A few weeks ago Imont Legal Services had the opportunity to prepare a real estate legal advisory report on behalf of a client interested in the acquisition of an attic in the Salinas de Calpe area.
The purchase of a home, whether as a first residence, or as a holiday home, is one of the most important decisions which families face, so it is important to avoid unnecessary risks.
Buying a property in Spain can be one of the biggest decisions and projects of many peoples in their lifetime and in order to avoid any problem or unpleasant surprise it is very important to have the advice of certified lawyer from the first moment, even before finding the right home and signing a reservation contract.
We have all heard terrible stories about people who have lost all their money by buying illegal homes, off-plan homes that were never built, or homes with foreclosures. At Imont we have defend at court many clients going through all that kind of situations because they did not use a lawyer at the time of the purchase, they used the services of the lawyer of the builder “, or even worse they used a solicitor that end up not been a real lawyer, or just a translator. The best way to prevent these situations and avoid litigation is to have the advice of a qualified and registered lawyer from the beginning, but you must be aware of intruders posing as “Spanish Solicitors” “legal advisors” “legal assistants” “legal experts” “conveyancing experts” ….. or even as I saw the other day on a flyer at Orihuela Town Hall, translators offering a service that covers all legal paperwork (conveyance, wills, inheritance…)for one third of the price, but obviously without any guarantee because only by using a certified lawyer you can get full protection and guarantee for legal advice.
Since February 2019, the Orihuela Bar Association is developing a campaign against professional intruders, which is supported by our law firm, Imont Legal Services, which reads: “DON’T MAKE A MISTAKE, GO TO SEE YOUR LAWYER”. The purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness among consumers of legal services, as well as real estate agencies, intermediaries, consulates, embassies, and consumer associations, mainly from other countries, that lawyers are the only professionals qualified to guarantee their rights, interests and assets.
The Statute of Spanish Lawyers reserves the title of Lawyer exclusively for those professionals who, being in possession of a degree in Law obtained or homologated in Spain, belong to a Spanish Bar Association as practitioners, and dedicate themselves professionally to provide legal advice and defend the legal interests of others, public or private.
Performing the acts of lawyers without meeting these requirements is professional intrusiveness and is a crime under our Criminal Code.
The key is to get the registration number of the lawyer at the Bar Association by asking the lawyer for this information. In addition, the General Counsel of Lawyers make available to all interested parties the Census of Lawyers, which is a tool that through a link allows you to enter the name of the lawyer and instantly verify that he or she holds such status.
At Imont Legal Services, all our lawyers are members of the Bar Associations of Murcia and Cartagena, we are experts in Real Estate Law, with more than 16 years of experience defending real estate cases in the Courts, and above all focused on legal and tax advice for international clients to ensure the satisfaction and guarantee of the process of buying and/or selling a property in Spain. More than 5,000 satisfied clients over 15 years support us, and our legal services appear on the recommendation lists of both British and Belgian consulates. Our motto: Trust us & Relax
Johnson will try to call elections if EU agrees to extend the “brexit”
After the last debate in Westminster, the process has now entered in such a technical and complicated phase that even the British do not know where their own rupture lies. Read more
After the Brexit referendum many UK nationals are searching for alternatives that will allow them to continue to enjoy unrestricted movement across the European Union and avoid Passport controls when travelling or having to request visas is staying for prolonged periods. Amongst the most popular alternatives is what is known as the Golden Visa (“GV”) also commonly referred to as investor visa. This visa was first introduced in Spain in 2013 and was subsequently modified in 2015 and allows foreign citizens from non-EU countries that meet certain criteria, to enjoy the perks of residency in Spain (including working), even leading to the possibility of obtaining citizenship.
The Golden visa targets affluent foreign citizens and in exchange for their investment offers temporary residency, allowing them to reside, study and work in Spain for an initial period of 1 year.
The administrative process of obtaining the GV normally lasts between 2 and 4 months and consists in presenting, both personally or through a third person, such as Imont Legal Services via power of attorney, the required documentation in the Spanish Consulate of the requester’s home country. Once you have obtained a Golden Visa, you along with your spouse and underage dependants will be able to live, work and study unrestrictedly in Spain as well as travel visa free through Europe. Further to the advantage of GV holders, this visa does not require you to physically live in Spain and therefore you do not have to pay resident taxes unless you reside for an amount of time over the stipulated threshold (183 days).
Similarly, to apply for the Golden Visa it is necessary to comply with some general requirements, among others, not to be irregularly in Spain, to be of legal age and to have a public or private medical insurance.
