Hi everyone, My partner and I recently bought a property on Camposol which we intend to move into over the next year or so, at present we're still resident in the UK. Although the house is furnished my partner would like to bring quite a few bits of furniture across and has already started buying other stuff because 'It'll look nice in the villa' Additionally there's a few jobs I want to do and feel it'd be easier to buy the materials in the UK where I understand the lingo and get trade rates. So my question is ' Am I allowed to simply load up my van and drive over or am I likely to hit problems at customs' all the stuff is up and above board with tax vat etc all paid in the uk although much of the stuff is quite old so we don't have receipts. Was going to come via eurotunnel so suppose I'll have to pass through both French and Spanish customs. Grateful for any advice. Kev
I am a British citizen living in Spain and have supplied all the documents for my non EU spouse to live here with me. However they have no sent a letter saying the wedding certificate must be no more than 3 months old andmust be translated and apostled by the Spanish embassy in the issuing country. We have been given 10 days to provide these documents. This is impossible asthe issuing country is Azerbaijan and the way things work out there it is impossible to go back there and get everything done within 10 days considering its Christmas next week. Thething is we supplied a copy of the wedding certificate apostled and stamped by the ministry of foreign affiars in Azerbaijan. Surely this contravenes EU law? What do we do now? It is Christmans next week and instead of enjoying our first Chrsitmas in Spain it will now be spent with worry
Hi all Home owner in France but new to the Spanish market. Can anyone recommend a good, honest estate agent/mortgage person for a property near or on the coast. Sorry to be dull, but could anyone offer up a rough cost of taxes for living. ie rates etc. I have looked through the forum but can't find much. Simple answers are fine by me. Many thanks in advance Jimmy
I am about to make a new will, this will cover only items and investments in the Uk, not in Spain. I wish to use my normal English solicitor and want him to draw up the will and send to me for my perusal and signature. This he agrees to do but says I should have my signature witnessed by a Spanish notary. I have had other things, passport application renewal etc. done by my Spanish family doctor who has known me some 10 years. Has any one any experience of such matters, do I actually have to go to a notary as a witness ?. I stress this will is only for the UK and not for anything here in Spain. Advice appreciated. Brian W.
i have been reading through all the previous discussions on free banking but they are all quite old. Are there any banks, either Spanish or international, that offer free banking. in my opinion the Spanish banking system is just plain greedy. They hold my money and probably earn a very nice interest then they charge me for everything on top.
The National Crime Agency is appealing to the public to help find a suspected member of a Merseyside based organised criminal network that plotted to smuggle up to 40 tonnes of drugs into the UK. Paul John Scott, aged 32, from Liverpool, is wanted for questioning in connection with the plot to import cocaine from South America hidden inside tins of fish and wooden pallets. The Guardia Civil in Spain would also like to talk to Scott about the murder of British national Francis Brennan in Alicante earlier this year. Scott is believed to be in Europe and has links to Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. An appeal for information relating to Scott was to be broadcast on BBC One’s Crimewatch programme on Thursday 4th December at 21.00 GMT. The appeal for Scott precedes the sentencing on 5th December at Liverpool Crown Court of his criminal associate Kevin Jennings, aged 51, from Huyton, Liverpool, for conspiracy to import cocaine. Jennings was arrested in May 2014 by NCA officers while walking his dog in Walton. Twenty-four members of the highly sophisticated international criminal network were jailed for more than 250 years in October 2011. Greg McKenna, North West Investigations Branch Commander, said: “Paul Scott is the last man outstanding in our investigation into the plot to flood the UK with huge quantities of drugs. He is also wanted for questioning in relation to the murder of Francis Brennan. “We are working closely with Merseyside Police and the Spanish authorities to locate him but we need the help of the public too. “If you have information on the whereabouts of Scott, no matter how small or trivial it seems, please contact the NCA or Crimestoppers anonymously.” Anyone in Spain with information can call a special freephone number - 900 555 111 - which will be answered in the UK by Crimestoppers’ call agents. A translation service is available upon request.
I have a house in Ceheghin but I am currently living in England. It has been broken into and I need to report it to the police. Is there anyway of doing this without actually travelling to Spain? I dont really have anyone there who I can ask to go and do it on my behalf. Is it something perhaps my Spanish solicitor could help with? Thank you, Gwen
I have lived in Spain for 9 years, and over that time I have held bank accounts with a number of Spanish banks, English/Spanish banks & 'International' banks. In every case the level of compitancy & service have fallen short of the minimum I consider to be acceptable to a greater or lesser degree. But there is hope! At last I have found a Spanish bank which provides a level of service well above the others I have experienced. A manager & some members of staff that speak & understand English; are helpful & friendly & are willing to spend as much time as required to understand the complex, & sometimes, frankly baffling systems employed by the Spanish banking authorities. Don't take my word for it, call in at Cajamar bank in Mazarron & see for yourself.
