Valuable information website for older and vulnerable British people living in Spain

Valuable information website for older and vulnerable British people living in Spain expands into the Costa Blanca and Murcia

 The Support in Spain website (www.supportinspain.info), run in collaboration with the British Embassy, aims to help with the welfare challenges of the foreign-resident population and is being launched over the next two weeks at a series of virtual events for voluntary groups and social workers in and around the Costa Blanca and Murcia.

The site contains useful information on how to get extra support and help on a wide range of topics, such as healthcare, disability services and benefits, as well as providing a directory of local support organisations.

The service was designed in collaboration with the University of Birmingham and the British Embassy Madrid, and has had over 90,000 visitors since it first launched.

British Consul Sarah-Jane Morris said: “There is some incredible work carried out by so many volunteers across the Costa Blanca and Murcia to support foreign residents who are in need. This website will be a valuable tool to support voluntary groups in their work and for residents as well.

“It is always useful to plan ahead for the future. Many of us see our or our friends’ personal circumstances change and this website is a really good way to check up on the help that’s available.”

The virtual launch events are taking place on Tuesday 23 March with partners in Costa Blanca North, Monday 29 March in Costa Blanca South and Tuesday 30 March in Murcia. The events will be hosted by the British Consulate in Alicante and Neil Hesketh of the Support in Spain project.

Neil Hesketh said: “The site is in Spanish, as well as English, so that social workers, medical staff and Spanish-speaking friends can, for the first time, access information on English-speaking support available.”

Website address: www.supportinspain.info

More information: info@supportinspain.info


Support in Spain project background

The Support in Spain website is the result of a close cooperation between the British Embassy and the School of Social Policy at the University of Birmingham.

The original project set out to research the issues older and vulnerable British people face while living in Spain and to suggest possible solutions to help prevent them becoming socially isolated in the future.

One of the conclusions of the study was the need to develop a website that included all the contact information of the different voluntary groups and Spanish statutory authorities available locally, as well as helpful advice on common questions, such as how to secure extra social care, help for a disability or assistance with paperwork in Spanish.

The project was funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

The content of the website currently covers the Costa del Sol, Almeria, the Canaries, the Balearics, coastal towns and cities in Catalonia, and now the Costa Blanca and Murcia. It is published in Spanish as well as English and has had over 90,000 visitors since it was launched.

 Press contact:

Debbi Christophers – British Embassy Press Department. Tel number:  673 596 770

Follow us online: www.gov.uk/fcdo

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NEW RULES for Tourist Lets

New decree regulating tourist accomodation in the Valencia region has been approved.

It brings together all the decrees for each specific type of accomodation in a single text, explained the regional government.

One of the most significant espects is that it makes it illegal to offer tourist lets of single rooms in homes.

The decree’s purpose is to regulate the activities and services, forms, classifications and working practices of establishments according to Law 15/2018 on tourism, leisure and hospitality.

Another aim was to adapt the legislation to new social, professional, technological and regulatory contexts. It alos establishes rules for applicable prices and introduces the need to have civil liability insurance. Tourist lodgings are required to follow the principles of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (GCET) and the adaption of this to the Valencian code of ethics for tourism.

Regarding online advertising, more information will have to be provided, and the role of tourist accomodation management companies to act as madiators has been reinforced, requiring them to keep the name of the owner up to date in the regestry. All advertising will be required to include the property’s registration number, which will be particularly closely monitored online, and the oweners of channels for publicity or marketing will be held jointly responsible. The decree also establishes that in rural houses with shared accomodation, the users must have access to all the common areas.

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Happy NY 2021

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COVID 19 Tests UK-SPAIN – Passengers ( Somebody has got a plan ! )

The situation today:

( 1 )

International Travellers …>  to England will be able to reduce their quarantine period by at least a week if they pay for a Covid test after five days.

The rules will come into force from December, 15th, according to UK Transport secretary, Grant Shapps.

The tests from private firms will cost between pnds 65 and pnds 120, according todays info by BBC.

Mr Shapps said, the rules will be brought in for passengers arriving into England from countries not featured on the UK government’s travel corridor list.

He noted that they will have the option to take a test after five days of self-isolation, with a negative result releasing them from the need to isolate.

“The move will give passengers the confidence to book international trips in the knowledge that they can return home and isolate for a shorter period if they have received a negative test”, notes a department press release.

It states that those opting in to the scheme have to book a pay for a coronavirus, COVID-19 test from a private provider on the GOV.UK.list.

