Some people attempt to purchase a property without the services of a lawyer in Spain. They believe they can cut costs by doing so. This may be true in the short-term, however, this may be a very expensive shortcut!
Our answer to the question “Do I need the services of a lawyer in Spain when buying a property?” has always been “every time”. However, it must be said that if you are getting a mortgage it is less necessary because the bank will make sure that there are no problems on the property as they don’t want a worthless asset on their hands if they need to repossess. Any bank supplying a mortgage will do the conveyancing in the background for their own purposes. They will not tell you anything about it but be sure that it will be done.
However, it must be said that if you are getting a mortgage the bank will make sure that there are no problems on the property as they don’t want a worthless asset on their hands if they need to repossess. Any bank supplying a mortgage will do the conveyancing in the background for their own purposes. They will not tell you anything about it but be sure that it will be done. Having your own independent lawyer is an essential back up, in case of grievances in the future.
A good lawyer in Spain should do the following:
- Check out the property registry
- Check the local council records for debts on the property and plans
- Check out the catastro for plans
- Cross check the above with the actual size of the house to look for extensions etc that have not been declared.
- Check for wills and others who may be contesting the right to sell the property.
- Obviously check that the person selling the house is the owner and has the right to do so.
- Act as a confidante and somebody that you can place your trust in on your major purchase in Spain.
If they do not offer the above services, cannot speak your language and do not have good references then think again about using them.
It is often a good idea to not accept the lawyer proposed by the agent. Many of the bigger agents and developers have lawyers that work exclusively for them, so the conflict of interests is evident.
Should I give my lawyer in Spain a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is usually signed over all of your possessions in Spain so it is a very far-reaching document. It is often open ended too so it is best to take a couple of precautions. Firstly, once the lawyer has done what they need to do then take back their copy of the powers. Only original documents are accepted by notaries and therefore nothing can be done without your say so if you hold the original documents. However, you should not revoke the powers as they may be useful in the future and what is the point of doing them again. Once you have a power of attorney then keep it but you hold the document.
Powers of attorney can also be limited to acting on your behalf on a single issue. However these are very limited in scope and often present problems because they have been signed to buy a particular property with a reference number, catastral reference and address but if one detail is wrong on the documents, which quite often happens, then they are useless. The wider the scope of the powers, the more useful they are long term. By taking basic precautions, they cannot be abused.
Employing a reputable lawyer in Spain can ensure your property purchase is a success.
If you are purchasing a property in Spain and would like a recommended English-speaking lawyer, contact us and we will send you some reliable options.