Spanish property buyers focus on green second homes as Malaga gets first National Park

Spanish property buyers focus on green second homes as Malaga gets first National Park

Spain ,
  • Sierra de las Nieves to become Spain’s 16th National Park later this year
  • Designation includes strict environmental protections
  • Taylor Wimpey España reports uptick in interest in greener homes

Later this year, Spain’s Malaga province will finally get its first National Park, after six years of campaigning. Sierra de las Nieves, the mountainous area north of Marbella and east of Ronda, will enjoy increased funding and stricter environmental protections as a result of the decision.

Sierra de las Nieves has been a protected national park since 1989 and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1995. It is home to the largest collection of pinsapo trees in existence, along with an abundance of largely untouched flora and fauna, with some of the trees thought to be over 500 years old. Bird spotters who visit the park can enjoy sightings of golden eagles, griffon vultures, peregrine falcons and many more species, while ibex, wild cats, mouflon and roe deer roam the steep slopes.

Connecting with nature has rarely felt so important as it has over the past year, with lockdown restrictions confining so many people to the inside of their homes. Likewise, exercise has becoming something to be valued even more than normal. With cycling, hiking, horse-riding, kayaking, climbing, abseiling, potholing and canyoning all available in Sierra de las Nieves, those visiting the resorts of the Costa del Sol will have easy access to all the nature and exercise they could possibly wish for.

Many visitors and locals alike have long enjoyed the rich eco-diversity of Sierra de las Nieves. Now, the profile-raising nature of the National Park designation, along with the funding that comes with it, means that many more families will benefit from this incredible natural resource. The development of sustainable tourism activities will ensure the area is well protected, which is incredibly important for the future of Sierra de las Nieves.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España

Both tourists and second home owners are increasingly conscious of the need for greater sustainability, according to leading Spanish home builder Taylor Wimpey España. Concern for the environment is being reflected in the questions that buyers are asking as part of the purchase process.

Taylor Wimpey España has long been included environmentally friendly features in its developments. Its properties at the prestigious La Cala Golf resort, located just over an hour from Sierra de las Nieves, include several such features. One example is their electric water heaters, which use energy saving systems and source their hot water through thermal solar energy. Double glazed windows also help to make the homes more energy efficient.

The properties also deliver the chance to reconnect with nature. The low-density construction and quiet location of the key-ready homes at Sun Valley, for example, are ideal for those looking for a greenery-surrounded retreat. Available from €251,000 plus VAT, the southwest-facing homes offer stunning golf view from their ample terraces. In addition to golf, owners can enjoy the on-site tennis facilities, as well as an array of water sports at the stunning beaches just 7 km away.

The off-plan apartments available at Harmony, also on the La Cala Golf site, will also make the most of the natural surroundings and spectacular scenery, with views taking in the golf course, mountains and sea in a single vista. Priced from €295,000 plus VAT, the homes are being built in accordance with the new Technical Building Code (CTE). This means that they are ahead of the market in terms of delivering some of the highest levels of energy efficiency and thermal and acoustic insulation. The property has achieved Energy Certification B, as does Sun Valley (this obligatory certification ranges from A for the most energy efficient homes to G for the least).

“Features such as energy efficiency, solar energy and thermal insulation are no longer ‘nice to haves’ – they are a core part of what many buyers are seeking. We are delighted to be developing homes that adhere to such high standards in this respect.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España

For more information please contact Taylor Wimpey España today on 08000 121 020 or visit If you reside outside of the UK you will need to call 00 34 971 706 972.

All is not lost for owners of ‘illegal’ properties in Spain

All is not lost for owners of ‘illegal’ properties in Spain

  • CostaLuz Lawyers highlights potential to take action against banks
  • ‘Illegal’ property owners can claim for refund of off-plan deposit
  • Claims not subject to December 2020 deadline that applied to many other owners

The Spanish property experts at CostaLuz Lawyers have reached out to owners of ‘illegal’ properties in Spain to reassure them that all is not lost. The team has highlighted the potential for owners of these properties to make a claim against their developer’s bank for a refund of their off-plan deposit. Not only that, but if the buyer subrogated the developer’s mortgage, they can also claim for all mortgage repayments.