Mr Shapps said: “We have a plan in place to ensure that our route iut of this pandemic is careful and balanced, allowing us to focus on what we can now do to bolster international travel while keeping the public safe.

“Our new testing strategy will allow us to travel more freely, see loved ones and drive international business.

“By giving people the choice to test on day five, we are also supporting the travel industry as it continues to rebuild out of the pandemic”.

The department press release states that the UK government has considered the evidence which demonstrates that a test after five days of self-isolation provides materially better results that just having a test on arrival, as it allows time for the virus, should it be present, to incubate, helping reduce the risk of a false negative result.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “This test on day five of the 14 day self isolation period will identify positive coronavirus cases and allow those who test negative to return to work and see their loved ones while abiding by domestic coronavirus restrictions.

This will be done at the cost of the traveller to protect the capacity of NHS Test and Trace and ensure that any UK resident who has symptoms is able to get a test.”

He added: ” If they choose to book a test, they will need to state this on their passenger locator form prior to arriving and then go straight into self-isolation at home as usual.

“If they choose to opt in after arrival, they will need to resubmit their passenger locator form.

“They can take a test on or after day five of the isolation period either at home or at a private provider’s testing site, and on receipt of a negative result, can immediately finish self-isolating and return to following domestic rules.

“Those choosing not to take a test when arriving from a non-exempt country must continue to follow the current self-isolation requirements ( 2 weeks ! )”

The travel industry welcomed the policy but described it as “long overdue”

( 2 )

Spain is now asking passengers entering the country via airports and ports from so-called “risk countries) for a negative  PCR Covid-19 test.

The test has to be carried out up to 72 hours before they arrive in Spain.

The list includes almost all countries in Europe including the United Kingdom.

They can either present the test in paper from – in English or Spanish – or uploaded via the webpage:  www.spth.gob.es  or the government’s travel app SPAIN TRAVEL HEALTH-SpTH. If the traveller does not have a negative PCR test they could face a fine and will have to undergo a test in the airport or port. If the test is positive they they will be “denied access to Spain”.

EFE noted that all passengers eill still have temperature test in airports, which may extend to a “visual check” or evaluation of their state of health. If they show symptoms of Covid-19 they they will have to take a “rapid test” to check and they are virus free.

Spain will update their list of “risk” countries every two weeks.

The government noted that the results will be published on their websites:

www.mscbs.gob.es…………… and

All the criteria for entry into Spain is outlined in the official state bulletin (BOE) which can be consulted at:


At no point does the BOE refer to travellers who cross the border onto Spain by road



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Transition Period Draws Near

The UK Gvmnt seeks to reassure Britons in Spain over Brexit process.

The British Embassy in Spain has provided information to help Britons living in the country and to remind them of their rights and obligations before December 31, when the transit period comes to an end. Their updates deal with topics such as the new TIE biometric residence card, driving licences, UK bank accounts, passports and health-care. – The UK left the European Union on January 31 and is now in an 11-month period known as the transition. While “in transition”, the UK remains in both the EU customs union and single market.

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When we talk about buying a house in Valencia, or Spain in general, whether buying a house in the capital city Madrid or anywhere on the Costa the British are the most significant foreign buyers of homes on Spanish soil. The Brits are followed by the French, Germans, Russians, and Italians, not forgetting the increase of Chinese citizens arriving in the country. Whether you want a property in the popular coastal areas such as the Costa Blanca or Costa del Sol, or want to enjoy the diversity of the big cities (Barcelona, Madrid, Tarragona, Valencia, etc.), the steps to take are not always clear or intuitive. Also, you must be certain what taxes and expenses purchasing a property entail. In this article, we take a look at the steps and expenses involved.

What taxes and additional costs do you have to pay when buying a home in Spain?

The only indispensable requirement to buy a home in Spain is to get the NIE (Foreigner Identification Number), which is to be replaced with a TIE (tarjeta de identidad de extranjero) due to Brexit. The TIE will display your NIE, a personal and unique number, which is essential to carry out any transaction in Spain, from opening a business to buying a property, or even a car.

It is not compulsory to open a bank account in Spain to buy a property but having a Spanish bank account will facilitate the payment of taxes and expenses.

The purchase of the house is made before a Notary and is registered in a public register.

It should be noted that prior to completing the purchase before the notary it is very common to make a private sales commitment contract that is called “el contracto de arras”, where a part of the total purchase price is already paid.

What taxes and expenses will you have to pay when buying a home in Spain?

