EDITION: April - june 2011


Texto: Anja Sämann-Gutschick y Armin Gutschick
Here in a nutshell are the most important issues that should be considered when buying real estate in Ibiza:
The first step is to check with the Land Registry Office that the owner is in fact registered as the owner of the property. This may seem strange to some of our readers, but in Spain, unlike other European countries, it is not compulsory to formalize the purchase of a property before a notary and include it in the Registry. However, in order to ensure full legal security, we strongly recommend that all buyers formalize the purchase with a notarial certification and register it at the Land Registry Office.
Also, when checking the Registry, you need to look carefully at the description of the property. Is my dream home, for which I will pay a considerable amount of money, registered with everything that is adhered to it? Is the size of the property correctly registered, including the built area, the pool, the garage, etc.? Or is it described as agricultural land with trees and a ruin on it? Or maybe, instead of all 20,000 m² we want to buy, only 5,000 m² are included? If the details that are registered vary wildly from what is really there, then we will have to consider whether it would be suitable to ask the seller to have the mistakes corrected – a slow and costly procedure, assuming it is even feasable!
As well as checking the registry, it is worth checking the cadastre. In Spain, it is independent from the Land Registry, and therefore it is frequent for the entries in both to differ. Often, the cadastre still includes previous owners and, in the case of rural properties, the huge original properties which are now divided up. This can bring about complications when demarcating the borders of the property and when it comes to paying your real estate tax.
But not only do you need to check the Land Property Registry and the cadastre – there is still more! If it is a new property, you need to check that the final certificate exists and that the Council has issued the occupancy certificate. Otherwise, you may encounter problems later.
When buying an apartment, it is advisable to make sure that the seller has paid all due community fees, since the new owner is liable for them if not.
As well as all of the above, you should find out about the costs and taxes that buying a property implies: taxes on property transfers, Registry inscription costs, possibly capital gains tax, to name but a few.
Even if you compile all the necessary information before buying a property, you cannot be totally sure that a problem will not arise with your dream home in the future. However, you can reduce this risk to a minimum if you seek the specialised legal advice of a competent lawyer.