Misc

 

PROPERTY
1. Buying
a) Pre-buy search
b) Purchase-Sale Agreement
c) Surveys
d) Help at the notary office
e) Tax payments
f) Registration of property at the ‘Catastro’ and ‘Registro de la Propiedad’
g) Budgeting the costs
h) Legalization of buildings
2. Selling
3. Permissions a) apply for small building work, changing doors, windows, pools
b) Apply and submit plans for large building projects.
c) Apply for town water, electricity, wells.
4. Paperwork
a) Obtain an N.I .E number and a bank account
b) Put all the services in your name, arrange direct debit
d)-Organise property insurance quotes
e). Obtain permission to have a bonfire or prune or cut down trees.

f).Obtain a post box or renew your existing post box in Órgiva

5. Rental and Management of Property
a) Rental Contracts
b) Manage properties both rental and household
VEHICLES
a) Your driving license in Spain
b) Importation/Registration of foreign vehicles
c) Insurance
d) Fines and traffic offenses
BUSINESSES
a) Tax
b) Self employment or set up a company?
c) Buying a Ready made Business in Spain
d) Formation of S.L Company
Property
1. Buying
If 2011 is the year you plan to make that move to Spain then early preparation will help to make sure that there are no unpleasant surprises in the relocation process. It’s also good practice to use an independent solicitor rather than one that has been appointed by the agent that you are buying property from, to protect your best interests.
Pre-buy search
Most of the hard work is done even before you sign a private contract (“compraventa“) and pay a deposit, The pre-buy search reveals any bad debts, unresolved inheritances, hidden rights on the property, charges or even an embargo or a mortgage that need to be resolved prior to committing yourselves. We can check that the property has been registered properly with all the buildings and land with the correct meters.
We can identify the development potential of the property along with any existing or projected planning issues that could impair any future use of the property.
We do know that there are areas in and around Orgiva designated for building and urbanisation, but other areas such as the national park will be very carefully monitored from now on.
b) Purchase-Sale Agreement
Totally enforceable in a Court of law. This document describes the property and its price, and date of completion on the sale, along with a deposit of Money
c) Survey
The importance of having a survey carried out cannot be overlooked when buying a property in Spain. Although surveying fees will increase the purchase cost, this sum is a relatively small price to pay for peace of mind, compared to the expense of trying to sort out unexpected difficulties in the future. It also makes sense to know exactly what you are buying into.
Our architect, Paco Carmona, will be able to identify signs of damage or causes for concern. Finding out about these potential problems at an early stage of buying may even help the renegotiation of a cheaper sales price to reflect the cost of repairs.
Before you go ahead and buy, you want to know about the quality of the structure of the building and the materials used, how long it will last, and what the legal possibilities are for building more. Don’t get the nasty surprise that you can’t extend as you wanted to, or that before you can do the work to turn it into your dream home, you will have to urgently repair the leaking roof or shore up some cracks that have suddenly appeared as the building wasn’t “earthquake-proof”.  Or that you cannot extend or even legalise the building that already exists.…
Those who are looking to purchase land to build on, or those looking to modernise an old building, will have to comply with the new stricter planning rules. Talk to us so that you have a better idea about what will be possible. Our architect can provide you with a tailor-made report on what the local authorities are more likely to grant building permission for.
d) Help at the notary office
We have seen countless people through this process and therefore have the experience to guide you through even the most difficult transactions.
e) Tax payments
We can work out your Capital Gains Tax and explain your options clearly.
We can also explain the Spanish Tax system for you so that you are not caught out by unexpected debts.
f) Registration of property at the ‘Catastro’ and ‘Registro de la Propiedad’
Once you have bought your property you will to have it registered in your name at these two administrative organisations.
The “Catastro”or “Centro de Gestión Catastral” is the institution which considers the properties for maps, drawings, etc
The Registro de la Propiedad concentrates on the legal ownership of a property and whether there are any charges on the property (be that a neighbour dispute, a mortgage or a right of way). Approximately 0, 5 % is charged by the Land Registry Office called “Registro de la Propiedad “to register the new deed (Escritura) into your name. It includes a description of the property, sizes, location, boarders, destiny, quality, value, etc
g) Budget
Worried about the costs of buying a property?
Ask us to calculate the amount you will need to pay. Legal costs, taxes, notary fees etc. so that you know how much to budget for.
Worried about the amount of tax you will have to pay when you sell a property? We can work out your Capital Gains Tax and explain your options clearly.