The purchase of a home is subject to several taxes, which can substantially increase the house price. Among them are:

  • Value Added Tax (VAT), in the case of new homes or first transmission. 10% levy rate.
  • The Property Transfer Tax (ITP), in the case of second-hand residences or resales. The tax payable is between 6 and 10% of the price, depending on the Autonomous Community where the home is located. It must be paid if VAT is not applied to the transfer.
  • Tax on Documented Legal Acts. This tax must be paid if the house is purchased and VAT is applied and if purchased with a mortgage.

In addition, there are other expenses to consider:

  • Public writing of the notary.
  • Inscription of the deed in the Property Registry.
  • In the case it is necessary to ask for a mortgage, you must include the appraisal and notary fees, mortgage taxes, and the deed’s registration in the Property Registry.

Other taxes will also have to be paid during the year, such as the Real Estate Tax (IBI), the Estate Tax where applicable, the Income Tax of Natural Persons (IRPF). If you do not reside in Spanish territory for more than 183 days a year, you will have to pay the Income Tax of Non-Residents.

Tips for buying a home in Spain

To the extent that is possible, we recommend that you:

Visit the house personally before signing or paying, that is, check first-hand the condition of the property, the surrounding area, the transport routes that connect to the town centre, etc.

Determine who owns the house. To get this information, you will need to go to the Property Registry and check the home’s legal and urban situation. This prevents real estate scams.

Once acquired, register the house in the Property Registry to prove that you have the absolute rights and own the property.

If a prior arras contract is made, hire an expert who verifies the purchase contract’s content and its effects.

To avoid uncertainties, errors, and queues, it is recommended that you delegate all tasks to a professional.

We do sometimes hear of buyers running into problems when purchasing in Spain, but really the process is very straightforward, if somewhat different to the UK. If you consult legal professionals, there is no need to be concerned when it comes to purchasing a new or resale home in Spain. VILLASVALENCIA will assist.

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The Valencia Govmnt remains committed to task of convincing the UK that the region is a safe destination for British and other tourists.

Despite the bombshell announcement by Boris Johnson’s Guvmnt. that they were advising Britons not to travel to the Valencia region or to Spain and imposing 14 days quarantine on their return, the Valencia tourism authorities are continuing with promotional activities in the UK.

Regional secretary for tourism Francesc Colomer explained that they are spending € 500.000 on an agreement with the regional chambers of commerce so they can carry out promotional events, which will include the UK and other countries.

Diplomatic negotiations are taking place and Valencia giving data and arguments to show the UK and other countries that tourists can be even safer here than in their own country.

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Valencia is open to Buyers

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Valencia: Tourism Trade gears up

In the Valencia and Costa areas are gradually opening up and the announcement by EastJet it was to commence operations from today, 1st July, now offers establishments a further incentive.

Ryanair had already made the announcement last week. EasyJet said, holiday-makers will be able to fly from 14 airports across the UK to a number of airports in Spain now.

All arrivals at Valencia or Alicante airports will be screened for temperature and will have to fill in a form allowing the authorities to locate them in the event of a local flare-up, and, Restaurants, Pubs, Nightclubs, abiding to new regulations, are preparing to open now on the beaches.

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‘The coronavirus pandemic has surprised many of those who were previously happily on track to fulfilling their dream of buying a second home in Spain. In some cases, it has stopped the process entirely, while in others it has made moving forward with the purchase far more difficult, leaving many future owners worrying about their options.’

‘Some future buyers have started to question their decision to purchase in Valencia, Spain in light of the pandemic. On the other hand, others are determined to go all the way and succeed with their Spanish property ownership dream. We are continuing to work for clients as normal, working closely with developers, notaries and real estate agents so that clients’ purchases and sales are not frustrated.’

‘It’s still perfectly possible to purchase the home of your dreams here in Spain. Buyers just need to take additional precautions to ensure the quality, safety and efficiency of the purchase process. Having a good lawyer or notario is key to a safe purchase process, while those looking to take a belt and braces approach have the option to buy properties that have been quality approved with us, Villas Valencia. “This important quality mark assures the buyer that all legal requirements for sale have been met, so that they can go ahead and purchase with peace of mind.’ – Happy Valencia –

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Why Learn Spanish with Jokes – during Covid-19

Whether you like your jokes laugh-out-loud funny or cringe-worthy, you’ll need a good grasp of the Spanish language to get these jokes.

But understanding the humor of a whole different language is about more than just knowledge of said language—it’s about getting the culture.

