Moving to Spain?

Looking to enjoy a permanent or semi-permanent life in Spain? Then in an attempt to make your stay easier, we advise you to follow these general suggestions:

Use a solicitor to take care of all the paperwork aspects, as they are a minefield in Spain. We recommend Spanish Solutions

Register on the Town Hall electoral roll (Padron).

Apply for an NIE number (identification number for foreigners). You will need it to buy a property, car, take out insurance, etc.

Apply for your Residencia (if going to be living full time in Spain).

If your country has a reciprocal health agreement with Spain, apply for a S1 form. If not covered by the Social Security system, it is essential to take out a private medical plan.

If your car has a foreign registration, remove it from Spain or change the registration to Spanish plates.

Exchange your driving licence for a Spanish one.

Pay every year the Town Hall taxes (IBI Rates, Road Tax, etc.).

Pay annually the Income Tax Declaration to the Taxation Office (Non Resident or Resident)

If you are considering improvements to your house, either inside or outside, you must apply for a Building Licence.

To open a business you must have an Opening Licence from the Town Hall and ensure your premises conform to all health, safety and legal

All those who own a property in Spain should have a Spanish will in addition to one in their country, to avoid possible complications.

Most of the local authorities and administration centres only speak Spanish. It is advisable therefore to be accompanied by someone who speaks fluent Spanish when you need to communicate with them.


To help you enjoy your new property in Spain to the full and not encounter any bad experiences, we suggest the following:

Ensure that the property or land that you want to buy has a title deed (escritura). If it doesn’t have a title deed, it could cause you numerous problems and the need to undergo many different processes to rectify the omissions. Use a solicitor such as Spanish Solutions to immediately check out any property you may wish to buy.

It is necessary that there is a First Occupation Licence issued for your house. This means that it is legal and has complied with all the conditions necessary to classify it as a habitable dwelling. The Planning Department will advise whether or not you can build, as well as the size and number of levels that are permitted. The construction regulations always depend on where the land is situated.

The Land Registry office will inform you of the name of the owner and if the property has an embargo, mortgage or outstanding debts. Your solicitor must apply for a Nota Simple to check that the property is free of charges. For this you need to indicate the complete address of the house or the name of the owner if it refers to land.

After the purchase of a property, and to ensure that the sale has total validity, the title deed will be registered in the Land Registry . The amount you pay will depend on the declared price in the title deed. Your solicitor will assist with all of this process.

The Plusvalía is a Town Hall tax and it is paid only at the time of purchasing a property. It depends on the rateable value of the property and on the number of years which have elapsed since the last sale. To obtain the exact amount payable, you can consult a a solicitor.

Community of Owners: If your property belongs to a community, you should find out who the Administrator is in order to notify the change of name.

When you wish to sell your property, you must pay taxes to the Public Treasury (Hacienda) for the profits obtained from the sale. The profits correspond to the difference in price that features in your purchase title deed and your sale title deed. Your solicitor such as Spanish Solutions will guide you with this.

The electoral roll gives the number of inhabitants in a municipality and is of great importance, since the economic contributions from the central and regional government to the Town Hall are based on the number of registered inhabitants in the town. These funds are to provide town services i.e. local police, doctors, schools, cleaning, Lighting, infrastructure etc. Therefore, the more registered inhabitants, the more money will be granted to the Town Hall for these services.

If you need any assistance please contact Amanda [email protected]

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