Action can be taken against liable banks under Law 57/1968, with no deadline in place for making such claims, yet few of those impacted are aware of the full extent of their right to a refund.

An illegal Spanish property is one that did not have the proper planning permission, building licences or other paperwork in place at the time the client paid their off-plan deposit. Many buyers moved into such properties following the building boom of the early to mid-2000s, either paying for them in full or taking on large mortgages. These buyers now have recourse to legal action to reclaim the deposits that they paid – along with interest and legal fees.

“We’ve been hugely successful in winning back some €25 million for Spanish property buyers who lost deposits to developers who went bust. The deadline for such claims under Law 57/1968 was 28 December 2020. However, claims for the return of off-plan deposits paid on illegal properties, and for mortgage payments where the buyer subrogated the developer’s mortgage, are not subject to this deadline; they’re not subject to any deadline at all.”

Keith Rule,

Owners can claim against the developer’s bank or insurer for a refund of any deposit that they paid prior to the legally required paperwork being in place. This applies even when no contract exists, as the Spanish Supreme Court has deemed that lack of consent means no time-barring can be applied.

Despite many of those who are eligible to claim having purchased their properties 15+ years ago, it was 2013 before the Supreme Court stated that ‘finishing’ a property means not just building it but also having all of the legal paperwork in place. And it wasn’t until 2016 that the court clarified that planning illegalities were a matter that fell under the purview of Law 57/68.

“There is clear case law to support the claiming of refunds of deposits paid on illegal properties and in some instances of mortgage repayments as well. The Spanish justice system can move slowly but this doesn’t mean that it is not worth pursuing a case. The return of a deposit, along with 15+ years’ worth of interest, can equate to a lump sum that feels well worth the wait.”

Keith Rule,

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit

UK interest in Spanish second homes up 39%

UK interest in Spanish second homes up 39%

Spain ,
  • UK-based visitors to Taylor Wimpey España website up 39% in first week of January
  • Demand ranging from key-ready homes to brand new off-plan launches
  • Would-be buyers using virtual tours to view their dream homes during lockdown

Interest in Spanish second homes continues to grow, as British families while away the lockdown hours perusing their options online. Leading Spanish home builder Taylor Wimpey España, which has a selection of brand new, key-ready homes available for buyers to enjoy in 2021, has reported continued growth in both web visits and leads.

UK visitors to the company’s website increased by 39% during the first week of 2021, when compared to the first week of 2020. Interest from other European countries is also on the up, with web visitors from Germany up 51% and those from Belgium up by 44%. Domestic visitors have increased too, with website visits from Spain up 15% on the year before.

Leads, meanwhile, were up 30% for the first week of January 2021, compared to those a year earlier.

Unfortunately, both the UK and Germany are in lockdown right now, while Spain, France and a whole host of other countries have extensive restrictions in place. But that doesn’t mean that would-be buyers aren’t dreaming of owning a home in the sunshine. The appeal of Spain’s golf courses and expansive beaches is only emphasized by stay-at-home orders; families are itching to return to normality with a newfound zeal for travel and leisure time.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España

Taylor Wimpey España is delivering a range of properties, designed to suit a variety of tastes and budgets. The company has five new sites launching during the first half of 2021, as well as brand new, key-ready homes available in popular locations. Virtual tours of these have proven particularly popular. The tours are so thorough that some buyers have even bought during lockdown, without seeing the property in person.

Both mainland Spain and Mallorca continue to attract keen interest. The mixture of affordability and sunshine that the Costa Blanca delivers has long been a favourite with British buyers. At La Recoleta III, for example, key-ready apartments just metres from the sea are available from €180,000 plus VAT. The stunning location is complemented by garden areas, a generously sized pool and practical touches ranging from underground parking that is accessible by lift to handy storage rooms.

