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Property Registration

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:41pm
68 replies689 views5 members subscribed
Janice51

Posts: 68

Location: Villena

19 helpful posts

Hi everyone.

I am in the throes of purchasing a property which has a (registered and legal) barn/storage area which the present owners have transformed into living accommodation. I have previously been told and have read on the forum, that a property needs to be totally registered as it stands, by the owners.  As the buyer I don’t want to sustain the costs to re-register the new situation, plus eventual fines for not doing so in the first place.

However, my lawyer says it is sufficient for him to write in the deeds that the barn building is now a separate apartment. Does this ring true for anyone on here or am I being over-cautious?? I’d be grateful for any ideas. Thank you, Jan

Kimmy11

Kimmy11

Super helpful member

Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:33pm

Posts: 1692

1996 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:33pm

Hi Janice,

I wouldn't accept this.

Do you know whether the vendors obtained planning permission and probably a Major (or possibly a Minor) Works licence from the Ayuntamieto (Town Hall) for the conversion?  The increased living space needs to be registered on the Cadastre (Land Registry) certificate, which will be included in your Deeds.  

Residential property is supposed to be revalued every 10 years, although this invariably only happens when a property is sold.  So not only could you end up with the bill for updating the Land Registry, you may have to pay retrospective IBI (Council Tax) for the increased living space.

We had a similar situation when we bought our house.  The vendors had obtained planning permission to add a second floor, but the development was never added to the Land Registry.  Not only did they have to pay to update the registry and pay retrospective IBI, they received a fine as well because the extension had been there for 10 years - just over €1,000 and that didn't include their lawyer's bill for sorting it out.

I think your solicitor needs a gentle reminder that you're paying his bill and he needs to advise the vendor's solicitor that this has to be corrected at their cost, before completion.

Good luck!

Kind regards,

Kim

Cheryl

Cheryl

Very helpful member

Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:41pm

Posts: 1005

Location: Albatera

882 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:41pm

We had this as well and it was the vendor's responsibility to pay for the surveyor (?) to visit the property and measure up the additional parts and have the Cadastre updated, the back 4 years extra IBI paid, the swimming pool listed as such and not a balsa and a no infraction certificate. I don't believe in our case that a fine was paid as the additions had been there for many years. Are you using the abogado recommended by the estate agent by any chance?

Janice51

Janice51

Original Poster

Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:06pm

Posts: 68

Location: Villena

19 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:06pm

Cheryl, yes and no - I had already been recommended to use this particular lawyer before the agent mentioned the same name to me.

The lawyer’s office tell me that if they put the barn in the deeds as an apartment, then I have no worries but I’m still not sure it works like that.

Thank you for your info which will help me with the lawyer when I write tomorrow. 

Janice51

Janice51

Original Poster

Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:19pm

Posts: 68

Location: Villena

19 helpful posts

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:19pm

Thank you Kim for your invaluable information which I will use in my e-mail to the lawyer first thing tomorrow morning. You have been so helpful.

Janice

RayD

RayD

Legendary helpful member

Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:54pm

Posts: 3449

Location: Catral

2440 helpful posts

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:54pm

Janice51 wrote on Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:06pm:

Cheryl, yes and no - I had already been recommended to use this particular lawyer before the agent mentioned the same name to me.

The lawyer’s office tell me that if they put the barn in the deeds as an apartment, then I have no worries but I’m still not sure it works like that.

Thank you for your info which will help me with the lawyer when I write tomorrow. 

It certainly doesn't work like that and is even more fraught if you have bought a property in the campo, rather than in an urbanisation.

1. If the conversion has been done without a major works licence and under the supervision of the architect at the ayuntamiento, it is illegal and can be pulled down and the owner fined.

2. Similarly if the work hasn't been signed off by the ayuntamiento building department.

3. If it appears on the deeds as 'almacen' or 'trastero' it means it hasn't been incorporated in the land registry as a habitation.

4. For it to be recognised as a habitation, it needs to appear on your (second) habitation certificate. If the whole property doesn't come with a second habitation certificate, don't touch it with a barge pole.

Simply having the deeds altered by a tame architect (all inmobiliarías have one) doesn't satisfy the conditions 1, 2, and 3 above.

Janice51

Janice51

Original Poster

Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:06pm

Posts: 68

Location: Villena

19 helpful posts

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:06pm

Thank you, Ray. 

Your advice is extremely helpful and I am using the information to write to the lawyer as soon as I receive their property report (which they keep telling me is on the way, and have been for two weeks). If I don’t receive it today I will be sending them a list of what I expect to be done, or what I need to see, before the sale can go ahead.

Thank you so much,

Janice

Janice51

Janice51

Original Poster

Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:32pm

Posts: 68

Location: Villena

19 helpful posts

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:32pm

Referring to my situation as described above, I think I may need a new, independent lawyer to be able to get out of my preliminary contract and get my deposit returned. 

I can only assume that all involved are trying to pull the wool over my eyes so, even though everyone knows everyone in the area, I guess another English speaking lawyer is on the cards. Has anyone got any suggestions?

Janice

Kimmy11

Kimmy11

Super helpful member

Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:28pm

Posts: 1692

1996 helpful posts

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:28pm

Hi Janice,

I used an English-speaking, Spanish lawyer (abogada) in Pinoso - she picked up that our vendors' extension hadn't been added to the Land Registry.  If that's not too far to travel, I can send you her details?

Kind regards, 

Kim

Janice51

Janice51

Original Poster

Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:43pm

Posts: 68

Location: Villena

19 helpful posts

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:43pm

Kim, that might just be the one I am using!

I saw her in Pinoso, where I was staying at the time, the vendor came along to bring the deeds, which she forgot at home, but had a copy on her phone. That is where I first heard the lawyer (a ‘she’ not ‘he’ as I originally posted) say the word ‘almacen’ and when she offered to help the vendor sort out any legal problems! Her initials are A.R.M., and the person I communicate with is A.M.A. Does this sound right?

They have been e-mailing me to say they are sending a report ‘today’ for the last six weeks. I just wish they’d give me the update on the situation that I have been asking for. She had the deeds to go on but had no idea, obviously, that the almacen was now living accommodation and quite frankly, you would not know this from their previous deeds. I gave her this information but judging by the unfinished work, no final approval has been given by the local council, and probably no permission in the first place.

I am back in the U.K. at the moment.

Thank you again,

Janice

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