BREXIT will make some property purchases more complicated for British people in some parts of the Costa Blanca due to an old law dating back to the dictator, General Franco.
The Provincial Association of Promoters(Provia) claims that around 800 home sales in the southern part of the region could be delayed each year due to the legislation.
Provia’s general secretary, Jesualdo Ros, said: “There is a 1975 Francoist law that forces non-EU citizens to apply to the Ministry of Defence for permission to buy property in areas that have been classified as being of strategic interest for the defence of the country.”
The law decrees that non-EU nationals have to obtain ‘military authorisation’ if they plan to buy a home close to restricted areas, before a deed is granted or registered.
The obligation applies in Alicante Province to property purchases in parts of Orihuela, Torrevieja, Pilar de la Horadada, and San Miguel de Salinas.
Technically it means that non-EU buyers would have to get their hands on documentation that was required to be filled-in over 40 years ago and wait for up to six months for the Ministry of Defence to grant a permit.
Jesualdo Ros said: “This has always been an issue, but with Brexit, it becomes a bigger problem, since it will also affect British customers and permit requests are going to increase six-fold.”
Provia estimates that British buyers account for around 80% of purchases in the designated areas that need a permit.
Based on 2019 sales figures, they project that around 800 sales will be delayed each year.
Promoters have spent years lobbying different Madrid governments to remove the permit obligation which was tagged onto the new Spanish Constitution created after Franco’s death in 1975.
Alternatives proposed have included making a straight-forward declaration from a home purchaser.
“There are many easy and modern ways of military authorities getting full details on a house buyer,” said Jesauldo Ros.
“Details supplied to a public notary and a mortgage lender should be sufficient to ensure that everything is above board and that money laundering is not happening, for example.”