People have all sorts of questions about owning property in Tenerife, whether about going to the notary, the costs involved in a purchase, how to sell, valuations, taxes, you name it. Below are some of the questions I’m most often asked. If your question hasn’t been answered below, please just ask in the comment box at the bottom of the page. Just click on any question to expand it to show the answer.

If your question is about complexes, community life or the Law of Horizontal Division please see the Complexes FAQ page HERE.


Costs & Taxes






  1. Hi
    with regard to the plusvalia tax surely now a vendor could refuse to pay this as the courts have already ruled that it it is illegal in cases where the value of the property has fallen from the time of the initial purchase.

  2. Author

    There have been a few rulings, I think, but none in the Canaries … but no, a vendor couldn’t refuse to pay without being prepared for the Ayuntamiento to take action against them for non-payment. Each case would need to be the subject of a separate legal challenge by a vendor, I would think, at least until the Constitutional Court has ruled on the issue as a generality (and my understanding is that they are considering the matter but have not yet ruled.).

    Certainly too a fiscal valuation would be required, and if the vendor is a non-resident, indeed, most often a retention will be taken to ensure the bill is covered to stop it becoming a bill that the new owners are held responsible for.

  3. Hello Janet and everybody! About IRNR, for 2015, it is reduced to 20% from the beginning of 2015 (till 11th of July) and further (from the 12th of July 2015 till 31 th of December 2015) lowered to 19,5%.
    Does that mean two different “‘modelo120”, correct? Thanks in advance and congratulations for your site!

  4. Author

    I’m sorry I don’t know. As I say repeatedly, please direct any specific questions about tax and tax returns to qualified professionals.

  5. Where is the best place online to find people are renting their property for 2 – 3 months over the summer period please?


  6. Author

    There are links on the Resources page (main tabs above) to official tourism sites for legal holiday acommodation, but for very short-term private lets (i.e. under three months, and so which are deemed touristic and are not legal here) your best bet is to seek owners who are letting direct, usually through Facebook groups … just put Tenerife apartment rental in the search box. Bear in mind that over the summer months, most owners will want one or two week holiday lets, being the most profitabale, so you might struggle somewhat.

  7. my daughter wants to buy our apartment in spain but pay in pounds,my Spanish lawer said we have to prove payment has been made any ideas thanks.

  8. Author

    It is quite normal, and absolutely fine, to pay in Sterling outside of Spain, but for money-laundering reasons, EU law require transactions to be provable. Your UK bank will need to provide proof of the payment, both the account the money leaves and the account it arrives in, and this proof will need to be included in the escritura your daughter signs at notary.

  9. I have a holiday property in Amarilla Golf but live in the UK. My water and electric bills are paid usually by direct debit by BBVA bank in Playa. Due to a bank error my bills have not been paid for 6 months. Where can I go in Tenerife to pay these bills by cash when I come out in 2 weeks. Help please.

  10. Author

    You should go to the offices of your water and electricity companies and get an up-to-date account of how much is outstanding, and whether there are any reconnection issues. Once you know the exact situation, they will confirm how you can pay – maybe over the counter, or you might need to go to a bank to pay over the counter.

  11. Thank you. That really is very helpful. All I need to do now is to find my nearest Canaragua and Endesa Energia offices and go along with the money. Any idea where the closest offices are, please. Many thanks.

  12. Author

    As far as I know the nearest Canaragua is in a shop in Marola Park, El Camisón, and the nearest electricity office in a shop in Oasis Dakota complex in Fañabe (opposite Gran Sur).

  13. Hi Janet Do you know if there is a standing charge for your electric metre in Tenerife, just checked my on line banking and noticed Electric bill for €47, we have not been out for 2 months so wanting to understand why, any suggestions would be helpful

  14. Author

    yes, there are standing charges here, and fairly hefty ones too.

  15. Hi Janet my my husband and i want to buy a house with are adult daughter
    we are non resident but she is resident and works
    do you know how are yearly tax bill will be worked out
    she will be living in the house and owns no other property

  16. Author

    I don’t advise on taxes, but as always with these situations, there will be a pro-rata division in non-resident and resident taxes annually and on sale.

