Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Monday, October 04, 2010

A sort of Foxtrot

The Post Office sent me a text message to say that there was something I needed to sign for waiting in our PO Box. Usually this is good news, often something ordered from Amazon. But we weren't expecting anything and a letter or packet that needs to be signed for can be bad too - a traffic fine, a tax demand.

Over the counter it looked official, bad, but then I realised that it was for a friend who had used our PO box number as a temporary measure when he was between homes. I was relieved.

As far as I know when non residents, and our friend still maintains his UK residence, sell a house a percentage of the selling fee is held back to cover the tax payable on the sale by the notary who handles the transaction. The Land Registry people eventually arrive at the official figure and then either ask for more cash or pay back the difference. We guessed that was what the paperwork was about as well as formalising the land registry entry in the new names. It may have been something completely different though because without a dictionary to deal with the technical and archaic language used in official documents we couldn't be sure.

What I thought was interesting and so Spanish was that the couple involved "completed" on the house nearly four years ago. All that time to process the sale. Even more Spanish was that the couple had 10 days to appeal the ruling.

Slow, slow, quick quick, slow.

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