Frequently Asked Questions
Bella Lanzarote Properties has compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions concerning buying property in Lanzarote. Not surprisingly, legal and financial issues are top of the list and it would seem that foreign buyers are often nervous about buying and need reassurance. The following information is merely a guideline and not a comprehensive guide to buying property on Lanzarote. Because the Spanish legal system differs from your home country’s one, we recommend that you always use a Spanish lawyer when purchasing in Lanzarote.
- How much deposit is required to secure a property?
- Do I need a lawyer to buy property in Lanzarote?
- Can I choose my own lawyer?
- Will I own the property freehold?
- Do I need to make a Spanish will?
- How long does it take to complete?
- How do I open a Spanish bank account?
- If I want to do some work on my property, do I need to apply for planning permission?
- Can I apply for a mortgage with a Spanish bank in Lanzarote?
- How much do I need to allow on top of purchase price to cover stamp duty and legal costs?
- What is an Escritura?
- What is a Nota Simple?
- Do I need to personally be in Lanzarote to sign for completion?
- What living costs do I have to pay if I own property in Lanzarote?
If you have a question which isn’t listed here then please contact us.
As a general rule, a 10% deposit is required, although this may vary, especially with new or off-plan developments. If you need time to organise payment of the deposit, it may be possible to reserve the property with a smaller amount.
There is no obligation to use legal representation, but we at Bella Lanzarote Properties strongly recommend that you always use the services of an English-speaking Spanish lawyer. Good legal advice will ensure the safety of your investment.
Of course. We recommend an independent and reputable lawyer who speaks English and is based here on Lanzarote, but you can choose your own legal counsel if you prefer. The important point is that you find a professional that you are happy with, and that your interests are always protected.
There is no obligation, but it is advisable to make a Spanish will because otherwise there are complications and probate may take up more time than otherwise necessary. Your lawyer will advise you on all aspects of drawing up a Spanish will.
Typically, it takes 6 – 8 weeks, but this timeframe can be lengthened or shortened to whatever suits both the buyer and seller.
We at Bella Lanzarote Properties will help you open a bank account and introduce you to a friendly bank manager. You will need a photocopy of your passport to open the account.
If you are simply renovating the interior, for example if you want to change your bathroom suite or kitchen, it is not necessary. However if you wish to extend your property, raise a boundary wall, install a swimming pool or carry out any type of construction that changes, increases or reduces the physical dimensions of your house (and walls, garage, terrace etc.) you need to apply for planning permission. We can advise you on legal requirements and handle the necessary paperwork for you. In all cases you should always find out before you begin any work.
Yes, in fact Spanish banks are very keen to lend to foreign buyers and offer very attractive interest rates. Click here to find out more about mortgages.
You need to allow 10% to cover everything. This includes 6% stamp duty, notarial costs, land registry, lawyer’s fee, various minor taxes and all paperwork. If you have any questions, consult us at Bella Lanzarote Properties, or alternatively your lawyer will answer any questions you may have.
This translates as title deed in English. It contains the essential details of the property, such as the legal owner, registered plot size and built area, and whether the property is urban or rural. When you purchase a property, make sure you always receive your original escritura, and keep it in a safe place!
This is the land registry search that is performed on the title deed of the house you are interested in buying. It is also known as a certificate of non-encumbrance. When you decide on a property, it is necessary to request information on the property from the land registry, in order to verify that the person who says they own the property is indeed the true registered owner. It also tells us whether they are the sole owner or the property is co-owned. If there are any mortgages on the property they will show up on the nota simple, as will any liens, encumbrances or embargos. We at Bella Lanzarote Properties obtain the nota simple on your behalf and check that everything is in order. Your lawyer will also need to see the nota simple before allowing the transaction to proceed any further. In short, the nota simple document provides a mechanism to help safeguard your purchase.
No, it is not necessary. You may grant your lawyer power of attorney to sign on your behalf and save yourself at least several hours waiting for your turn in the notary’s office. However it is particularly suitable for people who do not want or cannot travel to Lanzarote simply to complete. In this way, when you do travel to Lanzarote, the transaction has already completed and you can concentrate on enjoying your new property with a minimum of fuss.
Water and electricity are metred, so you pay for what you use. You will pay annual rates or property tax (IBI - Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles) and annual rubbish collection fee (basura). Both of these are paid to your local town hall. If you live on a complex or estate with shared facilities and communal areas, you will probably pay a community fee. We at Bella Lanzarote Properties will tell you all the costs that apply to ownership of your chosen property before you make your decision to buy. Your lawyer will handle transfer of utilities into your name and will set up direct debits from your bank account to pay all bills. If you have a Spanish mortgage your bank will require you to have house insurance, which is recommendable even if you don’t have a mortgage.