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A long and winding road

How I did, or did not, buy a house in Spain. The ongoing saga of one mans experiences on the path to purchase.

The Paper Chase
10 August 2009 @ 21:41

This is my first attempt to put together a check list of what paperwork should exist for a legally built or restored property. If it is is any way inaccurate please, as always, let me know and I will amend it. Much of this information is explained in greater detail on the TLA Corp. website (see Glossary).

I hope, at some point in the not to distant future, to produce a comprehensive check list for the complete buying process, bear with me on that as I´ll have to go through all the stages first.

  1. Escritura – The original title deed showing the purchase of the land.

  2. Cedula Urbanistica – Detailed report from the town hall of what development may take place on your plot.

  3. Building Project – Exact plans, drawn up by an architect, of the development planned.

  4. Licencia de Obra – Building licence issued by the town hall. There are 2 different types of license, Menor (for small projects, does not need architect plans) and Mayor (for large ones, does need architect plans). Guess which one you should have.

  5. Certificado (Licencia) de Fin de Obra – Final works license signed off by the architect specifying that the building is complete and to plans and standards.

  6. Declaration de Obra Nueva (DON) – New works declaration. This is a strange one as apparently you cannot get one without having an LFO but, you cannot get a LFO without one of these. Hmm. Anyway it´s used to write the house into the land registry. So fairly important.

  7. Licencia de Primera Ocupacion (LFO) – License of First Occupation issued by the town hall, also called (I believe for reformed buildings) Cedula de Habitabilidad. Without one of these you cannot legally live in the house.

  8. Seguro Decenal – Insurance Certificate from the builder covering construction defects within the first ten years. I wonder how namy of these are worth the paper the´re written on?

  9. Boletin de Instalacion Electrico – Certificate signed by a registered electrician declaring that the electrical installation meets the standards.

  10. Boletin de Instalacion de Agua – As above but signed by a plumber as it´s for the water installation.

  11. Nota Simple – Extract from the property register showing the legal owner of a property and any debts held against it. As late as possible to make sure no late debts have been added.

  12. Catastral Extract – Extract from the land register showing the plot size, position and usage.

As well as these it is just as well to check up on the following and make sure they are paid, ´coz if they aint bin, your gonna have to cough up for em´.

  1. IBI – Local UK Rates equivalent

  2. Utilities – Water, Electric, Gas (yep, it´s not only in orange bottles) and Telephone. Even if disconnected check them because old bills may still be outstanding.

  3. Basura – Rubbish collection tax.

  4. Hipoteca – Mortgage. Don´t believe it if they say ´it´s got a mortgage, it must be legal´, you can get a mortgage to build the house (Hipoteca Promotor or Auto-Promotor) and as you can see from the list above, you´re a long way from legal at that point.

So, by my count that´s, hmmm, let me see, up to 19 pieces of paper to get together in order to prove that everything´s above board and on the straight and narrow. Shouldn´t be too much of a problem then should it?  What shall we do after lunch? Yeah, right!

So far yours truly has actually seen a grand total of 6 of the above (four of those are mine) and that in 6 months of actively searching the property market. Ah, for just a glimpse of a Nota-Simple, I´m beginning to think that they´re a figment of my imagination or subject to some terrible taboo of which I know nothing.


Like 0


Jacqui said:
11 August 2009 @ 13:15

Very interesting post, keep writing, I'm enjoying the read.

Steve said:
11 August 2009 @ 15:57

Thank you Jacqui for those kind words.
I am already finding writing this a great outlet for the frustration of the purchasing process so will certainly continue.
I am trying to get the mix of cold hard fact and cynical humour just about balanced so please let me know if I stray too far one way or the other.

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