  17. Hi Janet
    thankyou very much for your advice

  18. Hi Janet
    sorry to trouble you again
    we are buying in south gran canaria in sonneland , do you know of a qualified asesora there we could use

  19. Author

    no, I don’t, I’m afraid. I have no connections with Gran Canaria.

  20. Author

    Hi Janet
    Where can i obtain a list of home improvements that are exempt from capital gains tax we are selling our property and have been told that we may have to pay capital gains but if you have improved the property they are taken into consideration, unfortunately we do not know what they class as ho e improvements.
    Can you help

  21. Author

    There’s no list – you claim and they accept it or not. The key is not a particular “thing” but whether you can prove the expense and have a tax receipt for it. Those are the only works you can claim for.

  22. Do you know what happened at the court of European justice meeting on 12th July regarding the interest rates being charged by banks please

  23. Author

    If you mean the clausula suelo, as far as I am aware a judgment has not yet been made, though a legal opinion expressed at the time of the hearing suggested that things weren’t looking bright for those who hoped to get overpaid interest backdated.

  24. Hi Janet.
    We are thinking about buying in Tenerife. The property has a mortgage outstanding and we are told the balance of the motrgage is deducted from the purchase price and that is paid to the bank.After the mortgage balance is deducted then i pay whats left to the notary for the property.Does that mean i am paying under the market value price after the mortgage balance is deducted and if so does that also mean a tax bill as i will be paying under the market price
    and if so what is the percentage?

  25. Author

    no, because the full price will be declared in your new title deeds (escritura), and it will say, for example, that you bought a property for 200,000 with a mortgage of 100,000, and that the mortgage has been repaid by bank draft and a second bank draft was given to the vendors at notary for the remainder. The full price, including the mortgage being paid off, will be recorded so there’ll be no apparent underpayment.

    If you get independent legal conveyancing when you buy you will be certain that all will be correct, that the paperwork is all in order, all taxes are properly paid and that you won’t be charged for anything you shouldn’t be paying for. Many estate agents will offer to do “the legals” in-house for a reduced cost or even “free”, but an independent conveyance will assure you that your purchase is guaranteed to be fully safe.

  26. And from personal experience, you could do no better than ask the lady that runs this site to do it for you.

  27. Hi Janet, Do you know the new tax rate for non residents in Tenerife for property tax?
    It was 24.75 %, Has it now changed ?

  28. Author

    Yes. It was raised to 24.75% in 2012, but as far as I’m aware it was reduced to 20% from the beginning of 2015 and brought down again to 19% for this year.

  29. Hello Janet
    We sold our apartment in Tenerife early this year, using solicitor our agent recommended and after all bills were paid we closed our bank account in Tenerife.
    Previous to selling we had used an accountant in Tenerife to manage our affairs etc but informed him we no longer required him once we had sold our property.
    The accountant has now told us we owe €94 euro non letting income tax for 2015 and, including his own charges, wants to deduct a total of €225 from our bank account, even though I have already told him it is closed.
    We are in Tenerife at end of October – could you tell me where I could go to to pay this outstanding tax myself, without involving my ex accountant? Thank you

  30. Author

    You will need a modelo to pay the tax at the bank, but it sounds as though your accountant is charging for work done for a previous tax year and as such, it will be a bill that is already outstanding even if you actually go to the bank to make the transaction personally. The fact that you’ve just sold your apartment isn’t relevant to last year’s tax and accountancy issues. This is something your lawyer should have advised you was forthcoming.

  31. will the tax office in Tenerife notified me if I don’t pay my plus valia tax

  32. Author

    You need to give me more information. Are you a seller? Are you resident or non-resident? Has the property changed hands yet?

  33. I inherited half a property and half was put in my name I don’t remember paying plus valia tax this was in 2011I am a Spanish resident

  34. Author

    Then the debt could have been registered against your property. You will need to check with the local Ayuntamiento and, ideally, the lawyer who helped you transfer the title and pay inheritance tax.

  35. Hi Janet, with regards to declarable rental income to be submitted quarterly, does every UK resident still need to attach their Certificate of UK residence? I checked with HMRC and they said the CoR can only be issued up to current date, so if this is the case, does this would mean getting a new CoR every quarter to be submitted with their quarterly taxes? Also, a very short timeframe of 20 days to get the CoR ready and available. Many thanks.