There are also other more specific requirements for the Golden Visa, the most important being that the applicant accredits the intention or acquisition of the properties. The intention to purchase can be accredited by presenting a preliminary contract with a guarantee for the purchase, by means of a deposit contract or any other means provided for by law and formalised in a notarial public deed.
The acquisition, in turn, can be accredited by means of registry certification of domain and charges issued by the competent Property Registry for the property in question.
In order for foreign nationals to obtain the GV they must meet one of the following criteria:
- Purchase real estate property, with minimum equity contribution of 500,000
- Invest 2,000,000 in Spanish treasury bills alternatively invest 1,000,000 in publicly traded shares of Spanish domiciled companies or deposit a minimum of 1,000,000 of funds into a Spanish bank account
- Invest in a business venture which fulfils either one of the following conditions:
- Creates meaningful employment as a direct result of the investment.
- Significant socio-economic impact in the area where the activity will be carried out.
- Material technological or scientific impact.
Golden Visa FAQ
Who can apply for a Golden Visa
Any non-European foreign citizen which meets the stipulated criteria and invests:
- 500,000 of equity in Spanish real estate,
- 2,000,000 in Spanish Treasury Bonds or 1,000,000 in shares of Spanish companies or 1,000,000 deposit in Spanish bank account and… invests in a business which either creates meaningful employment, significant socio-economic impact or technological or scientific impact.
How can you apply for a Golden Visa?
The interested party can physically or through an intermediary, such as Imont Legal Services, present the required documentation in the Spanish Consulate or Embassy of their home country.
Can I purchase several properties to be eligible for GV?
Yes, you can purchase as many properties as you like as long as the equity contribution of the combines properties is above the 500,000 threshold.
Can I finance the purchase of the properties with mortgage?
Yes, however to be eligible for a GV the mortgage financing of the property must be of the excess of 500,000.
Can I apply for a visa if i have not yet purchased the property?
Yes, but in this case it must be proven that a deposit or similar contract has been signed that guarantees the fulfilment of the purchase of the property and that the necessary amount is available for the purchase, including taxes and charges. In this case, the residence permit will be for 6 months until the purchase of the property is accredited.
How long does the Golden Visa last?
The initial duration of the GV is 1 year which can be extended another two years and another 5-year extension subsequently.
Can I obtain Spanish citizenship through GV?
Yes, GV holders who have resided in Spain for a period of 10 years or more have the option to apply for Spanish citizenship.
Do I have to live in Spain to maintain the GV?
No, unlike other visas from other countries, such as the Green Card in the USA, Golden Visa holders are not obligated to reside in Spain for any minimum amount of time. Therefore, if GV holders do not reside in Spain for the minimum stipulated threshold they don´t have to pay resident taxes in Spain.
Can my family also be eligible for a GV?
Yes, once you have obtained a GV your partner along with all of your underage depends will also be eligible to obtain a GV.
If i buy the property with my spouse and we are in a marital regime or similar, who is considered to have made the investment?
If the investment does not reach €500,000 for each spouse, only one of the spouses will be considered to have made the investment, in order to obtain the visa, however, the other spouse will be able to obtain the residence visa for being a direct family member.
Can the investment be made through a company? The investment can be made through a company provided that:
- The company is not located in a tax haven; and
- The applicant has a majority of the voting rights in the company and sufficient powers to appoint and remove a majority of the company’s directors.ç
Imont Legal Service is a leading law firm with over 15 years of experience helping customers with their legal, conveyancing and tax needs in Spain. We are present in all of the South-East of Spain with four offices in San Javier (Murcia), La Zenia (Alicante), Finestrat (Alicante) and Madrid. If you would like further information of the Golden Visa or any other issue regarding purchasing a property in Spain contact any of our offices and our dedicated experts will be able to help you in English, French, German, Swedish and Spanish.
“Brexit” surprised both British and foreigners and has left in the air future relations between the United Kingdom and other European Union countries.
Beyond the possible economic impact that we will see in the long term, always depending on the agreement to which, finally, the European Union is reached, in the short term the uncertainty about basic needs, such as traveling, worries British people who wish to visit or reside in Spain; That is why we want to address one of the most raised questions: will a visa be required for British citizens to travel to Spain?
While it is true that there are many questions un answered about what the future will hold for us with “Brexit”, we can confirm that in April 2019, the European Council and Parliament agreed that, after “Brexit”, the citizens of United Kingdom traveling to the countries of the “Schengen” area for a short stay (90 days within 180 days) may enter the territory of the European Union without obtaining a visa.
In accordance to the EU rules, visa exemption is granted on reciprocity terms, as the United Kingdom has also stated, expressly, that it has no intention of applying for visa to EU citizens when traveling to your country for short stays.