We can also estimate the costs of every kind of legal process for you, legalisation of buildings, changing and updating the details on your deeds etc.
h) Legalization of Buildings / rectification of land sizes
We work closely with an architect, local Town Halls, provincial and environmental authorities to sort out all manner of problems. We can tell you what options you have and the costs of these rectifications.
If you need a helping hand to guide you through legalising your property or if you have any other questions about planning, come in and see us or phone us at Alpujarra Conect.  And if the situation is complicated, then Paco Carmona, our architect, can provide you with the most up to date information for your particular case.
2. Selling
If you are trying to sell your house in Spain, we can prepare all the paperwork so that the process is straight forward. We can calculate the taxes you will have to pay and explain the procedure in full.
If your house is in the Órgiva area, we can also put your house for sale on our website.
3. Permissions
a). Apply for small building work, changing doors, windows, pools etc.
We can help fill in the forms and comply with the requisites of local authorities for small building works. All permissions need supporting documentation and/or architects plans. We can also chase up the permissions in the Town Hall.
b) Apply and submit plans for large building projects.
We work with an architect who is experienced in applying for projects of all type and scale. We can give you quotes explain the costs and the processes fully.
Orgiva, the Alpujarra, and indeed a lot of the south of Spain, has many illegal buildings, and the Ayuntamiento i.e the local council, and the main government in Granada have put into place strict guidelines for new planning laws.
If you are considering buying property or own a property in the Alpujarras and wish to look at what may be possible for reforming it, then good advice now will save you problems in the future.
Alpujarra Conect has helped many people when they were thinking of buying or were looking at what is possible with the property they already have.
Paco Carmona, our Spanish architect, will be able to give you guidelines, and will be able to talk to the planning officer at the Town Hall to see what is possible so that you are equipped with the right information before you go ahead.
The team at Alpujarra Conect is on your side. We will give you help and advice that may save you much heartache and shattered dreams in the future.
c). Apply for town water, electricity, wells.
Once you have your building legalised we can help you obtain all the services you require. We can give you advice and help you through the procedures and give you an estimation of their costs.
4. Paperwork
a). N.I.E number (Numero de Identificación Extranjero) and Bank Account
A NIE number is a Tax Identification Number for foreigners enabling you to file and pay taxes into the Spanish Tax office. It will be required, for example, on buying and selling property, on inheriting assets in Spain, on opening a bank account, on buying a car, etc.
We can advise you on the best, English speaking, local banks so that your transactions can go through easily and you can communicate with the staff without help.
b). Put all the services in your name
i.e. electricity, water, gas contract, garbage collection, IBI tax. (Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles), telephone, etc. and we can arrange a direct debit service, or we can arrange to pay them for you if you are absent.
c). Organise house Insurance
We can gives you quotes on different insurance options for your house,  fire insurance (Seguro de encendio): Compulsory by law, when you are taking out a mortgage  or  household insurance (Seguro de hogar): A comprehensive insurance available to protect your home and contents.
d). Permission to burn
There is a regulation which forbids open burning within this district with certain exceptions. It is necessary to get permission to burn form the forestry commission. Failure to do so will result in a FINE.
You are also required to get permission to fell trees or heavily prune trees. All pruning’s have to be disposed of either by burning or shredding.
5. Rental and Management of Property
a) Rental Contracts: or ’Contrato de Arrendamiento’ refers to the contract for a rented property in Spain. Our lawyer can write up a tailor made letting/rental contract in both English and Spanish.
b). Manage properties both rental and household We provide a full range of Property Management services for home owners in the Órgiva area of Las Alpujarras; from key holding, maintenance, and organising cleaning and gardening to more complex building supervision. We can recommend builders, plumbers, electricians etc, and also where to buy the goods that you need. We understand that everyone has different requirements, whether your property is a holiday home or a rental business, so we simply provide the services and advise you require.
We can also advertise your rental property, manage the bookings for you and meet the guests with a key.Here is a list of the other services we can provide as part of our property management package.
· Viability study of building possibilities, for new build, rehabilitation or extension
· Power of attorney, if required
· Change of use of the property, if necessary
· Report on electricity, water and telephone connections
· Study of potential for using solar panels for hot water, electricity etc
· Investigation into the water rights of the land, possibility of sinking a well
· Attending water meetings
· Organisation of 3 competitive quotes from recommended local builders
· Interpreting service for any situation, legal or technical
· Liaising with architects for the drawing up of projects, reports etc needed for the building permits
· Contact with the local Town Hall for the request of the building licence and the payment of the corresponding taxes
· Drawing up of a contract between client and builder
· Liaison between client and the builder as often as is required with photographic back-up
· Organise the contracts with the relevant authorities for water, electricity, telephone, Internet connection, gas etc
· Locate any other special materials required by the client and organise their delivery to the site
· Obtain the “final de obra” and the “first occupation” certificate from the Town Hall
· Organise the 10-year insurance cover for new the property deeds
· Payment of all taxes and fees on behalf of the client
VEHICLES
a) Your Driving License in Spain
We can help you through all the paperwork at the ‘Tráfico’ office.