  36. Author

    I don’t know, I’m sorry, you’ll need to check with an gestor or asesor who does tax returns.

  37. I writing to ask if anyone can advise the type of costs, fees / taxes etc of buying a secure garage to store our car.

    Having purchased an apartment some time ago I appreciate the array of costs involved in that but unclear of the costs relating to a garage purchase.

    Thankyou in anticipation.

  38. Author

    A garage is still a property so you will still have the purchase tax to transfer title, and the land registry cost of registering it in your name. As to fees, anything from €500 to €1500 depending on who you use.

  39. To sniff. They will treat it as just another property sale so the same charges apply but pro-rata will be smaller as it will cost less than a house or apartment.

  40. Janet / Stewart – many thanks for your help and speedy replies.

  41. Can you tell me exactly what paperwork is required at Notary as we are selling a property over 30 y ars old. TIA.

  42. Author

    Your buyers’ lawyer/conveyancer will take care of the arrangements, but you will be asked for a copy of your escritura (or at least the section providing land registry details), last IBIs and basura, certificate from the community (if on a complex) showing all payments up to date, and last electricity and water bills. You will also need to produce an energy certificate.

  43. Many thanks Janet

  44. Maybe I’m going blind but I can’t see anything about Non Resident Property Tax, apologies if I’ve missed it

    Our Management Company have just told me it’s payable now and I just wondered the basis of the charge and how it’s calculated. Also our charge is 260€ and the Management Co have added 97€ as their fee. Is this something i could just do myself to avoid that fee in future? If so how would i go about it?

  45. Author

    Please see the Costs & Taxes section above – the first four questions all deal with non-resident tax.

  46. HI Janet, about 18 years ago i sold an apartment in Tenerife and paid a 5% Tax Retention 2,100,000 pesetas…..could I have claimed this back . My solicitor made no mention of claiming it back ..??

  47. Author

    Yes, the whole idea is that non-residents can claim it back. It’s a retention against settlement of capital gains tax and once that is paid then any credit balance is repaid. Bear in mind, though, that it is only repaid if the claimant’s tax affairs are up to date, and there is a possibility that with a large capital gain, the 5% (now 3%) wouldn’t actually cover the tax due so there might still be tax owing on top of the retention.

  48. Hi, out of Caixa, BBVA and Santander. I wondered which one has the least transaction charges etc for non residents.

  49. Author

    That should be an easy question to answer but I’m afraid it isn’t. Charges always depend on the number of “additional products” (e.g. insurance, pension, cards, etc) that one takes in addition to the basic account, and each bank calibrates charges in these respect differently. My own opinion is that they are all thieves, so that it’s much of a muchness, but it might be helpful if you have a look at THIS page, scrolling down to the section “Banks”.

  50. I would agree with Janet, it’s unbelievable what they charge for given that you can carry out most transactions online so the bank isn’t doing anything. We are with La Caixa and friends are with Santander and BBVA, no one has a good word to say about any of them. Pick a bank with a branch close to where you live so that you can use their ATM for free, if you use a rivals ATM they often want to charge you.

  51. Hi Janet,
    My estate agent in Spain says that it is not necessary for me to attend the sale of my property in Catalonia, Spain. What is to stop him running off with the monies?

  52. Author

    Nothing really. You should either be there in person or have someone you trust completely to hold power of attorney for you.

  53. Hi Janet , we own a property in Adeje as non-residents . We plan to live here more than the UK . Would we need to become residencia and can you shed any light on what happens after the UK leaves the EU or give an opinion on the likely outcome, many thanks

  54. Author

    Please see HERE for residence registration requirements (and HERE for further answers to questions about being legal and living here), and HERE for the Brexit issue.

  55. Hi Janet, first of all want to say thanks for your hard work and all the advice you give! We purchased an apartment in Los Cristianos in 2014. We are now thinking about buying another one. We do have a gestor who does the 210 every year for us.
    My question is are there any new tax liabilities to us since this will be a second property? What about if we later decide to sell one?
    Many thanks

  56. Author

    Hi Val, there will be the same taxes on your second property as your first, but no “new” ones just because it’s a second property. As to selling, please have a look at the Selling section of THIS page on owning property … again there are just the normal sales costs, not any specific to the fact that you own more than one property.

