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Jim's Guide - Land Registry part 2 - Registro de la Propiedad

Posted: Fri Nov 8, 2019 8:45am
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jimtaylor

jimtaylor

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There are two public bodies who carry out functions related to land registry matters. There have been proposals to merge these, but as far as I am aware no firm decision has yet been taken. This guide deals with the following:

El Registro de la Propiedad:

This is the organisation whose name translates as the Property Register or Land Registry. It is one of the three sub-divisions of the Registradores de España (the other two deal with business registration matters, and with moveable property) and comes under Ministry of Justice. To use their own words:

The main purpose or function of the Land Registry is to register all the properties located in Spanish territory in order to subsequently publicize all the information registered on any property through the corresponding documents.

They maintain full details about all properties in Spain, irrespective of whether a property belongs to a private person, company, or public authority, including full physical details, owners, debts on properties such as mortgages and unpaid charges, whether usufruct applies, and whether there are any judicial or administrative resolutions affecting properties. 

El Catastro, the other land registry, also keep details of all properties, but this isn't as comprehensive as the Registro, and the location information is in a different format.

Whereas Catastro make most information available at no charge, the Registro do charge for information they provide.

Registering ownership of a property can only be done by the purchaser or seller, or the legal representative of either of them. Ownership has to be proved by a notarised document or one from a judicial authority. Registrations must be made at the office responsible for the area where the property is located.

They do make statements that I find strange, which is that the registration of a property isn't mandatory, but if there is an undeclared mortgage on an unregistered property, then the mortgage isn't valid. In addition, if two people register incompatible rights to a property, then the first registration will be the one that prevails.

I'd guess that the section in this guide that will be of most interest will be the one about discharging a mortgage.

What they provide:

There are several things related to property purchase that you can obtain from the Registro:

Nota Simple, or to give its full name Nota Simple de Bien Inmueble

Informe de Propiedades

Nota de Localización de Propiedades

Certificado de Inmueble

In addition, you can discharge a mortgage with them.

Nota Simple:

This contains identification of the property, the identity of the owner and holders of rights registered on it, e.g. full ownership, mortgage, usufruct, etc. It is informative only and has no validity in law.

I covered this in my guide:

Jim's Guide - The Nota Simple & property purchase

Informe de Propiedades:

This option is buried in the FAQs on the Registro website - they don't give any details elsewhere, so it's possible it may no longer be available and they just haven't updated the FAQs. However, some gestorías are still offering to obtain this informe, so it seems it's available. I'm just giving what detail I could find.

An Informe de Propiedades contains the same information as a Nota Simple but, whereas a Nota Simple is a report about an individual property, an Informe de Propiedades is a report about all the properties in Spanish territory owned by an individual or a company.

The information given is the same as in a Nota Simple, but for every property owned. In effect, it's just one or a bunch of Notas Simple.

For a Nota Simple you need to identify exactly which property you want details for. For an Informe de Propiedades you need the name and NIF or CIF of the person or company. You have to give the reason for your request, and the Registro will decide whether or not to provide the information. The Registro may also advise the person or company for whom you have requested information.

Gestoría prices seem to be €19 + IVA for each property included in the report.

Nota de Localización de Propiedades:

I can't think of anything someone would gain from this, but it's another enquiry that is done for an individual or company, and not a property. All it does is tell you in what municipalities a person or company owns a property or properties, and which office of the Registro has the property on their records.

It doesn't tell you how many properties are owned within a municipality, or give any specific data about those properties.

As with the previous section, you have to declare why you want the information, and the Registro will decide whether or not to provide it.

The cost is €9.02 + IVA.

The starting point is:

https://www.registradores.org/registroonline/home.seam#

Then click on Nota de localización de una finca.

Certificado de Inmueble:

This is very similar to a Nota Simple, but it always gives full details including the owner and any charges on a property.

More importantly, whereas a Nota Simple is informative only, a Certificado de Inmueble is signed by the Registro and is acceptable as a legal document, and can be used in any legal proceeding. Any errors in it and the Registro is held liable and has to pay compensation. Having said this, it is the Nota Simple which is generally accepted in property transactions, including by the notaries.

You have to give the reason for requesting a Certificado, and the Registro will decide whether or not to provide the information.

To get one, go to:

https://www.registradores.org/registroonline/home.seam

Click on Certificaciones, and then on either Certificación de dominio y cargas, or on Certificación de dominio.

The first option is the one most commonly used, being the full certificate with all the information, and it costs €33. The second option only gives details of the current owner, at a cost of €9.02.

Within the two options, there are some variations on the theme of what you can ask for. For example, you can specify what information you require; you can request information about a specific document held by the Registro; you can request information to assist in the legal procedures related to recovery of unpaid debts; and you can request information during a specific time frame.

When you make one of the two selections, the window that opens implies that you do not need to register with them, but this in fact does seem to be required in this instance, even if you have an electronic certificate. Registration is fairly straightforward and costs nothing. To do so, start here:

https://www.registradores.org/registroonline/alta/alta.seam?conversationPropagation=begin

Once the certificate has been issued, you will receive an e-mail with a link to a website where the certificate can be downloaded as a PDF bearing a CSV - Secure Verification Code. The CSV means it can be checked to be a genuine certificate.

Find the land registry office for a property:

If you have access to the escritura for the property, then details will be in that. 

