Spanish Bank repossessions on the Costa Blanca

Of course, there are some great Spanish bank repossessions on the Costa Blanca. Indeed, sometimes you can get a genuine bargain house that has a quality, price and location that would normally be considered outrageous

However, not all Spanish bank repossessions on the Costa Blanca are good buys and you must never think that just because you are buying a bank repossession that you should not employ a proper conveyancing lawyer to do the due diligence on the property that you are buying.

In fact, buying Spanish bank repossessions requires very particular attention with regard to their legalities and any liabilities. This is because many Spanish banks sell their properties on the basis of Caveat Emptor (Let the Buyer Beware). In other words, what you ‘see’ is what you get – even if that means that the property concerned comes with debts. It is therefore up to you not the bank to find out what are those debts or legal problems!

Certainly, I have come across several clients recently who have ended up having unexpected problems, having purchased a bank repossession without proper legal support.

For example, this week I met a person who bought a property from a bank in Alzira. He was assured by his lawyer and the Notary that no debt was owed on the property – and yet he is now receiving bills for 2013 and onwards!

Banks that sell repossessed properties quite often do not pay all the back taxes on their properties and this is especially the case with Council Tax (in Spanish known as IBI). This is bad news as Spanish Town Halls can request you to pay the last four Council Taxes overdue – counting from the year you bought your property. Meanwhile, of course, your repossession property may have other debts.

So, to avoid these issues you should get your lawyer to ensure that they obtain proof of payment of all the bills (as well as checking carefully to see that the property is properly legal) – before you buy it.

In the meantime, do not forget to ensure that your lawyer checks to see if there will be any imputed purchase tax on your property (something that happens a lot with Spanish bank repossessions on the Costa Blanca) that could cost you a great deal of money!

I am afraid that there is no shortcut to a safe purchase and not to use a properly qualified conveyancing lawyer is madness – or a great way to lose a lot of money. This is as true for bank repossessions (can you really trust a bank?) as it is for privately owned properties.

Carolina Just Miró

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