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Gazumping - Who is to blame?
29/06/2014 09:20 PM

There has been a lot of talk in social media and websites regarding gazumping in the Spanish property market, so I thought I would take a little time to clarify for the confused and inform for those needing further explanation.

Gazumping is the practice of a vendor reneging on an agreement to sell a property to one purchaser in favour of accepting an improved offer due to monetary considerations , more favourable time-scale,  a more secure (safe) offer.

In Spain we have a very simple and easy solution to ensure that gazumping never occurs. If you have a competent agent they should be able to explain to you how this simple system works and gazumping should be something you never need to worry about.

Unlike the UK where a handshake or verbal agreement can sometimes be acceptable, in Spain we have a much more robust solution to ensuring both buyer and seller are committed to the purchase/sale.

In order to secure the property of your dreams there are two simple steps you need to follow should you find your perfect property; pay a reservation deposit and sign a reservation contract.

1. RESERVATION DEPOSIT.

In order to secure your dream property you will pay YOUR lawyer (not the seller, estate agent or sellers lawyer) a 3000€ reservation deposit. The reason that you pay this to your lawyer is to notify the vendor that you are serious about purchasing the property. The 3000€ will only be given to the vendor when their lawyer proves to your lawyer that the property is fully legal and correct to proceed. This deposit is non refundable once paid, so if you change your mind you have lost the deposit. To avoid gazumping the vendor if they wish to cancel the sale will need to return the deposit plus the same amount again as compensation.

 

2. RESERVATION CONTRACT.

Again, to legally secure the villa and have it removed from the market a reservation contract will be drawn up by the lawyers. This details all parties involved, the property, location, completion dates and agreed price. This contract will be signed by all parties

With the contract signed and deposit paid you are secure in the knowledge that the property is yours and will be removed from the market.

The result of the above........ NO GAZUMPING.

Do not leave your choice of property agent to chance. Go where the informed buyers choose to go... Hondon Valley Homes.

If you are not satisfied with the advice or service you are receiving from your agent, you can be assured of a warm welcome when you come to see Hondon Valley Homes. Our young, yet experience team will guide you through the buying process in an informed, relaxed and friendly manner. We work with great lawyers, bankers, architects and financiers. Just ask around..... we don't sell more properties than any other local agents, by looking to the past as we only look to the future. 

We live in Hondon, We work in Hondon, We love HONDON.

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Healthcare in Spain UK
18/03/2014 09:40 AM
- Those obtaining any kind of stay extension or document that enables them to remain on Spanish territory.
- Those involved in an administrative record by virtue of the provisions laid down in legislation governing aliens.
- Those who, for economic, professional or social interests, hold relations with Spain.
 
Given the privileged system for the permanence and residency of European Union citizens in Spain, the general way in which they obtain their NIE is by applying for it when they hold relations with Spain as a result of their economic, professional or social interests.
However, the NIE does not replace, but rather complements, the documentation the European Union citizen must always carry in Spain for identification purposes, such as the following:
WHAT DO I NEED THE NIE FOR?
The NIE is essential for a large number of actions and proceedings in Spain, which means that it should be applied for as soon as possible. The main utilities given to the NIE, without which they could not be carried out, are as follows:
- Buying or selling a home.
- Signing a mortgage loan.
- Property register and Notaries Public Offices.
 
Administration
 
Social security
-Opening an account in a bank.
-Setting up a business or enterprise.
-Settling state and regional taxes: Income tax for non-residents (IRNR); corporate tax (IS); value-added tax (IVA, VAT); inheritance and gift tax (ISD), etc.
 
Others
WHERE AND HOW CAN I APPLY FOR THE NIE?
 
 
In Spain
 
If you decide to apply for the NIE in Spain, you should do so at the police station nearest to your home.
The aforementioned EX-15 form requires the following information:
- Passport, national ID document in force in your country.
- Documentation certifying the need for obtaining the NIE (administrative form, bank form, etc.).
-In the case of relatives of a European Union citizen, whose nationality is that of a non-Member State of the EU or the European Economic Space, the Community residency card must be applied for first.
 
