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Could someone please explain what this process involves and whether it is safe to buy a property from someone who has established ownership though this process.
It is safe. Have you lawyer check it out.
The following is taken from D Searl’s book on ‘You & the law in Spain’
, re your question.
This process, roughly translated as an ownership proceeding, requires more time and expense than the 205 procedure (the ‘negative certification’. That means the Registry has searched its files and finds no registered owner for the property) because it involves more investigation and court action. The expediente de dominio can also be used to establish title when the property is in fact registered, but in the name of a person who no longer claims it either because he has sold it to someone on a private contract, who has never registered the sale, or perhaps because theoriginal owner has died. This will take up to 2 years.
The claim must be published in the official bulletin and evidence taken in court. Finally, the court will rule on the title and it will be solid. There is always the chance of some nephew who should have inherited the property making a claim of his own against the present purchaser, and the court will decide where the best claim lies.
In any of these procedures to establish title and register the property, be warned that you will be unable to obtain any mortgage, funding, and you cannot borrow against the property for 2 years after its first registration.
In any of these cases you need sound legal advice. Ask around among older residents for an abogado or an administrador defincas or a gestor whom they trust.
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