Literally a “simple note”, a nota simple forms an important part of conveyancing in Spain.
The document contains a wealth of useful information that needs to be checked and contrasted before the buyer commits to the purchase. In this article, we detail exactly what a nota simple is and why it’s so important.
What is a Nota Simple?
It’s a document showing the information about a property kept in the ledgers at the Property Registry. It includes a description of the property, its owners and legal information.
What Does it Include Exactly?
A nota simple provides the following information:
- Name of the owner(s) and the type of ownership (what percentage of the property belongs to each owner).
- A general description of the property.
- Its boundaries (in all directions).
- The number of square metres for both buildings (built and useable square metres) and land.
- If the property forms part of a community of owners – all flats and apartments do – the nota simple states the property’s share (quota) of the communal amenities.
- Charges on the property such as debts, mortgages and embargos.
- Mortgage information such as the loaning entity and terms of the loan.
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What Does it Not Include?
A nota simple only includes the last information recorded. So, if, for example, the current owner has carried out extension works on the property and not registered them, they will not be recorded in the nota simple.
The same applies to charges. You could request a nota simple one week and a charge be added the following week. The most recent charge would only show if you requested another nota simple.
Are Nota Simples Correct?
Yes, in as far as they reflect the information currently recorded in the Property Registry. However, information for rural properties may not be accurate because of the following:
- Boundaries may not be recorded correctly.
- Boundaries may have changed.
- Buildings on the land may have been converted into alternative use, e.g. a barn into a house
Why is a Nota Simple Useful?
The document provides a snapshot of the property and its legal standing. It can reveal a number of things that may change the conveyancing process.
The description in a nota simple may be completely different than the actual description because the owner has extended the property and not registered the new work. In this case, the owner would have to pay for the extension etc to be registered and recorded in the property description.
The nota simple may show that the property belongs to someone other than the alleged owner. In this case, you would not be able to buy the property unless the alleged owner has legal power of representation or the real owner appears.
It may reveal the existence of debts and charges that the owner was unaware of. In this case, the owner must discharge all debts and charges before the sale. If this is done correctly, a subsequent nota simple would not show these debts and charges.
Why is a Nota Simple Important?
It’s a conveyancing lawyer’s job to ensure that all the information included on the nota simple is a true description of the property you’re going to buy. And until it does, it may not be a wise legal decision to purchase.
Where Can You Get a Nota Simple?
Notas simples are issued by Property Registries. ou can either request one in person or online. In most cases, your lawyer will ask for one.
Find out more about getting information from Property Registries in Spain.
What About When I Buy?
On the day of completion, the notary public requests a nota simple, which includes the most recent information about the property. The notary checks that the information on the nota simple tallies with that on the title deeds etc.
Can I Get a Nota Simple in English?
This option is available on request from the Land Registry. It costs slightly more than a nota simple in Spanish only.
What Do I Do Now?
If you’re planning to buy a property in Spain, get in touch with our legal team. They will act in your interests and ensure that you purchase with full guarantees. As a result, you buy with complete peace of mind.