What Does awaiting Title Deeds mean

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26 Apr 2012 21:43 by Johno2427 Star rating. 8 posts Send private message


Could someone please give me a little help.  We are coming to spain (camposol) to view properties in May and intend on living in the Camposol Urbanization.  We have seen a couple of properties that we really like the look of both on Sector D, our concerns are that they both say awaiting Title deeds, thing is we haven't got really much idea what this means in the long term, ie, if we buy the property can someone come along after a few months and say sorry we the council etc own this land bye bye. Would it be safe to buy one of these properties.  We think that maybe we would have to pay for the title deeds and that is not really the problem as we can budget for that.  does anyone have any idea on what would be roughly the cost of title deeds on lets say a 70000 euro property.  I have searched many property sites and there are quite a few properties for sale that say awaiting title deeds so that somehow tells me it is pretty safe to do so, but without trying to sound too dramatic I would hate to make a big mistake and loose our life savings.  We would be very grateful for any comments. 

Thank you


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26 Apr 2012 21:56 by gaula Star rating in marbella and the u.k. 64 posts Send private message


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26 Apr 2012 22:01 by Johno2427 Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

Thank You Gaula,

I dont want to make any mistakes in this move, so really appreciate your reply, I will stick to those with title deeds.


Best regards


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27 Apr 2012 08:34 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 4885 posts Send private message

Whilst the advice to take great care is of course paramount, when a transaction takes place it is one of the responsibilities of the Notary to ensure that there is clean and clear title and that the vendor has the right to sell and that all property bills (community charges etc) are paid up to date.
I had a transaction which a notary would not progress until he had some further details.


PS the Escritura (Title Deeds) which one has are never the originals, they are held by the Property Registry.


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27 Apr 2012 16:05 by Fighter2 Star rating. 237 posts Send private message

Hi Jhono.

My advice and it's borne out of knowledge of what the situation is in the Mazarron area...DO NOT BUY A PROPERTY THAT DOES NOT HAVE TITLE DEEDS... There are many problems existing at Camposol but none more likely to cause you considerable grief than not being able to get your title deeds.

There is a huge question mark over areas of Camposol about wether they have full urban licences or turistico licences, if  a property has a turistico licence it is not licenced to be occupied as a residential property, that clisification will be denoted on the title deeds, if you don't have them you can't know what you are buying or wht outstanding mortages there are on the property.

DON'T DO IT... by one with full title deeds ( escritura is the spanish name).



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27 Apr 2012 17:21 by Johno2427 Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

Hi all,

Thank you all so much for your replies, I will ensure that I buy with full title deeds and not even view properties that don't, You have helped us immensly once again thank you all very much.



Johno and Stella Johnson

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04 May 2012 10:42 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9001 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

Lack of title deed is risky and dangerous. It might imply house has not the required licenses. Do your legal homeworks before buying.

Without the title deed you will not be able to register your ownership in the Land Registry and obtain all the legal safeties and guarantees attached to this. You will not be able to sell, obtain a mortgage.... as you are not the official owner of the same.

Offcial ownership happens when house is registered in the Land Registry.




Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA


Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria

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05 May 2012 15:30 by eggcup Star rating. 567 posts Send private message

Hi all

Whilst it is very good advice to wait for the title deeds, we bought a house when our lawyer strongly advised us against it.  The problem was that there were no title deeds and the three children of the vendor (he was allegedly very ill, but turned out to live for years afterwards) would not shell out and pay for the deeds.  We agreed to pay them 1,000 euros for the title deeds, whilst they made no commitment to us to actually sell the property to us - they would not let us pay the 10% deposit, because if they then defaulted and didn't sell to us, they didn't want to have to refund us double the deposit.  Being risk takers, we paid the 1,000 euros, the sale went ahead and it was probably the best thing we ever bought.  Another time, we had a buyer for a piece of land we had and the same local lawyer advised our buyers not to go ahead (she seems to love blocking sales).  She said that the fact that we did not have a permission for our track to give onto the road, meant that they should not go ahead.  This really was crap as none of the tracks in the whole valley had permissions and the track did not cross anyone else's land.  They didn't go ahead and bought an inferior and cheaper piece of land with a house on it, which after the rains of a few years ago, shifted...  Nothing is watertight in Spain - the truth is a moveable feast.  But if I was talking about all of my lifesavings I also certainly would want everything above board.  Personally I think it is better to buy an old place and do it up as I don't remember having heard about an old place that was built 50 years earlier, ever having been bulldozed by the authorities.  All the best.


