WHEN you purchase a property in Spain, it is possible that its description in the Land Registry does not match the physical reality and this can occur for a number of reasons.
The most frequent is that after buying property, some small additional work may be undertaken, such as the building of a barbecue, construction of a storage room or a porch, etc. and due to the perceived low importance of the work undertaken, it may be decided not to update the property description with the Land Registry.
Another possibility could be that the previous owner had undertaken works that they had not declared. Therefore, the description that exists in the registry is an old one and does not include the new works subsequently carried out.
Why is it necessary to update the description in the Land Registry?
The description at the Land Registry is the official and legal description of the property so if you apply for a mortgage the bank will request an appraisal and in normal circumstances the surveyor will require that the description is updated.
However if you are interested in selling your property you should keep in mind that the potential buyer will usually prefer to buy a property that fulfils the legal requirements and that the land registry description matches the physical one.
Besides that, updating the description of the property means declaring the value of the work performed, which could, in certain cases, increase the original acquisition value of the property and substantially reduce the amount of the capital gain tax to be paid at the time of sale.
How can I update the description of my property in the land registry?
The new works must be declared by granting a public deed of declaration of new work before a notary and this can be in respect of an old or new construction.
For the declaration of new work, the notary will request the final act or certificate of the work, administrative authorisation to carry it out according to the urban planning legislation and a certificate made by an architect that confirms that the description given matches the actual work carried out.
When we refer to old construction, we mean works that were made years ago and for which, even if they were illegal, or the administration had not given authorisation for its construction at the time, enough time has passed so that the administration has lost the possibility of initiating an administrative claim or process against it.
For this type of declaration, we must have an architect’s certificate that proves the age of the work and the veracity of the new description, etc.
In the Valencian Community this statute of limitations depends on whether the work was carried out before or after the entry into force of Law 5/2014, these terms being four and 15 years respectively.
In either case, once we have obtained the necessary documentation, we can obtain the public deed before the notary.
To register the deed and update the description of the registry, it will be necessary to pay stamp duty tax, which for the Valencian Community, is 1.5 per cent of the declared value of the work.
If you are interested in updating the description of your home in the land registry in a professional and efficient way, contact us and we will assist you.
The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, it simply transmits information related to legal issues.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
White & Baos
Tel: +34 966 426 185
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