Otherwise, you can go to:

http://geoportal.registradores.org/geoportal/index.html?idVisor=3

Click Aceptar on the pop-up to close that.

Click the Localiza tu registro tab.

You could use the first two search options on the left-hand side, but I think it's easier to use the map to start with.

Zoom in to the location on the map, giving it a few seconds to load fully after each zoom, and you'll see blue boundary lines for the area covered by each office. Having located the correct area, you will see somewhere within it a pale yellow label telling you which office covers that area.

Then click in the first of the search boxes on the left-hand side, enter the name of the office and click the search icon. You're then given the address and telephone number etc for that office.

Georeferencing:

The relatively new system of providing the location information is by georeferencing (descripción gráfica georreferenciada) - basically by defining a property's area by co-ordinates on a map. Whilst based on the catastral graphic base, the result is in a different format. This method doesn't yet cover all properties, because the system was only introduced in 2015, but it does cover new properties, properties that have changed hands, and properties that have been modified since 2015.

This referencing system is being used both Catastro and the Registro, so they should both be singing off the same hymn sheet.

Information about the georeferencing of a plot is represented in a specific GML format. GML is a variant of the KML format, which can be opened in Google Earth. It's like a track recoded by a logging app when you're walking, where that track defines the plot boundaries. The accuracy is to less than half a metre.

Property reference number:

Everybody knows that a property has a catastral number, and nearly everybody believes that this number is unique. Whilst it's true that it's unique within the area managed by an individual Catastro or Registro, it isn't necessarily true that it's unique throughout Spain, and different registries could, and did, allocate the same number. Over the years, this led to problems and confusion.

The Association of Registrars got fed up with the problems, and in 2008 introduced a new system of identifying a property. The result was the introduction of the IDUFIR (Identificador Único de Finca Registral) which is unique throughout Spanish territory, and did away with the risk of duplication. It's like a DNI for every property.

An IDUFIR is comprised of 14 numeric digits, unlike the catastral number which has 20 alpha-numeric characters.

I don't know the reason, but in 2016, the IDUFIR name was replaced by CRU (Código Registral Único) - exactly the same but with a different description.

The IDUFIR/CRU number hasn't yet been allocated to every property. Like the georeferencing system in the previous section, the numbers are being allocated as and when necessary. If the number has been allocated, you'll see it on your IBI bill. 

The IDUFIR/CRU and the catastral reference are totally independent, and at the moment there is no easy way of correlating them. Catastro have introduced a means of doing a property search by the CRU so, looking to the future when many properties have a CRU, this should result in a search that isn't susceptible to errors.

Cancellation of a mortgage:

The fact that a mortgage has been paid off doesn't mean that it will be cleared from the records of the Registro, as this action is voluntary.

However, there are advantages in doing so, even though there is a fee involved. The property would be free of the mortgage, so there would be no hindrance to selling it, by yourself or your successors. It would also then be able to be used to seek a second mortgage, or other finance secured on the property.

One way of cancelling the mortgage at the Registro is to get the bank to do it. This would mean one of their agents going to a notary to do the deed. Doing it this way may be easy, but would incur bank fees as well as the notarial and registration fees. In addition, there is no obligation on the bank to take prompt action, so you could be waiting a while. Bank fees could run to several hundred euros.

The other way is to do it yourself. The first step is to request a zero debt certificate - certificado de deuda cero - from the bank, certifying that the debt has been paid in full. If the bank try charging you for this, start kicking and screaming, as the Bank of Spain specify that the certificate should be provided free of charge.

The zero-debt certificate must then be presented to the notary of your choice, from whom you request a deed of cancellation of the mortgage - escritura de cancelación. The notary will then arrange that it be signed by an agent of the bank. Again, in accordance with Bank of Spain guidelines, the bank should not charge for this service, but you will have to pay the notarial fee, which will probably be based on the amount of the original loan. You then receive the escritura de cancelación. At this point, ask the notary if he can file the escritura de cancelación online to the Registro, or whether you have to do that yourself.

You should then file a Modelo 600 to Agencia Tributaria regarding the law related to the Impuesto Sobre Transmisiones Patrimoniales y Actos Jurídicos Documentados (IAJD), although there will be no tax due. You will need the receipted form from Agencia Tributaria before you take the final step.

If the notary was unable to do the filing for you, you will then need to go to the Registro with the certificado de deuda cero, escritura de cancelación, and the receipted Modelo 600. After paying the Registro fee, the debt will then be removed from their records.

If you want to confirm this has been done, you just need to obtain a nota simple.

Miscellaneous:

I'm not going into any detail in this final section - just giving you links to starting points.

Home page:

http://www.registradores.org/

Virtual office:

Has links to the various procedures you can do online:

https://www.registradores.org/registroonline/home.seam

FAQs about online procedures:

http://www.registradores.org/presentacion-telematica/

FAQs:

Different pages for different types of FAQs.

https://www.registradores.org:444/propiedad/pags/faqs/faq.jsp

http://www.registradores.org/registro-de-la-propiedad/

http://www.registradores.org/servicios-de-publicidad-interactiva/

http://www.registradores.org/tramites-en-el-registro/ 

Video guides:

http://www.registradores.org/como-conseguir-tu-informacion-registral/

Download application forms:

http://www.registradores.org/instancias-de-presentacion/


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