The application can be made in Spain through a representative, who must certify his/her power of representation by means of a general or special power formalised before a notary public, and the documentation showing the reason why the application is being made for the NIE must also be presented. The person must also include his/her details on the application (EX-15 form) and sign it. In any case, it is best to present the application personally, even though you are accompanied by your adviser, since this avoids expense and possible identification problems.
Once the NIE application has been made, the certificate will be delivered to the interested party in person in the approximate term of two weeks.
In the country of origin
 
If you decide to apply for the NIE from outside Spain, you must personally visit the corresponding Spanish consulate or embassy in your country of residence.
You must also provide your current passport. The officers will make a copy of the passport and legalise it and you will have to pay the fee corresponding to the legalisation.
All the above must be presented in an envelope addressed to
Comisaría General de Extranjería y Documentación
Dirección General de la Policía
Calle General Pardiñas 90,
28006 Madrid
 
If you do decide to purchase a villa in Hondon de las Nieves, we have an English speaking doctor (worked in Brighton for 5 years) and an English speaking nurse. Most staff in the brand new Vinalop hospital in Elche speak English.
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UK Passport fees for expats reduced by 35%
17/03/2014 04:41 PM

The fees for a UK passport for British citizens applying from overseas countries, including Spain, will fall by 35% from next month.

 

James Brokenshire, Immigration and Security Minister, has announced that from 7th April the passport fee for customers applying for a UK passport from overseas will be reduced by £45 for adults and £28.50 for children.

The new fees are:

  • Adult 32 page passport £83.00
  • Child 32 page passport £53.00
  • Jumbo 48 page passport £91.00 (Adult / Child / Veteran)

The 35% decrease in passport fees is the result of efficiency savings made over the last three years by bringing back the processing and issuing of overseas passports to the UK, including from the former passport processing centre at the British Embassy Madrid.

Will Middleton, Consular Director for Spain, said:

This is good news for British citizens applying for a UK Passport from Spain. The repatriation of overseas passport centres means overseas applications can now be handled more efficiently and at significantly lower cost.

The new fees will benefit some four million Britons living overseas, including many of the estimated 800,000 who live in Spain for all or part of the year.

If you need a new or replacement passport, go to the Overseas British passport applications page on GOV.UK where you can make an overseas application. You need to apply and pay online and send your supporting documents direct to the UK (no longer to the nearest Consulate or Embassy). The turnaround time is four to six weeks, and applications are accepted up to nine months before the expiry of your current passport.

The new fees for overseas applications remain marginally higher than the equivalent fees for UK-based applicants because on average overseas applications take longer – and therefore cost slightly more - to process. This is because it is often less straightforward to establish whether or not an overseas applicant is entitled to a UK passport. Overseas customers will also continue to pay a courier charge in addition to the passport fee.

 

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Alicante City
30/01/2014 09:03 AM

Many people think of Alicante as just an airport from which to depart North, South or East to your chosen final destinantion, however this wonderful vibrant city has much more to offer and is a real jewel in the Costa Blanca crown.

There is a new time lapse video of the city which shows many of the fascinating aspects of the city from tourism, recreation, sports, arts and gastromony. A very entertaining couple of minutes.

http://vimeo.com/43245752

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Website background
21/01/2014 06:52 PM

We recently did a little housekeeping regarding the website in the new year and I asked the designer to add a background to the website. He used a sample image to give me an idea of what it would look like, however rather than using a generic image I popped down to the best beach in the area (El Pinet near Guardamar and took the image that we used). I have received a lot of emails from clients asking where the image was taken, hence this post. The image was actually taken about 50m from the seafood restaurant that it right on the beach at El Pinet next to La Marina village close to Guardamar and Elche. A stunning beach with many km\'s of clean golden sand and sand dunes. 

    

 

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Transfer Tax Update 2013
27/08/2013 09:39 AM

Thank you again to Juan Carlos Marhuenda at TLA Corp lawyers for producing this article for our clients regarding the update in the transfer tax in August 2013. For further information on all tax and legal aspects please visit their website at www.tlacorp.es

 

On the 2 - INHERITANCE TAX

WE ARE COMENTING IN THIS ARTICLE THE MAIN ASPECTS AFFECTING PURCHASE/SALES

VAT on NEW PROPERTIES (properties acquired directly from builders), from 8% up to  This modification, initially,  was not affecting RESALES (properties acquired from a particular), which are not subjected to VAT. Resales are taxed with another tax called “Transfer Tax” (Impuesto sobre Transmisiones Patrimoniales)  . So, resales, in Valencia region was at 8 %, also in other regions as in Murcia.

nd of August 2013,  buyers will pay the 10 % on properties based in Valencia Region (Alicante, Valencia, Castellon), and in Catalonia (Barcelona, Lérida, Tarragona, Gerona).