My account of moving to Spain.  http://www.eyeonspain.com/blogs/olives.aspx"><img


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05 May 2012 16:54 by thermalsocks Star rating. 5 posts Send private message

I have been looking at Camposol (Murcia) for over a year and I too have been attracted to small properties where Awaiting Title Deeds is stated in the description because these propertiers can be 10K lower in price than those with Title Deeds.  Camposol has had and continues to have problems with the developer MASA and the local council over completion of works (roads, street lighting, water leaks and a rambla). There are issues over designation of some properties as mentioned in other posts.  The problem with Title Deeds is due mainly to MASA not providing them (including other certificates) and this has become political and a legal wrangle with the local council also involved. Thousands of people live happily on Camposol and many seem to have gone through some wrangles with MASA about title deeds but got there in the end.  I suggest you read the minutes of the Camposol Residents Association (google it) meetings and perhaps email Bob Owen (Chairman) about your concerns. One issue seems to be that a recent electoral change in the regional council and Mayor has stalled the excellent progress that the CRA was making to resolving the Camposol issues but this may perhaps be due to the horendous financial, employment and austerity situation that Spain now finds tself in. Also talk to the half dozen or so estate agents who market property on Camposol for thier opinion (but beware, they want to SELL you a property). As others have said the basic rule of thumb is not to touch any property hat doesnt have Title Deeds but for risk takers it might be an option if they get all the facts about the property and find out who has the Title Deeds and why. 

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05 May 2012 19:33 by bergspyder Star rating. 44 posts Send private message

Hi. Not sure I've understood the situation but assuming "title deeds" means the escritura, around here anyway, the problem often is there isn't one i.e. properties sold on simple compraventa or even handshake thereby avoiding legal/notary/land registry costs, which certainly makes sense when those costs approach or exceed the purchase price. But if you intend to live there, including access to it over someone else's land (servitude) and particularly as  a foreigner, I'd advise going for the escritura. With it, getting the other (missing) papers e.g. cédula de habitabilidad -- needed for power & water connection -- is relatively easy although it'll take time (where doesn't it?). But my experience is the campo only (rural/green zone) so maybe it's easier in the town? Whatever, the escritura is "law".

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05 May 2012 21:04 by lobin Star rating. 219 posts Send private message

Not having the escritura of your property registered in your name is the Real Estate Property Register, aka Land Registry, will subject you to all kinds of risks and not only having trouble to connect to utilities. It means someone else is the legal owner of a property you have paid for or are paying for. This real owner could, as an example sell it to a third party and give them the escritura. Then what? You would have a court fight of questionable outcome. Also, if the registered owner is a person and he should die without giving you the escrituras, the heirs under the law would now be the legal owners and could get you out of your property in no time if they wanted

This is a big no no. Even if you are a risk taker, do not do it. In an earlier post someone said that a lawyer who advised against buying without getting the title deeds was someone who liked to kill deals. I would not want to hear what this same person would have to say about a lawyer who advised you to buy without getting the title deeds and then having to spend more than the property is worth just to straighten the legal mess should something go wrong.

In addition to everything else, you also run the risk of not being able to find a buyer for your property should you want to sell in the future or having to sell at a bargain price to someone foolish enough to buy without the title deeds.

Please buyers, help yourselves, don't do it.

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05 May 2012 21:45 by Johno2427 Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

Thanks Lobin,


After all the very kind replies to my post I will deffinately not buy a property without  the Title deeds or Escrutia (or however u spell it).

Thank you all for your replies and hope to bump into you sometime in Camposol.

Best Regards.



This message was last edited by Johno2427 on 05/05/2012.

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05 May 2012 22:50 by bergspyder Star rating. 44 posts Send private message

Yes, Johno, you're right i.e. I agree with Lobin. It's very tempting to take the risk -- if you can walk away -- but if you need security.... In my case, it cost seller/vendor (he said) €8k just to get power & water contracts in my name when previously those supplies (illegally) came from his neighbouring property on private counters. Personally, I didn't care less but nothing's surer than one day the Ayuntamiento and/or Endesa will find out & that (could) mean turning them off, to both properties. Sure, the authorities won't bulldoze down the buildings but living without power & water -- even with solar gear & well -- isn't easy. Sure, it will cost a bit extra (€600-1000?) but go for the escritura -- as you've wisely decided to do. Good luck+

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06 May 2012 01:03 by tteedd Star rating in Hertfordshire & Punt.... 898 posts Send private message


Don't buy without an escritura!!!

Don't buy without an abogado.

Preferably buy second hand when you can find out all the niggles in advance.

Buying off plan means you lay out nearly all the money before you get the property so the developer has you by the short and curlies.

If you do buy off-plan you are legally entitled to a bank guarantee that lasts until the property has a certificate of occupancy, do not give up any money or stage payment unless you get it then (not later).

Do you really want to be on Camposol? Especially sector 'D'. If I had to be in Camposol I'd only consider 'A' but there is lots of cheap property to be had in Spain at the moment most of it in nicer places than Camposol and nearer sea shops and facilities.

