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19
Jul

The issue of touristic licenses

Today economy has evolved a lot thanks (or because) of one company, Uber. The economy is uberized, which means anyone can be a cab driver, a food delivery but also a real estate agent.

As you may know, Barcelona is definitely one of the places to visit, not only in Europe but in the whole world. Hot weather, nice beach, people smiling and always in a good mood, cheap cost of living. All of those elements put together explain the huge amount of tourist coming to Barcelona thoughtout the year.

The number of tourisTourists forbidden in Barcelonat in Barcelona just exploded, it it went from 2,45 million in 1993 to nearly 9 millions in 2015. With over 8 millions people coming to visit the capital of Catalonia that is populated of 1,6 million of people, Barcelona is pretty much victim of its own success, so much that the Mayor of the city Ada Collau decided to freeze touristic licences, but the other reason was also in order to evaluate the number of people coming into Barcelona. A part of the population is unhappy about this effect of mass tourism, so much so that that some protesting occurred.

But before going any further, what is a touristic licence? It’s an permission that is delivered by the Mayor which allows the owner of a place to rent a housing to a tourist, then the owner is registered in “the official Registry of Tourism in Catalonia” , this way the owner will be able to rent fully his flat to someone for a period equal or inferior to 31 days to someone. We must really keep in mind that it’s the owner on which weights every responsabilities, the tenant has no power in the whole process. The tenant is exposing himself to important sanctions if he sub-leases the place or even a room to a tourist without the consent of the owner.

If the authorities catch an illegal rent, the owner is subject to a fine from 3,000€ to 600.000€.

A such negative feeling of tourist by Barcelonan people is animated by the behaviour of some tourists. Some behave very disrespectfully, throw trash in the street and moreover, they party and make noise all night long, which really disturb residents.

The mayor started freezing all those licence in april 2014, but for now, there is no discussion in order to give licences again. The only way to get around would be to make mid-term rentals, (1 to 11 months). If you’re looking for a mid or long term contract, feel free to contact us at : rebecca@rubybcn.com

31
May

Le marché immobilier en plein essor dans la deuxième ville d’Espagne, Barcelone.

Le marché immobilier en plein essor dans la deuxième ville d’Espagne, Barcelone.

 

Selon un rapport réalisé par le premier portail immobilier espagnol, Idealista.com, 50% de toutes les propriétés qui sont à vendre dans la ville sont vendus en moins de trois mois. Si une propriété a été mis sur le marché depuis plus d’un an, il est probable que l’acheteur ne la trouve pas.

Au cours du mois d’Avril de cette année, 15% des biens vendus à Barcelone avait seulement été en vente avec Idealista pendant moins de 30 jours. De même, 50,6% de tous les biens vendus en Avril avait trouvé un nouveau propriétaire dans les trois mois, et 87,3% en moins d’un an.

 

Les ventes immobilières sont extrêmement fluides maintenant dans les plus grandes villes du pays et la majorité des maisons sont vendues très rapidement. Si le vendeur est encore à essayer de trouver un acheteur après 12 mois, il aura probablement besoin de changer la tactique, en réduisant le prix de vente soit en apportant des modifications à la propriété elle-même ou en réduisant le prix de vente.

Certains districts de Barcelone sont évidemment plus populaires que d’autres, et les propriétés se vendent beaucoup plus rapidement dans ces zones. Par exemple, le plus grand nombre d’opérations en Avril a eu lieu dans le quartier de l’Eixample (22,8% de toutes les opérations), suivi de Sant Martí (16,5%), Horta Guinardó (13,9%) et Gràcia (11,4%).

Le reste de toutes les opérations ont été distribués entre les quartiers de Les Corts (8,9%), Ciutat Vella (7,6%), Sants Montjuic (6,3%), Sant Andreu (5,1%), Nou Barris et Sarrià Sant Gervasi (3,8%).

 

Prix de l’immobilier

En moyenne, les propriétés qui ont été vendus à Barcelone le mois dernier se sont vendus à environ € 324.689.

