It is true that in Spain debts that are secured against a property – for instance a mortgage – become the new owner’s liability unless they are paid off before the property changes hands. However this will only be a problem if the new owner is unaware of the debts ascribed to the property at the time of committing to buy. The debt in itself is not necessarily a problem but being unaware of the debt when you sign a purchase contract can be a very serious problem. There is a simple solution for avoiding ‘unexpected’ debts. Have your lawyer check the ‘nota simple’ (the record of the property in the land registry) before committing to anything. The nota simple will show if there is any debt secured against the property. If you sign a private sale contract before signing the public deeds the contract should state any outstanding debt on the property. And finally your lawyer should request another nota simple from the land registry just before you sign the public deeds before Notary. All good lawyers should do this as a matter of course and this protects from you taking on any unwanted and unexpected debts when you buy property in Spain
Spanish Property Insight
Insight into the Spanish property market, guides to help you make informed decisions, and a directory of real estate professionals and home service providers from a source you can trust.
This is a website for buyers, owners, and sellers of property in Spain, offering reliable information and resources to help you get things done with confidence. It is run by Mark Stücklin, author of the Spanish Property Doctor Column in The Sunday Times (2005-2008), and the book ‘Need to Know: Buying Property in Spain’ published by Collins.
When you buy or sell property in Spain the sums of money are large, perhaps one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. The high transaction costs you will face like taxes and commissions only make the decision more important to get right. And when you own property in Spain you face a host of extra challenges to manage, and costs to control. Unfortunately, the Spanish property market is opaque and full of pitfalls, and notoriously unprofessional. Buying and selling property in Spain is not a decision to be taken lightly, and you may find it much easier to buy than sell if you don’t take care. In this market it is crucial to do your own research, and don’t rely exclusively on people who are trying to sell you something – let’s just say they might not have your best interests at heart. Spanish Property Insight is the only independent source of information and analysis of the Spanish property market. Don’t even think about buying or selling property in Spain without subscribing to Spanish Property Insight.
- Market Research