Recent Court Rulings in Spain that may enable you to reclaim property costs & taxes

Several key court rulings have hit the Spanish headlines over the last months raising huge waves which ripples we continue to feel every day in the shape of glossy newspaper and radio ads soliciting litigation clients. Lawyers have all too eagerly witnessed the recent snowball of landmark rulings which have opened up new venues to litigate that were previously barred to us.

To laymen, these rulings mark an inflection point allowing them a golden chance to claw back lost off-plan deposits from developers, undue interest rates pocketed by lenders, overcharged taxes from town halls and even from the Spanish Tax Office itself. Most of this money was written off years ago, by those affected (in the majority UK nationals). These new rulings have tipped the scales, turning legal outcomes upside down enabling successful litigation (and payback, which is really what it’s all about).

The best way to go about it is to simply provide a brief overview of all the ongoing court cases, one by one, giving the likely success odds, timeframe to claim and the amounts claimed back.

There are more court cases than the ones I collate below, but these overwhelmingly affect Spanish nationals (e.g. preferentes) so I will purposely leave them off the list...


Post-Brexit Reality Check Q&A for British property buyers in Spain

Since the referendum on 23rd June and the subsequent result that the UK voted to leave the EU, the dust from the earthquake is beginning to settle (a little), if only by the fact that nothing has actually changed, yet.

There has been a clamor from industry chiefs and politicians as to what will happen next but the consensus is that nobody actually knows until the British government implements article 50 triggering the UK’s formal application to leave the European Union, expected in October 2016. Neither the ‘Remain’ camp expected to lose nor the ‘Leave’ camp to win. So no real plans were actually made in advance. This is only just beginning to happen now.
However, what are the consequences for the British still wishing to move and rent or buy in Spain?
Read full Q&A:


What a Brexit could mean for expats

The upcoming EU referendum is a major topic of debate in the UK, and there are varying opinions on both the positive and negative consequences if a Brexit was to happen. For the millions of Briton’s who live permanently elsewhere in Europe or own a holiday home, the prospect of a British exit has become a huge cause for concern.

Read full article:


Are you thinking of moving to Spain with your family?

Malaga-based relocation consultant and mother, Lisa Sadleir, explains why she decided to write her essential guide, “Moving to Spain with Children”.

Having worked as an adviser and consultant to many families, and seeing all the traps it’s easy to fall into and the mistakes it’s easy to make, I thought why not offer all the knowledge I’ve accumulated in a handy form which everyone can get to read and use as a reference – a complete guide to starting a new life in Spain.

As well as offering up-to-date advice which will help with aspects of moving, from schools and language, to timing, social integration and even pet care, Moving to Spain with Children offers the clear message that coming to live in Spain with your family needs to be carefully planned and thought-out, not done on a whim. The book offers a comprehensive, detailed rundown of all the admin aspects you need to take into account – documentation (of which there is a ridiculously large amount), the health system, bank accounts and starting a business.


How will new EU Inheritance Regulations, coming into force in August 2015, affect expats in Spain?

The EU Successions Regulation 650/2012 will come into force on the 17th August 2015. This EU Regulation is not applicable in the United Kingdom but is applicable in Spain and the rest of the EU for British citizens. Therefore, in case you have assets in the UK and/or in any other EU jurisdiction you need to be well advised of the practical implications this legislative development can have on your succession.

After EU Regulation is introduced, being an expatriate in Spain and owning property in Spain, but without a valid will (English or Spanish) covering the assets located in Spain, will be a situation of legal uncertainty and concern for all parties involved.


Google to Penalise Non User-Friendly Websites in their Search Results

As from 21st April 2015, Google is changing its algorithms to prioritise websites that are adapted for mobile users in their search results in all languages.

Why the change? “As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns,” Google stated in their announcement. “Users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” The change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide, and will have a significant impact on search results.

As more people use their mobile phone to access the Internet (more than 70% according to Google), Google wishes to adapt to these new trends and provide a better user experience for those searching for mobile related content.

This will be the first time that Google will give preference to mobile-friendly content over that of desktop designed websites. Those websites that provide an additional Application will also be given priority over desktop versions.
Is your Website user-friendly?

Try the Google Mobile-Friendly Web Test:

Test HERE.

Websites without a mobile experience can expect to notice changes in their search rankings almost immediately (as the algorithm rolls out over the course of a week).

