It is essential, particularly if you want to sell your property, that any issues relating to your Escritura, Catastro, IBI and utility bills are resolved as soon as possible.
The Escritura (Title Deed)
states who owns the property and gives a description of the property. Often this is incorrect, even if you used the services of a lawyer when you bought your property!
If you have added anything such as a pool, bedroom, dining room or bathroom, or you have built a storage room or garage, your Escritura must be updated to include these.
This is a straightforward process if you have the necessary building licences for the work.
If you do not and the pool, room or building has been in situ for more than 6 years then it is possible to update your Escritura using a certificate of antiquity which requires:
An architect to visit your property, re-measure your house or measure the pool or building, produce a plan and have that plan certified officially.
An Asesoría to produce the documentation required by the Notary and Land Registry.
·A certificate from the Town Hall (for living accommodation only).
is a comprehensive register of all land and real estate in Spain and information held in the Catastro is frequently inaccurate!
The Catastro can easily be amended by having a topographic survey of your land undertaken where a surveyor will accurately plot the boundaries of your land using GPS technology, draw up comprehensive plans of your plot and your property and submit them to the Catastro office for the relevant changes to be made.
It is vital that your IBI and utility bills are also correct!
IBI (Council Tax)
The IBI bill must be in your name (and not that of the previous owner). Frequently this is not the case! It doesn't matter that you have been paying the bill directly from your bank for a number of years; the bill itself must be in your name so that it can then be changed to that of the new owner.
Similarly, the electricity bill also needs to be in your name to ensure an uncomplicated transfer of the contract to the owners.
Energy Performance Certificates
Since 1 June 2013, all property owners who have a property either for sale or for long term rent need to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for their property.
Energy ratings have to be displayed alongside the property details and when sold, the Notary will need the original certificate for the property and proof of registration. EPCs last for 10 years and can only be issued by certified and registered assessors including architects, technical architects and some engineers. Once completed, the EPC will be formally registered with the Junta de Andalucía. The cost of the EPC varies but is generally around €200.
Large fines can be levied on owners of property for sale or long term rent who do not comply with the legislation. This applies to estate agents as well as private individuals. It is a myth that you do not need an EPC until a buyer is found for your property – you must have the certificate in order for your property to be marketed. The law applies to Spain in exactly the same way as it does to all other European Union member states.