The Offices Involved
3. Registro de la Propiedad
The Notario or Notary is a legally qualified official of the State. His or her role is firstly to ensure that the Escritura de Compraventa is legal in form. The Notary is not interested (at least officially) in whether the property is value for money, grossly overpriced or even if statements contained on the Escritura are true, so long as they are legally valid. The Notary's other duties are to ensure the Escritura is signed, the money for the property is paid over and that both the seller and buyer have been advised of their tax obligations.
Notary offices are found in towns and some larger villages. Often the Notary travels to smaller villages once each week.
The Catastro office concentrates on the physical dimensions of a property, determining its exact location, description and boundaries. It is not concerned with the ownership of the property, which is the job of the Registro de la Propiedad. The Catastro is also concerned with establishing a valuation, the valor catastral, used as the basis of property taxation.
The Catastro for this area is based in Granada, the office is currently overwhelmed with work and it can take many months for a registration to be completed or revised.
THE REGISTRO DE LA PROPIEDAD
The Registro de la Propiedad or land registry office is primarily concerned with who owns which property. It is also records details of what mortgages or other debts are set against a property. The Registro de la Propieded is the source of the Nota Simple and as such is a very important office for any prospective property purchaser.
The Registro de la Propiedad can be found in any sizeable town, our nearest being in Huescar.
This is the local town or village hall which houses the council offices responsible for issuing the Permiso de Obras (among many other things). It is unlikely that you will find English speaking council officials in these offices.
Buying an Unreformed or Recently Reformed Property
Often when buying a cave house that has been recently restored and modernised you will find that one or other of the documents mentioned above is not available. This does not in itself make the sale illegal or improper but it does mean that additional work has to be carried out by your solicitor, or the seller's, legal advisor to ensure that you get all the correct documentation soon after your purchase.