Un total de 27,8% des maisons achetées est allé pour 20% de plus que le prix moyen pour leur région ; 5,1% ont été vendus entre 10 et 20% de plus ; 32,9% des acheteurs ont payé le prix de vente moyen pour la zone; 12,7% payé moins que le prix moyen; et 21,5% a acheté la propriété à un très bonne affaire (plus de 20% de moins).

En regardant de plus près les chiffres, environ 60% des achats de biens immobiliers totaux à Barcelone pour Avril ont impliqué la vente de propriétés pour moins de 300.000 euros.

Seulement 5,1% ont une valeur de plus de 750.000 euros; 12,7% entre 500.000 et 750.000 euro; et 21,5% entre 300.000 et 500.000 euros.

 

Taille des biens

 

La taille moyenne des biens vendus dans la ville en Avril était de 93 mètres carrés. Environ 40% des propriétés étaient plus petites que cela. Seulement 17,7% des acheteurs ont choisi des propriétés mesurant plus de 120 mètres carrés.

Et, les propriétés les plus populaires sont ceux avec trois chambres à coucher (43%). Ils ont été suivis par quatre ou plusieurs maisons bedroomed (27,8%) et ceux avec deux chambres à coucher (19%). Seulement 2,5% des maisons achetées étaient des studios et 7,6% avaient une chambre seulement.

Source: Expatica

06
May

Dishwasher Maintenance and Repair Guide for Landlords

Dishwashers are such handy appliances that it’s hard for most people to imagine going without one for long. If your rental property includes a dishwasher, it’s a good idea to get familiar with some of the basic maintenance tasks associated with dishwashers so you can keep it working for many years.

Poor maintenance can lead to less than impressive performance and eventually some costly repairs. Learning about dishwasher upkeep, troubleshooting and the signs for when it’s time to call a repair service are just part of a landlord’s responsibilities to the tenant and to the property.

Dishwasher Maintenance

If your tenant calls you with a maintenance request involving the dishwasher, don’t call the repair service quite yet. The most common problem is that the dishwasher is not cleaning the dishes properly and that is easier to remedy than you might think. When your tenant starts complaining about the dishwasher’s performance, grab the appliance guide that came with it and head over to the rental to see if you can work it out on your own.

Here are 7 tips on troubleshooting a dishwasher that isn’t cleaning properly:

Tip 1: Review Proper Use

Problem: Dishwashers are wonderful and useful, but can’t work properly if they are not being used right or being run with the wrong kind of detergent. Dishwashers come with an array of settings, from short washes to high heat drying and everything in between. Your tenant may not know what setting is best to use, so consult the manual together for a tutorial. Also, many tenants are under the impression that putting food-caked dishes in a dishwasher won’t affect the quality of a dishwashing cycle, but of course that practice can be the source of poor results. Improper loading can also hinder the dishwasher’s effectiveness.

Solution: Talk with your tenant about proper loading for maximum results, and remind them that overcrowding dishes will hamper the water spray patterns in the dishwasher. Poor spraying will definitely prevent proper cleaning and require them to rewash the entire load. Ask them to make sure dishes are rinsed off before putting them in the dishwasher because food particles get spread around to other dishes and then harden on during drying. Proper loading, like facing dirty dishes toward the sprayer arms instead of away, make a big difference. Proper use of the dishwasher is often all it takes to ensure clean dishes and happy tenants.

Tip 2: Proper Detergent

Problem: Even if the dishwasher is working properly, using the wrong kind or amount of detergent can alter the outcome of the washing cycle. Too much liquid detergent can clog up the dishwasher and leave a film or residue on dishes. Also, not enough detergent will hinder the dishwasher from getting dishes clean.

Solution: In consumer tests, gels and liquid detergents don’t usually perform as well, while powder and tabs will give better results. Often, the manufacturer will give a recommendation for the type of detergent to useright in the appliance guide. Using a rinse aid is another way to ensure cleaner dishes every time.

