Bienvenidos to all. I write with literally 2 weeks to go
before the Brexit deadline of 29th March 2019. I have tried to avoid
talking about it until now, due to the frustration that everyone has been
feeling, especially the uncertainty that it is causing, and basically the lack
of information or knowledge that we have with regards to the real future that
it holds for everyone, if it actually goes ahead!
For those that may not be aware, there is a Withdrawal
agreement (of 585 pages), and a recently released Political declaration
(originally 7 pages, now 27 pages). The first stipulates how the UK will
withdraw from the EU during the transition period, which ends on 31st
December 2020, time in which the exit must be effected. The Political
declaration is a very broad, vague and ambitious guideline as to how
negotiations should be carried out for a mutually beneficial agreement post
Therefore, the big unknown for now, is what will happen,
what actual agreements will be made, and how these will affect all sides, once the
transition period is over, and Brexit has taken place. More uncertainty…!
In order to make some sense of things, I have browsed
through the 585 page withdrawal document searching for relevant information, in
particular relating to property, real estate ownership, buying and selling etc.
There did not appear to be anything property specific, however, what was
relevant was in terms of residency and citizenship (Articles 15 & 16), which
in turn affects your rights to buy, sell, rent, live etc, which I will briefly outline
UK nationals or EU citizens who have legally
resided 5 years or more in the host country have the right to apply for
residency in that country. Residency should not be unreasonably withheld, and
the process should be straightforward.
UK nationals or EU citizens who have legally resided
less than 5 years upto and including the end of the transition period, have the
right to continue to complete the 5 year period. Once completed, residency
should not be unreasonably withheld.
The right to residency shall be lost if there is
a continuous absence of 5 years or more.
As the Withdrawal agreement only affects the
period during transition, there is nothing on future rights. Aside from
sovereignty, the popular vote in the UK was largely based on immigration,
therefore it is most likely that a visa system for living, working and studying
in the UK will be put into place, after 2020. This would apply reciprocally to
UK citizens looking to live and work in Europe who would face similar
Travel visas will not be required for short term
visits, holidays etc, implying that they may be required for longer term
The takeaway from all this is that if you wish to reside in the
UK, or Europe, the time to do it is now, and before the end of 2020 transition
period, due to the uncertainty that lies beyond.
This is by no means a conclusive, or exhaustive list of
residency and citizenship issues, and I would recommend consulting your legal
advisor, or the UK government website on www.Gov.co.uk,
the website of the individual country, or the European website https://europa.eu for more specific information
and guidelines on these matters.
Meanwhile in Spain, for those of you who are renting, whether
as a landlord, or tenant. The week, commencing 5th March, saw the
issuance of another royal decree by the current PSOE government, changing again
the law on housing rentals. 4 key points are highlighted as follows:
The minimum term for long term rentals has been
re-introduced, increasing it from 3 years to 5 years.
The price can only be increased by the IPC
(Consumer Price Index), similar to the Retail Price Index in the UK, during
A new system will be created, at national level,
to keep track of the market, properties, rentals, prices for reference (fiscal)
purposes. Basically to keep track of landlords.
Stricter controls will be applied to tourist
rental properties, especially those within block apartments with community of
owners. The community with a 3/5th majority can restrict or
condition tourist rentals, and even demand a greater contribution towards
general costs, upto 20% more.
decree 21/2018 of 14th December 2018, can be found on www.BOE.es
finish on a lighter note: A teacher asked her students to use the word
"beans" in a sentence. "My father grows beans," said one
girl. "My mother cooks beans," said a boy. A third student spoke up
and said, "We are all human beans."