David Lidington, Minister for Europe, has met several British citizens to discuss property issues in Spain. The meeting was an opportunity for the Minister to hear first-hand about the problems affecting some British purchasers.
The Minister heard about the difficulties purchasers are having recovering their deposits both with and without a bank guarantee and the stress this is causing. The Minister emphasised that the British Government is concerned about the impact that these problems are having on our citizens, and that both Ministers and the Ambassador will continue to raise these issues with the Spanish Government.
He stressed, however, that the best advice the British government could give to prospective property purchasers continued to be that they should do their research, and seek appropriate legal advice. The one-off meeting on 8th September followed a petition submitted by Ruth Genda, highlighting the failure of many developers to issue legally required bank guarantees on off-plan purchases.
The Minister went on to explain that the British Government cannot prevent the Spanish Government from encouraging foreign investment in their property market. It is a matter for prospective purchasers to decide whether or not they wish to buy in Spain. Whilst there are a significant number of people experiencing problems, who the Government is doing all it can to help, the vast majority of people live in Spain happily.
The Minister said: “I advise anyone considering buying a property abroad to do your research, learn about what documentation you must have in hand, and make sure that you seek independent legal advice from a lawyer who is experienced in property law.”
In addition, there is a wealth of information on buying in Spain available on the UK in Spain website, both for those who are thinking of buying, and for those who are unfortunately facing problems. It can be found at the following useful links:
Advice on buying a property on the UK in Spain website
Advice on the UK in Spain website for those who have encountered problems with their properties
The Spanish Government’s guide to buying a property in Spain