Tip 3. Clean the Dishwasher Interior

Problem: Even homeowners often neglect to clean the inside of the dishwasher. After all, it gets a constant bath all the time, right? Actually, it’s quite easy for debris and particles to get stuck inside the dishwasher and coat and re-coat dishes as they break down over time. Unnoticed big items like pieces of glass or plastic can plug the filters and prevent proper drainage.

Solution: Remove the racks from the dishwasher and get a good look inside. Remove any large pieces of debris you can find. Clean the inside of the dishwasher with a vinegar-water mixture and scrub up any hard water scales with a vinegar and baking soda paste. Rinse clean before the next use. Many experts recommend running an empty load with a citrus cleaner or a few scoops of the drink mix Tang. The citric properties help get rid of hard water buildup and clean out the system.

Tip 4: Clean the Seals and Soap Cup

Problem: Every dishwasher is fitted with rubber seals to keep water inside the unit. Over time, the seals can become thick with gunk and fail to seal properly. Also, soap residue can build up inside the soap cup and contribute to problems with dishwasher performance.

Solution: Use a small soft-bristle brush to scrub the rubber seals around the dishwasher door. Be sure to get in between the folds of the seal where dirt and grime is most likely to hide. Really focus on the space between the bottom of the door and the dishwasher tub, where some of the worst buildup can occur. Use the same brush to clean the soap dispenser cup and door, plus any other small features on the inside of the door. Rinse with clean water and wipe up any leftover residue.

Tip 5: Clean and/or Replace Filters

Problem: Dishwashers have two filters, one large and one small (or coarse and fine). Filters are designed to catch food bits and other debris, and they get dirty or blocked very quickly. Sometimes the dishwasher filters develop holes or warp so that they aren’t doing the best job of trapping debris. If the filter is not working properly, like a piece has broken off, a screen has a hole, the plastic is warped or it just doesn’t fit right anymore, it could definitely affect the performance of the dishwashing cycle.

Solution: Use the information on the appliance manual to correctly take out the filter or filters and empty them of any debris (some models don’t have a removable large filter). Unless you or the tenant have been doing this every month or so, you will probably be surprised at the amount of gunk there. Clean them with hot water and a soft scrub brush, then replace. If the filter is warped or has a hole or tear in it, find the part number for the filter that is damaged in the manual. Then, call the company or your local appliance repair store to order a new one. The cost for a replacement filter will be significantly less than it would be for a repair person to do it and then come and install it.

Tip 6: Remove and Unclog Spray Arms

Problem: The sprayers on the top and bottom of the dishwasher can easily become plugged up, keeping clean water from reaching the dishes during a cycle. Especially with hard water, a clogged spray arm can turn a good dishwasher into a problem.

Solution: Use the appliance guide to take the sprayer arms out of the dishwasher for a closer inspection. Use a flexible wire, a pipe cleaner or eyeglass screwdriver to clear away any gunk in the holes on the sprayer arms. Don’t use a toothpick or similar tool because they can break off and get lodged inside the sprayer arm. Push inside to where you can’t see a few times to ensure the water has a clear path to exit the arm. Then, soak the sprayer arm in white vinegar or other hard water remover solution to further eliminate buildup. Rinse with clear water and replace back in the dishwasher.

Tip 7: Repair Dish Racks

Problem: The dishwasher racks are metal coated with plastic. After a while, the plastic can wear down and expose the metal. When the metal is exposed to cycle after cycle of warm water, it can begin to corrode, leaving a fine residue over all the dishes. As you inspect the dishwasher, check the racks for any exposed metal, which could be the culprit for a poorly performing dishwasher.

Solution: Most hardware and home improvement stores carry tine tips, which are small rubber or plastic end caps that completely cover exposed metal on the tips of the racks. There is also commercial paint/sealant available that can cover up exposed metal and prevent further problems. If the dishwasher rack is well beyond a few touchups, get the appliance guide and order a new rack from the manufacturer. Remember, you can also order all kinds of dishwasher parts like soap dish doors, rack wheel and more and save yourself money by avoiding a service call.

