Legalisation of Spanish property

Legalisation of Spanish property

What happens if the square meters that are officially registred in the nota simple are not correct? What to do? Call the deal off?

A lot of owners are in possession of a title deed with erroneous sizes and/or descriptions. Originally they may have bought or built a small house and later amplified it. Even for tax reasons they may have decided to declare only part of the built size.

If the difference between the registered and real size is significant, it is in your interest for future operations to have this legally modified.

How to legalize?

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Spanish catastro property information

Spanish catastro property information

What information can be obtained from the catastro?

The catastro shows the exact location of the property. A plan of the location and the boundaries can be obtained through the catastro. The plan shows the superficies of the building within the plot.

Sometimes the information shown in the documentation of the catastro does not exactly reflect the actual situation. For example, an extension is not registered or the plan does not show the swimming pool.

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Is your Spanish property free of debt

Is your Spanish property free of debt?

Or is there a mortgage or other claims on your spanish property. What happens when there is a mortgage on the house you want to buy? Is there a risk that you take over that claim?

No, not necessarily. First of all, if there is a mortgage on the spanish property of your choice, you might even be interested in taking over that mortgage, depending of course of the outstanding amount and conditions. If you prefer to buy the house without any mortgage, then the existing mortgage should be cancelled before you change ownership. In that way, you buy the house free of debts.

How to achieve that the property becomes free hold?

Cancelling the mortgage usually takes place on the same day as the change of ownership, so not before. The first deed will be a deed signed by the current owner (debtor) and the bank to cancel the mortgage, let´s say deed nº 103. The second deed, deed nº 104, will be the title deed signed by the current owner (vendor) and you (buyer). The moment you sign deed nº 104, the house is free of debts and will be registered as such in your name at the Land Registry.

Most of the times this is the only way the transaction can take place. Usually the seller does not have the money to cancel the mortgage and needs the income from the sales in order to do so.

Important! You should not sign the new title deed without the cancellation being signed.

Nota simple: Spanish land registry

Nota simple: Spanish land registry

What is a nota simple? What does it tell you? Who applies for it?

A nota simple is a property registry filing from the Land Registry, as we more or less know it, but literally Property Registry (Registro de la Propiedad) and therefore not to be confused with the Catastro.

The nota simple tells you who is the registered owner. That is important information, because that should be the same person as you buy the property from. It also shows if the house is free of debts or maybe affected by a mortgage. You will find the legal size in square meters of the property and, if applicable, the plot size is mentioned as well.

A nota simple can be applied for at the Registro. Usually your gestor or solicitor applies for it and checks it before you sign the sales & purchase contract.

Just before signing the title deed the notary applies for the latest version of the nota simple, to make sure no last minute changes regarding ownership or debts have taken place that could obstruct the change of ownership process.