UK owners of Spanish property urged to apply for residency before Brexit deadline

21 December 2020 | General

Spanish property owners have been warned to apply for residency before the end of the year to enjoy the same benefits as other EU citizens in Spain.

From 2021, UK owners of property in Spain will only be able to spend up to 90 days in country over a 180-day period, thanks to Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

That is unless they are able to secure a Spanish residence permit.

Keith Rule, director at Costaluz Lawyers, responded to the question ‘What if I live in Spain but am not officially resident?’

He said: “In this case, you need to act fast. Very fast. You have until 31 December 2020 to apply for residency. If you don’t, you won’t enjoy the same benefits as other EU citizens in Spain.

“Note that, on 4 July 2020, the Spanish authorities introduced a new residency card for British nationals in Spain. Known as the TIE (tarjeta de identidad de extranjero), the card expressly states that the holder is a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU.

“It also confirms the holder’s right to live in Spain.”

Rule added: “From 1 January 2021, rules regarding the length of your stay in Spain will change. You will no longer be allowed to stay for more than 90 days at a time in a 180-day period.

“Note that the 90 days starts as soon as you enter the Schengen Area. This means that if you travel to Spain via France, for example, the time you spend in France counts towards your tally of 90 days.

“If you have a Spanish residence permit (known as the Tarjeta de Identidad Extranjero/TIE), your status falls under the Withdrawal Agreement set up between the UK and EU. This means your rights in Spain and the rest of the EU do not change after Brexit.”

The rate of non-resident income tax that British nationals have to pay will also increase from 19% to 24% from 1 January 2021.

This post has originally been featured in Property Wire.