When to Call A Dishwasher Repair Service

Sometimes, there are clear signs that the problem with the dishwasher is beyond your capabilities and requires the services of a dishwasher/appliance repair company. If the problem that your tenant describes is something beyond unclean dishes, you may need to schedule an appointment to get the dishwasher serviced.

Here are the top 7 things that most likely indicate that it is time to contact a dishwasher repair specialist:

1. Low water temperature

Dishwashers should always have hot water to clean dishes, so if you or the tenant notices that the water is lukewarm or cool immediately after a cycle, that signals a problem with the unit. Another way to check temperature is that the dishes should feel warm to hot right after a cycle has finished up.

2. No water

If you or the tenant aren’t hearing water whoosh through the dishwasher during a cycle, or you only hear faint trickles, that’s a big problem and should get attention as soon as possible.

3. Water isn’t draining

If you or the tenant see water pooling at the bottom of the dishwasher, there is certainly trouble with the inner workings. While it is possible to have pooled water if the cycle has been inadvertently interrupted, if the cycle is complete and there is still water on the bottom, you’ll need professional help.

4. Irregular noises or burning smell

Dishwashers aren’t the quietest of appliances, but if you or the tenant hear anything outside the gentle motor sounds and rushing water, it’s time to make that call to the repair service. Grinding, clicking and other mechanical sounds are a big red flag for dishwashers. A burning smell may just be something plastic falling against the heating coils inside the dishwasher, but if there’s nothing there and you and the tenant still smell burning when the unit is running, stop it immediately and call.

5. Broken door lock

A dishwasher is no good if the door cannot be secured shut. Broken latches or jammed elements of the latch can render an otherwise perfectly functioning dishwasher completely unusable.

6. Cracks in the interior lining

While it doesn’t happen often, dishwashers can develop cracks in the interior lining, which can cause all kinds of trouble with keeping the water sealed inside. Cracks can also indicate other problems that only a professional can remedy.

7. Rust or mold

A working dishwasher should drain and vent properly, leaving no room for rust or mold. If you or your tenant notices either rust or mold inside the dishwasher, there’s a problem with the unit and time to schedule an appointment.

If you must call a repair service, look for a company with a good reputation and can handle your particular brand and model. Because a dishwasher isn’t a mandatory appliance to have when it comes to habitability for the tenant, you can schedule the repair for a time that is convenient for you and the tenant. Unless there is water leaking everywhere, most repair services will have available appointments anywhere from one to five days out.

A dishwasher is a valuable amenity for tenants and by working together on maintenance and care, you and your tenant can ensure many years of good, solid washing cycles and very little downtime.

Source: RentPrep

04
May

BARCELONA: Rental home shortage pushes up letting prices, but city still cheap by international standards

A recent article in the Spanish daily El Periodico takes a look at the rental market in Barcelona, where rents are rising but are still remarkably cheap by international standards.

What are the factors driving up residential rental prices in Barcelona, where they rose the most in all Spain last year, asks Carlos Márquez, writing in the Spanish daily El Periódico in an article ‘Barcelona, ciudad sin pisos (de alquiler)’ – or in English ‘Barcelona, city without flats (for rent)’.

Average rents in Barcelona rose 6.7% last year, from 688 €/month to 735 €/month, though that still leaves them 10% below the boom-time high of 813 €/month hit in 2008.

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BARCELONA’S HOUSING STOCK

Márquez digs into the statistics of Barcelona’s housing stock to help us understand the supply side. Barcelona city has 811,106 homes in total, of which 655,175 are classified as first homes for a population of 1.6 million. But 200,000 homes have only one occupant, whilst 192,000 have two occupants. That implies 79% of main homes have three occupants at most, he explains.

Also making demands on the city’s house stock are 9.600 legal tourist flats, and many more illegal ones, whilst the number of hotels has gone up from 236 in 2007 to 380 today (a 60% increase), which also reduces the supply of homes.

