The role of Notaries and Land registry in Spain

Who are Notaries

Notaries are private legally qualified individuals who are appointed by the government to oversee all legal transactions in Spain.

Are Spanish Notaries qualified lawyers

Yes all Notaries must be qualified lawyers.

They are the upholders of every legal transaction in Spain and have full control over what happens and what does not.

If Notaries are qualified lawyers why do I need a lawyer when buying in Spain

Whilst the Notary is qualified he does not work on your behalf to check that the property you are buying is legal and there are no infractions against it.

The Notary is just ensuring that the information in the purchase deed is accurate and understood. For this reason you should always appoint your own independent Spanish Lawyer who works on your behalf.

What else does the Notary do during the process of buying property in Spain

The Notary will make sure all elements of the purchase deed, a mortgage deed where applicable and the transaction meet both Spanish and International Law.They will check the property is being bought under the correct marital regime for the country in which the buyers were married. They will check that the source of funds for the purchase is known, and meets money laundering rules. They will check the right level of Spanish taxes have been deducted.

What won’t the Notary check

The Notary will not check if the property itself is legal. They will not check if there any outstanding bills or fines that will transfer to the new owner. They will not check or insist that any monies to be paid for certain elements of the transaction should be the seller’s responsibility not the buyers. They will only check that you understand the document you are signing and that the law as applicable to transfer of property has been adhered to. For these reasons having your own Lawyer in Spain is crucial.

What happens after the Spanish Notary has overseen the transaction of purchase

The Notary will provide the buyers with a copy of the purchase deed called the Copia Simple. They will then forward the original to Land Registry.

Property purchase deed is provided at the notary office

What is land registry in Spain responsible for

Land registry in Spain is responsible for the paying of all taxes due, transferring the property ownership, and agreeing the transfer has been undertaken correctly. The process of registration can take up to three months and it is only after Land Registry has approved the transaction that the paperwork and original deeds will be available. Your Lawyer in Spain should check registration has happened and where required hold the deeds for you.