Rural Spanish property and title deed issues
Title deeds, or the lack of them, are another big problem in rural areas. Barbara Wood of The Property Finders, a buyer’s agent with many years of experience in rural Andalusia, says, “after more than a decade in the business I have yet to see a correct set of rural title deeds”.
In the worst case title deeds don’t even exist, which according to Wood is a no-go area for British buyers. “In rural Spain there are many legitimate claims to property that have never been formalised in notarised title deeds. Whilst it is possible to buy these properties British buyers would be biting off more than they could chew. Just walk away if there aren’t any deeds”.
More common, though, are title deeds that don’t correspond to the amount of land being offered for sale, or that don’t reflect the size or existence of a dwelling. It’s usually possible to resolve these problems satisfactorily before buying, but once you have bought, the problems become yours, and vendors will have no incentive to help you resolve them. You need to identify title deed problems in good time – something many British buyers fail to do – and build the solution into the negotiations with the vendor. The golden rule when buying in rural areas is never buy until the title deeds are correct.