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Houses for sale in SpainWhen Survey Spain are asked to carry out a pre-acquisition survey of a property, it’s usually after it’s been marketed for some time and been inspected by the potential buyer at least twice. There will have been others looking round the property, reading the agents details, driving round the neighbourhood and selecting lawyers and estate agents.

The house will have been cleaned and tidied again and again, and there may even have been a Home Stager employed to bring the property to a decorative state where it is attractive to most. There will have been agents spending hours describing all the properties features in ‘breathless’ prose and they and friends advising on the price. The sellers, in between cleaning and tidying the house once again, will spend sleepless nights swithering, “will we, won’t we”, over a hundred minor and major decisions.

So, all should be perfect when we come along. I don’t mean the condition of the house as, except for the minor points, that’s usually on the basis of, “What you see is what you get”, and hopefully the surveyor won’t see too much wrong. No, I’m thinking of essential paperwork items.  Continue reading

Do you know importance of studying a home’s Energy Efficiency Certificate?

energy_efficient_homes_1212It’s worth studying the Energy Certificate as this could help you bag the best price for the home of your dreams.

For every property sale to be registered, an Energy Efficiency Certificate (CEE) must be included within all the documents.

The Regulations state that the efficiency rating must be displayed in all selling and letting promotional material and a copy of the full certificate made available to every property enquirer.

Despite that, the convention appears to be not to obtain that certificate until contracts have been signed and everyone is on their way to the notary.

I suppose it will take a few agents and owners being substantially fined for people to comply with the regulations.

Study of the energy certificate should be a part of a buyer’s consideration of a property.

In the south of Spain, the energy consumption in a house will reach two peaks: in winter when heating is required and in summer when air conditioning comes into play.

How efficient the house is in retaining heat in winter and avoiding it in summer, is what the energy certificate is all about. Continue reading

Hard facts: The lack of systems and rules in Spain’s property game is ridiculous

It's all positive news this quarter.In most northern European countries, including Scotland, but sadly not England, all sellers of properties have to provide factually correct information packs – ‘Home Reports’ – to potential buyers.

In some countries, these are prepared by state registered inspectors, whilst in others the estate agent is legally responsible for any errors or omissions.

If the packs prove to be significantly erroneous or even fraudulent, the seller can withdraw from the sale, even after they have moved into the property.

Unfortunately, it’s a completely liberated system in Spain, where nobody takes responsibility for anything and even the buyer can renege, pleading ‘in good faith’ if they didn’t check anything themselves. Property descriptions by agents on the internet and in their details, can be at best ‘mistaken’, but sometimes, either through their or the seller’s ‘optimism’, appear to be deliberately misleading. Continue reading

New tidings we bring… but law changes present scant joy for Spain’s homeowners in 2016

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NEW Year is a time to look forward to things that will be significant in the coming months … the perfect opportunity to look at recent changes in legislation and how they will affect property owners in Spain in 2016.

  1. Certificado de Eficiencia Energetica (CEE)

National law states that every property for sale or rent must have a CEE (Certificado de Eficiencia Energética) for the sale to be fully registered. The onus is on the seller to provide a copy of the energy certificate that has been registered with the Junta de Andalucía. Beware that some less-than-scrupulous arquitectos are only providing the first stage, then charging more for the Junta Certificate! Many agents, solicitors and owners are risking substantial fines by not having this available when they start marketing, as the law says they should have. Continue reading

PROPERTY TAX BREAKS FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY

energy_efficient_homes_1212As we predicted more than two years ago when energy efficiency certificates were initiated in Spain, in the last few days the government has announced that local property taxes are to be discounted for properties with better energy ratings. The lower two ratings F and G, which is by far the majority of buildings we encounter, receive no discount nor do those of course that do not have a rating assessed as yet. We foresee that the lowest rated properties are likely to be penalised in the near future as a further incentive to upgrade the efficiency of the property (and raise money!). Owners will now be more encouraged to balance the energy and tax savings of improvements of the property against the cost of those improvements.

A good Energy Efficiency rating CEE (EPC in UK) will bring tax rebates as well as lower energy bills.  From the 1st January 2016, the central Government will instruct the rebate of property taxes – IBI – according to the following schedule.

  • Grade A – 20%
  • Grade B – 16%
  • Grade C – 12%
  • Grade D – 8%
  • Grade E – 4%

Those in Grades F or G or that haven’t already submitted a certificate will receive no rebate.

It’s only a matter of time before the lowest grades are taxed higher, so get out the calculator to work out the cost of improving the installation through double-glazing windows, permanent draft proofing, modernising old central heating boilers and air conditioning units, etc and balancing that against the lower energy bills and now lower property taxes.

The Value of your property increasingly will become affected by its energy rating.

energy_efficient_homes_1212This is a brief summary of a report by an EU funded body into the issues surrounding the valuation of energy efficient sustainable buildings.

As an RICS registered valuer associated with Survey Spain I have a professional interest in this material.

The report says that valuation professionals across Europe need to be trained so they recognise the effect energy efficiency and sustainability has on values. Although valuers reflect the market rather than make the market, in practice they are involved at every stage of a buildings life cycle, and their opinion is used in negotiations between buyers and seller landlords and tenants. Valuations professional are “information managers” in an intransparent market. Continue reading

CEE – Certificado de Eficiencia Energética LATEST

Experience at the Notary is showing that they are accepting documents without an Energy Certificate. HOWEVER, they are warning buyers that they will not be Registered as the property owner until the Energy Certificate is provided. As I wrote on the 31st:

‘(Without being in a Registry, it is only a private contract between the registered owner and the 1st buyer and, though committing fraud, the registered owner could sell the property again to a 2nd buyer and if that 2nd buyer registers the property before the first one, the 2nd buyer is the legal owner and the 1st buyer only has the right to sue the initial seller, who has gained two sale prices and may well have disappeared! There are variations to that of course depending upon occupation, etc, but very simply that’s the situation).’ Continue reading

Energy Efficiency Certificates – the fog is clearing and now the Junta’s hurdles can be seen

They may be a couple of days late, but the Junta now has a website where the applications can be submitted:

http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/servicios/otros-tramites/detalle/13298.html

There is a form there that has to be signed by the property owner authorising the Junta to do what it has to do. Continue reading

Certification of energy efficiency in buildings

Energy efficiency certificate SpainOn 14 April 2013 the Spanish Royal Decree 235/2013 came into force. It approves the basic procedure for the Certification of Energy Efficiency in Buildings.

As from 1 June 2013 there is an obligation for the vendor to make available to purchasers or tenants of buildings a CERTIFICATE OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY (EPC in UK), which must include objective information regarding the energy efficiency of their building or part of it. The Energy Efficiency Rating Symbol must be displayed when the property is being marketed so it is essential to obtain it now. Continue reading

CEE – Certificado de Eficiencia Energética

Example of energy efficiency certificate SpainRead the title well, because it’s going to become very familiar over the next few months. On Friday, 5 April, the Royal decree was signed giving authority to the requirement for all property in Spain to have an energy efficiency rating certificate that will last for 10 years assuming no changes are made to the building. For the details, we now wait for the final text to be published in the BOE (Official State Bulletin). As the certification is to be regulated by each Comunidad throughout Spain, there are bound to be some variations. Continue reading