If you are interested in or getting information on buying a property in Spain, you will surely have been informed that there are two registries: Registro de la Propiedad (Property Registry) and Catastro (Land Registry). This article tells more about it.
What is the Property Registry vs the Land Registry?
The Property Registry (Registro de la Propiedad) is a voluntary registry stating the owners and the encumbrances of a building, while the Land Registry (Catastro) is a compulsory registry showing the geographic location of the buildings in order to calculate their fiscal value for tax purposes.
What are the differences between the Property Registry and the Land Registry?
The main difference between both bodies is that the registration of a property in the Property Registry (Registro de la Propiedad) is voluntary (but recommended) and it depends on the Ministry of Justice; and the registration in the Land Registry (Catastro) is compulsory and depends on the Treasury Department (to which the Tax Agency also belongs).
It must be pointed out that, even though the registration in the Property Registry (Registro de la Propiedad) is voluntary, if one wants to sell or encumber assets (for example, with a mortgage) the information must be up to date.
In short, the Property Registry (Registro de la Propiedad) is where we can check who the owner of a specific property is, the mortgages, the debts, and the seizures a property may have, as well as the potential real property rights, such as rights of way, censuses or others. It can be looked up by means of a simple note which can be requested here and which is very useful to get to know the status of a property before buying it.
On the other hand, the Land Registry (Catastro) is the place where we can geolocate any property on the map, and access public property data such as address, land registry (Catastro) reference and surface; or private data such as the land registry value in case of being the owners of the property. It can be looked up by means of the Land Registry website. You must take into account that the land registry value is a private information that only Notary Publics, Courts and some authorised Land Registry Information Points. However, in accordance with the current regulations, for some taxes you will have to look up the Valor de Referencia, or Reference Value, which is public information. Learn more about the subject in our blog: Valor de Referencia. The land registry value can also be obtained from the IBI receipt, here is some more information.
What happens in case of discrepancies between the Property Registry and the Land Registry?
The prevailing civilian information will be that on the Property Registry (Registro de la Propiedad). However, discrepancies may cause civilian and contractual consequences which will be dealt with in another entry of our blog.
Information summary of each registry
|Property Registry (Registro de la Propiedad)||Land Registry (Catastro)|
|Under||Ministry of Justice||Treasury Department|
|Information||Ownership, rights, debts or mortgages on an asset||Geolocation, reference value and land registry value|
|Objective||Legal protection of the real estate||Administrative registry of properties subject to tax payment in the territory|
|Documents||Simple note, Registry Certificates||Land Registry Card, Land Registry Certificate|
|Identification||CRU, IDUFIR or registry entry (property number, volume, page, registration)||Land Registry Reference|
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