Stamp Duty,  has been increased up to  - In New Properties, together with 10 % VAT

- When there is an update of the deeds declaring a new construction, or extension, etc.

- ACQUISITION OF NEW PROPERTIES in Spain (Valencia, Catalonia, Murcia, Andalusia), pays 10 % VAT + 1,5 % Stamp duty.

- In Catalonia+Valencia Region: Pays 10 % Transfer Tax

- UPDATE OF DEEDS in Murcia, Valencia, and Catalonia: 1,5 % Stamp Duty

 

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Inheritance tax update
27/08/2013 09:35 AM

Thanks to our friends at TLA Corp in Albatera. They have produced an article for our clients to explain the recent changes to the inheritanace tax law in the Valencian region. For more information please contact TLA directly via their website www.tlacorp.es

 

MODIFICATION IN TAX REGULATIONS – AUGUST 2013-08-26

On the 2nd of August 2013, Valencian Government has modified determinate regulation in relation to:

- INHERITANCE TAX

- PURCHASE OF PROPERTIES

WE ARE COMENTING IN THIS ARTICLE THE MAIN ASPECTS AFFECTING INHERITANCE TAX

As explained in various articles on this site, there is a difference in Spanish Inheritance Tax for SPANISH TAX RESIDENTS, and for SPANISH NON RESIDENTS

This new regulation is AFFECTING ONLY to SPANISH TAX RESIDENTS WITH DOMICILE IN VALENCIA REGION (Alicante, Valencia and Castellon). So, this new regulation is NOT AFFECTING to those who are NON SPANISH RESIDENTS.

For Spanish Tax Residents, with domicile in Valencia Region, the new changes are the following:

REDUCTION ON THE TAX BASE

- Descendants, or adopted younger than 21 years old: 100.000 – 156.000 EUR
  • Before, the reduction on the tax base was from 40.000 to 96.000 EUR, depending on the age of the inheritor.
  •  Now, the reduction on the tax base is from 100.000 – 156.000 EUR, depending on the age of the inheritor

- Descendants, or adopted older than 21 years old,  surviving spouses, and ascendants: 100.000 EUR

  •  Before, the reduction on the tax base was of 40.000 EUR
  •  Now, the reduction on the tax base is of 100.000 EUR

- IN CASE OF PERMANENT RESIDENCE: REDUCTION 95 %

In case that the property inherited was the permanent residence of deceased, there will be a reduction on the tax base of the 95 %, with a maximum of 150.000 EUR, subjected to the following conditions:

  • Only when inheritors are descendants, ascendants, surviving spouse, or correlatives older than 65 years old (living with the family at least 2 years before the decease).
  •  The property must be used as the permanent residence of the inheritors DURING, AT LEAST, 5 YEARS.

REDUCTION ON THE TAX RATE

Once the Tax base is calculated (in consideration with the eventual reductions obtained), then, the Tax base resultant will have also a reduction, when the inheritors are descendants, ascendants, or surviving spouse:

  •  Before, the reduction on the tax rate was of  95 %
  •  Now, the reduction on the tax rate is of 75 %

 So, for example:

EXAMPLE 1: A+B own a property in Torrevieja (Alicante), Spain 50 % each for a tax value of 250.000 EUR.  Both of them are Spanish Tax Residents. Both of them have “mirror wills” passing one each other the property in case of death.  They are using the property as permanent residence.

A passes away, and B inherits the 50 % of the A part.

So, the Gross Tax Base from the A part to be inherited by B is : 125.000 EUR (50 % from 250.000 EUR).

- If B wants to be using the property as permanent residence with a minimum of 5 years, then, a reduction of the 95 % of the tax base can be obtained (with a maximum of 150.000 EUR). So, the Net Tax Base of the tax will be of 6.250 EUR.

Following the scale of the tax (not explained here), the tax rate to pay for a tax base of 6.250 EUR is around 478 EUR. This is the Gross Tax Rate.

