The UK’s exit from the EU has brought to light new issues affecting British nationals wanting to live and/or purchase a home in Spain. The latest one involves getting military permission to buy a property in Spain. British buyers were previously unaffected by this requisite but as non-EU nationals since Brexit, it now forms part and parcel of the purchase procedure in some parts of Spain.
The bad news is that getting military permission adds paperwork and time to the purchase process. And in addition, it applies to many parts of Spain and in particular, those popular with British buyers. However, the good news is that in the majority of cases, the permission is automatic and your lawyer will be able to take care of all the paperwork on your behalf.
In this article, we look at why and where military permission is needed.
What is Military Permission to Buy a Property in Spain?
The Spanish Armed Forces consider certain parts of Spain and its islands as strategic. Owning property on them therefore constitutes a matter of national defence. As a result, non-EU buyers need military permission if they want to buy, sell or carry out extension work on a property in a strategic area.
Is it a New Requirement?
No, far from it. The current law dates back to 1978. It applied to all foreign property buyers in Spain regardless of their nationality until Spain joined the EU. Under the reciprocal agreement, EU nationals do not need military permission to buy a property in Spain.
Why Does it Affect British Buyers Now?
When the UK was part of the EU, this regulation did not affect British buyers. However, since Brexit, British nationals are no longer subject to the exemption. As a result, they need military permission if they want to buy a property in an area of Spain designated as ‘strategic defence’ (see below).
Which Parts of Spain Require Military Permission?
A surprisingly long list of area forms part of designated strategic defence zones in Spain. The 1,500 municipalities are mostly located in:
- The Strait of Gibraltar and the Cadiz coast (Costa de la Luz) between Algeciras and Cadiz.
- Parts of the Canaries and Balearics.
- The area around Cartagena in Murcia.
- The southern part of the Alicante coast (Costa Blanca) that borders with Murcia.
- Borders areas with France and Portugal.
How Do You Apply for Military Permission?
You need to request permission from the Ministry of Defence accompanied by the following documentation:
- Copy of your passport or residence permit https://costaluzlawyers.es/for-you/a-full-guide-on-residency-and-nationality-options-in-spain/.
- Certificate of a clean criminal record from your country of residence (translated into Spanish).
- Detailed plans of the property you want to buy, sell or extend.
How Long Does It Take to Get?
Allow at least two months and up to four for permission to arrive.
What Should I do Next?
As with all aspects of buying property in Spain, take advice from a specialist property lawyer on getting military permission for your purchase.
Your lawyer will be able to ascertain if a permit is necessary and find out exactly how to apply for it. This will facilitate the process and keep the purchase stress-free for you.
Conveyancing is one of the specialist legal areas at Costaluz Lawyers and our team can help you buy a property in Spain with complete guarantees and peace of mind. Get in touch to find out how we can help you buy with total confidence and zero stress!