60% of people considering buying property overseas indicate a preference for Spain. A number of expats have been duped into buying property, however. In one case, nine British landowners in Almeria stand to lose their homes over defective building licences.
This has prompted the government to take steps to secure better protection to UK citizens living in or considering moving to Spain.
Last week, minister Rosie Winterton met with Spanish government officials to discuss the property ownership problems some UK nationals have experienced buying property.
Following talks, the regional governments of Andalucia and Valencia have agreed to deploy two civil servants to UK consulates in Spain to advise expats about relocating to Spain.
The civil servants will give local, informed advice to British citizens on a range of issues such as purchasing property, registration with local authorities, and healthcare coverage.
Ms. Winterton said:
"The agreement is a positive first step and such innovative co-operation is certainly the way forward. Having regional civil servants in our consulates to advise UK citizens will help people to feel reassured and better protected."
"But we remain absolutely committed to working with the Spanish government to find long-term solutions to the problems currently faced by those who bought property in Spain in good faith."
Minister for Europe Chris Bryant said:
"I would advise people to be extremely careful with property purchases overseas. We suggest that prospective buyers seek independent legal advice and contact relevant local associations of those affected by property problems."
** Additional Information & Advice **
You can obtain further information about emigration issues and moving abroad on FindLaw. Alternatively, you may want to speak with a solicitor who specialises in emigration law. You can find a solicitor in your area for free via solicitor matching services, which can also help you to understand the best course of action for your situation and whether you are ready to hire a solicitor.