Property in Spain. Life, History and Spanish Bureaucracy.

(c) freedigitalphotos by artzsamui

Property in Spain. Life, History and Spanish Bureaucracy. They are all just one thing after another.

In 2017 Dr. Liam Fox said that sorting things out for UK life after Brexit should be “one of the easiest things to achieve in human history”. And more presciently, that the only reason it might not be, would be if “politics got in the way of economics”.

I can’t list all the ways that politics has in fact done exactly that. But one of them is enough for a Blog, and others can be the subject of plenty more this year no doubt.

That one example is, buying in Spain.

It was always understood that post-Brexit there would be possible new Spanish visa or residency requirements, and new different tax levels for rental income, and perhaps different inheritance tax levels for EU citizens and for Brits.

But who expected that the Spanish Royal Decree 689 pf 1978 regulations of areas and facilities of National Defence would cause a whammy? –Link here – Here it is

Since 1975 there have been Spanish areas with restricted access by foreigners. No doubt that is the case in all countries, and we English know we are not going to get planning permission to build in the middle of Salisbury Plain. Nor would we want to, what with all the tanks and guns and soldiers.

But there aren’t any nice seaside houses in the MOD tank and war training areas of Salisbury Plain.

In Spain, the relevant areas include residential areas of the Costas and of Majorca and Minorca. It affects thousands of towns and cities. And I see now, Tenerife and the Canaries. –Link Here – to a Tenerife newspaper article. And until Brexit, EU citizens were exempt from requiring “Military Certification” before being allowed to purchase homes there.

Don’t ask me to explain why EU citizens can be relied upon not to be foreign spies, or why British citizens could last year but not this. Or what can be seen through the wires surrounding a military zone which cannot be viewed from home on the satellite images of Google Earth, It’s politics remember.

So what has happened this year is that a significant number of UK citizens are having their Spanish property purchases delayed (and therefore all of the transactions in a linked chain of sales and purchases are delayed too) until a Military certificate can be obtained.

And not only delay, typically six months or so, but also expense. Purchasers are having to obtain Police record certificates, as if they were applying to teach vulnerable children rather than buy a holiday home, and the Notarisation requirements are more onerous and expensive.

And it could get worse. Because most Spanish purchase contracts are made with a stated completion date. And if you sign your contract in ignorance that the land is with a “military defence zone” you may commit yourself to something which is impossible, but which has steep financial penalties for defaulting.

There are several losers in this, obviously, all of the individuals who are having to cope with all this and everyone else in any linked chain, but perhaps the overall loser is the Spanish State. It wants British property owners. It wants their money. And if it makes it all just too much hassle to buy Spanish, we may just buy Portuguese instead.

On the other hand, if nothing here has put you off, here are two songs for the price of one, the –Steve Bent- and –The Fall- versions of “I’m going to Spain” Let’s hope it turns out fine.

And do please remember :- Louise and I are back at work, ready for you to contact us whenever you need Notarial certification or Legalisation for your Documents– at http://www.atkinsonnotary.com – or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)

Welcome to 2021. Thoughts on Freedoms under the Law.

Welcome to 2021. Thoughts on Freedoms under the Law. And the Blues.

On the day that President Biden is inaugurated and President Trump leaves office, I have been re-reading my Blog from the end of 2016. I didn’t understand what had just happened then, and I am none the wiser now (albeit four years or so better informed). Here it is *Link here*

So I will leave wiser heads than mine to comment about the USA and turn to consider what else has been going on.

I confess I am still pondering the concept of “propositions of Universal Acceptance” touched on in my November offering – *Link Here* – the view expressed by Judges that some actions or behaviours are so unarguably beyond the pale that there is absolutely no need for any Laws to make them illegal. **

I am not at all sure about that, it doesn’t seem very British does it? We Brits do tend to think that the basic rule is “it’s legal unless the Law bans it”.

(Not, as in other regimes:-

(Stereotypically:-

  • Germany – “you can’t do it unless the law says you can.”
  • Fascism – “Everything is compulsory unless we have banned it, and also everything is forbidden even if we do allow it.” Although at least that is clear, and less troubling than
  • the USA where the rule is “This is the Land of the Free – but good luck with that.”

(Perhaps the best attitude is the

  • French and Italian one – where “everything is allowed even it is forbidden”.

(And finally, I am told that in

  • Australia when something is against the law, everybody does it anyway just in order to find out why.)

Back to England. An inconsistency with the view that “anything which is universally accepted to be beyond the pale needs no laws to prohibit it” is to my mind found here *Link Here*

That’s right, it’s the Law against making Nuclear Explosions.

I quote:- “Any person who knowingly causes a nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life.”  There we are, yes, there is an actual LAW.

So if you weren’t previously aware, please now put away all your enriched uranium and take up another hobby.

Of course, just because some acts which are universally accepted to be illegal do actually have laws against them, doesn’t mean that other non-universally accepted ones don’t.

Who of the liberty-loving free spirits amongst us has not been dissuaded from driving cattle through the streets of London between the hours of ten in the morning and seven in the evening only by our knowledge of the *Link Here* Metropolitan Streets Act of 1867?

And let’s not even consider the question of “handling fish in suspicious circumstances” – The Salmon Act of 1986 *Link Here*

OK, so this blog is not perhaps up there with the insight and profundity of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights *Link* but I offer it for you to please take from it what you can.

To be serious finally, freedom is a spiritual concept as least as much as a legal one and here is Champion Jack Dupree who survived a harsh orphaned childhood in poverty with no education yet he lived a free life if anyone did, notwithstanding two years spent as a Japanese prisoner of war (and ten years in Halifax West Yorkshire) – “All we want to do is live like people” *Link here*

And do please remember :- Louise and I are back at work, ready for you to contact us whenever you need Notarial certification or Legalisation for your Documents– at http://www.atkinsonnotary.com – or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)

** Beyond the pale. A pale is the stake supporting fencing and thus providing a safe boundary within the pale. (Remember the awful fate of the lovers Polindor and Flostella in 1657 who “both dove-like roved forth beyond the pale to planted Myrtle-walk”?  Me neither, so thanks Google. Anyway P &F wandered off together beyond the pale where bad men later exercised “many a dire killing thrust”. So there it is.)