Buying or Selling, you need to know more about the Spanish Property Paperwork you should have or consider? The Kyero quick guide can help…
Before signing anything there are some important pieces of paper you and your lawyer should have a look at the following paperwork and requirments.
1) The Escritura Publica and Nota Simple: The Escritura Publica is the registered title deed of the property. It is entered in the ‘Registro de la Propiedad’, the Property Registry, and is the only guarantee of title in Spain. It contains a description of the property, the details of the owner and any mortgages or legal claims that exist against the property. This document is important because it tells you if the seller is the owner of the property being sold. A nota simple contains further details of any mortgages or charges against the property and is also available from the Registry.
2) The IBI receipt: Before purchasing a resale (not new) Spanish property check out the ‘lmpuesto sobre Bienes lnmuebles’, or IBI, which is the municipal property tax. Ideally, you’ll be able to see the IBI receipts for the last five years because that is the limit of liability for unpaid back taxes and is attached to the property, not the owner. A new property bought from a developer will not have an IBI receipt (because it has never been ‘owned’) so it will be your responsibility to register the property for this tax.
3) The Referencia Catastral: Every property sale must quote the ‘Referencia Catastral’ of the property in question. The Catastro is another system of property registration in Spain, concentrating on the location, physical description and boundaries of the property. While the Property Registry focuses almost exclusively on ownership and title, the Catastro is concerned with property valuation.
These two systems do not communicate with each other, and it is common to find that the catastral description of a property differs greatly from the one in the Property Registry. It is a good idea to request the actual certificate from the Catastro with a full description of the property. The certificate is in two parts, one being a description of the property and the other being either a plan or an aerial photograph.
4) Community fees, statutes and minutes of the AGM: This only applies if you are buying a property in an urbanisation or where there are some ‘communal’ resources, shared amongst a number of properties. These are the fees charged by the ‘Comunidad de Propietarios’, the Community of Property Owners, a legal body that controls all the elements held in common; the lift, gardens and pool for example. Each owner is assigned a quota, or percentage of the expenses which, by law, must be paid.
5) Utility bills: These assure you that the bills are paid and also provide an idea of what the running costs of the property will be.
6) EPC (Energy Performance Certificate): The EPC (energy performance certificate) is a report that describes how efficient a home is in terms of energy consumption and also gives recommendations on how to save money and make your home more efficient. It assigns an energy rating to each home on a scale which ranges from “A” (the most efficient) to “G” (the less efficient). The EPC law is approved and it came into force on the 1st of June, 2013. It is obligatory for all sellers and lessors who are advertising their property for sale or rent. At the completion of the sale The Notary will ask to see the original EPC. When buying a home you should get the EPC for that property and it’s rating. If you are selling you should obtain one.
7) Misc: If you are buying a property in an urbanisation, make sure that it is legal and registered by asking to see the approved ‘plan parcial’ at the town hall. If the property is on the beach, make sure the development is also approved by the Jefatura de Costas. For a new property, make sure that it has been declared for IBI and that the developer has made the ‘declaracion de obra nueva’. Also ensure that the escritura mentions the house you are purchasing as well as the plot of land on which it stands. As an additional safeguard, it is wise to examine the town planning maps for the area around the property, called the Plan General de Ordenacion Urbana, or PGOU.