Ian’s Update

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Posted and filed under Brexit and Spain, General Articles of Interest, Legal Issues in Spain, Newsletters, Other Services, Property in Spain.

Hello Everyone 

I remember writing the newsletter this time last year and all the talk was “Brexit” with a nod to the Corona Virus and the associated lockdowns which we thought at the time could last for weeks! 

Well, things look very similar but with a few solid glimmers of light on the horizon. Green shoots, I think is the fashionable term. 

Adam over in Spanish Homes Online www.spanishhomes.online received 30 leads from buyers last weekend- The British are coming back to buy for sure! 

Speaking of the property business…. 

Some of you may know that a couple of years back I sold my property business, the company which took over Comaskey Properties, I have been told are not providing the same level of service you all knew and loved related to my Comaskey name.

The benefit of having enjoyed a good rest (if you consider being with three kids under 10 all day as a rest) is that much of my enthusiasm to offer those great deals to our clients has returned. This is the same enthusiasm and care for customers that built Comaskey Properties from humble beginnings in 2002 to be the most trusted property sales company on the Costa Blanca.

Unfortunately, I am personally tied up with another huge project, and potentially restricted by a very vague non-compete agreement. That said, I have done a deal whereby someone else will take over the Comaskey brand name and they hope to launch within a few weeks, using the same formula which our clients loved. Clients first. More to follow next month. 

As mentioned, buyers are coming back. If you think Brexit was a topic, we had to be careful to address, wait until you see some of the responses we are getting to our views on the progress of the virus. None of this is meant to downplay the seriousness of the virus. We know people who have lost their jobs, their health and worse. What we know now about the virus in terms of prevention and treatment is a lifetime away from what we knew one year ago. I find it insulting when people say Covid was a hoax, made up by the media. I find it equally insulting to suggest that Covid is now a killer disease for anyone except the most vulnerable in our society. 

I wrote on my blog over Christmas that if people can travel in a responsible manner, you are better off physically and mentally being on the Costa Blanca than stuck back in Ireland or the UK. (only my opinion, I am not a doctor). It is, according to the experts I follow, all about your immune system. Spanish sunlight, Mediterranean fruits and veg, exercise on the Cabo Roig sea walk, meeting friends in a social distancing manner, hitting golf balls on the fairways of Spain, exercise on the beach, paddle boarding etc will boost your immune system. Essential travel only is allowed to Spain, surely nothing is more essential than your health? 

I did travel through Alicante airport last week, returning from (an essential) work trip to France. For anyone worried about travelling from my experience, don’t be. The airport is a breeze to travel through and the staff were totally relaxed, and they were exceptionally helpful as many of us were travelling for the first time in over a year. There were hundreds of French tourists coming here, everyone having a good time in a safe manner. Hand sanitiser and face masks were used by everyone. Security was good-humoured, the temperature control station was automated, the extra layer of paperwork and PCR test station took an extra 60 second tops to navigate and everything suddenly felt normal again. Again, from my non-medical background, (please check with your actual medical professional) travelling to Spain right now is as safe as it has ever been and a lot less hassle. 

The worst of this I think is over, we are almost ready to return to normal. 

How many people will move here and never go back I wonder? If you can sell, write, take photos, sell more, programme, design, speak, add, and subtract, teach or any location independent profession now is the time. You can sell your services for “back home prices” while enjoying, and I mean enjoying, a Spanish cost of living. 

Hope to see you soon!    Please like our Facebook page to see our regular updates https://www.facebook.com/Spainsolicitor/

Ian and the team 

Vaccine passports

Spain expects the digital vaccine certificate to ease travel within the EU and it will be ready in June at the latest according to foreign minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya. Another controversial statement but this is coming to a border near you. The vaccine certificates will not prevent non-vaccinated people from travelling to Spain, Gonzalez Laya said, but those with the certificate will go through borders faster while others will have to go through all the current tests and controls.

300 flights coming to Alicante, last weekend!  

Alicante-Elche airport looked set to see a huge increase in the numbers of flights arriving over the Easter weekend. 300 flights, in fact, were due from the Spanish cities of Madrid, Bilbao, Santiago de Compostela, Ibiza, and Palma de Mallorca.