Mallorca, though unable to rival the Costa Blanca in terms of affordability, certainly gives it a run for its money in terms of stunning scenery, sporting facilities and local gastronomy, not to mention abundant sunshine. The island has been a key area of focus for Taylor Wimpey España for some time. Available properties range from stunning first line apartments – such as those at Blue Cove – to contemporary villas offering spacious living indoor and out at Las Villas de Dalt de Sa Rapita.

“We are delighted that interest in Spanish second homes has grown so considerably over the past year, despite the many challenges that the pandemic has delivered. Being able to travel freely and enjoy unrestricted second home ownership is going to feel so incredibly welcome after the events of 2020. By continuing to deliver thoughtfully designed homes in prized locations, we will ensure that there is no disruption on the supply side as demand increases over the course of 2021.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España

For more information please contact Taylor Wimpey España today on 08000 121 020 or visit If you reside outside of the UK you will need to call 00 34 971 706 972.

BREAKING NEWS! Spain allows British expats to apply for residency post-Brexit

BREAKING NEWS! Spain allows British expats to apply for residency post-Brexit

  • Brits who missed TIE residency document application deadline can still apply
  • CostaLuz Lawyers highlights positive implications of the decision
  • Those with family links in Spain may also be able to apply for residency

Brexit may be well and truly done, but British citizens residing in Spain who have yet to complete the necessary paperwork have just been thrown a lifeline by the Spanish authorities. The government has announced that those who can prove they lived in Spain prior to 31 December 2020 may still apply for residency there.

Immigration officials have been instructed to follow the same procedure as they did for those applying for residency before the December deadline, though with particular attention paid to documentation that proves the individuals’ residency pre-dated the end of 2020.

Keith Rule of pioneering law firm CostaLuz Lawyers comments:

“This is excellent news for UK citizens who, for whatever reason, have yet to make their residency in Spain official. They can now apply for the TIE residency document without fear of reprisals or penalties for having missed the 31 December 2020 deadline. The move is a key signal of the value that Spain places on its long-standing relationship with the UK and a positive indicator for post-Brexit relations.”

The Spanish guidance states that British citizens arriving in Spain as of 1 January 2021 can also apply for residency in certain situations, such as if they have a family link with a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement.

“All of this spells good news for a close relationship between Spain and the UK over the coming years,” continues CostaLuz Lawyers’ Keith Rule. “There are hundreds of thousands of British expats living in Spain, while some 18 million Brits spend their holidays here each year. Making it easier for residents to obtain the TIE, despite missing the deadline, should be well received by both expats here in Spain and policymakers back home in the UK.”

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit

CostaLuz Lawyers wins millions for retirees who thought their money was gone for good

CostaLuz Lawyers wins millions for retirees who thought their money was gone for good

  • Spanish law firm has won nearly 500 cases for those who lost off-plan deposits
  • Total wins for property owners now exceed €25 million
  • Returned funds have given many retirees a significant boost

Losing tens of thousands of pounds can transform a dream retirement into a nightmare. Yet losing such sums became an all too familiar tale back in the mid-2000s, when the Spanish property market crashed. The global financial crisis meant that many second home buyers’ dreams of a sun-kissed retirement on the golf course or the beach instead turned into protracted legal battles.

For Brenda Wilkinson from Belfast, the dream was to buy a property overlooking the 18th hole at Sierra Golf in Murcia. Her husband was a keen golfer and the couple were looking for a holiday home that had the potential to serve as a retirement property.

Brenda paid £42,000 to Iberian International as a deposit but a visit to the site in 2008 to finalise the purchase revealed a poorly constructed home with an ‘underbuild’ that was full of mud. A neighbouring owner confided in Brenda that her own property was a mud-filled disaster.

Despite feeling pressured to sign the paperwork, Brenda refused, instead writing a list of complaints to the company. Nothing was done as a result of her complaints and, despite paying a solicitor, Brenda was unable to get her money back.

