Getting Information From Property Registries In Spain


Property Registries in Spain are essential sources of information when you’re buying a home. Information contained in them offers insight into a wealth of data about a property such as the name of the owner and the existence of an incumbrance. This data is fundamental is proving ownership and anticipating possible problems when you buy.

Read on for answers to the most common questions about property registries in Spain.

 What are property registries in Spain?

A property registry (registro de la propiedad in Spanish) records details of every transaction involving property. They serve principally to offer information on properties and to register the details of a new owner when a property changes hands.

Where are they?

There are around 1,000 property registries in Spain and most towns have at least one. In cities, you’ll find several. For example, Malaga has 15.

Did you know? The vast majority of paperwork involving a property registry in Spain can be done electronically.

What information do property registries record?

They include:

  • Dates of changes in ownership
  • Names of owners
  • Information about the property (location, size etc)
  • Charges on the property (e.g. a mortgage)
  • Legal or administrative rulings affecting the property.

Buying a home in Spain? Discover why you need to use a lawyer experienced in conveyancing to ensure complete peace of mind. 

Is the information public?

Yes, as long as the registrar deems that the interest is legitimate. For example, a lawyer acting for a prospective buyer of a property has the right to access information about the property.

What sort of information is available from a property registry?

You can request two sorts of documents:

  • A nota simple is a brief extract of the current information on a property. It includes the identification of the property, its owners and charges.
  • A certification (certificación) is a document signed by the Registrar confirming the current information included in the nota simple. It also includes past owners and charges

Did you know? Although a nota simple is shorter, it’s the document commonly used by lawyers to ascertain legal aspects of the property. Banks also use it for mortgage purposes.

Why is the information recorded in property registries in Spain important?

A nota simple is the first vital step in any property purchase in Spain because it provides the lawyer with a true picture of the property’s legal status. Without it, buyers open themselves up to problems in the future.

In summary, a nota simple allows a lawyer to safeguard the buyer’s interests for the following reasons:

Indentify the seller

It proves that the seller is the owner. If the name is different, the seller needs to provide proof of legal representation of the owner.

Identify the property

The nota simple states where the property is located (town, street, number etc) as well as its size. In the case of properties that form part of a complex – for example, an apartment or townhouse with communal facilities – it also states the property’s share of those facilities.

Identify physical reality

It gives a lawyer the opportunity to compare the registered information about the property with reality. If there is a discrepancy between the two (for example, the property is larger than the nota simple) the lawyer can investigate why this is and look at ways of rectifying it.

Identify legal status

It provides information on all charges including mortgages and unpaid taxes.

Looking for cheaper properties in Spain? Take a look at our distressed property sales service. 

How do you register a property in Spain?

Once you and the seller have signed the title deeds at the notary and you have paid the appropriate taxes, the deeds and tax receipts are taken to the property registry. Here, the registrar checks the documentation and records the property in your name.

How long does it take?

Property registries in Spain have 15 days to record the new documentation.

Why choose Costaluz Lawyers to help you?

We have been helping foreigners buy property in Spain since 2002 with complete peace of mind, safe in the knowledge that their interests are protected from start to finish. We offer a comprehensive service that includes a thorough check of the nota simple and registering your title deeds at the property registry. In addition, we provide a 30-year guarantee for work we do for you.

For more information about our conveyancing services, read this. And then get in touch to find out we can help you buy a home in Spain.

2 thoughts on “Getting Information From Property Registries In Spain”

  1. My sister died 1999 in Spain the property was sold illegally I am the beneficiary. A solicitor in London who was dealing with a company called Eurocasa Mayor did not go through the process of transferring the property into the beneficiary and was not given authorisation to sell.
    How do I reclaim the property back?
    Land registry and Notary would be proof of my sisters Deeds.

    1. Maria Luisa Castro

      Dear Stella:

      We would need to see your sister’s will and a current extract from the property register (nota simple). Do you have this documentation? If not, we can explore alternative options.

      Best wishes


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top