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Buying Property in Spain

If you are buying a property Spain for the first time, be warned: this is a country that fast becomes an addiction. You might intend to come just for a beach holiday, or a tour of the major cities, but before you know it you'll find yourself hooked by something quite different - by the celebration of some local fiesta, perhaps, or the amazing nightlife in Madrid, by the Moorish monuments of Andalucia, by Basque cooking, or the wild landscapes and birds of prey of Estremadura. And by then, of course, you will have noticed that there is not just one Spain but many. Indeed, Spaniards often speak of Las Españas (the Spains) and they even talk of the capital in the plural - Los Madriles, the Madrids.


If you are planning on living in Spain for more than six months, then you must apply to become a ‘residencia’, which entitles you to lower taxes - alternatively you must appoint a fiscal representative (see below).

Fiscal representative

If you wish to remain a non-resident of Spain, then you must appoint a fiscal representative whom the tax authorities will contact when dealing with your affairs in Spain. Any fiscal representative must themselves be resident within Spain, and should not be mistaken for a gestor.

Gestor (legal representative)

You must also appoint a legal representative to deal with any management issues with the property, such as paying bills, arranging work permits, and other licences:

  • annual real estate tax (1131)
  • community fees
  • charges for rubbish collection
  • water rates
  • electricity charges
  • property income and wealth tax

Buying a Property

A number of documents must be furnished to a Spanish bank in order to accommodate a smooth transaction. Please note that originals of everything will need to be shown and copies will be taken at the bank:

  • passport, driving licence
  • if employed: past three months' payslips, latest P60s
  • if self-employed: last three years audited accounts, tax returns and accountant's reference
  • are you interested in buying a property abroad? »

Education in Spain

Given the large numbers of British born students in the Spanish system, it is perhaps not surprising that Spain is reckoned to be the best country in Europe for 'British-style' schooling, but it is important to distinguish between the small number of private schools that follow the British curriculum and schools that accept British students, but follow the Spanish curriculum (the vast majority of schools; public and private).. Spanish Education »

For futher reading, we have an in-depth guide to buying property in Spain.