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 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.
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 →
As 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.
This 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 →
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 →
On 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 →
Read 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 →