  57. Hi there,

    Can you help. I am looking for a mortgage for a 2 bed apartment. I have been advised by more than one lender that because I am married I will need to have my husband on the mortgage. I do not want this and neither does he. Can anything be done about this.

    Thank you Bernice

  58. Author

    I’m afraid that if the banks are setting that as a requirement I don’t see what can be done about it. I’m presuming that the apartment is intended to be in joint names, and the only solution I can see is that you buy it in your own name, and then your husband won’t come into it.

  59. Hi Janet!

    First of all thank You for your time and for all the useful information you provide here! This is the first site I check any time when something is unclear 🙂
    My question would be about transfer tax, or any tax related to buying a SECOND apartment in Tenerife. We are buying our second apartment and we heard that the tax will be higher (then 6,5%) when is not the “first” home, as they consider it as more like an investment.. is that true? Is there any difference in costs when you buying second or third apartment? I know at bank when you taking mortgage it can matter if its not your first home ect.. I was trying to search for information but could not find anything.
    Thank You,

  60. Author

    no that is not correct. The costs are the costs regardless of how many properties one buys, and regardless of whether one is a resident or not. I’ve been asked this before and I wonder if it’s a rumour arising from someone buying a second property with a mortgage, which would indeed increase costs because there would be a separate escritura, notary and land registry fees. Or it could be confusion caused by the difference in Capital Gains Tax liability for those who are selling a property that is not their main home.

  61. Hi Janet, my husband visited Tenerife last year to host our wedding ceremony..we live in Florida USA, we fell in love with Tenerife and would like to buy a one bedroom apartment with the idea of renting and we maybe to used once per year as well. From all we have been reading of process of buying we are aware of at least 30 percent down payment thats required. Can you tell us what paperwork would be required by the bank from us to obtain a mortgage? And as well how to open a non residents bank account?
    Thank you so much!

  62. Author

    Buyers normally pay a 10% deposit here. As to getting mortgages and bank accounts, particularly paperwork required, that is too varied to comment now. It used to be simple: banks gave mortgages easily and opening non-resident accounts required simply a pasport and NIE. I remember those days well but they have not been like that for 10 years or so now. These days, hardly any banks will lend, and paperwork required varies bank to bank, but most will require some form of proof of income in addition to whatever personal ID they request.

  63. There is rainwater getting into the apartment below mine from my terrace. I notice that in a previous answer you say that the owners terrace is their responsibility but in another answer you say that the outside surface of the building belongs to everyone. My terrace is exclusively mine but is also the outside surface & also a roof. If the insurers won’t pay for the remedial work should I as the owner or should the community share it?

  64. Author

    If the terrace is part of the freehold, then the outside surface of the property will be the outside of the terrace. If the water originates in your terrace it will be your responsibility as far as the insurance is concerned. The fact that your terrace floor is someone else’s roof isn’t the point because the water is “originating” within your freehold. Where there is any confusion over particular responsibilities, however, the administrator and/or president of the specific complex need to advise.

  65. Anywhere where the property registration fees are published? Property is 245k.

  66. Author

    They will be imposed by the land registry in the municipality in which you are buying, so you would need to check locally. Generally you will be looking at around €500 or so.

  67. Hi Janet.
    I own two apartments through my British Ltd company. The bank wouldn’t open an account in the company’s name, so the account is in my name. I have authorised direct debit with the bank, but they refuse to pay the bill for local taxes because the bill and the account are in different names. I never see the local bills and the first I hear is when I am charged late payment penalties. I live in France, visit Tenerife rarely and have no Spanish. How do I unwind this mess?

  68. Author

    you should speak to the lawyer who oversaw the purchase and conveyance for you.

  69. Hi Janet

    If I want to buy a property at £170000
    And I half the money £85000 as a deposit

    Will I get a mortgage from a bank in Tenerife
    I know main stream lenders in U.K.
    Very difficult if not impossible
    I’m guessing disappointingly
    the same in tenerife

    So is it just cash buyers

    Is there no other avenue

    Any suggestions

    Appreciate any advice



  70. Author

    Mortgages are very difficult to come by here at present even for those clients valued by the bank who have 60% to put down on a property.