British Embassy News Release: Passport applications for Britons resident overseas must now be made via the GOV.UK website All British residents living in Spain must now make their passport applications online at www.gov.uk/overseas-passports. The new passport process, which is part of a worldwide changeover, helps to reduce the possibility of making errors that can delay applications. Applicants will find that the new process, which includes online payment, generates a personalised pack that must be printed, signed and sent with photographs and any additional documentation that may be required to the Passport Office in the UK - and no longer to a British Consulate or Embassy. Once an application has been submitted, applicants will receive instructions on how to track its progress via the website. It is important to apply in good time as a new passport will take at least four weeks from the time the completed application pack is received by the Passport Office in the UK, or six weeks if replacing a lost or stolen passport. “Don’t leave it until the last minute to apply for your passport,” advises Will Middleton, Consular Regional Director for Spain. “You can apply up to nine months in advance and any unexpired time will be added to your new passport.” Applicants who cannot access the online system or who experience any difficulties should contact the Passport Advice Line on +44 300 222 0000. Useful information: For an online passport application go to: www.gov.uk/overseas-passports For assistance call the Passport advice line on: +44 300 222 0000
dear ir or madam , it has been brought to my attention that masa group of builders are letting persons who are now buying properties on camposol move in to these casas without the deed. They said these new people may never get their deeds from masa because it is in so much debt with previous buyers including mine. They say that these properties are still theirs but mine was paid for in 2005. Can anyone advise? Can they sell these properties with the nota simpla with debt on them? yours margaret hughes.
British Embassy Press Release: A couple in their 60s have been brought to justice after lying about their Spanish home in order to claim a string of UK benefits including a council house. Married couple Michael and Sylvia Plumridge from Sonning in Wokingham fraudulently claimed over £16,000 in UK benefits. They failed to declare to benefit officials that Mrs Plumridge was in fact the owner of a luxury apartment in Torrevieja in Alicante province, where they both lived until they moved back to the UK in 2010. After their return to Britain the pair claimed a string of benefits including pension credit and housing and council tax benefit, whilst keeping details of Sylvia’s Spanish property and her private NHS pension a secret from benefit officials. They even applied for and were granted a council property, claiming they had nowhere else to live. As a result of failing to declare their true circumstances to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) the Plumridges were sentenced at Reading Magistrates Court to a 12 month community order with 240 hours unpaid work, as well as being ordered to pay back the benefit they had received fraudulently and a further £1,235 to cover the cost of the investigation. Julie Holland of Wokingham Borough Council’s business assurance team, who helped bring the fraudsters to justice, said, “With such a high demand for social housing and with taxpayers’ money being so tight, it is vitally important that we make sure that council houses and public money only go to those who really need it. “Every council property that goes to the wrong person costs the council tax payers of Wokingham Borough an extra £18,000. We will continue to go after fraudsters who think they can cheat the system and get away with it.” Benefit fraud takes taxpayers’ money away from those that need it most. If you suspect someone of committing benefit fraud in Spain, do call the free and confidential fraud hotline in Spain on 900 55 44 40 or fill in the form at www.dwp.gov.uk/benefit-thieves-spain. Investigators will then follow up to make sure that taxpayers’ money is going to honest citizens.