Brenda’s experience echoes that of John and Noleen Parkes, from Norfolk. Now in their mid-seventies, the couple paid €77,000 as a deposit on a property in La Marine, Alicante in February 2008, where they planned to live. When their developer failed to deliver, their lawyer informed them that there was no effective form of redress and that their money was lost.

Yet there was hope on the horizon. Brenda, who turns 64 this month, came across CostaLuz Lawyers, as did John and Noleen. The firm had grabbed property press headlines back in 2012 with a class action court victory over Finca Parcs, which saw almost €1.5 million in ‘lost’ deposits returned to Spanish second home buyers, many of them from the UK.

“We were delighted to act on behalf of Brenda and of John and Noleen, to try and win back their money and hopefully make a difference to their retirement plans. The Spanish justice system can move slowly but we were confident that both cases stood a good chance of successful outcomes, given the injustice of the claimants’ experiences.”

Keith Rule,

Both court cases, as expected, took several years to navigate the legal system. Brenda was delighted when, in June 2019, she received her full £42,000 deposit back. Additional payments awarded in October 2019 and August 2020 took that total up to over £50,000 including interest and costs.

In John and Noleen’s case, which has so far spent six years working its way through the Spanish legal system, CostaLuz Lawyers has already won back 75% of their deposit. A parallel court case is still being pursued and John and Noleen are confident that this separate and final case will also be brought to a successful conclusion.

“Many of our friends, whilst supportive, I suspect have quietly thought we were delusional in ever thinking we would recover our deposit. But we have done it. To say we are pleased and relieved is an understatement! We are very grateful and appreciative for the work CostaLuz Lawyers has done, and is continuing to do, on our behalf.”

John Parkes

While the deadline has now passed for those who lost off-plan deposits in the mid-2000s to initiate legal action, the CostaLuz Lawyers team remains busy with around 200 cases still in progress. The company is also working with those who have lost money in a range of other situations, from timeshares to mortgage prisoners trapped in negative equity for over a decade. In total, the company has won over €25 million for those who paid deposits on homes that were never finished or built, making a huge difference to many claimants’ retirement plans, often as much as a decade after they thought their money was gone for good.

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit

Rising enquiries signal renewed confidence in Spanish second homes as dust settles on Brexit deal

Rising enquiries signal renewed confidence in Spanish second homes as dust settles on Brexit deal

Spain ,
  • Taylor Wimpey España reports 30% increase in leads
  • 2021 likely to see release of pent-up demand for second homes
  • Growth in home working leading to different ways of using holiday properties

As the dust settles on the UK’s last minute Brexit deal with the EU, it seems that Brits who have been keeping one eye on the potential of owning property in Spain are already swinging into action. Leading Spanish home builder Taylor Wimpey España has begun the new year with a flurry of enquiries from Britons interested in buying homes in Spain.

The firm has reported a 30% increase in leads in the first week of January 2021 when compared with the same period in 2020. In addition, website traffic from the UK is up 57% over the same timeframe.

And Brits aren’t only looking; just one working day into January, Taylor Wimpey España had already sold its first property of the year – to a British buyer.

While COVID remains at the forefront of many minds, the beginning of vaccination programmes across the globe means that there is room for cautious optimism for the travel industry as a whole over the course of 2021. As the world’s second most popular international tourism destination (based on World Bank data) this is particularly important for Spain.

Yet even without the added complication of COVID-19 thrown in, the UK’s departure from the EU was always going to impact the way that second homeowners use their holiday properties.

We’ve seen buyers changing their expectations about how and when they plan to use their second homes. The events of 2020 have accelerated the pace of those changes – and 2021 will likely do so further – but those shifts in usage had already begun. One key trend, for example, is that buyers are now looking to use their second homes to work from, as well as for leisure purposes.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España

The traditional two-week holiday is a thing of the past. The rise of freelancing and remote working had already opened many people’s eyes to the possibility of extended stays overseas, even before the pandemic. With more people now working remotely than ever, doing so for a couple of months somewhere sunny is much more realistic. Second home owners who may previously have used their home for a week or two here and there can now seriously consider alternating three months in the UK with two or three months in Spain.

