Owning Property in Spain
As the Brexit negotiations are nearing their conclusions, it is currently looking like there might not be a deal between Britain and the EU (as of 10th Dec 2020). Consequently, many Brits who currently own property, or are thinking of purchasing property, are understandably concerned as to how the situation will directly affect them. Here, we try and allay some of the concerns and explain how the details will work. Fortunately, Britain and Spain have already issued some guarantees to its citizens that currently reside in each other’s countries, so this article is more concerned with holiday home owners and tourists.
Will I still be able to buy property in Spain?
As the current legislature stands, Spain does not impose any requirements to be a national of an EU country in order to buy property in Spain. Indeed, there are very few restrictions on ANY country in the world and therefore there should be no affect in this regard when Brexit comes to pass.
Will there be additional purchase taxes for British after Brexit?
No, the taxes due upon purchase are the same for any buyer, regardless of nationality and this will almost certainly remain the same after Brexit. The British are one of the biggest market segments for buying Spanish property, so it is extremely unlikely that the Spanish government will do anything to undermine this market.
Will I still have the right to rent out my Property in Spain?
Recent changes to the law now require an owner to obtain a “tourist license” if they want to rent out their Spanish property. The laws and licenses are governed by each autonomous community in Spain and they do not make any restrictions on nationality of the owner. Therefore, nothing will change in this respect.
What happens when I sell my Spanish property after Brexit?
Unfortunately, this is one of the scenarios that nobody can answer at the moment. The UK and Spain currently have a Double Treaty Agreement but whether this continues after Brexit depends on the outcome of the agreement. Currently there are different tax rates that apply to EU and non-Eu nationals, so it is possible that this may change. Your legal consultant should check this BEFORE you agree to any sale, so you are aware of the tax implications.
Other Changes After Brexit - How will entry requirements to Spain change after Brexit?
From January 1st 2021, you will be able to travel to Spain for up to 90 days in any 180 day period without a visa for tourism purposes. Note this is a rolling 180 day period. For stays longer than 90 days, this will likely include the necessity to obtain a visa.
Driving in Spain after Brexit
If you are resident in Spain, we would highly recommend exchanging your UK license for a Spanish one. If you do this before 30th December 2020, you will not need to take a driving test!!.
Driving in the UK on a Spanish license – until the end of the year, it is not a problem but unfortunately, this too may change with Brexit but regulations are not available yet. We will update this page as information becomes available.
Do I need an International driving license after Brexit?
Strangely enough, none of the Spanish sources that we checked (DGT Tráfico / Spanish Ministry) do not even mention International Driving licenses now!! In reference to a potential “No Deal” Brexit these sources mention that UK licenses are valid for a 9 month “grace period” and once that has passed, then “general rules” will apply. We find this very ambiguous and will try and clarify further.
There are 5 categories of driving licenses in Spain which are listed as follows:
- All licences from EU and EEA countries (art. 15).
- Licences from non-EU countries, issued in compliance with Annex 9 of the Geneva Convention or Annex 6 of the Vienna Convention (art. 21.1a).
- Licences from non-EU countries but issued in Spanish, or accompanied by an official translation by a sworn translator e.g. (art. 21.1.b)
- International Driving Licences that accompany a non-EU licence that is in date (art. 21.1.c)
- Those from non-EU countries, but recognised mutually through international bilateral or multilateral convenios (art. 21.1.d)