However, in the event that the United Kingdom introduces a visa requirement for nationals of any of the EU Member in the future, the existing reciprocity mechanism will apply and the EU institutions and their member will to implement the visa requirement without delay, so the European Commission will monitor the respect of the principle of reciprocity on an ongoing basis and will immediately inform the European Parliament and the Council of any developments that could jeopardize this.
We can confirm that the complexity of the situation requires not to rush things, take time and waiting for the best possible agreements to be reached.
But do we know what the difference is between tourist apartments and houses for tourist use ( alojamientos vacacionales) ?
According to the new decree 174/2018 Tourist apartments will be considered to be the accommodation units offered, by means of a price, for rent on a regular basis and duly equipped with furniture, installations, services and equipment for immediate temporary occupation for holiday or leisure purposes. These tourist apartments are classified in the categories of one, two, three, four and five keys.
And according to article 30 of the previous Decree of 2005, still in force, will not have the legal consideration of tourist apartments, but of vacation accommodations (alojamientos vacacionales), isolated units of apartments, bungalows, villas, chalets and similar, offered for rent by the operating companies or person, for vacation or tourist reasons, and that meet the specified requirements.
The key therefore lies in the number of dwellings belonging to the same owner or operator that are offered for holiday use. If there is only one unit offered, it will be a holiday home regulated by Decree 2005 and if there are several, it will be tourist apartments regulated by the new Decree 174/2018.
Focusing on the holiday homes that are offered by most of our customers, there are no different categories, but there is a single category. However, these “alojamientos vacacionales” share some of the requirements of tourist apartments.
Thus, the operators of these vacation accommodations will be obliged to:
- a) Maintain accommodation facilities in a condition that guarantee its proper functioning.
- b) Inform users in advance about the system of services offered in the establishment, the conditions for providing them and their price.
- c) Provide users with a contact telephone number of the responsible person.
On the other hand, the price of the accommodation must include the following minimum services and supplies:
- a) Permanent cold and hot water.
- b) Gas and/or electric energy.
- c) Cleaning at the beginning of the stay.
- d) Change of linen once a week.
- e) Television.
- f) Collection of rubbish, or where appropriate, the existence of containers in accordance with municipal ordinances.
As well as the operators of the tourist apartments, the operators of holiday homes must register all travellers who pass through their home, must have complaint sheets available and announce their existence to the public in a visible manner and expressed in Spanish, English and two languages of their choice. Owners must have a civil liability insurance and the advertising they develop must specify the type of tourist accommodation to avoid confusion to the customer.
As for the beginning of the activity, the companies operating holiday accommodation must notify the competent Ministry of Tourism prior to the start of the activity. The communication will be accompanied by a responsible statement ( Declaración responsible) and will be accompanied by a series of documents for the purposes of registration of the same in the Register of Companies and Tourist Activities of the Region of Murcia. It is forbidden to offer and market the property without having previously made the communication.
We inform you that the Consortium of Insurance Compensation (CCS) will pay for the cold drop at least 92 million in the Valencian Community.
The total estimated cost in this community amounts to 92 million euros, and the most damaged areas have been Orihuela and the rest of the Vega Baja region in Alicante, and Ontinyent and the rest of the Vall de Albaida region in Valencia.
The damage caused by DANA in the Vega Baja of Alicante and Murcia has been many, and very substantial.
We ourselves have been affected by its effects and effected after its passage.
The last floods suffered by the Spanish Levante have focused on Insurance and its tools to alleviate the dramatic situations generated by these phenomena.
For this reason, Imont Legal Services wish to contribute a little to help all our affected neighbors, letting them know of the first steps to take in order to claim against the Insurance Companies and the Consortium of Insurance Compensation for the terrible damage suffered.
The Consortium of Insurance Compensation, has issued an announcement indicating that it will compensate the damages produced to the PEOPLE or in the PROPERTY, indicating the Requirements that must be fulfilled to be able to opt for these compensations.
One of the great virtues of the Consortium is that, in the event of a catastrophe being declared, the risks of the insured property are maximum.
In other words, the Consortium is in solidarity with the most affected areas by the catastrophe, contributing funds from other non-affected areas to support those most affected.
We hope that if it is finally declared a ‘catastrophic zone’, it will give:
– Aid for personal injuries.
– Financial aid to individuals for damage to their habitual residence.
– And aid for basic necessities.
For this reason, it is very important that you document and be able to prove the damage suffered. So, the more graphic information, videos or written evidence or any other type of evidence you are able to provide … the simpler the process will be, and the sooner you will see your claims addressed.
You can download this press release at the end of the article. Here is a summary of these requirements and a series of recommendations, you can find more information on the website of the Compensation Consortium.Action guide claim damages of DANA