Should I get a survey if I'm buying a property in Spain?

Purchasing a property in Spain is rarely done on a whim. But at times it can feel like cutting corners here and there will help relieve the burden and stress of navigating a transaction in an unfamiliar language and jurisdiction.  It is all too easy to be swayed by the relaxed purchasing culture of Spanish nationals who may suggest that commissioning a survey prior to purchase is an unnecessary expense that will delay the sale going through. 

Is it necessary to have a survey commissioned on a Spanish property?

It is true to say that it is not a legal requirement to commission a survey on a Spanish property.  It is however, strongly recommended that you get one made for any purchase that you are seriously considering following through on. At the very least a professional’s opinion will assist putting your mind at ease and help you avoid being disappointed by defects in the property that can diminish your enjoyment of its use in the future.

Although, it is true to say that any negative results highlighted by a survey cannot usually be used to renegotiate the initial pricing terms of an accepted offer, surveys are nonetheless an invaluable means of alerting an unsuspecting purchaser to any structural defects that may exist in a property that cannot be seen by the naked eye.

How can I commission a survey on a Spanish property?

If you are embarking on a property search and have entered into tentative negotiations with a vendor, but are unsure of how to proceed on the topic of a survey, then independent legal advice can help steer you in the right direction.

Any reputable legal representative with in-depth knowledge of Spain’s national and regional property laws will be able to guide you to a suitable organisation that can deal with commissioning a survey on a Spanish property on your behalf.

It is also important to note that unlike the UK, it is not necessary to get your survey conducted by a registered or chartered surveyor. In Spain it is also possible to commission an architect to check that your potential purchase is structurally sound and fit for purpose.

Next steps

If you are seriously considering purchasing a property and you have concerns about the structure, we recommend that you commission a survey on your Spanish property before making an offer.  That way you can price your offer accordingly.  

If you are considering purchasing a property in Spain, please check our our buying property in Spain pages. If you are affected by the issues in this article, please do be in contact with us. You can contact us by email at info@solicitorsinspain.com, by telephone on 020 3478 1420, or by completing our contact us form.

Last updated: 13 August 2020

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