  71. If I were you, having lived here for 19 years, I’d leave well alone! Yes; the climate is good – except for when a calima arrives, but the local bureaucracy is a nightmare! These ‘public servants have jobs for life and really don’t care about local citizens. They believe in their own infallibility!!

  72. A friend of mine has just completed a 250k purchase with a 60% mortgage from bank Sabadell at las chafiras. He was very surprised how easy they made the process. They maybe worth speaking to.

  73. Hi do you know how much income tax have to be paid on tenerife from pension. They told me that it is only 7 %.

  74. Author

    no, I’m sorry, you’ll need to ask a qualified tax adviser.

  75. Hi
    My partner and I have brought a property in Tenerife and we have been told we need to pay a income tax fee, we where wondering where do we need to go to pay this and do we need our tax number from the UK?
    Thank you

  76. Author

    yes, please see HERE for incomme tax and, more particularly, the non-resident deemed notional rental income tax. You will be best advised to get a gestor or accountant here to assist you with the tax returns.

  77. Plusvalia. We have just sold the apartment we bought in Golf del Sur in 2006 for some 9000 euros less than we paid for it. We understand that the local town hall, San Miguel de Abona, because of a recent legal ruling is not supposed to charge a plusvalia tax where a property is sold at a loss. However, our buyer’s lawyer has retained 2,500 euros against the expected plusvalia and says we will have to reclaim it from the town hall. Is this correct and what is the best way to make the claim?

  78. Author

    Yes it is correct. Please see HERE. As I say,

    Unfortunately, the judgment doesn’t overturn the law, which will now have to be redrafted, and until that happens, plusvalía is almost certain to continue to be imposed by councils, and payment will have to be made where it is demanded. With the usual four-year tax limitation, however, anyone who sold at a loss from May 2013 can reclaim the plusvalía they should not have paid, and claim legal interest as well … and of course from now on, anyone who sells at a loss can also reclaim. Once the law is redrafted, councils will be unable to impose the tax at all on vendors who sell at a loss unless the council can actually prove an increase in value in the land.

    I would recommend using a lawyer to deal with the council in any reclaim.

  79. Hi I have a property in Tenerife with my husband now , just wondering how I go about changing name on deeds as married now
    Thanks Nicola

  80. Author

    you don’t actually need to change the name on your deeds because they identify you by NIE. There is no advantage to changing the name.

  81. hei! my parents have a house in tenerife on their name and they want to put it on my name! what taxes should be paid?
    have a great one!

  82. Author

    Currently gifts to children are virtually exempt from tax. There will be plusvalía to pay and that will need to be calculated but could be in the hundreds, possibly up to a couple of thousand Euros. Get a lawyer to ensure everything is proessed properly.

  83. I have a villa in tenerife that i am going to rent out as from January 18. The rental costs will be paid into a UK bank. Am i better to pay taxes in Tenerife or the UK. I have been told if i chose the Tenerife option i will have to register for IGIC, but i can claim all my electric, water, basura, cleaning etc. The tax rate is 19% when let and a % of your property value when empty. Is the above fairly accurate or is the more to it that i think.

  84. Author

    I’m afraid that as I always say, I am not qualified to advise on tax matters so strongly recommend that you seek advice from a professional.

  85. can apartments in a residential area be rented out legally?

  86. Author

    sometimes, please see HERE.

  87. can I check with the land registry myself if they have put the property into my name. How long does it normally take once going to notoria for them to amend their records. thank you

  88. Author

    yes you can check by requesting a nota simple, and it is normally done within 24 hours or so.

  89. Janet is it possible please to tell me the answer concerning a deposit contract being entered into, then after the purchaser putting down a 30,000 euros deposit the vendor pulls out of the agreement.

    Does the vendor then become liable for paying the purchaser 60,000 euros plus the original 30,000 euros paid buy the purchaser or is it just the refund of the purchaser’s 30,000 deposit plus 30,000 euros from the vendor as compensation.



  90. Author

    It depends on the type of contract and what it says in it. If it was an arras contract, then if the vendor pulls out he would normally be expected to repay the deposit plus one sum equal to it … but this could be varied in the contract clause concerning the deposit.

