Buying a Property in Spain - Glossary of Legal Terms
When buying a property in Spain you will come across a lot of new legal terms. This glossary will help explain them.
ABOGADO: Lawyer, solicitor, barrister, counsel, attorney
ACTA: minutes, transcript,
ACTA NOTARIAL : Notary´s deed/certificate. Document as a base for inscription of the given property into the land register.
ACTA DE NOTORIEDAD: procedures for registration in land register if the basic principle of the continuous registration was interrupted.
AFECCIONES REGISTRALES: charges against the property in the register.
AGRUPACION: putting together plots of land.
ALTA CATASTRAL: office of district valuer
ARRAS: secured deposit - if an ‘arras' is arranged, the reservation agreement is drawn up in a way that the purchaser recognizes to lose the deposit or the seller pays back double of the amount if either fails to complete the deal.
ARRENDAMIENTO DE OBRA: contract for work and labour e.g. a contract for construction with a builder
ASIENTO DE PRESENTACION: Note of conveyance providing protection for the purchaser for a certain period of time against further registrations
BOLETIN DE ENGANCHE: certificate of the correct installation of the electrical wiring – a precondition for getting access to electrical power.
CANCELACION: note of cancellation for charges against the property in the land register
CERTIFICADO BANCARIO DE DEVISAS: Certificate of the bank that the price of purchase was paid with money of known provenance (required as part of money laundering legislation)
CERTIFICADO FINAL DE OBRA: The architect's certificate that the construction had been finished in compliance with building regulations
CODIGO CIVIL: civil law
COLEGIO OFICIAL DE ARQUITECTOS: College of Architects (Official Body)
COMMUNIDAD DE PROPIETARIOS: Community of Property Owners, which manages the estate, building or development. A new owner becomes a member of the owners' community when he buys
CONDICION RESOLUTORIA: action of cancellation of a clause or condition under so that an intended judicial process does not take place
CONDICION SUSPENSIVA: suspense condition under which a judicial process only occurs if certain other circumstances and assumptions become real
CONTRATO DE ARRENDAMIENTO: contract for rental.
CONTRATO DE OPCION: contract of option by which someone obtains the right to purchase acertain estate or property paying 10% of the property price.
COPROPIETARIO: part owner of a property within a community or joint owner of a house or land.
CUOTA: Percentage that the owner has in a community or jointly owned property.
DECLARACION DE OBRA NUEVA: Formal notarised declaration of new building works.
DELEGACION DE URBANISMO: District Surveyor's Office – this grants building permits
DEMARCACION DE COSTAS: Department for Coastal Protection - ensures compliance with coastal environmental and protection rules
DERECHO DE RETENCION: Right of retention. The right of a party to a contract to retain contributions lest the other party to a contract defaults
DERECHO DE SUPERFICIE:
DIVISION: Claim to divide jointly/community owned property
EDIFICABILIDAD MAXIMA: maximum floor area that can be built over all levels
ESCRITURA: Title Deeds:
de Compraventa - This document is signed by the Notary and shows that
you are purchasing the
taking a few months after the contract signing to be sent to you.
FIANZA: Deposit, security
FINCA: Property, plot of land
FINCA REGISTRAL: Registered property or land
HACIENDA PUBLICA: Tax Office
I.B.I (IMPUESTO SOBRE BIENES IMMUEBLES): Council tax or rates
IMPUESTO DE ACTOS JURIDICOS DOCUMENTADOS: Stamp duty (approximately 1 % of the purchase price)
IMPUESTO DE TRANSMISIONES PATRIMONIALES: Transfer tax on real estate (6% of the amount declared) in the "escritura"
IMPUESTO SOBRE CONSTRUCCIONES, INSTALACIONES Y OBRAS: Local tax for building works
IMPUESTO SOBRE EL PATRIMONIO/PLUSVALIA: Local tax on capital gain of real estate
IMPUESTO DE SOCIEDADES: Corporation tax, corporate income tax.
IMPUESTO SOBRE SUCESIONES Y DONACIONES: death duty, inheritance tax and gift/donation tax
IMPUESTOS MUNICIPALES: Local taxes
IMPUESTO SOBRE EL VALOR AÑADIDO (IVA): Value Added Tax (VAT) - normally 16%
IMPUESTO SOBRE LA RENTA A PERSONAS FISICAS (IRPF): Income tax
INSTITUCION DE HEREDERO: insertion of one or several heirs
LEY DE ARRENDAMIENTOS URBANOS: Rental law – NB seasonal contracts in Spanish holiday areas are not subject to general law
LEY DE LA PROPIEDAD HORIZONTAL: Law relative to ‘Communidades' – NB this law rules apartments, groups of houses and complete urbanisations
LEY DE SUELO: Ground law
LICENCIA DE OBRAS: Building permission
NIE (NUMERO PERSONAL DE INDENTIFICACION DE EXTRANJERO): ID number for non- residents
NIF (NUMERO DE INDENTIFICACION FISCAL): ID number for residents
NOTA SIMPLE INFORMATIVA: Extract from the land register with main points from the land registry
NOTARIO - A state appointed official who notarises public documents such as marriage, divorce and house purchase. He/she is only there to make sure that a contract is legally correct. The notary does not have either parties' interests in mind, only the legitimacy of the documents
OBLIGACION PERSONAL: Unlimited tax obligations for residents
OBLIGACION REAL: Limited tax obligations for non-residents
OCUPACION MAXIMA: Maximum permitted roofed area
PERITO: Valuer or assessor
PERMISO DE OBRA NUEVA O DE CONSTRUCCION: Building licence/permit
PLAN PARCIAL: Development plan of a
PLANTA: Floor e.g. Planta Baja = Ground Floor
PLUSVALIA: Capital Gains Tax
PRECIO: Purchase price
PROCURADOR: Representative of a party at court in addition to the lawyer (similar to a barrister)
PROTOCOLIZACION: certification of a foreign document or certificate by a Spanish notary
PROYECTO DE EJECUCION DE OBRA: Plans for a project before receiving the building licence
REFERENCIA CATASTRAL - Land Registry document relating to the property location.
RECEPION DEFINITIVA: Final acceptance of the construction
REGISTRO DE LA PROPIEDAD: Land Register
S.A. (SOCIEDAD ANONIMA): PLC
S.L. (SOCIEDAD LIMITADA): LTD
SEGREGACION: Separation of a part of the property
SEPARACION A LINDEROS: Minimum distance of a building to the neighbouring property
SERVIDUMBRE DE TRANSITO: Right of Way (if there is no direct public access to the the property)
SOLAR: Building plot
SUELO NO URBANIZABLE: Green areas or natural reserves that cannot be built on
SUELO URBANIZABLE: Areas which may be built
SUELO URBANO: Urban area
TASA: Local tax for receiving the building permit
TOMA DE POSESION: Handing-over the keys
TRASPASO: Transfer of rental or lease contracts.
U.T.M. : Number of a plot at the District Valuer's Office
URBANIZACION PRIVADA: Private community/development
USO DE OFICINAS: Property that has office use
USOCAPCION: Right to use property over a fixed period of time
USUFRUCTO: Right to use and enjoy a property
VALOR CATASTRAL: Rateable value/valuation - reviewed annually and the basis for calculating land tax.
VALOR COMPROBADO POR LA ADMINISTRACION: Assumed value of a property as a base for the property tax
VALOR REAL: Real value
ZONA DE SERVIDUMBRE DE PROTECCION: protected coast stretches from 100 up to 200 metres, where they have special rules concerning construction
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