EU citizens are in luck and don’t have to take a driving test.
As a nonresident, an EU driver’s license is valid in Spain, and vice-versa. If you are a resident, then you must alter your license. There are two options: either obtain an extra piece of paper to go with your EU driver’s license or exchange your license for a Spanish driver’s license.
As a non-EU citizen, you have our condolences; you will need to get a Spanish driver’s license. Depending on your nationality, some non-EU driver’s licenses are valid for the first year after arrival in Spain. After that, you are officially required to have a Spanish driver’s license
For US drivers, bear in mind that because each state has its own rules, foreign countries make agreements with individual states! That means that your New York driver’s license is valid for the first year in Spain, but your Massachusetts driver’s license is not.
Validity of your Spanish license.
A standard Spanish driving licence for a private car or bike is valid for ten years when the holder is aged 18 to 45 years of age; from 45 up to 70 it is valid for five years, and two years from 70 years of age. A person over the age of 70 is asked to present a medical certificate at each renewal. The periods of validity may be altered for drivers with certain progressive illnesses or disabilities. We can help you renew your driving license or do a change of address on your licence at the traffic office in Granada.
Please note that different conditions apply for passenger, bus and heavy vehicle licenses.
Importation/Registration of foreign vehicles
If you are resident in Spain you will need to have a Spanish car. Recently the Gaurdia Civil and the Policia Local have been stopping foreign registered cars and giving fines to people with foreign plates who have children in school here or who have been in Spain for more than a month and have property here. They have also been fining those who don’t have a Spanish driving licence or don’t have the extra paper with the driving licence.
Do you wish to import your car to Spain? Do you need to know how much this will cost and the paperwork that is required? Leave it to us. With your car documentation we can work out the cost and then you can decide if the process is viable.
c) Insurance
We can help you look for good Spanish car insurance.
Explain the policy and translate it if you need it.
d) Fines and traffic offenses
We can assist you in paying your fine or contesting a fine at the ‘Tráfico’ office.
Pease note that the following laws apply in Spain.
Spain has strict drink driving laws, only 0.5 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood – stricter than the UK (where the limit is 0.8).
-New drivers are effectively forbidden to drink and drive, with a very low 0.1 mg/l limit. Over 0.05 per cent and you could face anything from a severe fine, withdrawal of your licence or imprisonment.
-Seat belts front and rear are obligatory everywhere.
-A reflective jacket is required for every occupant of the car If at any time you have to leave your vehicle due to an accident or breakdown or while waiting for the arrival of the emergency services, you must wear a reflective jacket or you may face a heavy fine,
-You also are required to carry a spare wheel, and tools.
-It  is compulsory to carry a warning triangle in the car.  Only one is required  for non-Spanish registered vehicles. Two are required for Spanish vehicles, but to avoid difficulties with the police we recommend two triangles should be carried.
-If you wear glasses when driving you are obliged to carry a spare pair in the car at all times.spot fines are issued. Ensure an official receipt is issued by the officer collecting the fine.
-Replacement bulb set is compulsory.
-Seat belts are compulsory for front and rear seat occupants, if fitted.

Fines; On the spot fines are common in Spain. Make sure you receive a proper receipt for what you have paid.
Businesses
Once upon a time many Britons heading for Spain were just planning to retire here. Not any more. A growing number of people are moving to Spain to set up their own businesses. Setting up a business in Spain is straightforward, but it can be time-consuming ensuring you have all the correct forms and licences.
Grants are available to new and existing businesses on the municipal, provincial, regional, national and European Union level. Depending on the exact nature of your business and your location there may be a whole series of subsidies and grants available to you for creating employment in particular areas or employing certain disadvantaged populations.
We may provide you with clear and accurate information about subsidies and grants, and deal with your application.
a) Tax
Information about what it will cost you to be in business and some of the things you should be aware of including corporate income tax (Impuesto de Sociedades), VAT (IVA) and tax on business activity (IAE).
