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Immoveable Property Commission: Northern Cyprus Compensation Claims Deadline Extended!!

In May 2015 Worldwide Lawyers published an article encouraging owners of property in Northern Cyprus that had been abandoned during the Turkish military intervention in 1974, to investigate whether they would be eligible to make a claim for compensation for the loss of that property.

In 2005 the government in the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (TRNC) passed legislation which created the Immovable Property Compensation Commission (IPC), an organisation which seeks to provide a just and effective remedy to the property claims of Greek Cypriots who lost control of their properties in the 1970’s.

Originally, the Immovable Property Commission was intended to operate from the date of the legislation until 21 December 2009 and was later extended to 21 December 2015. The Immoveable Property Commission claims deadline has now been extended again for at least another 2 years.

For further information about to find out who is eligible to claim, see the full article here: Lost Property in Northern Cyprus – The Immoveable Property Commission.

According to the Immoveable Property Commission, as of 14 December 2015, 6249 applications have been lodged with the Commission and the Commission has paid £213,208,171 in compensation to applicants.


I want to make a claim to the IPC. What do I do next?

Contact Worldwide Lawyers today on 01244 470339 or at info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk.

Worldwide Lawyers can put you in touch with a lawyer in Northern Cyprus (TRNC) who has experience assisting Greek Cypriots and their families with claims to the Immoveable Property Compensation Commission for compensation.

We can provide you with further information about making an application to the Immoveable Property Compensation Commission and obtain a no-obligation quotation from an experienced lawyer in Northern Cyprus into assist you with all aspects of your IPC claim.

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Getting a Spanish N.I.E Number

If you are trying to undertake any official process or fill out any sort of form in Spain you will probably have been asked to provide an NIE Number.

Getting organised with regard to your NIE can make your life a whole lot easier when you are in Spain….But what is an NIE number? Why do you need one? And how you get an NIE number?


What is an NIE number?

NIE stands for Numero de Identidad de Extranjero, roughly translated this means Foreigner Identification Number.

An N.I.E number is an identification and tax number in Spain for anyone who is not a Spanish citizen and is required for all official processes in Spain.


Who needs to have an NIE number?

You will need an NIE number if you are a foreigner in Spain in order to:

  • Buy a property in Spain*
  • Sell a property in Spain
  • Inherit assets in Spain
  • Open a bank account in Spain
  • Obtain a mortgage or other credit in Spain
  • Pay taxes in Spain
  • Work or start a business in Spain
  • Study in Spain
  • Receive social security benefits in Spain
  • Buy a car or apply for a driver’s licence in Spain
  • Get connected to utilities in Spain

*If you are buying a property in Spain and more than one person will be registered in the title to the property each person will need to have their own NIE number.


Does an NIE number expire?

When you apply for your NIE Number you will be issued with an NIE certificate.

Your NIE number itself is individual to you. It will always remain the same.

NIE number certificates however are only valid for 3 months from the date they are issued.

You will usually be asked to provide a valid (i.e. in date) NIE certificate to undertake official processes in Spain.

If you are buying property in Spain you should consult your Spanish property lawyer when you find the property you want to buy about when to obtain your NIE number certificate.

Some notaries may refuse to accept an NIE certificate that is out of date, therefore you may need to reapply for your NIE number certificate if you are buying property in Spain and the conveyancing process is not concluded within three months of the date you obtained your NIE certificate.


How do you apply for an NIE number?

There are three ways to apply for a Spanish NIE number. Please note that the exact requirements may differ from region to region:

1. Apply for an NIE number through a lawyer/ representative in Spain

This is probably the easiest way to obtain an NIE number, particularly if you are going to instruct a lawyer to assist you with a property purchase or business matters anyway.

Your Spanish lawyer will be able advise you what will be required in order to obtain the NIE number.

Your Spanish lawyer / representative will usually need a copy of your passport and a power of attorney document which expressly gives them permission to request an NIE number on your behalf. A Spanish lawyer can easily prepare this power of attorney document for you which will need to be signed in front of a notary either in Spain or in the UK.

Once you have authorised your lawyer to obtain the NIE on your behalf, they can take care of the whole process for you and let you know when the NIE number has been issued.

2. Apply for an NIE number in person in Spain

If you have a basic level of Spanish applying in person this can be a relatively straightforward process.

You can make an application for an NIE number in person at a local tax office or via one of the immigration offices (called oficinas de extranjeros) in the relevant region.

Immigration offices are usually found in designated police stations. The Ministry of Public Administration also publishes a list of Immigration offices around Spain.

You will need to take your passport as well as a copy of your passport and your NIE application forms with you. You may require other documentation as well so you should check what is required by the particular office before your visit.

In some regions, for example in Barcelona, you may be required to make an appointment to apply for the NIE number, so you should check this before you turn up.

After you have submitted your NIE application you will be given an official receipt (called a resguardo) and advised of a date for when you can collect your NIE certificate.

The timescale for when you will be able to collect the NIE number certificate may vary from a few hours to a couple of weeks depending on the office visited, and the region.