So the housing stock of main homes is sparsely populated, whilst tourism is placing rising demands on the city’s capacity to offer accommodation, putting pressure on the supply.

Barcelona can’t build its way out of a growing supply crunch. In the city’s 100 km2 surface area there are 21% more homes than in 1981, but no room for more, explains Márquez. “Thanks to orographic boundaries and the lack of land, there is not much margin for creating new housing, especially in the most sought-after areas,” he writes.

SHORTAGE OF HOMES FOR RENT

Rents are rising with demand, but most of all because of a shortage of homes for rent, say local Barcelona property market experts consulted by Márquez. “We are getting many fewer [flats to rent] than before,” says Guifré Homedes. Just a year ago it took on average two and a half months to find a tenant, now that is down to 60 days. “Our problem is supply, not demand,” he says.

ANALYSIS OF RENTAL PROPERTY ‘TIME ON MARKET’

Márquez analysed data from the Spanish property portal Idealista.com to show how the Barcelona rental market is heating up.
> 20% of flats listed for rent in Barcelona are taken within 24 hours, up from 9% a year ago.
> 44% are taken within a week, up from 32% last year.
> 78% are gone within a month, up from 70%.
> Eixample, Ciutat Vella and Sant Martí are the areas where flats for rent spend the least time on the market.

BARCELONA CHEAP BY INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

The article also gives us data comparing average rental prices in Barcelona with other leading cities around the world. Despite rents rising the most in Spain last year, there’s no denying that Barcelona still looks like a cheap place to rent a home by international standards. Average rents are less than half Paris, less than a third of London, and less than one fifth of New York. Barcelona is also significantly cheaper than Madrid.

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If Barcelona rents are cheap by international standards, that begs the question how long will they remain so with a growing shortage of homes for rent and rising demand, especially foreign demand? Many estate agents in the city report that foreign demand for property in Barcelona, both rental and purchase, has been growing significantly in recent years.

“It could be that we end up importing the model of cities like Paris and London, where the centre is occupied by businesses and tourists and many residents live in the suburbs or dormitory towns,” muses Homedes.

RENTAL PRICES BY DISTRICT
The map below shows the average rental price in each of Barcelona’s 10 city districts. For a detailed graphical analysis of rental prices by district in Barcelona (in Spanish) click here.

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Source: Spanish Property Insight

03
May

City stops rental Airbnb to protect affordable housing

Since a short time of notice, Barcelona’s tourism industry has been recognized as out of control for some time, and when Mayor Ada Colau entered office this June, she did so promising to crack down on its excesses. Airbnb possesses a big role in this subject. Since the start of Airbnb the demand and supply of holiday rentals has been increased. Therefore, measures will be taken within a short time. This already happend in Berlin. What does this mean for Barcelona and Airbnb?

Berlin has banned tourists from renting entire apartments through Airbnb and its competitors in an attempt to protect affordable housing.

With the help of large fines, the German city’s authorities are hoping to protect the property supply and keep rents as low as possible.

After the success of the various online rental portals, the number of properties available for long-term rental periods had fallen markedly

But from 1 May, the new law entitled “Zweckentfremdungsverbot” bans the short-term let of entire apartments to tourists without a city permit.

Since the mayor of Barcelona has promised to crack down on its excesses, the future of Airbnb may not be as bright in Barcelona. Barcelona is given out big fines to apartments without a tourist license and to companies for their illegal offering.

Meaning, Airbnb may be illegal very soon in Barcelona. Since Barcelona is very busy in decreasing rental of illegal tourist flats, the idea of Berlin will be a motivation for Barcelona to do this as well.

Source: Independent & Citylab

26
Apr

Two day metro strike causes commuter chaos in Barcelona

Metro workers in Barcelona are striking on Tuesday, causing disruption to travel for thousands of commuters.