Second home owner Philippe Codeville, for example, plans to spend four to five months of each year in his apartment at Grand View, at the Costa del Sol’s La Cala Golf Resort. With panoramic views of the golf course and the mountains of Mijas, plus an on-site communal pool and gardens, the sunny homes have proven popular with those looking to reconnect with nature and spend more time in the fresh air. For Philippe, the beauty of the location and the ability to be so close to the sea while still living somewhere calm were key factors behind his decision to buy at Grand View. Along with the chance to hone his golf skills, of course.

Immersing yourself into an area for months at a time rather than weeks provides a wholly different experience of it. This is what many second home owners in Spain are now seeking – a greater connection with the country and its culture. Fewer trips mean fewer flights, as well, which is an increasingly important consideration for families seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. All of this is contributing to longer stays.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España

For longer stays, the amenities available in the local area become more important. Grand View is an easy win in this respect. La Cala Resort delivers three 18-hole golf courses with Club House, Golf Academy and practice range, plus a hydrotherapy centre and spa, tennis courts, a running track, a gym with qualified trainers and a professional football pitch. The charming town of Mijas is just a few minutes’ drive away, while Marbella and Fuengirola meet the needs of even the most demanding of shoppers.

Just one key-ready property remains for sale at Grand View, priced at €314,000 plus VAT.

For more information please contact Taylor Wimpey España today on 08000 121 020 or visit If you reside outside of the UK you will need to call 00 34 971 706 972.

Own a home in Spain? What will Brexit mean for you?

Own a home in Spain? What will Brexit mean for you?

  • Property law firm shares expert advice as deadline looms
  • Many British property owners seeking clarification on Brexit’s likely impact
  • Just days left for Britons in Spain to apply for residency

There’s been plenty of talk about how Brexit will impact Britons’ ability to go on holiday within the EU from 1 January 2021 onwards but what about those who own property there? Brexit tasks are, of course, ongoing, but in response to a wide range of queries from anxious British owners of property in Spain, the experts at CostaLuz Lawyers have shared their insights into what Brexit will and won’t affect, based on what we know so far.

“We’ve been responding to plenty of queries about residency over the course of this year but also about property ownership in Spain and how that is affected. As the Brexit deadline looms, many property owners’ concerns are increasing, so we wanted to share some detail about what the future holds in order to allay property owners’ concerns – and those of anyone looking to buy property in Spain in 2021 as well.”

Keith Rule,

Will the property purchase process change as a result of Brexit?

No. Britons who buy property in Spain will still have to follow the same purchase process.

I own property in Spain – will Brexit affect my rights as a homeowner?

No, it won’t.  Property rights are never linked to residency status.  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 will increase from 19% to 24% from 1 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 1 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 a 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. At present you can only spend up to 90 days in Spain, then 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.

Does the 90-day rule apply even if I own property in Spain?

Yes, it does. Spain may, of course, 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 (known as the Tarjeta de Identidad Extranjero/TIE), 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.

What if I live in Spain but am not officially resident?

In this case, you need to act fast. Very fast. You have until 31 December 2020 to apply for residency. If you don’t, you won’t enjoy the same benefits as other EU citizens in Spain.

Note that, on 4 July 2020, the Spanish authorities introduced a new residency card for British nationals in Spain. Known as the TIE (tarjeta de identidad de extranjero), the card expressly states that the holder is a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU. It also confirms the holder’s right to live in Spain.

“There is bound to be a period of adjustment following 1 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.”

Keith Rule,

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit

Is 2021 the year to work from Spain?

Is 2021 the year to work from Spain?