British Embassy Press Release: Expatriates in receipt of UK pensions and benefits may soon be contacted by the Department of Work & Pensions to confirm their international bank details. From 31st January 2014, the Department for Work and Pensions will need an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identification Code (BIC) in order to make payments to expatriates’ accounts in Spain and other Eurozone countries. This change is due to new European Union regulations which aim to make payments between EU countries faster and more secure. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) already holds IBAN and BIC details for most of its customers. But expatriates whose details are not yet held by the DWP will soon receive a letter asking for them. Bank customers will not be asked to provide any further details of their accounts, such as passwords. It is only the IBAN and BIC details that are needed If you receive a letter, you should complete the attached form and return it to the DWP as soon as possible, says the British Embassy in Madrid. Failure to do so may mean your payments will be stopped because after 31st January 2014, banks in Eurozone countries will not accept any DWP direct payments without these details. You can get the IBAN and BIC details from your bank account statement or directly from your bank. Expatriates only need to provide additional bank details if they receive payments into a Eurozone account outside the United Kingdom and have received a letter from the DWP. Those whose pension or benefit is paid into a UK account are unaffected by this change in EU regulations. Officials from the Department for Work and Pensions are also reminding customers who have changed address, and who have yet to inform the DWP, to contact the International Pension Centre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 0044 191 218 7777 in order to make sure their details are up to date. For more information about the change to European bank account numbers, visit the European Commission website at http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/payments/sepa/index_en.htm
British Embassy Press Release: Expats urged to point friends and family towards Foreign Office information Spain has emerged as the Number 1 destination for people seeking expert advice about buying a home in the sun. Two thirds of prospective purchasers who sought advice from Foreign Office property experts at the ‘A Place In The Sun’ show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham last weekend said their preferred destination was Spain. Foreign Office advisers from Spain and France, including Alicante Consul Paul Rodwell and British Embassy Madrid property expert Bernadette Gallagher, spoke to a total of 2,209 people who were considering buying a place abroad. Two-thirds (66%) wanted advice about purchasing in Spain, with a quarter (24%) considering France and the rest (10%) looking at other countries or undecided. More than four out of five people said they found the advice very useful and would use it when buying their home. They particularly liked the fact that the advice was impartial and free. Most advice given by the Foreign Office team concentrated on three key areas: the value of following the Foreign Office property buyers’ checklist before moving abroad (take your time, rent first, access healthcare correctly, consider the impact of moving exchange rates on your savings, etc.) the importance of getting good independent advice around your purchase (legal advice, following the buyers’ checklist) the wealth of information on www.GOV.UK about pensions and benefits abroad and living in a specific country Expatriates who have friends or family who are considering buying a property here in Spain can help them by pointing them towards a new Foreign Office video on YouTube and the Foreign Office’s How to buy property in Spain guidance on www.GOV.UK. Spain also features heavily in an ITV programme at 20.30 Spanish time (19.30 BST) on Thursday 3rd October. ‘Bargains in the Sun’ looks at how, with property prices falling in southern Europe, many people in Britain are starting to think again of owning a place in the sun. Organisers of the ‘A Place in the Sun’ show said visitor numbers were well up on last year, suggesting increasing interest among Britons in buying abroad. More than 12,000 homes in Spain have been bought by Britons over the past three years.
British Embassy Press Release: New Foreign Office video offers top tips to help prospective buyers British expats who know someone planning to buy a place in the sun should tell their friends or family members back in UK to make sure they get free and helpful advice from the British Embassy staff who will be at A Place in the Sun Live at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham from 27th to 29th September. Potential property buyers in Spain can also get lots of consumer-friendly information from a new Foreign Office video to be found on YouTube, on gov.uk and other websites that are packed with advice on how to do your homework before taking the plunge. Spain continues to be amongst the most popular choices for Britons buying homes overseas, despite the economic crisis and well-publicised property scandals. According to the Spanish College of Registrars*, over the past three years Britons have bought more than 12,000 properties in Spain, representing nearly one in five of all properties bought by foreigners. Most have bought properties without experiencing any issues. But this is little comfort to the minority caught up in serious property problems who suffer the emotional distress and personal and financial effects. British Ambassador to Spain, Giles Paxman, explains what the British Embassy has been doing: “Although we cannot take action on individual cases, we continue to engage with the Spanish authorities at all levels to encourage them to address property issues affecting British nationals. “We have seen the devastating effect property problems can have and we want to help prospective buyers avoid the potential pitfalls. They can visit the Spain-specific property advice pages on gov.uk, watch the FCO’s new video on YouTube and talk to our staff at the ‘A Place in the Sun’ exhibition. “All three offer helpful tips that will help future buyers purchase safely so that they can enjoy all the wonderful things that living in Spain can offer.” Mr Paxman concludes: “One thing that just about everyone affected by property problems says is that they want to make sure other people don’t go through the same situation. People already living here can play an important role, by encouraging friends and family to do their research and get impartial legal advice before moving abroad.” Foreign Office staff will be on Stand B32 at ‘A Place in the Sun Live’. More information about the event can be found at www.aplaceinthesun.com The Foreign Office publishes a range of advice on buying property and living in Spain, including: • Buying property in Spain: www.gov.uk/how-to-buy-property-in-spain • Property advice video - ‘Living the Dream’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjBhE5PhE80&feature=youtube_gdata_player • Living in Spain: www.gov.uk/living-in-spain