SPANISH REAL ESTATE LAW: survey of the property in Cadastre and Land Registry. Could you extend the property you want to buy?

Consultation: We have been looking for a property in the area of Denia (Alicante) and found one we like in a wonderful location. However, as the building is rather old, we will need to renovate and extend it after the purchase. How can we be sure that we will not have any problem with this? 

Dear Reader

First, you should check that the property you wish to buy is legally registered at the Cadastre and the Local Land Registry and that the registered square meters match the reality.

The Cadastre: is the administrative register which specifies the location, square meters and, by means of the corresponding plan, all elements composing the said property (house, pool, etc). The Cadastre also determines the value of the property for tax purposes, such as the local rate: IBI (council tax). This registration does not recognise the ownership of the Property, as this is done by the Land Registry.

The Land Registry: collects all data regarding the description of the plot and existing buildings. Additionally, it provides information about the owner(s) and any charge or encumbrance on the property, e.g. mortgage. Also it informs about any other limitation on the ownership or right of use regarding the property.

If above-named descriptions are correct, match with the real situation of the property and do not need to be amended, you will have to make sure, that you will be allowed to extend your house in the future. To that end, we recommend you take the following steps: 

To determine if you will be allowed to extend, and how much, first you will have to check the real size of the plot and the buildings and, in addition to this, the urban regulations of the Town Hall where your property is located. 

Among other things, you will have to verify if the potential development of the plot (maximum authorized size of the building which depends normally on the size of the plot) has reached its limit, if the distance from the existing building to the boundaries of the plot allows an extension of the construction, etc. 

If your final decision whether or not to purchase depends on being able to renovate/extend the property in the future, then ensure this pre-condition from the beginning by including it on the purchase contract. 

If you have doubts on the possibility of extending your future home and want to confirm in advance that you won’t have any problem, we can help you with this. 

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The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.