Then, as B is surviving spouse from A, then, obtains a reduction of the 75 % of the Gross rate, so, the final Net Tax Rate to pay will be of around 120 EUR.

- If B does not want to use the property anymore, and wants to sell it, as surviving spouse,  it can be obtained a reduction on the Gross Tax Base of 100.000 EUR. So, the Net Tax Base will be of 125.000 – 100.000 = 25.000 EUR.

Then, the Gross Tax Rate for 25.000 EUR will be of 2.200 EUR (following a scale). And, being the surviving spouse, B would have a reduction on the Gross Tax Rate of the 75 %. So, the final and Net Tax Rate to pay will be of 550 EUR.

EXAMPLE 2 : A+B have 2 sons: SON 1 and SON 2 older of 21 years old. They are also Spanish Tax Residents.

A passes away and leaves the property in Spain to B, SON 1 and SON 2 in equal parts:

So, from the A part inherited (125.000 EUR) here there is the Gross Tax Base received from the 3 inheritors:

 B part: 83.333 EUR /   SON 1 : 83.333 EUR / SON 2 : 83.333 EUR

 - If  the THREE of them want to be using the property as permanent residence with a minimum of 5 years, then:

Starting from B, as surviving spouse, it can be obtained a reduction on the 95 % of the Gross Tax Base. So, the Net Tax Base of the tax for B will be of around 4.160 EUR.

Also, for SON 1 and SON 2. They are A descendants so, they can obtain also a reduction on their Gross Tax Base of 95 %- So, they will have 4.160 EUR each.

Following the scale of the tax (not explained here), the tax rate to pay for a tax base of 4.160 EUR is of around 318 EUR. This is the Gross Tax Rate that each of the inheritors have to pay.

Then, as B is surviving spouse from A, and SON 1 and SON 2 are descendants, they obtain a reduction of the 75 % of the Gross rate, so, the final Net Tax Rate to pay will be of around 80 EUR each.

- If they do not want to use the property anymore, and want to sell it, as surviving spouse, and descendants, they can obtain a reduction on the Gross Tax Base of 100.000 EUR. So, the Net Tax Base will be of 83.333 – 100.000 = 0 EUR. As the result is “0”, no more reductions can be used in this case. So, in this case, the tax rate to be paid by each one of the inheritors will be “0”.

CONCLUSION:

FOR AN AVERAGE OF PROPERTIES WITH A TAX VALUE 250.000 EUR OR LESS, THE SPANISH INHERITANCE TAX MAY BE VERY LOW, OR EVEN “0”, IF:

- THE INHERITORS ARE LIVING PERMANENTLY IN SPAIN-VALENCIA REGION- AS SPANISH TAX RESIDENTS

- THE INHERITORS ARE SURVINING SPOUSES, OR ASCENDANTS, OR DESCENDANTS

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What is a Nota Simple
24/07/2013 09:48 AM
Clients often ask us about the array of paperwork required when purchasing or selling a property, so hopefully this article will prove useful.
 
A Nota Simple is an official extract report that contains a full property description and can be obtained from the local property title registry office or, by subscribers, over the Internet. This is a very important document in Spain, as it contains information about the legal status of a property. If you intend to buy a property of any kind, it is very important to know who is the registered owner, what is the registered description and what legal charges or restrictions are registered against the property.
 
The information contained in the Nota Simple includes:
 
*The current owner(s), their relationships and when they bought it;
*Any debts secured on it that must be paid before its ownership can be transferred e.g. mortgages, unpaid taxes, community debts, private debts, etc.;
*The boundaries of the property, though these are often hazily described as just the land owned by their neighbour;
*The total square metres of the land and the gross overwall area of all built structures;
*The use of the property (whether residential, agricultural, etc);
*The rights that others may have on the property e.g. public paths and rights of way, roads, water, sewage, etc.;
*The share of the costs of the community of owners in which it lies;
*And if you are really fortunate, the Catastral reference. (Described in another article)
 
Before you request a Nota Simple, you will need to provide the following information:
 
*The full name of the individual owner or owning company. Ideally, but not essentially, you should also have the NIE, CIF or passport number.
Or
*The Property Registry data, which can be either the Finca number or the unique identification number: IDUFIR.
 
With either of these sets of information you can carry out a search of the whole of Spain and obtain details on all the property owned by an individual or company. As there can be many owners with similar names, it’s best if you can restrict the search ideally to the minimum of which registry office the property is registered in.
 
