Who Pays Taxes and Community Fees in a Rental Contract With the Option to Buy

Registering a property at the appropriate registry is an essential step in a property purchase. Although you, as the buyer, are not obliged to register the property, at Costaluz Lawyers, we always advise you do so because registration provides legal security in a transaction. The registration document, known as a nota simple, also provides vital information about the property and owner. 

However, not all owners register their properties, making things difficult for the buyer, particularly if you need a mortgage. Banks need proof of registration to approve a loan. As a result, if the property isn’t listed in the Property Registry, getting a mortgage can be a challenge.  

Find out more about Property Registries and the information they provide

The Property Registry explained 

This registry is a public institution that records all transactions involving property. The archives list the owners of each property and its characteristics, including loans and charges. As a result, the property registry provides invaluable information about a property to a future buyer. 

Conveyancing lawyers use this information to ascertain important legal aspects such as: 

  • Determining whether the seller is the legal owner of the property. 
  • Finding out if there are any charges (including mortgages) on the property and who should pay them.
  • Discovering whether extension or refurbishment works are legally registered. 

Unregistered properties 

Most properties in Spain are duly registered. However, some aren’t, particularly those in rural areas or in small villages. If the property you want to buy isn’t registered, we always recommend that it is registered before you purchase. 

Registration is essential if you want to apply for a mortgage, and, in this case, we will insist the owner registers the property well before the purchase. Our conveyancing services include overseeing the process to ensure its outcome. 

Read our free guide to buying property in Spain

The registration process 

The procedure is straightforward and involves three documents: 

  • An authorized copy of the title deeds issued for the most recent transaction, i.e., when the property last changed hands. 
  • Proof that transfer tax has been paid on the purchase. 
  • Proof that local council tax (plusvalía) has been paid on the purchase. 

You take these three documents to the corresponding Property Registry (in the same province). 

Registration takes around 14 working days; once done, the bank can request a copy and start processing your mortgage application. 

Help with conveyancing 

An unregistered property is just one of the problems you could encounter when you buy in Spain. That’s why we always recommend you take professional legal advice for conveyancing

Our team at Costaluz Lawyers includes experts in all aspects of buying and selling property. Contact us now for a free consultation.

Maria Luisa Castro

Director and Founder
María founded CostaLuz Lawyers in 2006 and is the Firm’s Director. María is registered Lawyer number 2745 of the Cadiz Bar Association and is licensed to practice in all areas of law throughout Spain. Working closely with her team, María has developed the firm into one of the most highly regarded and trusted Spanish Law Firms acting for English-speaking clients with legal problems in Spain. We’re here to help. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation, initial legal orientation.
María Luisa De Castro - Costaluz Lawyers

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