LPG SPAIN’S website is fully user-friendly and adapted for mobile and tablet use thus ensuring the best results for our users.


As cement production increases in Spain, will we see a resurgence of cranes on the horizon?

Spain is No.1 in Cement Output, again.

After eight long years during which the construction industry has become one of the most punished sectors in Spain, the country now leads the Euro zone in cement production. The year-on increase from 2014, although discrete compared to peak production levels prior to 2008, nevertheless sees a 14.4% increase in January. Despite overall lower levels since the boom years, Spain is still amongst the top 10 cement exporters in the world.

Before the collapse of the property market in 2008, the real estate industry as a whole was responsible for nearly 20% of Spain’s GDP. Recent positive signs now show a recovery is in place brought about by a number of factors such as the stabilisation of property prices after years of free-fall, a flowing of credit from the banks for private individuals seeking a mortgage, investment funds created by Spanish banks, the ‘drying up’ of bank repossessed stock and the increased interest from foreign investors.

Other European countries that have also shown increases in cement production are Romania, up 12.8% from the previous year; Sweden up 11.3%, the Czech Republic up 8.3% and Hungary, 8.1%. Going in the other direction are Bulgaria, down 4.2%, the UK, -3.3% and Italy down 2.4%.

Recent reports by the Spanish government also tell us that more planning permits are now being issued for new construction projects. This, combined with renewed interest in unsold commercial building land, may suggest that the Spanish skyline is about to change once more with the resurgence of the ‘crane’, so conspicuous at the turn of the century.

Robert Edwards – LPG SPAIN Blog.


What attracts foreigners to buy in Spain?

Recent studies of the different nationalities who buy a property in Spain have shown that the British continue to lead the ranking with 18.62%; followed by the French with 9.39%; the Germans, 7.25%; Belgians, 6.90%; Italians, 6.13%; Russians, 5.83%; Swedish, 5.83%; Chinese, 14% and the Norwegians with 3.74%.

In most cases, they started out as tourists who had spent their holidays in Spain and had enjoyed the experience, thereafter deciding to take the next step to invest in a second home; the main reasons being the quality of life, plenty of sunshine, good flight connections, health care, gastronomy and culture.

Broken down into nationalities, their reasons:

English: Typically middle class retired couples or nearing retirement, with incomes above 36,000€ per annum, with children and grandchildren, seeking an easy way of life, good weather, easy access by air from their home country and good medical care as the main reasons for choosing Spain.

Belgians: Tend to be business executives with an average salary of more than 60,000€ per year, of a higher level of education, usually families with children and grandchildren, fans of outdoor activity and sports, and who enjoy eating out. The climate again, of course, a factor, proximity to the coast and the quality of services offered in general, caught their attention when considering a second home in Spain.

Russians are usually men between 35-45 years of age with a high level of education and married with children. They tend to come from a higher income bracket with an average annual salary of 80,000€. They also like coastal areas, shopping, excursions and water sports. Main reasons for buying are the quality of life in Spain together with the possibility of obtaining a residence permit.

The typical Scandinavian is a married couple of between 45-75 years of age with an even higher level of income of above 90,000€ per year and attracted to retirement in Spain by the golf, biking and relaxing on the beach. A healthy climate with lots of sun and good flight connections are other reasons for them wishing to retire in Spain.

The Mediterranean provinces, the Canaries, Balearic Islands and Madrid lead as the most popular destinations for a property purchase in Spain.


Resale properties outsold new properties in Spain during 2014

According to the official Land Registrar, 318,929 properties were sold during 2014, 200,065 of which were second hand properties (or resales) representing 62.7% of total sales and 118,863 (37.3%), were new properties. This implies an increase of 18.4% in second hand property sales over the previous year. Another significant finding is that for the first time in four years, the number of overall sales has increased in Spain.

So far, the trend this year seems to be the same, with an overriding number of second hand homes being sold.

The main reason for this predominance is none other than the price, up to 15% cheaper compared with the sale of a new property. The average price per square meter of a second hand home is € 1,347, whilst new housing is selling at € 1,624/m2. There is also more margin for negotiation in the case of a privately held property, especially if purchased during the boom years, as the vendor may have been waiting some considerable time to sell and is keen to offload it as soon as possible.

Read full article:


Spectacular “drone” video of Madrid!

See spectacular aerial HD video filmed from a drone above the rooftops of Madrid. Follow link to view video:

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