  91. Thanks for that Janet.

  92. If I own two apartments next to each other, and want to increase the size of one and decrease the size of the other by making a door to a bedroom on a common wall, and closing up the original door, what would I need to do legally? I would rent the smaller apartment, but eventually might want to sell it.

  93. Author

    Legally, and technically, you should have permission from the community and a licence from the ayuntamiento for the “obra”. Since part of your plan involves selling it might be worth mentioning that whatever changes you make will not be reflected in any escritura … for example an apartment of two bedrooms remains a two-bed even if one bedroom is annexed off, or a third bedroom is added by converting part of a living area.

  94. Thank you Janet. Both apartments are now 100 m2. If I make the changes, one will be 120 m2 and the other 80 m2. Could the changes in m2 information be reflected in legal documents such as the obra?

  95. Author

    the obra is just the works … the licence will be for the works. The apartments will remain described as they were originally in the escritura and associated entries in the Catastro and Land Registry. Of course for selling purposes estate agents will market on the basis of current situation but the properties will remain as originally defined officially, and this could affect values.

  96. I may have go this wrong, but it seems that, given the difficulties of altering “cuotas” as set out in the Master Escritura, the purchaser of the smaller apartment is likely to have the to pay same Community Fees as the purchaser of the larger one. Truly a recipe for tears, I would have thought – unless you atre a lawyer

  97. Author

    The quota will be unaffected … it will remain as per the original escritura. As I’ve explained, everything remains as per the original escritura.

  98. Can a non owner be president/ secretary of a community. For example property owned by military but lived in by soldier who is then president/ secretary.

  99. Author

    It’s a community of owners and the president must be an owner. The administrator/secretary, however, does not. I explain on THIS page, see the question “Do the officials (e.g. President), have to be owners, and do they have to live in Tenerife?” in the section on Officials.

  100. Hi Janet
    We have just agreed to rent apartment for 6 months in residential complex do the owners have to provide a contract also should they provide liability insurance or any other documents

  101. Author

    no they don’t have to, but you are very well advised to rent only with a contract. Please see THIS page for full information and details of the various types of contracts that are legal. As to public liability insurance, they aren’t required to have that: you should insure your own personal possessions.

  102. We have owned an apartment on a residential complex for 18 months. we do not let it out as it is illegal and therefore do not recieve any income from the property.
    As residential short term letting is not legal and long term letting would not work with the frequency of our visits. Will I be required to engage an accountant to make a perceived rental income tax payment?

  103. Author

    As a non-resident for tax purposes, you will submit a non-resident modelo on deemed notional rental income, yes, though you won’t be required to do it via an accountant unless you want to. I’ve explained it HERE in the section on Income Tax.

    As far as legality goes, however, I’m afraid you are mistaken. Short-term letting is entirely legal under all circumstances, but only for a specific purpose other than tourism. It is private touristic letting, i.e. to holidaymakers, which is illegal, but even then only under certain circumstances. I’ve explained the various permutations HERE and HERE.

  104. Hello, Is there somewhere to check for planned constructions with an ayuntamiento? I’m looking at la tejita and trying to figure out where new buildings are approved already (given the sheer number being built there these days!)

  105. Author

    Yes, Granadilla Ayuntamiento, Planning department.

  106. We are Swallows and have been now for 12 years but have never rented our apartment out.
    I thought we had been paying all our correct taxes as we pay the the annual Impuesto …inmuebles one by direct debit.

    However I am not sure we have ever paid the ‘Impuesto sobre la renta de no residentes’.

    We were never advised of this by the Notary or our Estate Agent at the time of purchase and have never been asked or notified that we should have done since. Was this a tax that was brought in since our purchase perhaps. Will this just be taken in to account as an outstanding debt when we sell and and we have to pay then? Or what would your advice be.

  107. Author

    Owners have to pay their rates (IBIs) to their local council and income tax to the tax authorities, just as in the UK. What you have been paying is the rates, and that is never the only tax to pay, anywhere. Non-resident owners, since this is a holiday island, are assumed to have rental income of some sort or another if they don’t live in their properties personally, and so part of their annual tax returns (required of all owners here, resident or not) will be either actual rental income, or a rental income which the state deems them to have received, They are well aware of people getting rental income and not declaring it, and so this is what would be understood in the UK as an “assessment to tax”.

