When buying a property it is important to consider several aspects to make sure you are making a good investment. The price and the location are two key factors in the value and profitability of the property, but it is also necessary to carefully analyse the state of the property, its history and legal documentation. As they say, prevention is better than a cure.
Where do I have to go?
For this, in Spain there are two key registries: the Catastro and the Land Registry. In general terms, they are two different information systems that are used for real estate management. Both are important for the protection of property rights and the carrying-out of real estate transactions.
The Catastro is an administrative record that describes the rustic assets, urban assets and special characteristics properties. As stated in the Ministry of Finance and Public Function, on which it depends, the catastral description of real estate will include its physical, economic and legal characteristics, including the location and castatral reference, the surface, the use or purpose, the class of cultivation or exploitation, the quality of the constructions, the graphic representation, the market reference value, the catastral value and the catastral owner, with his tax identification number or, where appropriate, foreign identity number. When the properties are coordinated with the Land Registry, said circumstance will be incorporated together with its registry code. Registration in the Catastro is mandatory, since it geographically locates real estate in order to audit them.
On the contrary, the Land Registry is completely voluntary (although recommended) and depends on the Ministry of Justice. In it are inscribed acts that affect property or real rights over property real estate, whether publicly or privately owned. That is, it describes who the owner of a certain property is and any charges that may weigh on them, such as a mortgage.
Are Catastro and Registry independent?
To facilitate the exchange of information and give greater legal certainty to the citizenship, in June 2015 Law 13/2015 was announced, on the coordination of the Catastro and Land Registry. However, and although the logical thing would be that the data from both systems matched, this is not always the case and there are many cases where owners find discrepancies between one catalogue and another. For example, it is common for some data from the property, such as height, perimeter or ownership do not match, which could cause serious damage and even thwart an operation. This happens more frequently in farms or buildings that already have a certain antiquity, since the description or the data that is collected is transcribed according to the statement of the interested parties.
What can happen?
If the data of your property does not match between the Registry and the Catastro, it is important to take measures to correct this situation as soon as possible, since it could lead to problems, for example, when making real estate transactions. However, for judicial purposes, the body that predominates is the Land Registry.
It is best to contact an experienced lawyer in real estate law to advise you on possible solutions depending on the multiple situations that can occur. Amongst some of the common problems, we can mention:
- Inscription failures. In some cases, the inscription may contain errors affecting the description of the property, such as its location, surface, boundaries, etc. This can cause problems when determining the property and its boundaries, which can lead to conflicts between neighbours or even the loss of property.
- Lack of registration. In other cases, the property may not be registered in the Registry, which means that there is no reliable proof that the owner owns it. This can cause problems in the future, for example, if the owner wants to sell the property or if there is some type of conflict with third parties.
- Boundary conflicts. At other times, incidents may arise related to property lines. These problems can be especially complex if there are multiple owners involved in the conflict, as it can be difficult to determine exactly where the boundaries are of each property.
- Inaccuracy of information. It may be the case that the information that appears in the Cadastre or in the Land Registry is not all accurate or up-to-date.
- Incorrect titling. Likewise, some homeowners may find that the title to the property may be defective, which means that the holder does not have full ownership over the same.
In short, there are many and many varied problems that that can arise if the data of a property does not match and it is essential that there are no discrepancies between the Catastro and the Registry to avoid unnecessary scares.
As each situation is different, at G&G Studio we offer personalized attention, studying each case and compiling all the documentation necessary to reach a solution.