SUCCESSFUL DUTCH REAL ESTATE FAIR FOR C&D

SUCCESSFUL DUTCH REAL ESTATE FAIR FOR C&D

Seminar ´Buying a house in Spain
Seminar ´Buying a house in Spain

As we already informed you in our previous news letter, C&D has been present at the Dutch Second Home fair in Utrecht last month. Being the only Spanish law firm on the fair, our daily seminars about the Spanish purchase process turned out to be the best attended during these three days, which proves that Spain is still a very attractive country for the Dutch to invest in. Also more than half of all exhibitors (mainly real estate agencies and developers) were focussed on Spain, which according to the organisation already has been the case for many years now.

In our stand we were able to speak to a lot of people with serious plans on buying a property in Spain, in most cases on the Costa del Sol or even particularly the Axarquia. The main issue in our conversations was to explain the important role of the lawyer during the purchase of a property in Spain. This situation is different from the Netherlands as in this country the lawyer´s work is completely done by the notary. We also got a lot of questions regarding wills and tax issues, for example on the subject of renting out a new bought property.

Author: Gustavo Calero Monereo, C&D Solicitors (Lawyers) Torrox-Málaga

Stand of C&D Solicitors on Dutch Second Home Fair in Utrecht
Stand of C&D Solicitors on Dutch Second Home Fair in Utrecht

Our daily seminar we held in both Dutch and English and we explained the different phases of the buying process with the various legal documents there are to sign (reservation contract, private purchase contract and the title deeds). Besides of this we gave some background information on the official investigation of the lawyer, by which the future owner can make sure he´ll buy his property with all possible guarantees and free of any risks. (The extended Dutch text of our seminar you can find on the home).

Looking back we can say that this fair exceeded our expectations and has been really successful for us. Not only in the perspective of attracting new clients but also as a learning experience of presenting our company on the Dutch market. Despite of the good weather this Second Home edition in Utrecht attracted around 5.000 visitors.

Author: Francisco Delgado Montilla, C&D Solicitors (lawyers)
Torrox-Costa (Málaga/Costa del Sol/Andalucia)

Differences between the Golden Visa and the non-lucrative visa

LEGAL COUNSELING: “IF YOU BUY CHEAPLY, YOU PAY DEARLY”

Legal investigation by professional
Legal investigation by professional

Some months ago, a foreign prospect client, who we have come to know as “Mr. X”, came in our offices. He requested some information regarding sale procedures, legal work and our professional fees.

After the first free appointment, in all honesty he commented to us that he had contacted a professional offering a 40% cheaper fee than ours. However, he would be interested in contracting our services provided that we could offer him a discount.

At that moment, we considered which option to adopt; naturally, we wanted to win this client, but we also knew that the rural property, which he wanted to buy, required a quite complex searching process.

At the end, Mr. X was offered a “courtesy” discount in our fees, which was not close to the low price offered by the former professional. Finally, Mr. X decided to contract the other professional’s cheaper services.

Regarding the current market and low circulation of clients, some solicitors offer great discounts to stand out from competitors and then win a client. Then, considering the aforesaid, why our legal firm did not offer a higher discount to win Mr. X as a client?

The answer is obvious; because such low fees proposed by Mr. X could not pay for the time of commitment for the searching process to buy the above mentioned property in a rural land and then providing full legal certainty to the client.

Within our professional environment of legal services, you may and shall be flexible and capable for adapting to win a client, considering the current situation of financial difficulties and increase of competitors in our sector. However, you should NEVER compete with lower fees, because if the fees for your services are reduced so much, then the quality of your services becomes also poorer.

Furthermore, if we are realistic, no professional may work with the same intensity neither commit the same time when their fees are so low, because production costs and ideal profits would require much more cases which may not be properly and professionally handled, and as a result, a poorer quality counseling service may be provided.

Later on, we knew that Mr. X hired an agent’s services for the legal counseling instead of a solicitor’s. We do not know how his case finished or whether he received a good counseling service. Similarly, if I do not feel physically well or fell pain, I would contact a doctor for a diagnosis and the prescription of a solution, instead of contacting a person who is not a doctor and claims to know a lot about medicine. As a qualified general practitioner, the doctor is better trained and has a legal responsibility. As a result, the patient-client receives more security and reliability, although he or she may pay more for these services.

In all honesty, an agent will never provide the same legal service as a solicitor will, because a solicitor has been exclusively trained by and for law. Solicitors’ training is eminently juridical; this full time commitment and the responsibility of the practice of law—because of the rules and the professional ethics code and good practice; shall always result in a higher quality legal counseling and greater commitment to the client. But I do not go against agents, as I personally know some of them and I am aware of their worth. However, they are not solicitors.

