Spanish Government offers more information in English language to property owners and purchasers

English speaking property owners and purchasers are to get greater access to property information in English, under new measures announced by the Spanish authorities.

  

Expatriate home owners and buyers are now able to request a Land Registry certificate (nota simple) in English from the Colegio de Registradores (College of Registrars). A certificate, including the translation fee, costs €29 (plus VAT) and can be requested from the Colegio de Registradores website https://buyingahouse.registradores.org.


In addition, a new central government decree (that came into force on 7 July) introduces a range of measures that the Government says will protect property purchasers and homeowners, helping to ensure that purchasers have the necessary information in hand and preventing property problems from occurring in the future.


HM Ambassador to Spain, Giles Paxman, said:


“I welcome these initiatives.  Communicating essential information in English, combined with the measures announced in the decree, should help to ensure buyers are accurately informed of any legal issues connected with a property. 


“However these measures will not, of course, do anything to help existing homeowners who have been experiencing issues with their properties. We will continue to work with the Spanish authorities to ensure these problems are addressed.”


British nationals considering buying a property in Spain or experiencing property problems are strongly urged to read the wealth of advice on the property section of the UKinSpain website, available at http://ukinspain.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/living-in-spain/property-in-spain/.

 

Further information


The measures announced in the 7 July decree include:


  • Allowing properties which are ‘fuera de ordenación’[1] to be registered on the Land Registry.  The decree says this will protect owners who in many cases bought in good faith, while retaining the ‘fuera de ordenación’ status and the limitations this implies.
  • Ensuring that essential information regarding the legality of the property is incorporated into the Land Registry. This means that when purchasers request a ‘nota simple’ from the Land Registry, they will be able to see whether there are or have been any legal proceedings against the property, such as proceedings which may result in fines or demolition. It will now be obligatory for town halls to provide registrars with this information. If town halls fail to provide this information, they will be held responsible for economic damages affecting third parties who bought in good faith.
  • Confirming that it is impossible to acquire rights which contradict land and town planning laws due to administrative silence (this is also included in the Ley estatal de Suelo). This measure clarifies that a licence cannot be granted due to passivity or inaction by town halls.  Instead, the transformation, construction and use of land requires administrative authorisation and if the timeframe for a response expires without the individual receiving authorisation, the lack of a response will be considered as a negative decision.
  • Increasing protection for purchasers who buy off-plan from a developer.  The decree states that it is not possible to register a new property on the Land Registry unless it has a licence of first occupation, a construction licence and a technical certificate which states that the property corresponds to the plans for which the licence was granted.

Additional information