Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about moving to Spain and living there

Frequently Asked Questions

How long has Sun Lawyers been established?

Sun Lawyers was started in 1985 by the father of one of the current partners. He was a Spanish lawyer and he married an English woman. The firm has always been independent and family-owned. We have helped over 5,000 people from overseas to buy property in Spain

Is Sun Lawyers and independent law firm?

Yes we are an independent law, registered with the General Council of Spanish Lawyers and insured. Our law firm Registration Number is 4952 and the lawyers running the business are Jose Maria Lomax and Victoria Garcia Lomax.

Where are your offices located?

We have seven offices. Two are in the Northern Costa Blanca (Javea and Calpe) and ice in the south (Cabo Roig, Campoamor, La Fuente, La Zenia and Pilar de la Horadada.

What sort of visa will I need?

There are numerous types depending on family circumstances, whether you want to work, are a student or the value of your assets in Spain. We can explain more when you contact us or read our visa page

I want to spend more than 90 days at a time in Spain

This can be done, but you will need to apply and be granted a long-stay visa. The visa application is originated in your own country before you travel to Spain, where you exchange the visa for a temporary residency card.

How long can I stay in Spain visa free?

Since 1 January 2021 British citizens can spend only 90 days in any 180 period in Spain. In fact this 90/180 rule apples to time spent in all Schengen countries not just Spain

What are costs associated with buying a resale property in Spain?

It depends on where you are buying in Spain. By far the largest cost will be the property transfer tax on resale properties. This is called ITP (Impuesto de Transmisiones Patrimoniales). This tax in CV Alicante province is 10% whereas in Murcia it is 8%. When notary, land registry, conveyancing, bank and insurance fees are added in, rule of thumb is to budget 14% over the purchase price in Valencia region and 12% in Murcia.

What are costs associated with buying a new property in Spain?

There are two taxes to pay when you buy a new-build property in Spain:

  • VAT (IVA in Spanish) which is 10% of the purchase price. So a new-build Costa Blanca apartment that costs €200,000 you will pay €20,000 IVA (VAT).
  • Stamp duty (legal documentation tax/ AJD in Spanish) at 1.5% of the purchase price. In the above example, you would pay €2,000 in AJD.

What is the Coronavirus situation in Spain

The status of the pandemic changes from time to time. Official sources will provide up-to-date information.

Can I meet Sun Lawyers in person?

Yes! We are welcoming in-person meetings at any of our seven offices up and down the Costa Blanca. We are not able to accept drop-ins but would be delighted to meet you by a pre-arranged appointment. Please contact us!

Will I be able to travel to Spain on my passport after 1st January 2021?

You may need to renew your British passport earlier if you’re travelling from 1 January 2021.

It is taking longer than the usual 3 weeks to process applications because of coronavirus (COVID-19). Do not apply unless you need a passport urgently for compassionate reasons, for example if a family member has died, or for government business. Phone the Passport Adviceline to find out what to do.

On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:

  • have at least 6 months left
  • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

What is a Power of Attorney (POA)

A POA is a legal document in which you grant authority to a lawyer to carry out certain tasks on your behalf. Buying property requires documents to be signed at various stages, sometimes in front of a Notary in Spain. This can be done by the person granted POA so you don’t need to be present each time

When should I think about granting POA?

If you know you are serious about buying a property in Spain, that’s the time. Two things need to be place before you make an offer. Your NIE number and a Spanish bank account. An agent or developer will see you a serious buyer if you have these in place. Both the NIE number and the bank account can be set up on your behalf one you have granted POA to your lawyer. You do have the choice to do this yourself but a local lawyer knows the process and for example is better placed to secure an appointment at the police station to validate the NIE application.

I'm concerned I'm passing too much power to someone I don't know, should I be?

Not if you choose an independent lawyer who is a member of the General Council of Lawyers.  This means the lawyer is registered and insured – you have recourse for complaint. Secondly the scope of the POA will be defined such that its purpose is only for facilitating the purpose of buying a Spanish property.

Do I have to come to Spain to set up the POA?

No. You can instruct (legal speak for tell) your Spanish lawyer that you want a POA setting up and that you are in the UK. The Spanish lawyer will draft the paperwork and agree for it to be sent to a UK Notary close to where you live. You go there and sign the paperwork, which itself is notarised and returned to the Spanish lawyer

Couldn’t find the answer to your question

Colin Powell the US politician said, there is no such thing as stupid questions, only stupid answers!

Unless you’ve brought a Spanish property before, how are you meant to know all of the ins and outs? We’re here to help simplify the process, but also to help you understand it if that’s what you want too. So if there are questions you have that aren’t answered here, email them to us and we’ll reply.