    This non-resident deemed rental income tax is applied to all non-resident owners – and has been for very many years so certainly before when you bought the apartment – and applied also to Spaniards who are not resident in the Canaries – so is not discriminatory. Unfortunately, British nationals are so accumstomed to the state telling them what to do that they aren’t familiar with a system where things like this are down to personal responsibility. The law in Spain is the law, and not knowing about it is not accepted as a defence. Your notary was just there to oversee your purchase, and your estate agent was just an estate agent – neither is responsible for advising people on tax matters. The information is available for anyone who does basic research and people are expected to know, I’m afraid. My advice would be to get an asesor to sort out your back taxes and get you straight.

    As to outstanding debts, yes, outstanding taxes are taken into account on sale: non-resident vendors are deducted 3% (as I describe HERE) to stop them taking the money and going without settling their outstanding taxes, so any debts are cleared then before any refund of overpayment might be due.

  108. Thank you Janet. And you are so right …Ignorance is no defence.
    Thank you for your contact name but I am assuming she lives down south and we live just outside Los Realejos in the north. Have been looking into it and we have been recommended an English speaking tax administrator locally and will get ourselves sorted and legal on this aspect.
    You do an amazing job for us Brits out here.
    Meanwhile we await the outcome of the vote on Tuesday ….

  109. While ignorance is not a defence I know a few people who have made the case that they were ignorant and offered to pay the last two years and this was accepted as up to date payment by the tax authorities. Myself included.

  110. Thank you – I will certainly do my best with that.
    I have this friend that keeps telling me things. She said they can only go back 4 years. Would you know if this is correct as things change all the time.

    And yet one more question re the Impuesto de Inmuebles. My friend has now told me that I should be paying a separate tax for my garage as well as my apartment. We are paying for the apartment but how do I know if that includes the garage. We do have separate deeds for the garage. If I should be paying this tax (rates) for the garage and I’m not – who do I go and see to sort it. My local Ayuntamiento?

    I sometimes wish I didn’t have this friend ….

  111. Author

    Yes, the tax authorities have a four-year statute of limitations. For your IBIs, yes your garage should be rated but it might already be included. You will need to check with the town hall who are the only ones who can confirm because the rates are a council tax.

  112. Thank you so much. You are a fount of knowledge and we Brits are so lucky to have you to explain things to us.
    Cheers Gabby.

  113. Hi, there a realestate record somewhere with the government where you can find out property borders in rural areas and who is the owner of a certain property?
    Thanks. Karl

  114. Author

    yes, a Land Registry. You will need to submit an application giving your personal details and reason for the request, but property details are public records and available to those with justifiable reasons to inspect. You simply need to find out where the Land Registry is local to the property concerned, and then request a nota simple or nota informativa. Apart from that, most councils have a functioning local planning ordnance that can be checked, some online: ask in the planning department of the Ayuntamiento local to the property concerned.

  115. We just purchased a property in Tenerife, we live in Ireland, we transfered the balance to santander bank ( euro) they now want to charge €1,000 to transfer the money to the vendor who also lives in Tenerife, this seems very expensive as it only cost €25 to transfer the money from Ireland.

  116. Author

    I’m afraid that very often they are thieves, and some charge a percentage of the money transfered … I have personally known Banca March want to charge someone €6,000 for a transfer between Spanish banks on that basis, and have more than once seen La Caixa charge €3,000 for an inter-bank transfer within Spain. See what you can negotiate with them, and also speak to currency transfer firms like CurrencyFair, Currencies Direct or Forex. The alternative is to see whether the vendor will accept a bank draft – they should accept it because it’s the normal and safest means of payment at notary for both sides – and then see if it comes cheaper that way. But I hope you’ll see that it’s not just Santander!

  117. Many thanks for your response

  118. We used a bank cheque rather than do a transfer but it still cost something like €600. Janet, isn’t there now a limit on what the banks can charge?

