Concerned that Brexit might affect the buying process and ownership rights of Brits in Spain now the transition period has ended? To help put your mind at rest, read these answers to some of the most common questions
Will the property purchase process change as a result of Brexit?
No. The purchase process for Britons in Spain remains the same after Brexit as before.
Will Brexit affect my rights as a homeowner?
No. Property rights are never linked to residency status or nationality. All owners of property in Spain have the same rights and obligations, regardless of where they are from.
Are there any tax implications?
There aren’t any tax implications in relation to property ownership. However, the rate of non-resident income tax that British nationals have to pay currently will increase from 19 per cent to 24 per cent from 1st January 2021. This is because Spain, along with other EU countries, distinguishes between EEA and non-EEA nationals.
How long can I stay in my Spanish property after Brexit?
From 1st January 2021, rules regarding the length of your stay in Spain will change. You will no longer be allowed to stay for more than 90 days at a time in any 180-day period. Note, that the 90 days starts as soon as you enter the Schengen Area. This means that if you travel to Spain via France, for example, the time you spend in France counts towards your tally of 90 days.
What if I want to stay for longer – can I join two periods of 90 days?
No. As things stand, you will be able to spend up to 90 days in Spain, after which you must leave the country. You will then not be able to return to the Schengen Area until 180 days have passed since your date of entry into Spain (or elsewhere in the Schengen Area). You can, however, divide the 90-day period into smaller chunks, for example by spending two periods of 45 days each in Spain. One option around this could be to apply for some kind of residency visa, but you will need to speak to a legal expert about the suitability of this.
Does the 90-day rule apply even if I own property in Spain?
Yes. Of course, Spain may introduce new legislation to favour British property-owners and allow them to spend longer periods of time in the country. However, at present the government has not announced any new rules.
Will Brexit affect my rights as a homeowner in Spain?
No. The UK’s decision to leave the EU does not affect homeownership rights in Spain. These will continue to be the same as they were prior to Brexit.
Will my NIE change when the UK leaves the EU?
No. Your NIE (foreigner’s identification number) is valid throughout your lifetime and does not change.
What if I am officially resident?
If you have a Spanish residence permit, your status falls under the Withdrawal Agreement set up between the UK and EU. This means your rights in Spain and the rest of the EU do not change after Brexit.
Keith Rule at CostaLuz Lawyers concludes: “There is bound to be a period of adjustment following 1st January 2021 for Britons who own property in Spain, particularly for those impacted by the 90-day rule. It’s important for property owners to stay abreast of any further developments over the course of 2021 (and beyond) to ensure that they are fully aware of their rights and obligations.”
Written by Overseas Guides Company, Right Move