Warning From The British Embassy Regarding Spanish Property Purchases


Anyone working in Spain within the purchase sector has long known that the quality and independence of many legal advisers has been questionable. Often relying on agents or developers to bring clients to them some Lawyers have sacrificed best advice to clients for volume of business.

Today the market is much more transparent and professional but as sales start to grow some poor practices are beginning to raise their ugly head.

Finally the Embassy in Madrid is seeing fit to point out to UK buyers the pitfalls and warn buyers that most historic issues on purchases have been driven by poor advice.

Quality and independent legal advice is possible to get in Spain but one should avoid the eternal triangle of legal adviser, estate agent or seller, and buyer and ensure a legal representative is sourced independently and not by recommendation of a third and involved party.


Potential buyers of property in Spain were yesterday warned to avoid cutting corners when purchasing a home or holiday apartment. Estate agents, lawyers and property developers who offer ways to save money and speed up the Spanish conveyancing system may lead to purchasers ending up with hugely expensive headaches later on, the British Embassy advised.

Despite the well-known problems facing thousands of past purchasers of property in Spain, the Embassy is aware that there are still property industry representatives who are trying to tempt future buyers with apparently attractive methods to secure their dream homes more quickly or cheaply. Such offers may in fact be very bad value.

You should exercise extreme caution if an estate agent, promoter or lawyer urges you to cut corners to save money or time, said Embassy property adviser Alex Brown. The Spanish property conveyancing system is different to the UK. When you choose an estate agent, promoter or lawyer to help with your purchase, check that they are qualified, reliable professionals and have significant experience of operating in Spain and expert knowledge of how the system works.

Although the vast majority of British property owners enjoy life in Spain and have had no problems, thousands of British expats are facing some kind of legal problem with their homes, some because they were advised to cut corners during the purchasing process. Many others are facing difficulties through no fault of their own, caught up in the complexities of Spanish planning regulations.

There is a wealth of information on the Embassy’s UKinSpain website, said Ms Brown. We strongly urge people to check the advice in full, make sure they use fully qualified, reputable advisers throughout the purchase process, and avoid any kind of ‘dodgy deal’ that could end up costing huge amounts of heartache and hard-earned money later on. The advice comes as thousands of Britons head for the annual A Place in the Sun show in London from 30th March until 1st April, aimed at potential purchasers of property abroad. The show’s website http://www.aplaceinthesun.com offers information about legal and tax issues when buying overseas.

Further Embassy advice on buying property in Spain can be found on the UKinSpain website at: http://ukinspain.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/living-in-spain/property-in-spain

Other useful links for potential property purchasers:

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