And this is one of the major questions of our lives: How we keep boundaries, what permission we have to cross boundaries, and how we do so. -- A. B. Yehoshua
Did you know you may need a military permit to buy a home in Spain? #
Read on if you have questions. I will try to sort out the details so you can be completely knowledgable. In order to protect yourself and plan for the time in the purchase contract, knowledge is power here.
The truth is, In certain circumstances, a military authorization is indeed necessary for the purchase of a plot of land, a house or to carry out construction. This may seem shocking, but the truth is this is not always necessary and depends on the nationality of the buyer.
Let me explain
The reason why this authorization is required is to safeguard the interests of Spain's national defense, security and it assures the effectiveness of certain organizations and facilities in the country. That is to say, Spain's strategic interests cannot be compromised by private property. This permit only affects non-European Union citizens, those that do not belong to European Economic Area or non-EU entities whose share capital is more than 50%.
With Brexit, Must UK Citizens Apply? #
Much has been said about the consequences of Brexit and its impact on the purchase of houses in Mallorca. One of the most talked about issues is whether a UK resident should or should not apply for military permission to buy any housing in Mallorca. A non-Spanish citizen who is a buyer must apply for a military permit to buy a home depend on where the house is located; that is, if it is located on land rustic or urban terrain.
If the property, villa or plot, is located on rustic land then, YES, it will be necessary to ask the military permit to be able to register the house in our name in the registry of the property.
If the house, villa or plot is located on qualified land as urban, it will NOT be necessary to request said permission. Therefore, the main thing is know where our "future" home is located.
Questions to Ask #
Having said this, we must ask ourselves:
- What types of transactions would be subject to require this authorization?
- How does this impact property purchases in the Balearic Islands?
The permit is necessary when we buy a rustic, urban property (with or without buildings) or for construction work. In addition, and specifically in the Balearics, authorization will be necessary in any case as the regulations affect the whole island and regardless of where the property is located.
How to Start Procedure? #
The documents needed for this authorization are clearly outlined by law. The procedure starts by sending a request addressed to the Spanish Ministry of Defence indicating the data, nationality of the buyer, his personal circumstances, the time spent in Spain and the information about the property to be acquired. In the case that the buyer is a company, it must present a copy of the deeds and the certification of the administrator or representative, apostilled by the Hague Apostille and translated into Spanish by a Spanish sworn translator.
How Long Does The Process Take? #
Once we have all the documentation, we will send it to the Spanish Ministry of Defence who will respond within 2 to 4 months.
Another question to answer is how long does it take to process the military permit? Under normal conditions the average is 2 to 3 months to process the permit. As the permits requested in 2020 lasted between 4 and 5 months due to the circumstances exceptional occurrences, the most efficient thing is to have a good planning. Thus, apart from any urban study / verification on housing, especially on rustic houses, we must take into account the processing of this permit.
So far the procedure seems clear, but how important is this authorization? The truth is that it is essential in order to be able to buy the property as the Notary and the Land Registry will require it before granting the deed or registering it. In addition, we will have 18 months to register it in the Property Registry or else the permission is null and void.
Unexpected Complications #
Personally, I have had the opportunity to process several authorisations of this type and we have never had any problems. Except for one occasion when, once the purchase deed had been granted before a notary, the Land Registry refused to register it because that permission was missing. Strange, isn't it?
At first I couldn't understand why. But soon, an important detail came to light: the matrimony's economic regime. Let me explain. The married couple (she has European nationality, he has non-European nationality), were both residents in the EU. They had married in a country where they use the “community property” regime. She bought the rural land in Majorca under her name, but because of the “community property” marriage regime they refused to register the deeds… what was the problem?
Because she is married with a non-European using a community regime, it was essential to apply for military authorization in her husband's name too, even if he is not on the deed. In the end, of course everything was solved. I initiated an additional procedure with Spanish Ministry of Defence. The military authorization was obtained for her husband. We finally managed to have the wife appear as the sole owner of the rustic land on the official Registry.
By way of conclusion, I can imagine what you are thinking: 'Everything is very complicated in our country and that the administration entities make everything difficult.' Yes, I agree with you. However, this case is an excellent example of how I was able to assure an international client. Sometimes documentation and paperwork can be intricate and local professional legal intervention can facilitate the process to calm nerves.
Personally, when I start the property purchasing transaction with a client (or any other legal process for that matter), I always repeat the same phrase to myself "The path of a thousand miles begins with one step.” That is to say, if we are clear about what we want to achieve, success is assured.
As always, if you are interested in buying a home in Mallorca and have any questions about whether or not you should request military permission, do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or +34 669334565, so I can help you.
The main thing is know where your future home is located.
- Personal Experience
By Xavier Jaume Mascarós
29 January, 2021