Purchasing property in Spain: Checklists are essential
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Purchasing property in Spain: Checklists are essential

3 min.

Real estate regulations in Spain are complex, not only at the national level, but also at the regional and municipal level. When it comes to investments, there are a large number of legal details which must be observed. The Ecovis experts know how to use checklists to make real estate purchases legally secure.

Recently, the media carried the story of a well-known football player, who previously played in Barcelona and is currently in Paris, and who last February bought a villa in Ibiza for eleven million euros. However, the property lacked certain mandatory documentation.

Spain has extensive and complicated urban planning regulations which make it essential, when undertaking any investment, to have a broad knowledge of the legislation in a specific area or – to avoid surprises – to seek assistance from professionals in that area.

The famous footballer’s problem could have been avoided if the seller had not been a fraudster and the athlete’s advisors had observed due diligence using checklists. Cooperation among experienced professionals and the proper use of checklists can avoid surprises in most real estate transactions.

Many documents are required when buying a property in Spain

The minimum cross-checks that must be carried out when dealing with a real estate transaction in Spain begin with obtaining a variety of general documents:

  • Simple registry note
  • Cadastral ownership
  • Certificate of occupancy
  • Energy certificate
  • Certificate of municipal debts
  • Lease agreements
  • Bank certificate in the case of a mortgage
  • Taxes related to purchase or ownership
  • Illegal use of the property by “squatters” (“Okupas” in Spanish)
With our experience, we can support you in purchasing property in Spain, because we know the regulations at national, regional and municipal level.
José Antonio Avellaneda, Partner, Tax Advisor and Forensic, ECOVIS Ibiza (Balearic Islands) and ECOVIS Fiscalges, Madrid, Spain

Specific documents required for apartments, villas or houses


  • Latest electricity, water and gas bills
  • Technical certificate for the building
  • Homeowner’s association bylaws (and latest billings)
  • Certificate from the manager of the building confirming the non-existence of debts


  • Verification of the title deed, registry and cadastral information
  • Encumbrances: mortgages, easements, urban conditions.
  • Transactions pending registration in the Property Registry.
  • Rights in favour of other persons
  • Construction-related insurance
  • Land use planning permission (certificate from the municipality)
  • Certificate of urban qualification
  • No urban development infractions
  • Litigation related to the property

New houses:

  • Building permit and verification that what has been built matches the permit
  • Certificate of completion of municipal work
  • Declaration of the end of the notarial work and registration in the Property Registry.
  • Municipal first occupancy license

The Ecovis experts recommend paying special attention during such operations as they may involve liabilities for administrative sanctions, loss of earnest money, or bonds, surcharges, and penalties. Discovering these irregularities can help in (re)negotiating the price, or directly abandoning the operation.

For further information please contact:

José Antonio Avellaneda, Tax Advisor and Forensic, ECOVIS Ibiza (Balearic Islands), Spain
Email: jose.avellaneda@ecovis.es

Juan Carlos Fuentes, CEO, ECOVIS Fiscalges, Madrid, Spain
Email: juan.carlos.fuentes@ecovis.es

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Contact us:

José Antonio Avellaneda
Juan Carlos Fuentes
ECOVIS Fiscalges
FERRAZ, 78 – 2.º Izq
28008 Madrid
Phone: +34 91 758 75 16
c/ Vicent Serra i Orvay, nº 8, Piso 1º
07800 Ibiza
Phone: +34 971 394802