We often get enquiries about changing ownership of property. Especially division of joint tenancy or dividing ownership on divorce. Also known as a dissolution of joint ownership.
A client approached us advising “I am presently in the middle of a divorce. We are currently sorting out the financial side of things. We have an apartment in Punta Prima, near Torrevieja in Spain. The property is in joint names but will be signed over to me on completion of the divorce. Please could you give me some idea of what is involved in that process & what fees & taxes we will have to pay. “
We explained that there is a method called division of joint tenancy or dissolution of joint ownership to deal with the transfer. With this the property is only subject to payment of Stamp Duty in Spain. The rate of stamp duty in April 2020 is 1.5% in the Valencia region. This is paid on the value of the outgoing share. This is usually paid by the co-owner keeping the property but depends what you agree. This is much cheaper than the normal 10% buying tax and 3% being withheld.
Besides the cost of Stamp Duty; if there is a mortgage the Bank has to agree, and they will have their fees for re-arranging the mortgage, which they advise directly. You would need to supply the Bank with all the paperwork they require. You would have to pay notary fees, land registry fees, stamp duty, and legal fees, as well as the banks fees.
We can advise the fees for making the change of the deed at the Notary if you could scan and send us the deeds of the property, and the local council tax bill for last year (SUMA in our area).
The process usually takes about a month. Really it depends whether all the information is readily available and if you both would be coming to Spain. Alternatively we can prepare and send powers of attorney to you in the UK. This is more usual, but takes a while as after you do powers of attorney (either together or separately, depending on what you prefer), they need to go to the Foreign Office for a Hague Apostille.
We can also help with changing names on the bills and look after you going forward.
If you can scan me the deeds and the most recent SUMA bill then we can give you costs. I will also need passport copies and NIES but not straightaway.