortgage opening commission? If so why is your lawyer charging you that? Doesn’t make any sense.

      600 Euros for insurance is absurd. Get a quick quote from a broker like Knight Insurance to compare.


    • #61288

      If you used a mortgage, the 600 Euros may be the fee for the insurance most banks force you to contract (life insurance and damages insurance) if so, fee seems correct. Opening commission (also on the mortgage) depends on the amount of the loan and the Bank (they will charge you from 0.4 to 2%)

      Is your lawyer acting in your behalf to do every payment, even the mortgage? Did you give him a power of attorney to do so?, in other words. Is he asking you to give him all that money and make the payments for you? Or is he just informing you on the total payments you (in person) will have to do?

      If yours is first case ask for every invoice and receipt, as Mark says, but anyway, it doesn’t matter which case, ask for a full and detailed explanation of all the charges… Community fees have no apparent sense.

    • #61290

      Thanks to all who replied – you’ve really helped me clear a few things.

      The ‘Stamp Duty’ is working out at 1% of the purchase price – I thought this was 0.5% normally right? Or is there a 1% charge for all properties in the Murcia region?

      The ‘opening commision’ is the banks charge of 0.5% of the mortgage value. So, this I’m happy with.

      I think the Notary and Land Registry Fees seem a little high – I’ll chase up my lawyer on these.

      Cesar asked about power of attorney, and the lawyer paying for things – this is an on-going point, as he keeps sending me emails with Power of Attorney documents, and I keep telling him that I do NOT want to give him PoA. I alreayd have a bank account there, and will want to make all bill payments directly.

      Thanks again all.


    • #61305

      Sorry to say this Punjabi, but your estimated costs seem low to me.

      On a purchase of 214.000 euros with a mortgage of 150.000 euros I would have estimated the legal and tax costs as follows.

      Purchase costs –

      Notary: 150
      Registry: 320
      Tax: (ITP or IVA at 7pc) 14950
      Gestoria: 225

      Purchase sub-total: 15645 euros

      Mortgage costs –

      Notary: 600
      Registry: 330
      Tax: (IAJD) 3000
      Gestoria: 225

      Mortgage sub-total: 4155

      TOTAL: 19 800 euros

      This excludes mortgage opening commissions, lawyer fees (plus VAT), insurances and estate agency fees (plus VAT).

      These are my estimated, or provisional figures, and may be slightly over the true figure. Calculating the exact notarial costs is a bit of a black art as it depends on the number of copies and pages in the deeds.

      Also, the often overlooked stamp tax on mortgages (termed Impuesto de Actos Juridicos Documentados) is calculated as a percentage of the value mortgaged and not the value of the mortgage.

      Again, these figures are calculated for Valencia and some of the tax rates for Murcia may vary slightly.

      It is always a good idea to ask your lawyer for the original invoices from the notary and registry – but these may take up to three months to appear.

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