The Mountain – High Defintion (HD)
The new and latest link in the Spanish AVE high speed train network was opened today between Barcelona and Figueres on the Spanish/French border. So now you can catch the high speed train from London to Paris, change for a train to the Spanish border, hop on the next stage to Barcelona, and finally change for the non-stop AVE link right the way though to Sevilla, Cordoba and Málaga in southern Spain.
The AVE is a very comfortable, clean and efficient way to travel and offers an alternative to flying and definitely to driving. With speeds up to 300 kms an hour, it’s a wonderful way to see the countryside whilst travelling in style. All comforts can be found on board with full catering facilities, Wi-Fi and PC computer connections, newspapers and magazines, in-train videos and music, 2 and 4 berth sleepers, private toilets and showers, and for business and first class passengers breakfast, a full 3-course lunch or dinner and drink service brought to your seat.
Paris – Barcelona in six and a half hours.
Paris – Madrid in 10 hours.
Barcelona – Málaga (without changing in Madrid): five and a half hours.
The AVE service has been in operation in Malaga since 2007 and connects to Sevilla, Cordoba, Madrid, Valladolid, Valencia, Barcelona and Girona. There is also a section open in La Coruña which will eventually link up with Madrid as well as an extension from Málaga to Granada, currently under construction. Spain has today the biggest network of high speed trains in Europe.
However the Spanish Foreign Minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, wants to use this as an angle to attract more foreign citizens from outside of Europe to buy a property in Spain and reduce the glut of unsold homes. In the past it’s been tricky for non EU nationals to obtain a residence permit. The plan is therefore to ease the bureaucracy involved and attract property investors to Spain.
This new measure could be very attractive for Russian buyers and other former eastern block countries that are still outside of the EU as well as both North and South American citizens.
19th November 2012.
The Spanish government has today reconfirmed that they are studying measures to grant residence permits to foreign non EU citizens who buy a property in Spain valued at more than 160.000 Euros. Their intention is to target buyers from Russian and China in order to reduce the stock pile of unsold property in Spain.
Google are of course famous for their Street View technology, used in all manners of applications especially those of estate agents throughout the world wishing to show property locations to their clients on their websites.
Google last visited Nerja in 2009 and as part of their policy they return periodically to update their maps.
Many of the properties on LPG Spain’s website use this feature, depending finally on whether the estate agent concerned has incorporated the technology into their own website.
With all of Google’s resources it will be interesting to see how long they take to go Live with the new images of Nerja’s streets.
A strange exchange of shares could make David Beckham the new president of Málaga football club. It is well known that the current owner wants to offload his shares in the club and could have offered them to the ex-Real Madrid player in exchange for shares that Beckham owns in two Arab football clubs.
Malaga fans could have a world famous president. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times David Beckham could acquire 75% of the shares together with the American ex footballer and former president of Los Angeles Galaxy, Alexia Lalas.
However, Moayad Shatat, executive vice president of the Malaga club, said he is not aware of the operation, although the news has spread like wildfire over the Internet on fan forums.
It has also been reported that the initials MFC, apart from standing for Malaga Football Club could have been confused with MFC in America, a financial corporation called Malaga Bank.
All of this may come to absolutely nothing, but if there is any truth in the rumours, Beckham certainly would be the person to put Malaga club definitely on the map, especially in the light of Malaga’s up and coming season in the Champions League.
The new law of “Promoting the Housing Rental Market” in Spain, which the Spanish government has given the green light to on Friday 24th August, includes a series of legislative changes designed to ease the fears of many owners who rent their properties.
The changes (a date as yet unknown by when the new legislation will take effect) remove many of the rights that previously guaranteed the protection of the tenants against landlords, which naturally has raised many questions among those owners who rely on renting for a living.
(Please note that the following Q&A’s refer to the general laws of renting in Spain. This article does not cover the circumstances surrounding “temporary” contracts found in many coastal regions of Spain, more popularly known as 11 month contracts. We will publish soon a separate article on this matter.)
- What if I can’t pay the rent? If your contract does not require you to pay any compensation, you can leave the property with one month’s notice (until now it was two). According to the Minister Ana Pastor, these are some of the benefits of this new measure: it allows you to leave the house in case you are no longer able to pay. If you still do not pay the monthly rent, things will remain as per the last legal reform approved in October 2011: your landlord may go immediately to a court where the judge will give you a period of ten days to pay, leave the property or submit a claim in your defence. The main change in the new law is that by paying the outstanding rent, this will no longer be sufficient to stall the proceedings. Furthermore, the aim is to reduce the bureaucracy involved in the legal proceedings so that the eviction can take place in a shorter time . So, instead of a decree issued by a clerk of the court, the judge’s decision is now final and takes immediate effect. Furthermore, in order to execute the eviction (on the premises) only one judicial officer need be present, instead of two that were needed so far.
- I have a lease for three years ending in December. I want to continue living in the property. Will the changes in the law affect me? (Note that this question relates to rental contracts that are not governed by the “temporary” clause that appears in many contracts in tourist areas, i.e. 11 month contracts). So far, all contracts for less than five years were automatically extended each year up to a maximum of five years (the so-called “forced” extension by Spanish law) if the tenant had not communicated to the landlord his intention to leave. After those five years, if neither the landlord nor the tenant had indicated their willingness to terminate the contract, this was again extended annually (the so-called “tacit” or automatic extension) to a maximum of three years. Under the new law, the forced extension is reduced from five to three years, whilst the tacit extension is reduced from three to one. So, if your agreement ends in December and the law is passed by then, your landlord may indicate his desire to terminate the contract. Your landlord may also revise the value of your deposit.