  119. Author

    Good grief, Stewart, yes! Well remembered! Anne, tell them about this post HERE from last month and ask them to justify the charge now that the new legislation is in force. In particular, refer to Article 4.2.e, which requires them only to charge €3 monthly for up to 120 transactions per year which include “direct debits AND TRANSFERS”! Let us know how you get on! and Stewart, thank you!!

  120. Wondered if you could help me Is there going to be a change in the way your rates are paid at the moment we pay direct debit through the bank

  121. Author

    I’m not aware of any change. Have you heard of one? or do you have a reason for thinking there might be a change?

  122. Thanks for the reply it’s just that some people on our complex have received a letter and when translated it says about paying rates on line maybe they have translated it wrong will look into it further thankyou

  123. Author

    People have long been able to pay rates online, it’s how I pay my own, but you’d almost certainly need a digital certificate to do so.

  124. Good morning I have a question if four people own an apartment with 25 percent share each can they stand for president of the community ?

  125. Author

    Technically they are owners so can all stand but the more important point is that the apartment itsely only has one vote and so they would have to agree in any case beforehand who was going to cast it!

  126. Hi Janet. Do you have any information on the new laws that have recently been passed regarding notaries in buying a property. Apparently the notary now has the information regarding debts, boundaries etc eradicating the need for an abagados. Is this true? I’ve just had a mortgage application approved and considering not using a solicitor. Many thanks

  127. Author

    Notaries have always had such powers. The problem for buyers is that notaries are there to oversee the public signing of transfer of title: effectively, one can, if one so wishes, buy a completely illegal property and the notary is not acting “for the buyer” in this sense, but is overseeing the legality of the transaction itself. If the buyer wants to buy something illegal it’s not for the notary to say “by the way you shouldn’t buy this”. That is a lawyer’s job, an independent lawyer engaged specifically to protect the purchaser’s rights. This has always been the case. My advice is always to get a wholly independent conveyancer (doesn’t have to be a qualified lawyer but usually is) to oversee the sale from the perspective of the specific rights of the purchaser, rather than overseeing it as a public transaction between buyer and seller.

    I understand anyone who wants to save costs, but the costs of a lawyer are so negligible compared to the price of a property that it is a false economy to do without, in my opinion. And I also always advise any prospective buyer to walk away the minute anyone advises them to do without independent legal assistance in their purchase: that applies even to agents who say they can “do the legals in house” … and perhaps especially to mortgaging banks. Many agents could and would be fine but there is little legal comeback for anyone caught in problems caused by unqualified or incorrect advice, or advice coloured by the need to complete a sale (or mortgage) for the sake of commission. And that’s not taking account of outright fraud. You might not have been so persuaded but I feel it’s worth repeating, especially since your comment about “a new law” smacks of someone misinforming you.

  128. Great advice. Thanks Janet. I did think it a bit suspect that the advice from the mortgage advisor was ‘you don’t need a solicitor’. I’ve now instructed mine to start their checks! Thanks again

  129. Hi Janet
    We currently own a property in Tenerife that we want to retire to in 4 years time. Because of Brexit, should we register as green card holder’s or citizens? Very worried about the future

  130. Author

    Please could you have a look at THIS page which explains in far more detail but the long and short of it is that you cannot register as green card holders if you are not already living here permanently. It is a registration with the Spanish immigration authorities and involves a formal declaration of permanent (and so also fiscal) residence. It’s not something that can be sorted out casually as a sort of insurance against the future, I’m afraid.

    Please also have a look HERE for updates on Brexit as and when there is anything concrete to say that affects those visiting or living in Tenerife. I’m afraid that as of this morning, there is nothing more that can be said to give clarity. I wish there were, and deplore the way British nationals in the EU have been treated by the UK.

  131. Hi Janet,
    We are currently looking to sell but I note that an extension we built is not on the original plans.
    What should I do?

  132. Author

    It cannot be on the original plans, because the Escritura will remain unchanged regardless of alterations made after purchase. If you have an alteration it cannot be included in the Escritura but still must be attested as legal. See a lawyer.

  133. Hello. I own 25% of an apartment in Tenerife. I no longer live in Tenerife. The other 3 quarters are owned equally by 3 other people.
    Can they sell it without my signature?

  134. Author

    If you are named on the escritura as one of the owners, then you or someone who holds a power of attorney for you will have to sign to sell your share.

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