In short, although we were really looking forward to winning Mr. X as a client, we could not afford to reduce our fees so much in order to avoid a poorer quality service. The fact of highlighting our professionalism and tailor-made customer service in our law firm implies a commitment of time and this commitment implies some costs that the client should pay.

 

 

Author: Gustavo Calero Monereo, C&D Solicitors (lawyers)
Torrox-Costa (Malaga/Costa del Sol/Andalucia)

 

CURB ON “FLOOR CLAUSES” IN MORTGAGE LOANS

CURB ON “FLOOR CLAUSES” IN MORTGAGE LOANS

More lifetime mortgages (reverse mortgage) Spain
More lifetime mortgages (reverse mortgage) Spain

Lifetime Mortgage (reverse mortgage)

According to the report published by “Optima Mayores” Advisers, the demand of lifetime mortgages has increased to 17% (19,900 applications) until April in comparison to last year same four-month period.

This increase in the lifetime mortgage demand matches the senior citizens’ growing needs to obtain an income and the better knowledge of this product in Spain, where it was first launched in 2004. Spanish Senior citizens’ pensions are at 40% below the European average, what indicates their necessity to face their retirement financing with a peace of mind. Regarding British senior citizens, the Euro and Pound Sterling exchange rate fluctuation has also reduce their earnings.

What is a lifetime mortgage?

A lifetime mortgage is a financial product that consists of a loan for seniors aged 65 or older or dependents, secured against the home where they live. They retain ownership of their home until they die, when their inheritors shall repay the loan or sale the property.

The maximum loan to be granted is based on a percentage of the property appraisal value. Then, the homeowner may receive a regular fixed amount or a lump sum payment.

Who qualifies for a lifetime mortgage?

The following requirements shall be fulfilled to qualify for a lifetime mortgage:

–        The applicant or the selected beneficiaries shall be aged 65 or older; or otherwise, they shall be individuals with high to severe dependency levels.

–        The borrower shall receive the money from the loan in regular fixed amounts or a lump sum payment (incomes).

–        Only the creditor (banks or savings banks) is entitled to demand the repayment of the debt and the mortgage foreclosure when the borrower dies, or if provided in the agreement conditions—when the last of the borrower’s beneficiaries die. The mortgaged property shall be valued and insured according to the Spanish legislation in force.

These are the official requirements to be protected by the Spanish legislation regulating this type of loans and to be entitled to the tax advantages established by this legislation.

Clients and banks may freely agree about lifetime mortgage transactions which include a varied set of terms and conditions; consequently, a professional advisor’s counselling in this proceeding is a determining factor for the good end of the agreement to enjoy the best advantages and conditions available.

Spanish legislation regulating lifetime mortgages

In Spain, this type of mortgages are regulated by Law 41 of 7th of December 2007—Mortgage Market Reform legislation.  This Law provides that the lending institution is obliged to offer an independent advice to individuals, so that the consumers’ rights are preserved and the economic and financial conditions suit their needs. This counselling and negotiation tasks are normally provided by specialised lawyers and companies offering this service to private customers.

If you are thinking about a mortgage which best suits your economic needs, take your time and ask for advice to specialised lawyers. They will ensure the best deal for you.

Author: Francisco Delgado Montilla, C&D Solicitors (lawyers)

Torrox-Costa (Malaga/Costa del Sol/Andalucia)

 

ANNUAL TAXES FOR NON-RESIDENTS WHEN OWNING A PROPERTY IN SPAIN

ANNUAL TAXES FOR NON-RESIDENTS WHEN OWNING A PROPERTY IN SPAIN

Inheritance tax Spain
solicitor english speaking

All property owners in Spain are liable for some taxes every year. Even if you are (tax) non-resident, when owning a property, you must fulfill your fiscal obligations here in Spain by submitting your yearly income tax declaration for non-residents (IRNR).

In the event you are non-resident in Spain, the reason why you are subject to this tax is because your Spanish property is not your principal residence. Non-residents remain subject to the tax because, by definition, Spain is not their principal residence, so that it is necessary to calculate your property owners’ imputed income tax on your second and further homes you may have.

Be aware of tax year in Spain ends by the 31st of December, so that your income tax declaration should be submitted to Tax Authorities before this date, by filling out the application form number 210.

The calculation of the IRNR will depend on several factors, among others, the type of property (urban or rustic), when the rated value of the property for tax purposes was raised, price or valuation of the property, etc.

If you are in this situation and you still have not submitted your Property owners’ imputed income tax, you have one month approx. to be up-to-date with Tax Authorities.

 

Author: Francisco Delgado Montilla, C&D Solicitors (lawyers)
Torrox-Costa (Malaga/Costa del Sol/Andalucia)

 

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