The land registry is common to all countries in the European Union. In Spain, it’s called Registro de la Propiedad. The land registry records are a tool that everyone must access because they provide information about who owns the property and how much each owner owes on any mortgages or land loans. In this article, we discuss some aspects of the Spanish Land Registry.
What is the land registry in Spain?
The Registro de la Propiedad (or in English “Land Registry in Spain”) offers official information on the number and location of all Spanish plots or parcels of property. The Land Registry is a government agency under the Ministry of Justice that strives to provide security in the real estate market. The agency is the only public institution that offers property ownership information.
Functions of the land registry
The Spanish land registry provides information on:
- Property boundaries,
- Lot position
- Classes of land
- Property size
- Names of the property owner
- Rights and the charges that fall on a property
The land registry officially recognizes owners until unproven in court and therefore provides legal security.
When do you use the land registry?
There are several reasons to use the land register in Spain. These include:
- Buying property
- Selling property
- Renovating property
- Buying land
- Securing a bank loan
- Dividing assets between heirs
- Registering rights of ownership
- Registering mortgages
When you want to change something in the land registry, you will do this through a public notary. The public notary is not there to protect your rights but to protect the rights of the government. To protect your rights in Spain, working with a property lawyer is common.
Transferring property in Spain
It’s important to note that the purchase of a home in the Property Registry is not required by law. For example, if you are buying a farm, it is not necessary to register your purchase in the land registry. But bear in mind that a property registered in the land registry is safer to buy.
Transfer of property is often done with the help of a property lawyer. They will do an initial search of the registry records to see whether any issues could affect your purchasing power. The lawyer will then draft up contracts and protect the interests of the buyer or seller.
Is it necessary to register a property?
Because it is not obligated to register a property in Spain, some people can think that it is unnecessary or that it is money that we can save. There are many advantages to registering your property in the land registry:
- If a court decision does not specify otherwise, you will be treated as a single proprietor.
- Property that is registered will safeguard the buyer from a seller’s creditors. The buyer will be able to protect themselves against unforeseen fees that may affect your house.
- If you have a mortgage, it must be registered in the land registry.
- When selling, the seller guarantees the transfer via a notary.
- Information about limitations that affect the home will be clear so that no surprises can trap you.
- If you believe that your right to possess is being threatened, there are several ways to get judicial support for it.
- You are registering the purchase in the registry guarantees that no one will be able to get any rights over your property without your approval.
As you can see, there are many benefits to registration for both owners, buyers, and sellers.
The land registry office
The land registry office has a website on which property owners can find out more about the property they are interested in. The website also provides information for engineers, architects, and lawyers who specialize in real estate.
Nota simple, and the land registry
One of the documents you can get from the land registry is the Nota Simple of a property. The Nota Simple is a document that certifies ownership, either by purchase or inheritance. It contains the date of transfer, the name of previous owners and new owners, plus all other details to establish the property’s history. The nota simple is often used when one buys a house in Spain or applies for inheriting it.
A word from SpainDesk
The land registry is of great importance to the real estate market in Spain. Unfortunately, scams are still happening where fraudsters sell fake properties they don’t own, or the properties have significant obligations, limitations, and risks attached.
Our property lawyers in Spain can help you with property law in Spain. We can draft contracts, analyze the law, act as a protective layer against a seller, and search the land registry records for any potential issues. If you need assistance with a significant purchase, like purchasing an apartment, villa, or office building in Spain, contact us.