What Happens AFTER you have bought your dream property!


I know NOTHING about what happens


I buy my Spanish Home...

If you own a property on the Costa Del Sol you are sure of Sunshine, Great Beaches, fantastic restaurants, stunning views and an enviable lifestyle….. and TAX!

Many buyers of property on the Costa dream of owning their own piece of paradise, but this comes with a cost… and once you have found that perfect home or holiday home there are some ongoing charges that the TV shows don’t tell you about.

Here is a simple breakdown of some of the things you need to know.


We all love the idea of beautiful gardens and swimming pools, gated security, a private gym and maybe even a clubhouse or on site restaurant. No need to cut the grass or clean the pool. It’s a dream come true.

BUT, all these have to be paid for and the one who pays is you!

Every community has its own way of charging each owner for these services and in some cases they even include water, so you don’t deal directly with a water company.

The usual method is by the entire annual cost of these services being divided between each property based on the square meters of each individual property. 

So, the owner of a three bed apartment with a full roof terrace will pay far more than the owner of a one bedroom apartment in the same urbanisation.

A community with one pool and no lifts will have a far lower community fee than an urbanisation with 3 pools, a heated indoor pool, a gym etc.

Before you buy any property always check the situation of the community!

If there are a lot of debts from the past, who is going to pay them?

When any property is sold you must make sure that any debts to the community by the previous owner of your new dream home are checked and the debt is paid to the community by taking the funds from the money the seller is receiving when you buy.

All good legal providers will check this, but make sure you ask!

The last thing you want is to find a debt from the previous owner padded on to you.

Communities are run by AN ADMINISTRATOR and will have a President elected from the Residents, by the residents. Always get the last two years minutes of the community AGM when you are seriously considering buying a property.

If you want to rent yours out as a holiday let , and it’s against community rules, you don’t want to find that out AFTER you’ve bought!


Basura is a tax, payable to the local town hall ( AYUNTAMIENTO ) for the collection of rubbish. Here on the costa Del Sol each area has its own system of rubbish collection. This is usually from a collection point of bins on the street. You put in your household rubbish and off it goes, every night.

You may think you can be clever and not pay this fee, but the amount will add up and if you don’t pay, you may find some of your bank accounts under an embargo and frozen! Failing that, the debt will be payable on the sale of the property. While many consider this to be a tax, in Spain it is far cheaper than any rubbish charges we have heard of in many other countries.

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IBI is a property tax and short for’ Impuesto de Bienes Inmuebles’

Again it is based on the square meters of your property and translates as a property tax.

Owners of big villas will pay more than those of an apartment in a block, but we all pay it.

Again, this is controlled by your local AYUNTAMIENTO and you can set up payments by direct debit. Check when you are buying your property what the annual amount is. As with Basura, you won’t get away without paying it. Non payment can invoke fines or embargoes. In many town halls, payment by direct debit or within a certain date can result in discounts!

Car Tax

Having your own car here means you will be liable for a tax. This is also paid to your local AYUNTAMIENTO. This will be dependent on the type of car, but again, it is a lot cheaper than in many other EU countries.


Finally something that is FREE.

Every town hall benefits from money from the national Spanish Government.

This is calculated by the number of inhabitants ( property owners and renters)

The town hall will love to get your name on the ‘padron’ but it can also give you some reduction in IBI costs etc. You will need to be on the ‘Padron’ to qualify for any schemes that the Ayuntamiento run, such as FREE  SPANISH CLASSES, TICKETS TO CULTURAL EVENTS and it’s also required when you rent a property long term.

And finally…..

Spain really loves their non Spanish residents,  anyone who tells you otherwise has some odd reason, as the Ayuntamientos are very friendly and helpful places.

When you find the area in Spain that you want to buy your home, check with your agent where the local Ayuntamiento is and call in. They usually open from 9am until 2 pm and in most cases even have a foreigners department and translators available. But you will be learning some Spanish with the free classes! So, no worries there :-)

For More information on these matters or any other questions you have regarding buying your Costa Del Sol property click here and one of our team will be happy to assist.

Until the next time, Take care and see you on  the Costa Soon!


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