Before signing the deed of sale in the presence of the notary (and even before the signature of a private contract), the purchaser should check all aspects of the legal standing of the dwelling.
We always advise our clients to use the services of an independent legal counsel to make these checks, especially if the purchase involves complex legal aspects.
These checks include:
Checking the Title Deed. The purchaser should require the provision of the current title deed of the property from the seller.
Consult the Real Property Registry. Buyers must ensure the property is registered in the name of the seller and is free of encumbrances or liabilities, and the property has no liens or outstanding mortgages.
Consult the Land Registry. It is advisable buyers check the data in the Spanish Land Registry (known as the Catastro) e.g. for ownership, area, identification of the property, location, etc. by obtaining the appropriate descriptive and graphic Land Registry Certification.
Planning Charges. If the property building was recently erected on developed land, this land, and consequently the dwelling, may be subject to urban planning charges. This aspect can also be checked by consulting the Real Property Registry of the relevant town or city council.
Building Permission. The purchaser should check that the property has the required municipal building permission certification, and the building is legal (issued by the competent town or city council).
Certificate of Occupancy and First Occupation License. The certificate of occupancy and the first occupation license (Cédula de Habitabilidad) are administrative documents showing that the dwelling meets the requirements of the applicable legislation for all buildings designed for human occupation and has met the conditions outlined in the building permit.
Energy Performance Certificate. Any housing intended for sale, whether newly built or for resale, must have this certificate that accredits the energy efficiency rating of the building.
Check Payment of the Property Tax. The buyer should check with the municipality council that there is no outstanding payment of property tax pending from previous years.
Check that there are no Current Leases or Rental Agreements.
Proprietors Association Contributions. The purchaser should check if the seller is paid up with the proprietors association if the dwelling is part of a condominium governed by the horizontal property regulations.
Statutes of the Proprietors Association Statutes. If the dwelling is part of a condominium governed by horizontal property regulations, the purchaser should examine the statutes of the proprietors association in case some rules could restrict the uses to which the property can be used. In all events, the terms and conditions for contribution to the common expenses and maintenance of the building should be checked.