Flights are coming from Sweden (Stockholm/Gothenburg), The Netherlands (Eindhoven/Amsterdam), Denmark, France and of course, the German tourists too are back! The increase in the number of German tourists is really expected to balance what is being lost by the reduced UK flights. Ryanair is flying from Newcastle, London, Bristol this weekend.  

In order to ensure that the foreigners comply with the rules and in contradiction to what I said earlier, there will be up to 4,000 national police and Guardia Civil in place over Easter to make sure people are not breaking the rules on mobility between autonomous regions this next two weeks. Madrid residents can fly to Paris, jump on a flight to Alicante and that is all fine. However, without a valid reason, they are not allowed to drive the four hours down the motorway to cross the Valencian border.  

Four-day work week in Spain. 

I remember while on holiday in Holland a few years back I spoke to a top lawyer. I knew he was a “top lawyer” because his Ferrari looked like the car a “Top” lawyer would drive. It was Thursday afternoon, and he was drinking a beer in the kids play centre which we were both enjoying.  He had started working four-day week years earlier and had switched over his whole team to a four-day working week. Additional personnel, often the spouses of his existing staff, covered the extra hours. He said, his productivity went through the roof because his staff felt like it was the week before they go on holiday all the time and so they were constantly trying to empty their inbox and finish their to-do list. I spoke to my team about it at a staff meeting or two and everyone hated the idea. “What’s the catch?” Maybe it is not a crazy idea after all? This week the Spanish government proposed a three-year pilot project that can help make the four-day work week take off here. The government will help fund part of the scheme to cover those who may need to hire additional staff, reassign tasks, and workflows.

If it works, and it will if managed properly, Spain could become the very first country to introduce the four-day workweek on a nationwide level. Productivity will go up, work-related stress down, and more will get done in less time. Perfect. If you have not read the Four-Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferriss, now is the time. If you only read it a few times, my advice is to read it again!  

Equity Release. 

A good few of our clients have achieved equity release success through our partners JJC Capital Partners. https://jjccapitalpartners.com

Please remember that if you would like advice on how you can free up equity in your Spanish home, you just need to ask.

We have a digital brochure we can email you to explain the process from the viewpoint of a property owner. It is quite a simple process made even easier by Spanish Solutions. 

Estate agents, if you are looking for a way to help your clients who cannot afford to downsize due to high costs, we are happy to help you to help them. 

Again, just get in touch: nicola@spanishsolutions.net.  

To finish up: 

We will be back in touch within a few weeks. As mentioned, there is a load of exciting stuff happening with the property business, legal changes in Spain, new people moving to Spain, Golden visas etc. 

Many of you will not be aware that a new government of the region of Valencia started ruling in the autumn of last year and they suggested they are going to erase all the allowances for gifting and probates. This will mean a lot of people will pay considerably more inheritance or gifting tax in the future. We are trying to arrange as many donations as possible before the changes are made. Clients should be aware that although this costs more than 4,000€ it may (we can advise on particular circumstances) save them a great deal of money in the future.  Spanish Solutions can arrange donations all over Spain in any area and non-residents do not need to come to Spain to arrange this. 

https://www.spanishsolutions.net/blog/property-in-spain/gifting-a-property-in-spain-to-children-is-it-a-good-idea/

If a property owner in Spain passes away, it is important to check if there is inheritance tax as if this is applicable it needs to be paid in Spain within 6 months of the date of death. Inheritors/heirs do not need to come to Spain to start a probate process as it can be dealt with remotely and we can deal with probates all over Spain. It is important for people to be aware that there is no automatic passing of joint ownership of the property to a spouse or co-owner. Spanish probate must be done.

https://www.spanishsolutions.net/blog/newsletters/what-is-the-spanish-probate-process-2/

In these difficult times of covid, we have been dealing with many changes of ownership of property, as one person or more wish to no longer be involved with that particular Spanish home. This could be because of divorce, separation, a business arrangement changing or friends wishing to simplify property ownership in Spain. The important thing to remember is that changes in property ownerships always have costs but we are experienced in a legal method that many lawyers are not aware of that saves a considerable amount of tax and costs. We explain a bit more here, but this can be done all over Spain for our clients and no need for them to come to Spain. However, the property can only go into one person’s name to use this cheaper method. https://www.spanishsolutions.net/blog/legal-issues-in-spain/division-of-joint-tenancy-or-changing-joint-ownership-in-spain/   

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