Sell­ing prop­erty

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Residents' Advice Desk -

Fis­cal and le­gal ad­vice from Web­ster As­esores Dear Sir,

Hav­ing owned a prop­erty for about 20 years in the Costa Blanca, we have de­cided to sell. The es­tate agent tells us the there are cer­tain doc­u­ments we re­quire, and our so­lic­i­tor is say­ing dif­fer­ently.

We are there­fore con­fused, and would ap­pre­ci­ate your ad­vice in the Costa Blanca News as it may help with other read­ers in the same sit­u­a­tion. An­swer

If your prop­erty is si­t­u­ated in the Va­len­cia re­gion, you are obliged to pro­vide your buyer with an oc­cu­pa­tion li­cence (used to be called the Habi­ta­tion Cer­tifi­cate) is­sued by the Town Hall and an en­ergy ef­fi­ciency cer­tifi­cate. You will also have to pro­vide copies of all last util­ity bills and the lo­cal IBI and rub­bish col­lec­tion bills.

If the reg­is­tered de­scrip­tion of the prop­erty does not co­in­cide with the phys­i­cal de­scrip­tion, you will be obliged to sign a new ‘es­crit­ura’ in or­der to rec­tify this dis­crep­ancy.

In or­der to do this, you will re­quire the ser­vices of an ar­chi­tect, who will is­sue a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion stat­ing the mea­sure­ments of the build­ing and the de­scrip­tion.

This new ‘es­crit­ura’ has to be signed in the pres­ence of a No­tary. A stamp duty of 1.5% of the value of the work has to be paid to the tax of­fice, and then the new deed can be pre­sented to the cor­re­spond­ing land reg­istry for reg­is­tra­tion.

Usu­ally it is the buyer’s so­lic­i­tor who draws up the pri­vate pur­chase con­tract and this doc­u­ment will reg­u­late the trans­ac­tion.

The price of the agreed sate, the amount of the de­posit, and the com­ple­tion date will be in­cluded. This doc­u­ment will also de­ter­mine who is obliged to pay for the costs. Usu­ally all the costs are paid by the buyer, with the ex­cep­tion of the plus­valía tax.

How­ever, some­times it is agreed that the costs will be paid in ac­cor­dance with the law. The law de­ter­mines that part of the No­tary fees and the plus valía tax are paid by the ven­dors, and the buyer pays also part of the No­tary fees, the land reg­istry fees and the pur­chase tax. Your so­lic­i­tor will be able to give you more in­for­ma­tion in this re­spect.

If you are a res­i­dent in Spain for tax pur­poses, you are obliged to file the Cap­i­tal Gains Tax in your in­come tax re­turn the year after the sale takes place.

If you are a non-res­i­dent in Spain, the buyer’s so­lic­i­tor will prob­a­bly re­tain the amount due to the town hall in re­spect of the plus­valía tax, to guar­an­tee its pay­ment, as is if it isn’t paid the buyer will have to pay it as it is at­tached to the prop­erty – even if it is agreed that you have to pay it in ac­cor­dance with the law.

Fur­ther, if you are a non­res­i­dent 3% of the sale price will be de­ducted from this amount and de­posited with the tax of­fice. This pay­ment is con­sid­ered to be a pay­ment on ac­count of the Cap­i­tal Gains Tax.

If this tax is higher than the 3% that has been re­tained, you need to ap­ply for a re­fund of the dif­fer­ence. If the 3% does not cover all the tax that is due, you are obliged to pay the dif­fer­ence.

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