Since 1st January 2021, when the UK left the European Union, it is now necessary to have a permit from the Ministry of Defence when buying property on rustic land. It should be clear that this rule does not affect properties in Urban areas.
At the same time, they will check for a criminal record and require a plan of the property and land.
This is, in fact, an old law drafted in the last year of the Franco regime (Royal decree 689 published in 1978) in order to protect national security. It has been used for non-EU purchasers for over four decades.
At the moment, this affects all non-EU purchasers, except the Swiss and Norwegians, who already have an exemption agreement in place.
The Balearic Property Registrars College recognizes this is not going to help investment in the islands as the process at present takes about 6 months.
It should be noted that the permit is property and person-specific so you cannot get the permit in advance when for example, you start searching for a rural property.
At Property Works, sadly, we are seeing vendors turn down good offers from Brits as they do not wish to wait for the purchaser to obtain this permission, much preferring an EU citizen who can complete with less fuss or delay.
We have also heard that in some property registers (Ibiza), they are allowing properties to be registered with the clause “pending military certificate”. This appears to be an exception and potentially risky for the registrar and notary if the permit is denied.
Hopefully, this rule will be changed soon. There is significant pressure from all sides, especially agents and lawyers to remove this unnecessary layer of bureaucracy.