If you’ve already dreamt of owning a second home in Spain then there’s no time like the present! From the 30th March it will be legal for British citizens to travel to Spain to house hunt or view properties they have already found online, with a view to purchasing a property. And of course, there are no rules saying that you can’t soak up a little sun at the same time!
Here’s everything you need to know about the change to these rules, and how they might affect you:
Changes to British Government Restrictions
The British government has revised its criteria for legal reasons in which British citizens can leave the UK before the 17th May, and one of those reasons is “to carry out activities relating to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property”. This means that if you are interested in buying a property in Spain and need to attend in-person viewings, or complete legal paperwork, then from 30th March you can travel from the UK to Spain without penalty.
The official list of activities you can legally undertake include visiting an estate agent, developer sales office or show home, viewing residential properties to rent or buy, and preparing a property for moving in. If you are completing any of these tasks then this means that you would not be at risk of the £5,000 fine that the British government have levied to anyone who travels for leisure reasons.
To ensure your trip goes smoothly, and that you are allowed to travel via air without any hiccups, you are advised to secure one of the following as evidence that you are making your trip for a legitimate reason: proof of contract, court decision and proof of place of residence, appointment details from an estate agent, an expiring residency permit, a contract or letter detailing the sale of your property, or any other relevant paperwork pertaining to property.
In the UK this loophole has been dubbed the "Stanley Johnson clause" because it believed to have been implemented after Prime Minister Boris Johnson´s father visited Greece last summer to see a property.
Identical Spanish Government Changes
This announcement coincided with an announcement from the Spanish government (both announcements were made on the 23rd March) that the current ban on arrivals from the UK would be lifted on the 30th March. This ban has been renewed 6 times, but when the current ban expires, it will not be renewed, leaving eligible Brits free to travel to Spain. Whilst the Spanish government will allow all arrivals from the UK to enter the country, it’s important to note that you will only be able to leave the country for the specific reasons outlined above. It’s an odd situation where legally you are allowed to enter Spain but not able to leave the UK.
This is because it is still illegal to take a holiday from the UK to Spain, and if you are found to be breaching this rule you could be subject to a £5,000 fine from the UK government. But if you are genuinely interested in hunting for the Spanish home of your dreams, there’s no better time to take the plunge and start your property search!
Why not get in touch with one of our local property experts to find out more about we can help you with your property search. Whether you’re looking for golden mile properties in Marbella or bargain property in Andalucia, we’re perfectly placed to turn your dreams into a reality. We can’t wait to help you!