The Rights Groups SL’s - Glossary of Property terms

Published on 15/11/2006 in Investing in Spanish Property

Our colleagues at Overseas Property Professional have reported that Britons have spent £6 billion on second homes in last two years, based on new statistics from the UK Office for National Statistics. Apparently, Britons are spending £6 billion a year on the purchase of second homes – a staggering £4 billion more than two years ago.

We, at The Rights Group, felt it would be useful to put together a glossary of terms that we use everyday but which may be a little alien to would be property purchasers in Spain.

We are constantly striving to increase the level of information available to Northern Europeans who may be attracted to the idea of buying in Spain but who may equally be daunted by the press in recent months which has portrayed our market as a den of thieves. Its not, particularly if you approach it with you eyes wide open – seek advice and assistance early in your quest for your dream property and making certain that the professional advice you receive is wholly independent.

We see this as a “living” glossary, so if you come across words and phrases that could usefully be added please let me know at

We hope you’ll find it useful.

Abogado – Lawyer
Adosado - Semi-detached or town house
Aire acondicionado – Air conditioning
Agua/potable – Water /drinking water
Albanil - Bricklayer
Alfombra - Carpet
Amortización - Depreciation, Redemption
Antigüedad(es) / tienda de – Antique/Antique shop
Aparcamiento - Parking
Architecto - Architect
Armario – Cupboard/wardrobe
Assesoria Economica/Contable – Accountant

Balcon – Balcony
Banco/cuenta de/targeta de - Bank/bank account/bank card
Bańo – Bath/WC
Barbacoa – Barbecue
Basura - Rubbish bins and rubbish taxes
Bombilla – Light bulb
Buzón - Mailbox

Caja de Ahorros - Savings bank
Calefacción central – Central heating
Cargas – Land charges registered against the property
Casa unifamiliar - Detached house
Casita – Cottage
Cemento - Cement
Certificado registral - Certificate showing debts attaching to a property
Chalet – Villa
Cocina – Kitchen
Comedor – Dining room
Comunidad de propietarios – Committee of property owners
Contrato de Builder – Constructor Compraventa Private - Property sales contract
Constructor - Builder
Construido - Built area, of property
Construir - Build
Costa del Sol – Sun Coast
Costa del la Luz – Coast of Light
Costa Blanca – White Coast
Corriente or la luz - Electricity
Cortijo - A country property inland with farming roots
Cuarto de Bano - Bathroom

Documento privado - Private document
Documento público - Public document
Dormitorio - Bedroom
Ducha – Shower
Duplex – Apartment over two floors

Ebanista /carpintero – Joiner
Edificio – Building
Electrician – Electricista
El campo - The countryside
Escayolista/Yesero - Plasterer
Escritura - Deeds of ownership
Escritura pública de compraventa - Title Deeds
Euribor – Variable interest rate set by European banks

Fontanero - Plumber
Finca – Farm house or small estate
Fin de Obra – Formal Completion of Works on a new property
Fuente - Fountain

Garaje - Garage
Gas Butano – Butane gas often used for cooking and water heating
Gestoría – Specialists used to obtain official authorisations, permits and licences

Habitación – A Room
Hipoteca - Mortgage
Hormigon - Concrete

Impuesto extraordinario sobre el patrimonio - Wealth Tax - extraordinary tax on assets
IBI: Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles - Property tax levied yearly
Impuesto sobre el Incremento del Valor de los Terrenos - Tax on the increase of land value
Impuesto sobre el patrimonio - Capital gains tax
Incremento de patrimonio – A Capital gain
ITP – Impuesto sobre Transmisiones Patrionales - Property Transfer Tax of 7% levied on all re-sale property.
Impuesto sobre Actos Juridicos Documentados – AJD - Stamp Duty
Inmobiliaria/agente - Estate agent
Inversion en terreno - Land investment in Spain
IVA Impuesto sobre el Valor Añadido– VAT

Jardin - Garden

Ladrillo – Brick
Libre de cargas – Debt free
Libro del edificio - Documents from the promoter when building is finished
Licencia de prima ocupación – Licence to occupy a completed property
Licencia de obra - Building permission
Limpiadora – A Cleaner

Madera – Wood
Mármol - Marble
Martillo - Hammer
Metros cuadrados – Square metres – units floor area is measured in
Mortero - Mortar

N.I.E. - Identity Number for Foreigners – required for a property purchase
Notario - Notary – records the legal details of property and land sales
Nota Simple - Certificate from Property Registry

Obra nueva - Document certifying a new building
Oferta vinculante - Bank document specifying mortgage conditions
Ordenador – Computer

Pago en efectivo - Cash payment
Parcela - Lot or plot
Pestillo – Door lock
Pintor - Painter
Piscina - Swimming pool
Piso - Apartment
Playa – Beach
Planta baja – Ground or first floor
Plusvalía - Municipal Capital gains tax on the sale of property
Poder – Power of Attorney
Pozo - Well
Préstamo/ con techo – Loan/with variable interests with fixed minimum and maximum
Préstamo hipotecario - Mortgage loan
Pueblo - Town or village
Puerta - Door

Registro de la Propiedad - Register of Property Ownership
Representante fiscal – Foreigner’s official tax representative
Resale Property – A second hand property, already registered at the property register in Spain.
Residencia - Residency permit
Residente - Resident

Sala/ salon - Lounge
Se vende or en venta - For sale
Se alquila – For Rent
Sevillana - Electricity company
Seguro de amortización de préstamos - Loan repayment insurance
Seguro Multirriesgo Hogar - House insurance
Señal – Deposit or down payment
Solar - Lot for building
Sótano – Basement
Subasta – Auction
Suelo - Floor or surface

Tasación - Independent valuation of property
Tasa de cambio – Exchange rate
Tasadores – Official Bank Valuers
Techo - Roof
Teja - Roof tile
Terraza - Terrace
Terreno - Land
Terreno en venta - Land for sale
Terreno - Plot of land
Terreno para construir - Building land on the Costa del Sol
Tipo de interés - Rate of interest
Título de propiedad - Deeds stating the ownership of property, date of sale etc.
Trastero - Storeroom

Valor Catastral - Assessed value of property for tax purposes
Ventana - Window
Vidriero – Glazier

Yeso – Plaster

Written by: Mark FR Wilkins

About the author:The Rights Group SL
0034 600 343 917

© The Rights Group SL 2007 (Marbella)

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