3. Apply for an NIE number in person through the Spanish Consulate in the UK

Although the Spanish Consulate does not actually issue NIE numbers itself,  it serves as a post box between the person applying for the NIE number and  and the authorities in Spain.

When you attend at the Spanish Consulate in the UK you will need to take your passport with you together with two copies of the NIE number application forms (known as Solicitud de Número de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) y Certificados). These will need to be signed at the Consulate in front of a consular official so you must not sign these beforehand as they will not be accepted.

The consulate will not usually provide you with an NIE application forms so you will need to take these with you.

You should also take a self-addressed envelope and another envelope addressed to the relevant Spanish authority.

The consulate may require additional documents from you so it is worth checking with them what is required prior to your visit.


What to do when you receive your NIE number certificate.

Keep it safe! You will be required to produce not only the number but also the certificate itself. Therefore you should keep this in a safe place where it will not get damaged or defaced (as this could invalidate the certificate).

If you require assistance from an English-speaking lawyer in Spain in relation to obtaining an NIE number or any other legal issue in Spain contact Worldwide Lawyers on 01244 470 339 or contact us through our contact form at the top of the page.

For Further information about the Legal Process in relation to Buying Property in Spain, download your FREE Legal Guide to Buying in Spain.


Property Purchase (WWL) (landscape)



Tips for renting out your overseas property

If you’re planning to rent out your overseas property, it may be helpful for you to consider the following to help make it a successful investment.

Are you allowed to let the property?

You should check that you are allowed to rent your property out on a short-term basis as some countries do not allow foreigners to rent property. Some resorts or apartment blocks may have their own restrictions for example the amount of weeks it can be let out and when. These restrictions will all impact your potential rental market.

Are you planning to use the property yourself?

Whether the income is something that you will rely upon or will just use to help with the running costs should be taken into consideration when deciding when you will use the property. If you plan to have large family get-togethers over Christmas and New Year in your impressive new ski chalet in Val d’Isère or if you want to spend the whole of August enjoying your Sicilian villa, you could be losing your most lucrative rental weeks.

Work out how many weeks the average property in your area rents for and what price you could get for each week before making your plans.

When you invite strangers into your house you have to accept that they may not look after it as well as you would. You should invest in a lockable cupboard to store away any personal or valuable items to be left at the property.

How are you going to attract interest?

Having your own website to advertise your property can have cost benefits but there are so many competing websites you need to advertise somewhere you will definitely be seen. Reputable holiday rental websites can be a great way to get exposure to millions of holidaymakers and manage booking enquiries.

Wherever you advertise, having great photos and descriptions can really help set the holiday scene and sell a stay in your property. Make beds, set tables, and turn on fires for the photos to maximize the property’s appeal. Guests will want to see exterior shots, outside facilities and the view, plus photos of each room.

Know your target audience and research the price of similar properties and other accommodation in the area. You should get an understanding of the type of tourists that visit the area and what they will want from the property. Running offers to attract off-peak holidaymakers can help maximize the periods when your property is rented.

Personal recommendations and online reviews have a big impact. Providing little extras such as a welcome pack of basics and local goodies and a file with useful information on local attractions, activities and transport can enhance a client’s stay and get them raving about your property.

Luxury furnishings and features such as log fires and hot-tubs can attract holiday makers to your property and may enable you to charge higher rates.

How will you manage the property?

Managing your rentals and the maintenance between lets from thousands of miles away can be difficult and time consuming. Hiring a good property management company is often a sensible solution as they can be available to arrange cleaning between lets, securing and checking the property and taking away the hassle of day to day management.

A property management company will also be able to liaise with you clients to hand over keys, answer queries and arrange additional services to ensure that your clients’ stay is as smooth as possible and that they will recommend your property to others.

A 20% cut for the property management company is usual but can be much more so you will need to be sure of what the property management company will do for you. You should ensure that you have checked that they have a good reputation so that they are able to deal with any queries you have and manage any unexpected problems.

What legal requirements do you need to comply with?

You will need to inform the taxman in the UK as soon as you start earning money from your home abroad. You may also need to complete a tax return in the country where you own the property.

You should make sure that you keep all receipts and papers relating to your expenses as many costs, such as letting agent’s fees, legal fees and insurance, are deductible from the rent you have to pay tax on.

You will also need to make sure that you inform the household insurer for your overseas property to ensure you are covered for using the property as a rental. You should also ensure that you have insurance in place to protect you should someone decide to sue you after falling down badly lit stairs or tripping on a dislodged tile.

Make sure you read the small print on your insurance documents and satisfy yourself that you can comply with any restrictions such as having the water turned off during vacant periods.

You may also need to ensure that furnishings fit in with any legal requirements, such as made from flame resistant material and ensure that the property meets health and safety requirements.

If you need advice from an overseas lawyers in relation to purchasing a holiday home or rental investment contact Worldwide Lawyers who can put you in touch with a specialist independent lawyer.