Commuters in Barcelona were expecting delays on Tuesday as metro workers called a two day strike that is set to hit travellers particularly hard during rush hour.

Only 50 percent of trains will be running during rush hour in the city – from 8am to 10am and from 5.45pm to 8pm and 30 percent of trains will be running between 8pm and 9pm.

The strike comes at a particularly awkward time; the city is currently playing host to the Alimentaria food trade fair – many attendees could be affected by the transport strike.

Fira de Barcelona, where the trade fair is taking place, is running extra buses from the city’s main hotels and has made available more parking spaces for people attending the fair.

Metro workers staged a similar strike during February’s Mobile World Congress trade fair, which took place in the city.

metro

Metropolitan Transport Barcelona (TMB) has advised people to take alternative modes of transport if necessary.

Workers will strike on Tuesday and Wednesday, when transport officials estimate that only one in three trains will be running for much of the day.

TMB has also announced that the strike could affect the Montjuïc cable car, a popular tourist attraction that is run by the city’s metro.

Source: The Local

25
Apr

What is Equity Tax and what should Barcelona tenants be aware of

The Spanish government has announced a number of important changes to the Spanish income tax rules. Therefore here an explanation of the new rules of taxation and what the effect is for tenants. 

  1. Transmissions and real rights on urban properties:
    – 10%, accrued taxable events from August 1, 2013.
    – 8% between 1 July 2010 and 31 July 2013.
     
  2. Transmissions and real rights over officially protected homes:
    – 7%.
  3. Transmissions and real rights on rural property:
    – 10%, accrued taxable events from August 1, 2013.
    – 8% between 1 July 2010 and 31 July 2013.
  4. Transfers of securities and subscription rights of Article 108 of Law 24/1998, the stock market:
    – 10% for taxable events accrued from August 1, 2013.
    – 8% between 1 July 2010 and 31 July 2013.
  5. Transfer of a property that has to be the residence of a large family:
    – 5.00%.

Requirements to apply the reduced rates:

  • The taxpayer must be a member of a large family. A large family that is composed out of three or more children, or one that has two children and at least one of them has been diminished or is incapacitated for work.
  • The sum of the total taxable income, minus personal minimums and family members of the household on the income tax of individuals must not exceed 30,000 euros. This amount must be increased by 12,000 euros for each child exceeds the number of children that the law requires to have the status of large family.6. Transfer of a property that has to be the residence of a young:
    – 5.00%.

Requirements to enjoy the reduced rate:

  • The taxpayer must be 32 years or less.
  • Your total taxable income, minus the personal and family minimum, in its latest tax return on income of individuals can not exceed 30,000 euros.7. Transfer of a property that has to be the residence of a person with      physical, mental or sensory decrease: 5.00%.Requirements to enjoy the reduced rate:
  • The degree of disability must be equal or greater than 65%.
  • The sum of the total taxable income, minus personal minimums and family members of the household for the purposes of income tax of individuals can not exceed 30,000 euros.
  • The fact must attend handicap the taxpayer or any member of your household.
  • You have to prove the alleged disability and their degree with a certificate of ICASS. It also has to produce documents describing the income of the household.

8. Transmissions and movable real rights, except means of transport:
– 4.00%

9. Means of transport:
– 5%

10. Administrative concessions:
– 4.00%

11. Security rights, pensions, bonds, loans and obligations and conditions                      subsequent: 1.00%

Leases of urban or rural properties:

  • For taxable from 1 January 2015 made 0.50%
  • From January 31, 2014 to December 31, 2014: 0.30%
  • Until January 30, 2014:
Base en euros
Euros
Hasta 30,05   0,09
De 30,06………. a…………. 60,10   0,18
De 60,11………. a…………120,20   0,39
De 120,21…….. a…………240,40   0,78
De 240,41………a…………480,81   1,68
De 480,82………a…………961,62    3,37
De 961,63…….. a ……..1.923,24    7,21
De 1.923,25….. a…….. 3.846,48  14,42
De 3.846,49.. a……….. 7.692,95  30,77

De 7.692,96 en adelante, 0,024040 euros por cada 6,01 o fracción.

