Woe to Brexit as Brits need Defense Ministry approval to buy house in Spain
BRITONS aiming to buy country property in Spain have been warned that since Brexit they will need permission from the Spanish Ministry of Defense, which could add six months to their deadline and around € 1,000 (£ 830 ) at their costs.
The rule affects all non-EU buyers in Spain except the Swiss and Norwegians, who have an exemption agreement in place. It only applies to so-called “rustic” – or rural – properties and does not affect those in urban areas.
According to a blog post published by the chartered surveyor firm Property Works Mallorca, when assessing a buyer’s suitability to obtain the MOD permit, the authorities will also verify the existence of a criminal record and require a plan of the property and the land.
“This is actually an old law drafted in the last year of the Franco regime (Royal Decree 689 issued in 1978) to protect national security,” the post said.
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“It has been used for non-European buyers for over four decades.
“The Balearic Property Registrars College recognizes that this will not help investments in the islands as the process currently takes about six months.”
The blog warns that the permit is property and person specific, and therefore cannot be obtained in advance when people start looking for their place in the sun.
However, he added: “At Property Works, unfortunately we see sellers turning down good offers from the British as they don’t want to wait for the buyer to get this clearance, much preferring an EU citizen who can finish with less hassle or delay.
“We have also heard that in some property registries they allow the registration of properties with the clause ‘military certificate pending’.
“It appears to be an exception and potentially risky for the registrar and notary public if the permit is denied.”
It is said that there are high hopes that the rule will be changed “soon”, as there is “significant” pressure from all sides, especially from realtors and lawyers.
A Scotsman who is a subscriber to The National and lives in Mallorca told us that this meant that some non-EU citizens, including the British, needed permission from the Department of Defense to buy a “rustic” property, while nationals of EU countries did not have to do so. dealing with the extra layer of bureaucracy.
They said: “This in effect means that if a Briton wants to buy a property on rustic land, he cannot buy it until he has obtained permission from the Spanish Ministry of Defense.
“By the time you get this clearance, any EU citizen could have bid for the property and bought while the UK buyer is still awaiting clearance from the Spanish Ministry of Defense.”