The process of purchasing a property in Spain, just like purchasing property in most countries, is loaded with form-filling and bureaucracy. You’ll need to complete reams of paperwork, prove your identity again and again, and sign numerous different documents. But before much of this paperwork begins, you will need to obtain a certificate from the land registry called ‘la nota simple.’ This is an incredibly important document that you would be foolish to forget. Here’s everything you need to know about la nota simple, and why it’s so important:
What is La Nota Simple?
La nota simple is a detailed report about the property that you intend to purchase, and is considered to be one of the most important documents used in the conveyancing process in Spain. The nota simple will contain a full outline of the property you intend to purchase, including its layout, the number of room, and the total square metres that the build covers. The current legal owner, type of ownership, and any debts or legal charges against the property will also be included in la nota simple. This is important because any legal charges and any community costs assigned to the property would become your responsibility once you have completed the purchase.
Other essential information included in the nota simple is the IDUFIR (Identificador Único de Finca Registral – Unique Property Identification Code) which will help you to gain all the practical information you need about the property you intend to purchase. La Nota Simple will give you a much clearer picture of whether the property is an attractive proposition, and will prevent you from being defrauded by buying a property from someone who doesn’t legally own it, or one which comes with considerable associated debt: that’s why this document is so important.
When Will I See La Nota Simple?
You should ask to view la nota simple at the earliest possible stage in the buying process, once you have found a property that you are interested in. You are strongly advised to request la nota simple before you sign a contract or pay a deposit for a property to reserve it: this is because la nota simple could contain information that means you simply don’t want to buy the property any more, but if you have already reserved the property with a deposit then you are unlikely to get this money back if you decide to pull out. This is no insignificant sum to lose, with the average deposit being between 1% and 5% of the asking price for the property, depending on the agent that you are using.
Is La Nota Simple Always Accurate?
It’s important to bear in mind that la nota simple shouldn’t be considered gospel: if a property has recently been updated then it is not unusual for the property owners not to have changed la nota simple to reflect these changes. Boundaries for rural properties can also be flexible, with many large rural properties not registering their clear boundaries with the land registry. If you find that la nota simple for a property you’re interested in isn’t accurate then you should immediately discuss this with both the property owners and your estate agents: you shouldn’t proceed with a purchase until you’re happy with the information contained within la nota simple, as this can have both legal and financial ramifications.
If you need a mortgage to purchase the property (as most home owners do) then mortgage lenders are obliged, by law, to base their offer on the value of the property that is reported in la nota simple: this could impact your ability to raise the funds that you need.
How Do I Get La Nota Simple?
If you’ve found a property that you’re interested in then the good news is that obtaining la nota simple is relatively easy. You simply need to visit the nearest land registry office in person and explain that you have a legitimate interest in buying the property. The note will only be available in Spanish, but is easy to translate.
You can also ask your estate agent if they have a copy of la nota simple, which would save you from making an extra journey to the land registry office. Alternatively, the process can be completed online at https://sede.registradores.org/site/home.
How Much Does La Nota Simple Cost?
The cost of obtaining la nota simple will depend on where you are based in Spain, but is a relatively small figure. You can expect to pay around 3 euros if you are visiting the land registry office in person, and around 9 euros for the convenience of obtaining the form online.
Are you in the process of moving to Spain or looking to make the right move to Spain for you? If you’re looking for estate agents in Southern Spain then why not get in touch ? Our locally based property experts are a font of local knowledge, and are perfectly placed to help you find the home of your dreams.