When you buy or rent a house in Spain, you pop along to the local Town Hall to get a Certificado de Empadriamento – basically says you live there. This is different to residency. The Town Hall receives their budget based on the number of citizens in their town, so are keen for people to register. You also need this certificate to apply for residency.
Usually, you pop along and either get a certificate straight away or within a couple of days. We finally got ours this week – took just over 3 weeks! This is because we bought a house that was previously not registered on a road with no name. The Mayor wanted to include us in the town, so first they had to register our lane as a road with a name – which is now Praje Mogaire and funnily enough we are number 1! This also meant we were given the choice to name our finca – and we chose Finca del Cielo (farm of heaven) – we thought it had a nice ring to it!
Now we also needed this certificate to register the car in our name, which we bought the day after we completed on the house – we were given a cover authorisation for 30 days – and within this timeframe we had to complete the registration process – so it was all getting very tight – as the 30 days ran out over the weekend we had just 3 days to register the car – not a problem we thought. Oh my god – if you buy a car in Spain either go to a dealer who will do the registration for you or buy a pushbike. Two days we spent in Almeria, and that was even with the help of a gestoria who we ended up paying €160 to get the right forms done. Still, we got there in the end and all the forms have gone off and the transfer tax has been paid – phew!
A quick word on gestorias – they are basically administrators who are supposed to know their way around the Spanish system – they can help with all sorts of things like getting your NIE, residency, registering a car or tax returns – they’re not solicitors or accountants, but they will help you complete the right forms and get them to the right place for a fee. We are planning to use a gestoria for our residency applications, as we’ve heard you can end up running all over the place completing and re-doing forms time and again. A lot of gestorias have ‘runners’ who will take the forms to the right buildings, and they don’t usually have to make appointments or queue, saving valuable time. The gestoria we used for the car didn’t speak English, and didn’t have runners (we had to do that bit) but we were pushed for time and didn’t have much choice – but for our residency we will definitely find an English speaking gestoria! Our Spanish is improving but we’re not quite up with all the legal stuff!