Legal Checklist for Buying a Property in Spain

Make sure you understand exactly what you are buying and establish the following before you buy:

  • Is there a rates (catastral) reference and are the details correct?
  • Is the actual size of the property and land reflected in the deeds (escritura) and property inscription register?
  • Are the boundaries clear and are there communal areas and/or contributions you need to consider?
  • Are there any registered debts against the property?
  • Is there an existing mortgage in place for the property and can it be taken over by you or another buyer if required?
  • Have the relevant local rates and taxes been paid and up to date?
  • Is furniture included or not?
  • Whose name should you put the property in to address any tax and inheritance issues?
  • Have you obtained an N.I.E (numero de identidad de extranjero). This is the identification number for non-residents, essential to complete the deed of sale (escritura) for your purchase.
  • Can you make the appointment to sign the deed of sale (escritura) in person or do you need to organise a Power of Attorney for someone to do this on your behalf?
  • Do you require an interpreter when completing the deed of sale? This is essential if you are not fluent in Spanish.

In order to ensure that the above checks are made on your behalf in advance of committing to any purchase it is advisable that you find a local lawyer you are happy to instruct to act on your behalf. Once the various legal checks have been verified by your selected lawyer they will prepare a Private Contract (Contrato Privado de Compraventa) between you and the seller. Ensure that this document covers all the necessary clauses required to protect you and your purchase.

Please note that this information is meant as a guide only, local laws and figures can change from time to time. In all circumstances we recommend that you take professional local advice regarding your personal situation.