Are you about to sign a contract in Spanish? Please stop and think before you “just sign on the dotted line”!
Signing rental contracts or any other kind of contract in Spanish should be approached with as much, if not more, caution as in your home country.
Too many non-Spanish-speaking expats are, too often, encouraged to sign contracts, written in Spanish, without fully understanding the content.
Would you sign a document in your home country, without fully understanding it? So, why would you do it in Spain?
Maybe it is the embarrassment of not wanting to ask too many questions or maybe the feeling of helplessness at not understanding the language. Whatever the reason, do not sign anything that you do not fully understand, nor totally agree with.
On the other hand, when necessary, do not omit to draw up a contract in Spanish, whether it is to privately rent a property, sell a business or simply sell your vehicle. A valid contract can save you a lot of headaches.
Drawing up a contract in Spain need not be a complicated nor costly procedure. However, a valid contract means that you have documental proof of an agreement. It can be used should legal proceedings become necessary. It protects your rights.
Did you know that if you sell a vehicle in Spain and the new owner fails to change the ownership document (Permiso de Circulacion), you will continue to be liable for any taxes or fines incurred by that vehicle? A private Sales Contract (Contrato de Compraventa), correctly executed, signed and dated at the time of sale, can be used in evidence to challenge these charges.
Did you know that, unless stated otherwise, Spanish law allows the owner of a premises to increase the rent charged to a new lessee by 20% upon the transfer of an operating licence? Owners are also known to include clauses entitling them to a percentage of the transfer price … this can make selling the business rather costly! Ensure you understand all the clauses in the contract and Spanish law pertaining to your contract, before signing on the dotted line.
When you are buying property, it is very easy to feel pressured to “just sign and get the deal in the bag whilst the going is good” and before somebody else beats you to it. However, our advice is to, whenever possible, ask for a copy of a contract in advance and have it assessed and explained to you by an independent advisor.
Although “cooling off periods” do exist, it is a lot easier to make amendments to a contract in Spain before it is actually signed on the dotted line.
As part of our service, for both relocation and property purchase, we check through any contract in Spanish that you are expected to sign. You can be confident that there will not be any unexpected surprises.
For further details, simply contact us, we are here to help you.