Buying A Property With Confidence

When buying a property, it is vital to know what documents and legalities are required for everything to be in order. In this article you will find out how to avoid common mistakes when purchasing a home in Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza, taking into account different types of purchases and peculiarities.

Buying A Brand New Property
So you’re going to purchase a newly built, never lived in house. Do you know what paperwork you should be receiving should you make this acquisition in Mallorca?

Here’s what you should expect:

  • Certificate of Completion of Work (Final de Obra) – this document should be provided by the surveyor or vendor, and confirms the compliance of the constructed building with the plans approved by the local council.
  • The Certificate of Habitability (Cédula de Habitabilidad) – issued by an architect, it guarantees that the property has passed required quality control for new homes. This document is a necessity for use of public utilities such as electricity, water and gas. This document must be renewed every 15 years.
  • The First Occupation License (Licencia de Primera Ocupación) and guarantee. In the case of new builds, it is mandatory to include a ten-year insurance relating to the integrity of the buildings, covering possible defects and flaws in the building process.

Beyond this, we also recommend requesting the building license granted to the construction, so as to check that the condition of the property matches the conditions detailed in the license.

Buying A “Second Hand” Home
When choosing to buy a “second hand” property in Mallorca, Menorca or Ibiza with previous occupants, we recommend that you request the property deed as well as certificate of ownership, as well as floor plans of the property If the option is to buy a used or refurbished flat, it is advisable to have the property deed and the certificate of ownership and charges, as well as the plan of the dwelling on a scale of 1/50.

In the case of second hand homes in Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza, the Certificate of Habitability is very important as it will confirm that the property complies with the basic requirements to be a residence. As the document must be renewed every 15 years, it’s important to check that it hasn’t expired either.

Likewise, the vendor is obliged to make all other paperwork available to the purchaser upon their request. This applies to notifications regarding utility services, guarantees related to the property, registry details or the previous deed of sale, and the receipt of the last paid property tax (IBI). On this last document the reference number of the property in the Spanish Property Catastre should appear.

If you have any doubts, which could be the case with properties in non-urban areas or on the coast, it’s important to request the record of planning application at the local council to confirm the legality of the property. Another important piece of paperwork is the building’s ledger, which serves as an archive of work carried out in or on the property.

Buying An Off-Plan Property
When buying a property off-plan, it’s essential to confirm that the property promised by the developer is backed-up by a guarantor or an insurance policy. If either of these are in place, then the purchaser will recoup their money paid in the case that the construction is not completed.

Despite this, before handing over any money it’s imprescindible that you verify that the construction has a valid planning permit from the local council, that the contract you sign has dates for completion and when you will receive the keys (including a penalty clause for delays), and the total price of the property you will purchase (including taxes).

Regarding payment methods, you should request a document that details the existence of any mortgages, and surrogacy or cancelation of said mortgages. Lastly, alongside the purchase contract there must be plans of the property, details of the electricity, water and gas connections, the list of professional services related to the completion of the construction, and a quality specifications document.

If the vendor does not comply with the contract, the purchaser is within their right to make a claim and even ask for the termination of the contract, with the return of the amounts already paid.

If you require any assistance or legal counsel concerning properties, purchases and sales on the islands of Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza, please contact us at your convenience at or by phone on the numbers listed on our contact page


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