The most common questions about buying a Spanish property

Property Lawyers Spain

Frequently Asked Questions

When people are starting out on their journey to buying a Spanish property they have naturally a lot of very good questions to ask. Unsurprisingly a lot of people are asking similar questions. Consequently we are putting together a growing list of some of the most commonly asked questions connected with buying property in Spain.

Are we likely see a relaxation in the 90 rule for British holiday home owners in Spain?

It’s hard to know at this stage. Legislation is passing through the French parliament suggesting visa free access to France for British second-home owners there. But there is no guarantee it will pass its current form, or at all. We will know more in December 2023. Spain will be watching this for sure, and we know there have been political dicussions around this topic between Madrid and London, but there are no proposals under consideration at this time.

How do I know if my Spanish property lawyer is legitimate?

The way to verify a Spanish Lawyer is to refer to the central database known of Spain’s lawyers association.

In relation to the Partners in Sun Lawyers, Jose Maria Lomax and Victoria Garcia Lomax are registered in the Murcian College and their admission numbers are 4952 and 7068 respectively.

Do I pay UK tax on a Spanish property?

It depends on which country you spend most of your time in. If you spend less than 183 days in a calendar year you will not be classified as a tax resident in Spain. Let’s assume you spend under 183 days per calendar year in Spain and the remainder in the UK then there will be no tax to pay on a Spanish property owned by you.

When you decide to sell your Spanish property you must declare it to HMRC by reporting the sale on a self-assessment tax return.

Does a Spanish Will override an English Will?

Having gone to the trouble and expense of buying a property in Spain (and maybe a car as well) it is vital that you make a Will in Spain just to cover your Spanish assets. In making this Will in Spain it is drafted such that it does not revoke your UK Will; it exists in parallel with it and the wishes that you make are in connection to your Spanish assets only.

So the short answer is no, if you get a professional to draft your Will in Spain it will not override any existing Will elsewhere.

If you have assets in Spain but have not made a Will and you die, the process of applying for probate is costly and drawn out. No one wants to create upset and uncertainty for family and loved ones left behind, and the way to avoid this is to make the Spanish Will as described. The cost of doing so it  is fraction of your purchase outlay, yet the peace of mind it offers is significant.

How long can you stay in Spain if you own a property?

This answer applies to UK passport holders. Since the UK left the EU the rules for staying in the Schengen area (of which Spain is a part) have changed. Spanish property ownership does not alter in any way how long you can stay in Spain. As a general guide, the rules for UK citizens staying in Spain are:

  • Via a tourist, visa-free, which permits a 90 days in any 180 day rolling period. Remember this rule applies to all Schengen countries collectively and not just Spain. So, a 2-day drive through France before reaching Spain will means you are on 88 days already before you arrive at your Spanish destination.
  • Any long-term stay, over 90 days, will require a visa. There are different visa types but the ones we most commonly deal with are:
    • Non-lucrative visa (NLV). You live in Spain but cannot work. You apply for this visa before leaving the UK.
    • Digital Nomad Visa/Permit. You are a remote worker given permission to work in Spain and meet a number of other eligibility criteria. You earn most of your salary outside Spain, but spent it here. You can apply in the UK or in Spain and there are important differences in which you choose.
    • Investor “Golden” visa. One person invests over €500,000 in Spanish property. (Other investments into Spain can also qualify for the Golden Visa).

This information is brief ny necessity and should not be relied upon as information can change at any time. You should seek professional advice before taking action and you can start by contacting

How much do I need to budget in total for my Spanish property purchase?


As a ‘rule of thumb’ we say to clients it is prudent to budget for all of the costs associated with the property purchase as follows:

New build property (mainland Spain) Allow for 14% over and above the purchase price.

Resale property (Valencian community) Allow for 14% over and above the purchase price

Resale property (Murcian community) Allow for 12% over and above the purchase price

What are the rules for owning a property in Spain

There are no restrictions on buying property in Spain, whether it’s commercial, residential or land. Brexit altered nothing to the process for UK citizens wanting to buy in Spain. What changed were the rules about living in Spain.

Spain encourages investment by foreigners, both resident and non-resident. The tourist market is the biggest industry in Spain and it still wants to attract visitors to come and spend their money.

What household bills do you pay in Spain?

In Spain, you can typically expect to be paying for the following bills.

  • Electricity (Electricidad)
  • Water
  • Wi-fi
  • Community fees (in live in a development as opposed to villa)
  • Council tax
  • Non-residents tax (Modelo 210)

The amount of tax will depend on your circumstances and where the property is located. For people with their home in Spain as a holiday home they typically find that the running costs compare favourably with those in the UK.

When you buy a property through Sun Lawyers we will arrange transfer or connection of your water and electricity service and make sure online accounts are set up for you.

This information is for information only and should not be relied upon. For more information email

Do you have a question?

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