Checking Spanish property in Spain for defects

How do you approach this when making a purchase?

How do I check a property in Spain for defects?

You are going to buy a property in Spain. Then it is important to check the property carefully for proper permits and registrations. In fact, it is unfortunately too common in Spain to have defects in the property. It is therefore very important to check them (in time). Let yourself be guided in this by a lawyer, but also be aware of what to look out for yourself.

Examples of defects when buying Spanish Property

Situations previous buyers ran into:

  1. Before the purchase, the (previous) owner still took out a mortgage on the property and thus outstanding debts.
  2. Of the 100 square metres, only 50 square metres are legally registered.
  3. The selling party is not the rightful owner of the property.

Make sure you are well prepared and avoid the above problems!

Approach control of your (future) home

First, you need to go and check the property in the ‘Registro de la Propiedad’. In this property register, you can find a lot of information that is important for you as a home buyer in Spain. For example, you will know who is the legal owner and seller of the property and whether there are any debts on the property. Knowing this information will help you avoid problems when buying a Spanish property.

So how do you get this kind of information?

Nota Simple

For this, you can request a Nota Simple. This is an abbreviated extract from this cadastre. Your broker or lawyer can request this document. It is wise to do this in time. It would be a shame if, after making a down payment, you only find out that the property was built illegally, right? So always be on time and always apply for your Nota Simple on time!


Registro de la Propiedad vs. the Catastro

The aforementioned Registro de la Propiedad is often unfairly compared to the Spanish Catastro. These are two different land registers.

The owner of the property must also register the property in the "Catastro", however, this is for tax purposes. In fact, if you own a property in Spain, you have to pay 'Property Tax' every year. In Spain, this is called Impuesto de Bienes Inmuebles. You pay this amount to the municipality where the property is located.

The amount is based on the regional cadastral value of the property registered in the Catastro. This is not the price you paid for the property. The cadastral value is calculated differently and depends on certain guidelines. This considers the location of the property and the value of surrounding properties. Depending on the municipality, the tax can vary between 0.3% and 0.9%.


The person who owns the property on 1 January is a taxpayer for the whole year.

Would you like help checking your purchase in Spain?

We are happy to help you through the buying process. Our legal help ensures that you can make the purchase with certainty. This is our residential Property check in Spain service.

In addition, you will receive access to our knowledge about the buying process in Spain!