Alpujarra Conect, using their own experience of living and working in Spain, can talk to you initially about your business and financial affairs. We can then introduce you to a reputable accountancy firm that will be able to do this work for you or indeed accompany you on visits to this firm to translate for you.
Self employment or set up a Company?
We can talk you through the benefits and disadvantages of being self employed or forming a company. Self-employment is the most common option when you’re just starting out as you don’t have to commit money or have accountancy worries.
However, if you are self-employed (Autónomo) and someone files a lawsuit, then you are liable – your personal assets may be taken from you. Choosing the right business structure is important to accommodate your businesses present and future goals. The legal business structures in Spain are as follows:
Sole Trader or Sole Proprietor (Empresario Individual or Autónomo)
Comunidad de Bienes (C.B.)
Partnership (Sociedad Civil)
Public Limited Company, or Corporation (Sociedad Anónima or S.A.)Limited Liability Company (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada, S.R.L., or S.L.)
New Enterprise Limited Company (Sociedad Limitada Nueva Empresa)
Worker-Owned Company (Sociedad Laboral)
General Partnership (Sociedad Colectiva)
Limited Partnership (Sociedad Comanditaria)
Cooperative (Sociedad Cooperativa)
c).Buying an existing Business in Spain
In Spain when buying a business, the tenure will either be freehold or leasehold. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Get financial and legal advice on tenure issues.
Leasehold businesses
In Spain leasehold is called a “traspaso“. The leasehold sum is the amount of money paid to the existing owner, to take over the business. The new owner will then take on the right to re-sell the business whenever he or she desires. Understandably, given that you are not buying property, a leasehold business is much cheaper than freehold and more accessible to most investors. However, you can only change the use of the building or make alterations; with the prior approval of the leaseholder so operating in a leasehold property can be far more restrictive.
Freehold business
Although more expensive initially, you can make any changes you like and property normally appreciates in value over time. When you sell, however, you have to pay considerable capital gains tax.Let’s say you buy a freehold business and then wish to do something else, you have the following options:
Rent the premises by selling the business (and charging a leasehold-traspaso for the license, machinery and business).
Rent the premises to a manager (keeping ownership of the license and machinery). Perform a sale and leaseback (whereby you sell your premises but make an arrangement to rent it back for a good rent for a number of years).
Or sell off both the premises and the business to a new business owner.
c). Formation of S.L Company or SA Company
Ready to start a business in Spain? Need to know what the advantages and disadvantages of a ‘Sociedad Limitada’ (SL) and a ‘Sociedad Anónima’(SA) ? Is it better to form a new company or buy an existing one?
We answer some of the most common questions asked.
An SL is similar to the British ‘Ltd’ or the American ‘LLC’. Most companies in Spain are SL companies.Accounting for an SL is fairly straight forward. An SL requires capital backing of 3006€ wheras accounting for an SA is more complicated and yearly auditing is required. A SA requires a backing of 60,000€.
We can help you through the following processes
· Registration of the company name. (Registro Mercantil Central) gives the name holder the exclusive right to use that name for commercial purposes and confirms that the name you intend to use is not already registered.
· Apply for your C.I.F (company tax identification code) at the tax office (Delegación de Hacienda).
· Deposit the capital into a bank account in the company’s name; the amount of capital will depend upon the type of corporation you intend to set up.
· Deed of incorporation. The founding partners, when applicable, will need to sign the constitution deed for the business before a notary.
· Pay the transfer tax at the tax office of the province where the company has incorporated
· Registering the company at the Corporate Registry (Registro Mercantil), it shall be done once the transfer tax has been paid.
· Formal Declaration to start the activity of the company shall be filed before the Spanish Tax Office (Delegación de Hacienda).
· Enter the company in the Tax Office (Delegación de Hacienda)
· Registration of the company at the Social Security General Treasurership.
· The company’s director with direct control of the society shall join the Autonomous workers’ special system.
· Acquire the “libro de matrícula“. This book will log personnel registration as well as the visits that Labour Inspectors (Inspección de trabajo) pay to the work centre.
· Communication of the opening of the work centre or resumption of economic activity, it must be filed before the Regional Work Authorities Office (Dirección Provincial de Trabajo).
· Solicitud Licencia de Apertura de Ayuntamiento Application for the Opening Licence from the Town Hall
· Proof of professional/educational qualifications, recognised under Spanish/EU law.
· Depending on the kind of company, tax books (libros contables) may be required.
· Declaration of foreign investments in Spain. Foreign investments assigned to set up a company in Spain shall be declared to the Spanish Investments Register.

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