- I’ve been living two years in an apartment. My landlord lives abroad, but his daughter will start college in my town next year. Can my landlord kick me out of the property? Yes. So far, the landlord’s right to recover the property for personal use should be expressly stated in the contract. If it was not, the landlord must wait for the “forced” extension period (five years) before asking you to leave. The new law will allow the landlord to evict the tenant at any time for personal use or for use by an immediate member of his family, such as a son or daughter, with two months’ notice.
- My landlord wants to sell the property. Will the new law force the new owner to honour the contract? Only if the rental contract is registered in the Land Registry. So far, in general, the new owner must honour the contract to meet the extended “forced” deadline (five years). Under the new law, if the contract was not registered in the Land Register, the new owner is entitled to recover the property immediately. The registration of rental contracts in the Land Registry has been, until now, a cumbersome and expensive process involving a notarized deed. The ministry has already announced its intention to cheapen and ease the procedure.
- I want to reform the kitchen of my rented property. Can I ask the owner to lower my monthly rent? In principle, yes. The Government has announced that the new law will allow improvements made by the tenant to apply to and form part of the rent.
- I am going to rent a property. To what extent will the changes in the law affect me? The government wants to provide more freedom between the landlord and tenant to sign a contract in the most mutual and beneficial manner to both parties. So far, the annual review of the rent was indexed to the official annual rate of inflation. Under the new law, the landlord and tenant may agree other review mechanisms. Furthermore, so far, if the landlord put his property up for sale, the tenant had a first right of refusal at the price that the landlord offered his property to a third party. The new law will allow the tenant to waive that right, “and negotiate a lower rent” according to the minister.
28th August: It would appear that the above proposal will take some time to legislate through the Spanish parliament where final changes could still be made and could therefore take some months before becoming law.
This increase comes from ongoing and continual rumours affecting the Eurozone, and in particular, growing concern and uncertainty from Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain.
Far from kick starting a sudden surge of British buyers in Spain; it should at least go some way towards an increase of interest in the Spanish property market as prices continue to fall.
On the other hand, for those Brits selling their properties in Spain, the continual increase of the Pound against the Euro is eroding their purchasing power of Pounds when selling in Euros. There is an argument that whilst British sellers in Spain are forced to reduce their prices, in order to sell, and whilst the Pound continues to rise, there comes a point that a decision must be taken to avoid loosing at both ends of the scale, both in the sale price and in the cost of purchasing Euros with Sterling.
The standard rate of 18% increases to 21%. The reduced rate of 8% rises to 10%. The super reduced rate of 4% remains unchanged.
However, the purchase of a new property in Spain is currently governed by the super reduced 4% VAT, an extension to the law passed in January running through till the end of 2012 made by the present conservative government, after the previous social government introduced a reduction in August of 2011 from 8% to 4%.
As the purchase of a new property originally belonged to the eight percent VAT group, and since this will increase in September, the 4% VAT concession upon a new purchase that runs out on 31st December will now rise to 10% as from 1st January 2013.
Stocks of unsold new property in Spain are still very high, but with only 5 and a half months to take advantage of the current reduced rate of VAT, it is unlikely that the levels of stock will drop significantly. But, it is an opportunity for those who can.
This temporary situation will only help those developers who still have unsold new stock still in their possession which hasn’t been taken over by a bank. It’s worth noting that this situation won’t help in any great measure either the stock held by banks, as both re-possessed properties and those from a developer are considered as at least a second transmission of the property and are not governed by the VAT tax.
In the case of resale properties, the tax levied is not VAT but a government transmission tax of 7% or 8% (Impuesto de Transmisiones Patrimoniales), depending on which autonomous region the property is located, and is not expected to change, for the moment.
VAT currently at 18% will rise to 21%, the middle rate of 8% will change to 10%, but the super reduced rate of 4% will remain the same, which covers all products considered as basic needs including the purchase of a new property in Spain which many experts considered might increase again.
Although there was great pressure from Brussels on the Spanish government to increase the tax upon the purchase of a new property, the fact of the matter is that with such a huge stock of unsold property still in Spain, this would have had a very negative effect on the recuperation of the Spanish property market. Maintaining the VAT at 4% is good news indeed for Spanish and foreign buyers alike.
These measures are expected to be approved in parliament this Friday but as yet there is no firm date as to when they will take effect.
The runway was opened on Tuesday by the government minister, Ana Pastor. She pledged that this investment in Malaga and the Costa del Sol was capable of generating 15 billion Euros in the surrounding areas. There is no doubt that this now makes Malaga’s airport one of the finest on mainland Spain, only behind those of Madrid and Barcelona.
The airport authorities will only use the second strip when required, especially in summer, but may be used much less in winter until demand picks up.
The mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, also reminded the minister of the pending AVE high speed train link from Malaga centre to the airport, which would make Malaga one of the best transport hubs in southern Spain.