Tenants should be aware of the following:

  •   The general flat rate will decrease from 24.75% to 24% from 2015 onwards, and to 19% if the taxpayer is a resident of an EU Member State or of a European Economic Area country.
  •   A 60% reduction on the net rental income will only apply in respect of positive net rental income, and the 100% reduction in respect of tenants under 30 years old is eliminated.

Source: Generalitat de Catalunya & EY

18
Apr

Man stayed in 14 luxury hotels in Barcelona without paying

The 26 year-old Portuguese man, who has not been named, was arrested last week after a five star hotel in the tourist centre of the Catalan capital reported that he left without paying a bill of around €1000.

He was discovered staying in another upmarket hotel nearby and was arrested for fraud by officers from Los Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan police force.

It emerged that he had in fact stayed at a total of 14 hotels in Barcelona, running up bills amounting to €7525.44.

He always followed the same modus operandi, checking into several hotels simultaneously using maxed out credit cards, according to a statement from the Mossos d’esquadra.

He then enjoyed the facilities, including gyms and restaurants, and charged the extras to the room before slipping away without paying.

Source: The Local

15
Apr

Becoming an expat: where to start

Unfortunately there’s a little more to it than just packing your bags and jumping on a plane. Here are some of the things you’ll need to factor in before you head for greener pastures abroad.

Paperwork

First up, visas. Assuming you have a job waiting for you on arrival, then be sure to speak to your employer as soon as humanly possible about visa support. Some businesses will take care of everything for you, including the costs; but others will leave it up to you. Find out what and how much you need to pay, then budget for it.

Depending on where you’re headed for, visas and work permits can be a complicated affair. The whole process could take months. There could be a lot of paperwork, and some countries require you to have a full medical examination (at a cost to you). This can be arranged through your local doctor.

It’s always worth making copies of your original documents too, as embassies have been known to be less than forthcoming when it comes to returning your documents.

Healthcare

Again, this really comes down to where you are going. Some countries provide free state healthcare, but not all. So look into it – before you need it.

Some companies provide private medical insurance as part of their employee benefit package options. If you are in any doubt, contact your employer, and find out the exact details of any cover they are providing. It is vitally important that you have comprehensive health insurance for you and your family.

International health insurance companies like Cigna offer a wide range of levels of expat medical insurance cover, in your new homeland and anywhere else you may be travelling. It’s better to be safe than sorry – find out more about Cigna International health insurance here.

But each place is different. Be sure to check the health advice recommendations (including potential vaccinations) for your new country of residence. A handy guide to some of the more popular destinations can be found here.

Travel

It goes without saying that air travel can be expensive, but it is of course a necessary expense if you are to become an expat.

That said, there are some ways to reduce the cost of air travel. Booking in advance generally results in discounts for long haul flights. Be sure to check out baggage allowances for the airlines you’re considering flying with, as some heavily restrict your weight limit, while others allow you to carry sports equipment for free.

Travel insurance is also a must. Don’t just think about the cost – make sure you’re happy with the whole package, including your travel insurance, and things like cancellation cover and baggage cover.

Shipping or Storage?

It’s unavoidable: The shock at just how much stuff you’ve accumulated. You’ve probably got a lot more possessions than you thought. So what do you take with you?

If you’re planning on renting at first in your new homeland, you could consider renting a fully furnished property and put your furniture into storage until you’re settled. You could then arrange to have your belongings shipped over at a more convenient time. Or sell it all and buy new furnishings abroad – it could end up being cheaper. But don’t get stuck, think about it in advance and decide on a course of action.

Budget

Given the logistical complexities of moving to another country, it can be easy to lose track of your finances, so adhering to a strict budget is crucial.

Try to plan ahead as much as possible, including the little things as much as the big expenses. Be sure to factor in things like hotels (if your new abode isn’t ready yet), local transport prices or the cost of a vehicle, local utility costs, legal documentation costs on arrival, and import tax on anything you may be taking with you.

