Cristina de Prats – Figueras Legal
If you are interested in buying a property in Catalonia, and you have questions about what expenses and documents you should take into account, this is the article for you.
First of all, it is very important that the seller certifies whether or not there are debts related to the Community of Owners and the Real Estate Tax (also known as the IBI):
– Community of Owners: In Catalonia there is a specific regulation (article 553-5 of the Catalan Civil Code) stating that the property to be acquired is liable for the debts corresponding to the lapsed part of the current year and the four immediately preceding years, counted from January 1 to December 31. Therefore, it is very important that at the moment of granting the deed of sale there are no debts. If there are any, the amount owed must be withheld from the sale price, that is to say, the full sale price will not be paid to the seller, but rather part of it will be used to pay the debt.
– IBI: It is also important to take into account any debt owed for the IBI and, if it exists, the buyer will be liable for the last four years (article 64 of the Revised Text of the Law of Local Treasuries and article 78 of the General Tax Law). The same Notary’s office that is going to prepare the deed of sale can make a request to the Town hall for a certificate of the state of the debt, if the Town hall is has the necessary systems in place to do so.
It is also important to take into account other considerations, albeit less important:
– Simple note of the house that is going to be bought: It will be the same Notary’s office who will request a simple note of the house from the corresponding Registry of the Property, and in the above mentioned note it will state who is the holder of the above mentioned house, and what liens it has, that is to say, if there is a mortgage, embargo, etc. on the house. These liens must be cancelled before granting the deed of sale, otherwise the new owner will have to settle these debts if they do not want to lose the property.
– Certificate of habitability: It certifies that a house meets the basic conditions to be inhabited.
It is possible to buy a house without this certificate of habitability, but the certificate is required in order to live in it, as well as to register the utilities (water, electricity and gas). Therefore, if you do not have it or it is expired, you will need to obtain it.
– Energy Efficiency Certificate: This includes objective information on the energy characteristics of a property and takes into account the annual energy consumption necessary to satisfy the energy demand of a building under normal occupancy and operating conditions (including the production of hot water, heating, lighting, cooling and ventilation). The energy rating scale is seven letters.
– Stamp Duty (AJD), Transfer Tax (ITP) and Value Added Tax (VAT): These three taxes are levied on the purchase of a home, but it is necessary to go to each particular case to find out exactly which tax or taxes are payable.
– Water, electricity and gas services are registered and up to date in payment: All this is important to be able to proceed with the change of ownership without problems and without expenses to register them.
With all this done, you can buy your new house with confidence. For more information do not hesitate to contact us.