Have a good look round at several areas.



This message was last edited by tteedd on 06/05/2012.

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06 May 2012 13:30 by Tiberon Star rating. 13 posts Send private message

I live on Camposol and have done so for the last 10 years I love it here as do most of the residents. There is a communal pride in living here as is evidenced by all the local volunteer work groups who are improving the surroundings. Camposol has a wide variety of shops bars and restaurants. We have our own supermarket, petrol station, Post Office, even our own Medical Centre and soon our own Pharmacy. Show me another urbanisation with all these facilities. Incidentally it is only a short drive to the sea.

It is true we don't have certificates of habitation but that is the councils fault. Many houses also do not yet have their Escrituras, again that is the councils fault and yet the council complain that they are not receiving IBI from most houses.

As for mortgages many people here secured them years before getting their Escrituras.

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06 May 2012 14:32 by tteedd Star rating in Hertfordshire & Punt.... 898 posts Send private message


I'm glad Tiberon is happy. I have friends who are happy on Camposol and other friends who rue the day they saw the advert in the UK. My point is that there are a lot of differing places along the Spanish coastline that have all sorts of advantages and disadvantages and that while property is cheap, as it is at present, look before you leap.

Camposol is a small town. I can't think of any town in Spain with the No of houses that Camposol has without these facilities. I'm very pleased to hear that your medical centre is open.

"It is true we don't have certificates of habitation but that is the councils fault. Many houses also do not yet have their Escrituras, again that is the councils fault and yet the council complain that they are not receiving IBI from most houses"

When you do not have habitation certs or escrituras it is the developers fault, not the local council's. Or, if I wanted to be contentious, the purchasors. Whatever, the advice to Johno must be not to get into this situation.

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06 May 2012 15:09 by Johno2427 Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

Thanks tteedd,

I am going to be careful in what I choose, seems to me the only problem is some people (not just on this site) are trying to put me off living in Camposol, some say it is worse than the average council estate in most towns in the UK, yet others say it is a great place to live, cant say I am been put off but am now getting concerned as to whether I am making a mistake by seriously considering Camposol as a place to live in.  I have only visited once and loved the area.  Do We or Don't we that is the question now.  Both being in our mid 50s this is going to be the biggest move of our lives as we will probably never move again, and I want to make sure both my wife and myself enjoy the rest of our lives in a nice area, once bought it will be too late to change, so got to be right first time.  Have loved all the comments so far, and got some great help ie I will not buy a property without full title deeds, etc, my only concern is - is this a nice place to live - any comments gratefully recieved either positive or negative.

Once again thank you all for your posts and help, I cannot express how much they are appreciated.


Johno & Stella Johnson

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06 May 2012 15:12 by Tiberon Star rating. 13 posts Send private message

Sorry to correct you but the council have admitted it is their fault that no Certificates of Habitation have been issued and they accept that their procedures are behind with the issuing of Escrituras. How could this be the fault of the purchasers. We were told many things when we purchased such as the Escrituras would take 3 years to issue, we received ours in the first 6 months, that the council was aware that Certificates of Habitation would have to be issued eventually but that the council was waving that requirement. We were also told that the developer had to give us a Bank Guarantee for our money but as everybody knows MASA dont do bank guarantees, but then none of these bodies comply with the law, just look at Telefonica, the worst of the lot.


This message was last edited by Tiberon on 06/05/2012.

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06 May 2012 16:45 by Tiberon Star rating. 13 posts Send private message

Johno & Stella,

I am sure you will love living on Camposol. If you are not sure you can always rent before you buy, there are plenty of houses available. If you decide to buy then use a proper lawyer, just act as if you were in the UK. Too many people use unqualified people or firms to do this and they end up getting caught out.

Good luck

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06 May 2012 18:38 by tteedd Star rating in Hertfordshire & Punt.... 898 posts Send private message

The escritura is between the two parties (or their lawyers) and the Notary. Nothing to do with the council. Although a good lawyer may tell his client not to sign if there are problems. Our abogado, when we bought, advised against buying without an escritura or a cert of habitation. Just as well, the place had no planning permission at the time! I got my keys a year later than my neighbours but I had bank guarantees for the money I had paid and was therefore never at risk of loosing it. Had the developer gone bust my neighbours could have been left with nothing because they did not own the houses they had paid for.

The certificate of habitation is issued by the council when the developer has fullfilled all requirements. It may be that some councils are tardy including Mazarron but in Camposol's case (like most others) I understood the types of issue were: infrastructure incomplete (roads, lighting etc), properties having no planning permission, wrong types of housing etc

If every buyer refused to handover any money unless they were given the proper bank guarantee they are entitled to, and refused the final payment without an escritura and cert of habitation everyone would be protected and developers would have to get their house in order or go bust.

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