Maybe you are one of the few people that do absolutely nothing without consulting a lawyer first. One of those that rather spend a few bucks for a consultation, rather than thousands afterwards just to get out of the mess in one piece. And for sure you know those who know it all better. Be it as it may, with the following tips you might refresh your memory, gape in astonishment or laugh, and might even help a friend.
The following summarized and simplified information does not claim to be complete or replace professional advice, but rather should serve as food for thought.
A lot has been said about it. And a lot more has been cursed about it. But hardly anybody says how it really is. Per se such a “part time right of residence” is not a bad idea – if the price is right, the hotel is great, and this vacation model really suits your needs. Unfortunately, rarely this is the case. In reality the weeks are too expensive and the hotel is rushing towards bankruptcy, not to mention the horrendous maintenance fee. It is not at all easy to sell those weeks. Also, the laws for consumer protection are useless if the head quarters are not in the EU or it is a limited company that has not contributed more than the minimal capital necessary.
2. REGISTERED POST
Other than in your home country, more often than not you have only very limited time until comes into force what the (not)-collected letter threatened you with. Therefore, whenever you receive a registered letter – regardless who the sender is – find out immediately what it is about and what you can do.
Please do NOT EVER assume that Spanish laws are similar to the ones from home, or even the same. No neighbor, friend, or pub-buddy – independently of how well they speak Spanish, of how long they’ve lived here, or of whatever else they might have gone through – knows the laws better than a lawyer. Ask an independent person to translate and explain to you a contract (not the real estate agent – after all, they also want to make money from the deal), and do not sign anything before that. Especially rental contracts are tricky!
A bill is not a receipt. Always ask for a confirmation of payment “recibo” when paying (also for deposits and rents). Also a handyman should always first give you a written estimate before you let them start do their work, otherwise they easily charge you double and triple. Especially when it comes to rentals, confirm that the lesser is either the owner or authorized. all contracts are always signed by all parties on each page so that, if an argument arises, it is very clear what belongs where. Ask for copies. Have everything confirmed in written, for example when you deliver goods or give back a rented apartment in perfect conditions.
5. OBLIGATION TO REGISTER
Your main residence is where you spend more than 6 months. So, 6 months and 1 day. That this cannot be achieved in two countries at once, is quite obvious. As a rule, you pay most tax in the country you are registered in. Firstly the income tax, regardless where it comes from. The obligation to register with police, tax office, or municipality is a serious legally binding matter that about you should be well informed. Only to get hold of some residency discounts is certainly not enough.
Summing up and with a twinkle there is to say that if you want to live in Spain be sure to have a good dentist, a diligent lawyer, and a serious tax consultant.