Filed under : Conveyancing & Property Law, Legal Consultations, Property, Tenerife Office
Canary Islands rustic land

From 1st January 2021 British citizens who wish to buy rustic land in the Canary Islands must obtain a military authorisation, this is also applicable to some urban properties according to Law 8/1975 and Royal Decree 689/1978 that developed this law which regulates areas and facilities of interest for the National Defense.

This old law is applicable to non EU citizens and companies and affects more than 1500 municipal areas in Spain, as a consequence of Brexit it is now applicable to British citizens as well. It is important to take it into consideration when the conditions of the purchase of the property are agreed as it takes time to obtain the military authorisation, and this can obviously delay completion which is normally subject to penalty clauses.

In order to obtain the authorisation it is necessary to present various documents including a criminal record certificate with the Apostille of the Hague and sworn translation, a notarized copy of the passport of the future buyer/s, a location map and a plan of the property. Depending on the square metres the application will be dealt with in the Canary Islands or in Madrid, there is also a limit on the number of properties that can be bought by non EU citizens in these areas.

This regulation was initially applicable to all foreign citizens and companies including Spanish companies when more than 50% of the shares were owned by a foreign citizen/company, but then EU and Schengen citizens/companies/shareholders were exempted from its application; we hope Spain will reach a similar agreement with the UK in the future as it is an anachronistic law that complicates the property purchase procedure in many areas. Should you need to obtain this authorisation in the Canary Islands or more information regarding this please send an email to [email protected] or call us on +34 922719520.