There are two Spanish property registers. This can be confusing for people used to a different system in their own country. What is even more confusing is that each register contains a different type of information about the property.
The Catastro register includes the official valuation of the property or the valor catastral. The valor catastral is what is used to calculate your IBI (council tax) bill. You should be able to find the property’s catastral reference on the IBI receipt. Using this reference you can obtain a catastral certificate which will include the property’s boundaries, layout and exactly where it is located.
The registro de la propiedad (Land Registry)
The second register includes the details of the registered owner as well as any debts that are held against the property. From the Spanish Land Registry you can obtain an up-to-date ‘Nota Simple’ which is confirmation of ownership of the property.
Knowing that there are two registers and that they both need checking during the process of buying and selling property is important. There have been times when purchasers have been told that it is only necessary to check with the Spanish Land Registry and that a check of the Catastro isn’t required. Without a proper check that the details on the escritura match the plot details a purchaser can encounter problems later.
If you are buying a property the lawyer should check with both property registers on your behalf.