Yes, moving abroad takes planning and research, but by following the handy steps above, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a fully-fledged expat. But wait, there’s more…

Things you won’t have thought of…

Yes folks, there’s yet more to consider.

Becoming an expat isn’t just about ticking all the boxes laid out above. It also involves a mental, emotional, and behavioural shift in your lifestyle. Living in a new country means adjusting to a new culture and new attitudes.

Remember, culture is not a case of right and wrong. The conventional ‘have-a-nice day’ attitude popular in places like the USA, may not be replicated in your new home country, so be prepared for something a little different – and be open to it.

One of the biggest struggles for new expats is the adjustment to more alone time. Whether you’re just leaving a large group of friends behind, or moving to accompany a partner’s new employment venture, you may find yourself with more free-time, and more alone time.

There’s no quick fix for this. It’s part of the package and it takes some getting used to. Be sure to look up expat communities and support groups. Over time, through  daily life, you’ll settle in just fine.

Much like any other big life event, moving abroad can be downright stressful, so a sense of humour is of paramount importance. Be willing to laugh at the situation – and yourself when you get things wrong.

Becoming an expat is very much a marathon, not a sprint. The struggles that you face initially will diminish over time. It’ll be an exciting time, so take it all as it comes, don’t expect miracles overnight, and enjoy starting a fantastic new chapter in your life in a new country.

Source: The Local

11
Apr

Do you have an apartment published on Idealistic or Airbnb? The tax offices knows this and will ask you to declare

Dela Renta 2015 campaign began today and will last until June 30. Among the novelties of this edition, the Tax Agency takes a step to try to encircle the rentals for both long-lasting and tourist travelers. Meaning, when the taxpayer will do their transactions through the website of an Agency, if you have an article posted on any online platform, you will receive a warning that reminds you that “in case of receiving rental income, it  should be given in the statement that any type of income needs to be taxed by and not recorded in the fiscal data. ”

The Tax Agency does not give names on the websites where the ads are advertised and which the agency has tracked but at the press conference presenting the campaign, the managing director of the Agency, Rufino de la Rosa has said that the focus is lying on both “short term and long term.” “These are our actions, not data supplied by the platforms,” he answered to the media. The Tax Agency has noticed the ads on platforms although at first they do not know whether they are rented or not.

De la Rosa added that the data includes homes that are for rent and also “have a number of procedures to verify whether the home is rented.” A statement  included in the Annual Plan Tax and Customs Control 2016 which are among the activities held by the agency includes the “implementation of actions in the service sector focused on the discovery of activities and hidden income in business services sector that totally or partially participate in the underground economy. ”  As well, he notes that “among others, any act on individuals who provides totally or partially homes by internet or other means will need to act with respect to those regular tourist companies that do not fully meet their tax obligations. In addition, proceedings for detecting irregular rentals with no declaration “.

The other new Rents of 2015

In the campaign of 2015, the Tax Agency estimates that nearly 80% of the declarations shall be able to confirm, modify and submit via the Web with a Rent platform. This is an online tool that combines the traditional draft declaration of the program PADRE. Thus, a greater number taxpayers can be performed through the web. Taxpayers who can not make the declaration through this platform are those who are receiving income from economic activities.

Generally speaking, you are not required to declare  taxpayers who have earned income to a maximum of 22,000 euros per year. A limit is reduced when these come from more than one payer or when compensatory pensions or annuities received for no privilege. In these cases, the limit increases from 11,200 to 12,000 euros per year.

Within the new legislation, we must bear in mind that this season there are changes in the applicable tax bases types. In addition, in the year 2015 a new tax saving, which establishes three types of 19.5%, 21.5% and 23.5% from 50,000 euros applies. Among the changes there is also an  introduction of the uniform percentage reduction of 60% of the net rental yield declared from the previous percentage depended on the age of the tenant housing.

Source: El Diario