You can obtain a Nota Simple in Spanish, from the land registry and this can be requested in person at any registry office. Alternatively, go online where requests are usually obtained within 24-48 hours. In both methods there is a small charge. Alternatively, ask somebody with a subscription to obtain information for you.
 
Document fileAs stated above, the Nota Simple will contain information as to whether there are debts associated with the property. It is possible for debts of an individual to be attached to the property he owns although they may have no other link to the property itself. Be aware that if there are debts attached to the property, then it is essential that they are cleared before the ownership is passed over to the buyer, otherwise they will remain and become the responsibility of the new owner.
 
Inaccuracies
You may find, on receipt of the Nota Simple that its description is not the same as the actual property. An error in the description of either accommodation or the floor area is important and should be rectified by the seller prior to the sale. It may be that improvements have been carried out on the property and their absence on the document is sometimes an indication that work has been carried out without permission.
 
Inaccuracies may also mean that a mortgage valuer working for a Spanish lender or insurer could have to value on a reduced basis, as they are obliged by law to use the lesser of the actual area and that recorded in the title, whenever there is a difference between the two. Outbuildings such as garages, stores and even swimming pools should be recorded too, as this all affects the value of a property. However, unless you have an excellent grip of Spanish or are adept at dealing with Spanish bureaucracy, it is recommended that the Nota Simple is discussed with a legal expert or property professional, to make sure that all is in order and the property meets your requirements.
 
Assistance
If you would like more information about the Nota Simple and how it could affect you, the team at Survey Spain Network is available to offer informed help and advice. We have the advantage of carrying out Acquisition Surveys of the building and being able to compare the actual property with the Nota Simple and the Catastral description (see other article) and thus make sure that differences are caught prior to purchase, so that correcting them remains the responsibility of the seller and is not transferred to the buyer, at his or her future cost.
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Parliamo Italiano / We speak Italian
02/06/2013 11:06 AM

We have pleasure in announcing a new member to our team at HvH.

Pierre joins us from Belgium but is actually Italian and will now be handling the Italian side of the business. With many years in International real estate sales and marketing Pierre is already proving invaluable when dealing with customers from Italy. Pierre also lives in the Hondon Valley in the small village of Macisvenda. 

Welcome.... or should I say BENVENUTO !

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New rules for UK passport holders in Spain
08/05/2013 02:27 PM

 

New Passport Rules for UK Nationals in Spain

 

You may remember that Cyprus expats were recently told that they need to get their passports via the UK. The British Embassy said they would tell us if the rules for Spain changed. Well… as of this coming Monday they will.

Press release: 7 May 2013

CHANGE TO PASSPORT SERVICE FOR BRITISH NATIONALS

British nationals in Spain wanting to apply for a new passport are advised of an important change in the way they will need to make applications. From Monday 13 May, all applications will need to be sent directly to the Identity & Passport Service (IPS) in Belfast in the United Kingdom, instead of the regional passport processing hub in Madrid.

All the necessary information about the new passport application process, including a new IPS overseas application form, can be found at www.gov.uk/overseas-passports.

Andy Hamilton, head of the regional passport processing centre in Madrid, says: “In real terms, all that this means is that British nationals living in Spain now need to send their applications to a different address.”

“Current passport processing times remain the same. If you are renewing your passport, you should allow at least four weeks from the date the fee is taken and all the correct documentation has been received.”

“If you are applying for the first time or you are replacing a lost or stolen passport, you should allow at least six weeks.”

The only other change is that the current passport helpline call charges are being removed. Instead of paying for a premium rate phone line, customers will now only have to pay for the cost of a call to the UK.

British nationals who lack internet access or want advice are able to call the IPS Customer Service Centre on +44 (0) 300 222 0000.

People who need to travel urgently but whose normal passport is unavailable should contact their nearest British Consulate via 902 109 356 or email info.consulate@fco.gov.uk . Your local Consulate may be able to issue an Emergency Travel Document to help you travel.

Note:

Fees charged for overseas passport applications are based on the cost of providing the service. Because the number of overseas applications is smaller and efficiency gains are harder to achieve, the issuing of all British passports is being repatriated. Once this has been completed worldwide in 2014, IPS will seek to more closely align overseas and UK passport fees.



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