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Good News for the Costa del Sol. Juan Miguel Marin – Partner Mercantile Specialist at Lexland Abogados


Lexland is a cross-disciplinary practice with multilingual lawyers in the Costa del Sol. What is it that your foreign clients particularly worry about?

Legal certainty, both regarding investment in real estate and commercial or business operations. To receive suitable advice which guarantees that they will make the correct decisions and reduce the risk of problems in the future as much as possible. You have to remember that many of our clients find themselves in a foreign country; they have to make decisions that are very important to them and they have to be confident that their decision is correct, with all possible guarantees. 

You are a specialist in commercial and real estate law, how much have the relevant laws changed in the last few years?

As a result of the crisis, there are constant changes and new laws, nearly every week we are faced with new regulations. Some recent laws do indeed help new businesses and real estate operations, but it is true that often they add new complications to certain operations, particularly real estate, with regard to tax implications, money laundering, etc. which now more than ever often require specialist advice. 

What are the principle tax implications that affect a company nowadays?

The tax system has become more complex, new IVA (VAT) regulations, company taxation, increase in tax inspections, and so on. This forces the businessman to spend more time with these matters. Of course it is also true that new laws bring new tax advantages, reduction or delay in the payment of certain taxes.  Many of these are unfamiliar to the businessman, or difficult to understand. In our tax department we discover tax advantages for clients who are unaware of them, and provided there is suitable tax planning, these advantages could make the difference between closing down, or carrying on the business. 

When we talk about foreign investors, whether individual or corporate, what is the biggest worry when investing in the Costa del Sol?

Legal certainty and tax treatment of your investment; having the most efficient legal and tax instruments by which you can make your investment in total safety and with the best tax advantages. This requires careful initial study which must also take into account the tax regime of the investor’s country of origin. 

In the past has the legal advisor been legally liable for real estate advice to individuals and companies in Marbella?

Of course. A legal or tax adviser is obliged to provide the best possible advice to his clients over and above any interests or relationships with promoters, estate agents, etc. ….something that some have not respected in the past and which, combined with the crisis caused many lawyers, tax advisers and estate agents to close down. From now on we encourage those who have been affected by this situation to take legal action and demand compensation, it is their right. 

What does the constitutional law for personal data protection consist of and what is its scope?

The law 15/1999 controls the treatment of personal data in order to guarantee its protection so that third parties can only receive such data with the consent of the individual. Therefore it is essential to know whom we give our personal details to, and then to know when we give our consent for our details to be given to others. This is the only way to avoid surprises and if necessary, to take legal action. Many entities must comply with this law, including real estate agents, banks, lawyers, hospitals, advisors, etc. and they must keep a record of all personal data recorded  which must be filed with the Data Protection Agency, with a data protection manager in each company. 

When did the rentals law change?

The law 6 June, 4/2013 introduces several changes, the most important being in my opinion: eviction due to lack of payment can commence after failure to pay one month’s rent, giving the tenant just 10 days to pay. Time scales are reduced, both regarding Eviction Judgements and mandatory rental contracts to only 3 years and tacit extension of only one year. The tenant can rescind the contract after six months giving 30 days  notice, regardless of the initial duration of the contract. Now it is more necessary than ever to register rental contracts in the land registry office, since if you do not, a new owner can demand the cancellation of the contract. Rent increases no longer need to be according to the rate of inflation (RPI) but as agreed by the parties concerned. A register has been created to recognise tenants who have been convicted for not paying their rent. 

Juan Miguel, to finish off, what good news message can you give to future investors in the Costa del Sol after these tumultuous times?

My message is absolutely positive, apart from the town planning problems that we all know about. Today we can offer complete legal certainty to investments, which, together with excellent investment opportunities, make this an ideal moment to invest. Proof of this can be seen by the large number of foreign investors who are acquiring real estate at prices that were impossible to imagine some time ago. Contrary to other parts of Spain, there is a clear increase in real estate purchases in the Costa del Sol, an increase which many Town Halls are noticing thanks to the increase in revenue from Capital Gains Tax which applies to the sale of real estate property. All this helps us believe that we are experiencing a unique investment opportunity given the constant increase in demand that we are seeing every day.


Interview by Maria Elena Paganini


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Published in Costa del Sol Property News |