Case Study – Division of Joint Tenancy


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We received this enquiry from our website a while back. Please, could you give me some guidance? I am the owner of an apartment, shared ownership with three other couples. Equal shares (25% each.) We have been discussing the sale of it but I may want to take on the property myself.

Question, can the transfer of the property be done on a division of common ownership. Just me paying the stamp duty? Or is this not possible?
The property is in Andalucia, None of the owners has residence in Spain and there is no mortgage.
The value is also a lot less than when bought in 2004 and so no capital gains are likely.
Thank you in anticipation.

This was our answer to this client.

Yes, we can use this method for transferring the property into your sole name, and we can help even though the property is in another part of Spain (websites and email are wonderful). We do a lot of these. This is how it works. We would need firstly a copy of the deeds and a copy of your IBI bill (council tax) for the property scanned and emailed to us.

From these, we calculate the costs; notary (the property would be transferred at the notary nearest to here), land registry, legal fees, stamp duty and a few other minor things. If you want to go ahead, once you have the breakdown of costs, you send an initial provision to our client account and the balance will be required 10 days before completion (or you can send it at the beginning, it does not matter, it is only held on account).

Every owner has to either come for completion to La Zenia, or much easier, provide a power of attorney in favour of our lawyer so we can act for them. We prepare a draft power of attorney and email this to wherever the owners are, and they take it to a local Notary and sign, then it has to go to the foreign office for a Hague Apostille seal for international use (but the Notary will arrange this and we provide clear instructions).

If owners live close to each other (obviously there are 3 couples anyway), then it saves costs by us preparing joint powers of attorney, so please can you let me know if there would be 4 separate powers of attorney (3 x joint and 1 x sole) or whether more people could go to a Notary together? Each draft power of attorney has a charge, so it would save money. Or whether anyone would wish to come to this part of Spain (50 minutes south of Alicante for a visit and completion)?

The other paperwork I would need is each person´s copy passport and NIE certificate scanned and emailed. (But only when we know you are going ahead, do not worry now).

We calculate the transfer of ownership based on the official tax value and you need to show that you are paying the others by copy cheques at the Notary.

Are you actually buying the others out? If so, is there an agreed figure and I would advise the solicitor so we can discuss the implications of this.

After the property is transferred into your sole name, we can also assist with calculation and payment of your non-resident taxes each year, even though the property is some distance away.

Please do not hesitate to call me or write with any questions.

This is something we do very frequently as for many reasons joint owners of properties do not always want to continue the status quo.

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