Interview with Jaime Montoro. An expert in conveyancing in Spain with over 15 years’ experience as a property lawyer in Marbella. He shares his views on the some of the legal aspects that foreigners need to consider when buying a property in Spain.
A senior partner at BSA Law in Spain, Jaime Montoro is a graduate of the University of Granada. Fluent in English and in Spanish he is assisted by his partner, Lara Pacheco, who is also fluent in French.
Customers include private homebuyers as well as developers and investors. In 2014, BSA Law in Spain handled over 30,000,000 Euros in real estate transactions.
Jaime Montoro highlights that a lawyer’s role is to protect his or her clients and remove any legal risk associated with the transaction. A property lawyer is there to ensure that there are no impediments to taking full legal possession of the property, to anticipate and advise on any potential issues relating to the transaction and to ensure that any contracts that are drawn up reflect clearly the wishes of the client.
He outlines just some of the issues that a conveyancing solicitor needs to consider before completing any real estate transaction in Spain.
Jaime points out that for a number of years in Marbella, planning permission was poorly regulated and abused. This has left a legacy of properties that have a very unsure legal status; this includes not only individual homes but entire developments. Establishing the exact legal status of many properties goes beyond a simple search at the registrar.
Foreigners, in particular those who are used to jurisdictions based on Anglo-Saxon laws such as the UK, need to be particularly careful, since there are major differences between Spanish law and UK law. UK property law is based on common law, and previous legal rulings are used as the basis for future rulings. Spanish law is rooted in Roman law and is based on a comprehensive list of legal codes.
Under UK law you can look at previous cases in order to determine the possible outcome of a legal case; under Spanish law you must focus on the letter of the law.
A common error, Montoro points out, is that buyers will sign a reservation agreement on the assumption that its legal basis is the same as in their home country. They may even add certain clauses to the agreement that they believe will protect themselves.
Unfortunately, this is fraught with danger. In the first place, the agreement is a binding legal document and may have far wider implications and reach than the buyer anticipated. Secondly, any clauses that were added by the buyer may simply not be enforceable under Spanish law.
The property market in Spain has seen a resurgence recently, especially in Marbella; however, this brings with it increased risks for those not familiar with Spanish law.
He is adamant with his advice to potential buyers that the enthusiasm to secure your dream property should not replace common sense.
As Jaime explains, “legal risks are part and parcel of any real estate transaction – sound legal advice is there to eliminate these risks for you.”
Click here to read the interview with Jaime Montoro on Business Innovators Magazine.
For legal advice regarding buying or selling a property in Spain, Jaime can be contacted by telephone on + 34 951 31 97 55 or by email Jaime@bsa-lawinpain.com.
Alternatively please visit BSA Law in Spain at www.bsa-lawinspain.com.
Company Name: BSA-Law in Spain
Contact Person: Jaime Montoro
Phone: +34 951 31 97 55