In other words, if you find the jokes below funny, then you know you not only got the language, but also the cultural humor. And that’s an impressively deep understanding of Spanish! Jokes can show you how to take your knowledge of words and turn it into true understanding.

(1) A: La nueva cocinera es un sol. (The new cook is a ray of sunshine.)
B: ¿Cocina bien? (Does she cook well?)
A: No, lo quema todo. (No, she burns everything.)

For this one I translated the meaning literally in English. We don’t use the phrase “ray of sunshine” the same way un sol is used in Spanish. Un sol is someone who’s “a doll” in English. Of course, the pun here is that the sun burns everything, just like the cook. Clever, clever. 

(2)Un hombre va al circo en busca de empleo. (A man went to the circus to find a job.)
El director le pregunta: (The boss asked him:)
“¿Y usted qué sabe hacer?” (What do you know how to do?)
El hombre dice, “yo… imito a los pájaros. (The man says, “I…imitate birds.”)
El director responde, “bueno… creo que no nos interesa, gracias.” (The boss answers, “well…we’re not interested, thanks.”)
… y el hombre se fue volando. (…and the man flew away.)

He’s quite good at his trade if he can fly away. I would’ve hired him. When someone se va volando (goes flying) it’s similar to the English phrase, “he flew the coop,” meaning he left in a hurry.

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Valencia : History of Money in the Prehistoric Museum of Valencia

Due to COVID-19 – this month we would like to illustrate the different formats of money used in the five continents over the course of history. All have served as means of payment or as measure of value. Coins, as we know them today, appeared in the late seventh century BC on the Greek coast of Asia Minor and have been the most widespread form of money ever since, dominating economic circuits until the introduction of banknotes in the seventeenth century and credit cards in the twentieth.

The areas of the exhibition offer a broad overview of the history of money. The tour begins by presenting unique Valencian Coin Treasures such as those found in Lliria, consisting of about 6.000 Roman denarii, the extraordinary treasure of the Islamic Calle Santa Elena (Valencia), consisting of 1.940 Gold pieces dating from the late eleventh century, and the Requena, comprising 223 Spanish Gold pieces from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A selection of four exceptional pieces allow visitors to contemplate the finest Valencian coin art; an Iberian drachma from Arse, a Roman as from Valentia, a timbre from the reign of Alfonso the Magnanimous and a ducado from the reign of the Catholic Monarchs coined in the mint of Valencia.

Cases at the beginning of the wall explain the origin of coins, alongside the most representative issues of Greek and Roman times. This chronical approach turns into a thematic one in which coins and banknotes are discussed from a variety of perspectives – manufacturing, metrology, values and formats, and monetary policy – with special attention to the designs and to the phenomenon of counterfeiting. The room includes a recreation of a seventeenth-century mint as a teaching resource for understanding hammer minting, a process that was used for about 2.500 years. Hammered coinage appeared in the seventh century BC and continued until the seventeenth century, when the mechanisation of the process became widespread.

The opposite side of the room focuses on varied forms of money from different periods and cultures. In a large case, objects used as money are sorted from the materials used in their production. Other cases show forms of currency such as tokens or vouchers, and items used as money by the traditional societies of Africa and Oceania. In this part of the exhibition the custody pf money and savings is illustrated by a nineteenth-century safe used by the Provincial Council of Valencia. A recreation of a vintage bank from the early twentieth century stresses the significance of banks and a cash register of 1911 reminds us of their importance in everyday transactions. Finally, four cases in the corner cover varied topics related to numismatics such as medals, accounting, and non-economic uses of money

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About Us

Villas Valencia offers properties in Valencia at Spanish prices. What`s more, we don`t charge the buyer (as most other agencies do). We are an English locally run estate agent company dealing with properties in a picturesque area around the city of Valencia.


You are the only agent we dealt with your knowledge of the area and the buying process left us at ease that everything would be taken care of. - Mr & Mrs P, in Naquera

Your advice was clear and brilliant. You completely understood our requirements and objectives, facilitating our new purchase. Thank You! - Mr L, Now living in Lliria

You offered a great service from start to finish, clearly explaining all our options and helping speed everything through. You translated everything we needed quickly.

- Mr T, Second home in Montroy

Villas Valencia was fantastic and exceeded my expectations. I will and have recommended you to others. Thank you for all your referrals for building work. We love our new pool! - Sean, house in Rocafort

Thank you for all the help buying our property in Valencia. With so much to think about, you explained everything well and made it all very easy. Cant wait to move out there fully and enjoy a G & T on our balcony with you.

- Ben, house in Naquera

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