Spain ,
  • Move over Barbados, it’s Alicante’s turn!
  • New initiative encourages remote working globally from a base in Alicante
  • Taylor Wimpey España points to significant pent up demand for homes in Spain during 2021 and 2022

Barbados hit the headlines this summer with its ‘Welcome Stamp’ initiative, which encouraged people from around the world to move to the country to work remotely for a year. Now, it looks like Spain’s Alicante region wants a piece of the action.

Alicante has long been a popular holiday destination with Britons looking to soak up the sun and enjoy the Spanish lifestyle. But Provia, Alicante’s Builders’ Association, is encouraging people to go further than simply holidaying in the region and instead to live and work there.

2020 has opened our eyes to the possibilities of remote working like never before. We’ve seen an explosion in the use of video conferencing. We’ve also seen teams thinking creatively not only about how they can work outside of the confines of the office but how they can be more productive while doing so. There are going to be a lot of individual workers – and forward-thinking employers – who want to continue to harness the benefits of remote working even after it becomes a choice once more, rather than a necessity.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España

Alicante already attracts considerable attention from retirees as a place to live, but now the region is courting a younger clientele as well – remote workers and their families. It certainly has plenty to offer as a family lifestyle destination. Bustling cities with impressive arrays of restaurants, shops, cultural sites and international schools provide all the conveniences of modern life. The region’s beautiful beaches, meanwhile, are ideal for spending family time outdoors and appeal to a range of ages. For adults and older children, Alicante’s stunning golf courses can’t help but charm.

According to leading Spanish home builder Taylor Wimpey España, Alicante could be in for a bumper couple of years in terms of home purchases by British buyers, including those looking to relocate permanently to the region.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much about the way that we live and work, as well as making families focus on what is most important to them. We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of those viewing properties on our website over the course of 2020, with leads up on as well, so we’re anticipating a significant release of pent up demand over the next year or two.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España

British buyers have recently shown a particular interest in Taylor Wimpey España’s Iconic development at Gran Alacant in Alicante. The show home at the site is due to open in March 2021, with completion of all 170 apartments expected by March of the following year.

The two- and three-bedroom homes at Iconic make the most of their sought-after location, which provides direct access to the blue flag beach of El Carabassi. The whole development has been carefully designed to maximise views of the Mediterranean, as well as Iconic’s impressive pool and garden areas with outdoor fitness equipment and children’s play area. Prices start from €199,000 plus VAT for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment.

Those looking to work from Spain have the best of both worlds at Iconic. The peaceful location, between the towns of El Altet and Santa Pola blends a superb working environment with easy access to local amenities. With so much to offer, it seems that 2021 and 2022 could bring some very positive news for Alicante when it comes to attracting professionals looking to get more out of life than a daily commute.

For more information please contact Taylor Wimpey España today on 08000 121 020 or visit If you reside outside of the UK you will need to call 00 34 971 706 972.

Shock announcement on mortgage expenses leaves Spanish property owners reeling

Shock announcement on mortgage expenses leaves Spanish property owners reeling

  • Government announces deadline of 21 January 2021 for mortgage-related cases against banks
  • Consumer law experts incensed
  • CostaLuz Lawyers appealing to all those impacted to take immediate action

Spain’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs has caused controversy with a shock announcement on mortgage-related cases against banks. The government department issued a notice via social media that the final deadline for all such claims would be 21 January 2021. The surprising decision has riled consumer law experts, as well as those across the property sector.

“Nobody really saw this coming. The announcement itself, with its talk of judicial deadlines, is very unusual. There was already a huge lack of clarity on this issue and this short-notice deadline by which mortgage holders must take action is adding fuel to the fire.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

The issue in question relates to an oft-included clause in mortgage contracts issued by Spanish banks. The clause requires the mortgage holder to pay all mortgage-related expenses, including IAJD tax (mortgage tax/stamp duty), notary and land registry fees. However, on 21 January 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that this was unfair on the mortgage holder and that the cost should not be solely borne by them. This was because many of those expenses were in place in order to protect the bank issuing the mortgage, rather than the borrower.

