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Spanish Administration and Finance

Before you step onto the Spanish property ladder you'll need to consider both the financial and administrative implications of your purchase.


NIE number (Numero de Identificacion de Extranjeros)

This is the fiscal identity number and is essential if you will have any financial dealings in Spain.  Fill in a form with your solicitor and supply a colour 'passport' photo, a photocopy of your passport and your passport.  The local police station will then issue your solicitor with your NIE number. This can take a few weeks to obtain, so plan ahead.

Fiscal Representative

Any person who has a property in Spain but does not live there all the time is advised to nominate a "fiscal representative". This is a person to whom the tax authorities can send all correspondence relating to your affairs in Spain, secure in the knowledge that it will arrive. The fiscal representative must be resident in Spain, but it is for you to choose whom to appoint. It can either be a friend, a neighbour, a lawyer, or your tax adviser.


A local 'Gestor' is like the official form filler. Their charges are usually quite reasonable for work you would find difficult yourself, especially if you don't speak Spanish. For those who are going to work in Spain,  the Gestor will act as your leagal representative and help you with "residencias", work permits, licences and permits in relation to a new businesse. They can also advise on importing electrical goods, cars, furniture and pets into Spain. They can also help with the payment of your pension in Spain, national insurance etc.


You need to set up a bank account if you want your home running costs dealt with through direct debit. Spanish bank costs vary considerably between banks so enquire about their charges before opening an account. Find out from the UK bank if they have a relationship with any Spanish banks which could save money.

Becoming a Resident

If you wish to spend more than six months in Spain you need to apply for a Residencia - to become a Resident. Being a resident does not restrict movements in any way and it has many advantages i.e. lower taxes. If you don't become a Resident, you must appoint a fiscal representative.

A Spanish Will

Property in Spain is subject to Spanish laws, so it is strongly advised that you make a Spanish will, which costs approximately 200 euro. Your solicitor should be able to advice you on this point.

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You can choose to apply for a mortgage abroad or from the UK. Mortgage rates in Spain may be lower than those in the UK so do your homework. You may know the price in Euros but you will not know the actual cost until you buy all of the currency to pay for it. This means that the property could either cost you more or less than you had planned. If the Euro strengthens you will save or if Sterling strengthens you will lose. Watch the exchange rates to decide when to transfer money abroad.

Two levels of mortgage offered

Residents and non-residents may be offered different types of mortgage at different rates. Non-residents mortgages are generally offered at around 60% of the declared value. For residents it is usually around 80% of the declared value.

A mortgage in Spain

Applying for a mortgage in Spain is a straightforward process, as in the UK. You will need to prove that you have an income or sufficient funds to pay the mortgage. The level of mortgage offered is directly dependent on your financial status and also the declared value of the property you wish to purchase.

The Spanish bank will require a number of documents to ensure a smooth transaction. All original passports and driving licences are required. Copies will be taken at the bank and your originals returned.
Be prepared to show the last three months payslips and the latest P60's if you are employed.
 The last three years audited accounts, tax returns and accountants reference will be required if self employed.

Expenses of owning a Marbella Property

If you intend to live in Marbella or perhaps buy to let out a property, there are certain living costs that must be taken into account. See our Property Expenses page.

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