Spain: Expert explains ‘repercussions’ for British expats
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Despite Brexit, many Britons are still choosing to live abroad, with Spain remaining one of the top destinations picked across the Channel. But this year, a number of new regulations will apply to British expats living in the sun.
The EU made changes to laws regarding warranties for consumer goods, which Spain adopted last summer.
The news laws have changed significantly for the time period in which a defect is considered pre-existing.
It will have benefits for consumers buying second-hand goods in particular, such as cars.
A seller will now be obliged to pay for repairs for 12 months from the purchase, extended from the original six months.
From this month, digital goods such as applications, video archives, digital games and electronic books will also have a two-year warranty.
Sellers will also require to keep repair materials for any goods sold for up to 10 years.
Whilst beneficial to consumers, on one hand, these changes may force sellers to increase prices in 2022.
New laws on the registration of a car were also introduced in Spain this year.
The price of a new car in Spain will likely increase as a result.
The new registration tax must be paid once and it is usually included in the purchase price.
It is expected to increase purchase prices by around €800-1,000 more than in 2021.
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The tax is aimed at cars emitting more g/km of CO2, so electric or hybrid car will likely be exempt.
For those living in sunny Spain with their beloved pets, there could also be some headaches ahead.
Spain officially passed the new legislation in December, when the Congress of Deputies voted to consider animals, whether domesticated or wild, as “sentient beings”.
Pets will therefore have a different legal standing than inanimate objects as of this month.
This means they will no longer be able to be seized, abandoned, mistreated or separated from their owners in case of a divorce or separation unless their wellbeing and protection are taken into account.
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The law, which was hailed as a success by animal activists, could therefore spell problems for expats living in Spain and going through family legal proceedings.
Animals were already recognised as sentient beings, with rights and interests that must be taken into account, in European law, regional administrative laws and even Spain’s Criminal Code.
But this recognition was not present in the Spanish Civil Code, which covers issues relating to property, family and obligations.
Shared custody of a pet will be considered as an option in divorce cases and the judge will also be able to decide who pays for the vet bills and food for the animal.
New post-Brexit visa rules have also been introduced for those who would like to retire in Spain.
Non-lucrative visas have always been a popular way for non-EU citizens to gain residency in Spain.
After Brexit, UK citizens too who want to live on sunny Spanish shores will be able to apply for non-lucrative visas for five years before obtaining permanent residency.
But to get the visa Britons will have to prove they can sustain themselves in Spain without a job for the first year of residence.
Britons, and other non-EU citizens, will have to have at least 400 percent of Spain’s IPREM indicator.
But since January 1, 2022, the IPREM rose to €578.02 per month, meaning British applicants will have to prove to have funds above €27,792.96 (£23,200) in their bank accounts.
This is an overall £500 increase compared to applicants who applied in 2021.
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