It has now been a relatively long period of time since the UK officially left the European Union giving us a better understanding of both the Spanish property market after Brexit, and what the process of buying in Spain after Brexit looks like. Britons have had a love affair with Spain since the 1960s, buying properties to own their own piece of paradise. But for those homeowners who purchased property before Brexit took place, the main question (and concern) is ‘how long can I stay in my holiday home after Brexit?’ Are long winters in the sun a thing of the past for Britons? Can you spend all of your annual vacation in your Spanish holiday home? Here’s everything you need to know about owning property in Spain in a post-Brexit world.
The information contained within these frequently asked questions is based on current Spanish law regarding buying in Spain after Brexit, and is therefore subject to change at any time:
Can Britons Still Own Property in Spain?
The best news for Britons buying in Spain after Brexit is that there has been no legal change to their right to own or buy property in Spain. This legal right is not based on residency status, meaning that it doesn’t matter whether you have a Spanish visa or not. Owning property in Spain is a privilege that anyone can enjoy.
How Long Can I Stay in My Holiday Home After Brexit?
From a homeowner's point of view, the main change as a result of Brexit has been what is known as the ‘90 day rule’. Britons without a Spanish residency visa can now only stay in the EU for 90 out of every 180 day period. This means that Britons can’t simply buy in Spain after Brexit and move straight in permanently: they would need to secure a visa or residency permit first. If you only intend to live in your property temporarily, for holidays for example, then the answer to how long can I stay in my holiday home after Brexit is 90 day maximum, provided you then return to the UK and don’t intend to travel to the EU again for at least 90 days.
You cannot join two 90 day stays together to stay in Spain for 6 months, but you can either: enjoy two long three month stays in Spain a year, or break this up into several shorter trips. In brief, therefore, if you only use your Spanish home as a holiday property then the answer to the question ‘how long can I stay in my holiday home after Brexit?’ should give you plenty of time to enjoy the Spanish lifestyle as you always did!
Will the Process of Buying in Spain After Brexit Be Different?
In more good news, the process of buying in Spain after Brexit will be exactly the same. Regardless of whether you are a Spanish resident or not, the steps involved in making your house purchase will remain exactly the same.
What Rights as a Property Owner Will Change as a Result of Brexit?
In short, none! Your rights to remain in Spain, and therefore in your property, will be different as a result of Brexit, but the rights that you secure as a property owner won’t change at all. You will have both the same rights and the same obligations as a Spanish national.
Will the Spanish Property Market After Brexit Look Different?
Before the UK left the EU there was a huge concern that buying properties in Spain would become more expensive. These concerns have proven to be unfounded: the process and costs involved in purchasing a Spanish property as a Briton are just the same as they were before.
The only exception to this rule is if you choose to let out your property, because the amount of tax you will pay on this income will change as a result of your third party national status. As a non-EU/EEA national, you will pay a standard 24% tax rate: when the UK was part of the EU the applicable income tax rate was 19%. What's more, when it comes to renting out their properties, non-resident British owners will no longer be able to deduct any expenses meaning that the full gross rental income will be taxed at the 24% rate.
Can I still rent my Spanish property out?
Absolutely! Although, as outlined above, the tax implications of renting out your property may be higher than they were before Brexit, there is absolutely nothing to stop you from renting your property out.
All property and rental law in Spain come under the regulation of the LAU (Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos) and if you are renting out a property as a main home, this is the regulation that you are covered by. Holiday rentals, however, are not covered by this legislation: instead the 17 individual autonomous regions regulate the rental of these properties. Right now, there are no restrictions on anyone outside of Spain or the EU from renting their property out, but in most cases you will be obligated to register your property with the regional authorities.
What are the tax implications of selling my Spanish property?
This is more good news, if you’re wondering about the costs involved in selling your Spanish home. The UK and Spain operate a Double Tax Treaty agreement, and this covers both income and capital gains. Effectively, the treaty ensures that you do not pay tax twice in both the UK and Spain, so you won’t be penalized if you choose to buy and then sell a Spanish property. The Spanish property market after Brexit is very buoyant, so selling your home should be easy and straight forward.
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