The 2016 ruling opened the doors for mortgage holders to begin claiming such expenses – often amounting to several thousand euros – back from their banks. A ruling on 26 October 2020 then clarified further that the expenses should be split as:

Now, less than two months after this clarification, the government has announced a final deadline for making claims of 21 January 2021 (this being five years after the initial ruling).

The team at CostaLuz Lawyers points out that this short-notice deadline, given just before many people start to relax for the Christmas break, means that thousands of potential claimants will miss out on the chance to reclaim money that is rightfully theirs.

“The lack of notice of this final deadline by which mortgage holders must begin legal proceedings feels like the government giving a Christmas gift to the banks. We would call on all those with the potential to make a claim to act immediately and spread the word to others in the same position.”

Keith Rule, CostaLuz Lawyers

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit

COVID can’t stop justice as €25 million now won for Spanish property owners by CostaLuz Lawyers

COVID can’t stop justice as €25 million now won for Spanish property owners by CostaLuz Lawyers

  • 500 cases now won using 50-year-old Spanish law
  • Cases for 71 clients won in 2020 despite COVID-19 disruption to courts
  • Decade-long cases see some clients spending entire retirement years fighting for justice

Spanish property law firm CostaLuz Lawyers has announced the recovery of €25 million for clients who paid deposits on homes that were never built (or finished) due to the global financial crisis back in 2007/08.

With another 200 cases in progress, the company expects that figure to rise significantly over the months and years ahead, despite the fact that 28 December 2020 marks the final date for buyers in this position to start legal proceedings.

“Since our first landmark victory using Law 57/1968 back in 2012, when we won €1.5 million plus costs and fees, we’ve won around 500 cases for clients who thought their deposits were gone forever. With some cases taking as long as a decade, this really highlights the value of persistence when it comes to navigating the Spanish legal system.”

Keith Rule,

47 of those wins, representing a total of 71 clients, have been won in 2020. That means the CostaLuz Lawyers team has won approximately €3.5 million this year alone, despite courts closing and other significant disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With cases taking as long as a decade to work their way through the courts, some of the clients that CostaLuz Lawyers is winning money back for are now in their 80s. Many were on the verge of retirement when they originally put deposits down on their dream Spanish homes back in the boom years of 2004 to 2008. They’ve since spent years of their retirement fighting for justice.

Other of CostaLuz Lawyers’ clients are just approaching retirement now – a prospect made vastly more appealing by wins representing tens of thousands of pounds. Chris Nairn, for example, was 50 when he first paid a deposit of around €125,000 for a property in Murcia. When the developer didn’t deliver on time, Chris asked for his deposit back. He finally got it back – plus interest and fees – a full decade later, thanks to the CostaLuz Lawyers team.

“When I first bought, putting down a 30% deposit, it was a dream come true, but the property was not completed on time and the nightmare began. CostaLuz Lawyers warned me the road ahead would be long and tough and that Spanish Law is complex and not easy to navigate. It took 10 years, with a lot of ups and downs, but I remembered what they said and held firm. Finally, we got our money back with interest.”

Chris Nairn, client of

The majority of those who have won their money back had put deposits down on properties on the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca. However, CostaLuz Lawyers has also successfully represented clients in relation to off-plan properties on the Costa del Azahar, Costa Brava and inland. Most hail from the UK and Ireland originally, along with a number of Spanish nationals and residents from elsewhere in Europe.

“There is just a handful of days left for buyers who lost deposits to initiate legal proceedings. It can be a long, arduous process to obtain a refund, but with so much at stake, it’s a process that’s worth persevering with. The sums of money in question, particularly once interest and fees are factored in, can make a huge difference to the course of people’s retirement years.”

Keith Rule,

For more information, please contact CostaLuz Lawyers’ UK office on +44 1908 635 111 and speak with Keith. To speak with Maria in the Spanish office, call +34 956 092 687 or you can visit