You may have heard of the Padron Municipal or Empadronamiento. If you haven’t and you are buying in Spain then you need to know about this. This article explains what it is, how it could benefit you and what you need to do in order to get it.
What is the Padron Municipal?
Every municipality in Spain holds a record of local residents; the Padron. This is held at the town hall (Ayuntamiento). The UK equivalent would be the electoral role. Anybody who owns a property in Spain should register, whether they live here permanently or not. Even if you are renting on a long term basis, you can apply to be registered. However, take note that you can only be registered on one Padron.
Who does it benefit?
Although, it is not compulsory to be registered, it benefits both you and the municipality (borough) which, as a home owner, you are part of. It benefits the municipality because the local government receives funding depending on the number of people registered on the Padron. For this reason, it is imperative that you register to ensure the amount of funds necessary to run the municipality (borough) and maintain the infrastructure are received by the local government.
The funding is used for essential amenities such as policing, health centres, cleaning and maintenance. If you do not register, basic services will suffer as they do in many areas as so many foreign residents do not bother to register, manly because they are unaware that they should. It even affects staffing in the health clinics, post office and all the services that we take for granted.
If you are planning to live here and have children, it gives you the right to enrol your children in the local schools (if places are limited preference will be given to registered children). It also allows you to take advantage of local leisure facilities with discounted fees at the municipal sports centre and exercise classes. It is often necessary when looking for work via the municipal ‘job centre’ equivalent. There are numerous advantages to having a certificate of empadronamiento (issued to you when you register).
Is it related to Residencia?
No, this is not a Residencia and it does not require you to have Residencia or be applying for it. It does not mean that you have to pay any extra taxes. Remember that you will have to pay municipal taxes anyway, if you are a home owner.
How do you register?
It’s easy. To register you need to go to your local town hall and produce your passport; NIE details and a copy of your escritura (title deeds, home owners only) or rental contract and you will be registered. If you say that you need proof that you are registered, they will issue you with a certificate, signed by the mayor. You can have an individual certificate (individual) or one that covers the whole family (familiar). If for any reason, they cannot issue a certificate on the same day, they can very easily give you a volante (a sort of temporary certificate which proves that you are registered).Once you are registered you will be described as empadronado. You will need to be familiar with this word as people may ask you about it. When you register you will be asked to sign a census form which gives you the right to vote in local council and European Union elections.
You will then be empadronado and an official member of the community.