The following glossary provides the definitions of some of the most important terms you will come across during the process of buying or selling property in Spain.
Abogado - Lawyer/Solicitor
Domus Venari work with a reputable roster of lawyers and solicitors who specialise in the Spanish property market and speak a variety of languages. Our lawyers will help to protect your interests at all times and make your house-hunting experience in Spain as smooth and easy as possible.
Acta Notarial – Notary's deed/certificate
Document that acts as the inscription of the given property into the land register.
Arrendamiento de Obra – Construction & Labour Contract
Aval - Guarantor
This is a way of ensuring that a loan will be repaid. The loan guarantor has the responsibility of paying the bank if the person who has taken out the loan is unable to meet payments to the bank.
Boletin de Enganche - Certificate allowing access to electrical power
Comunidad de propietarios - Community of Property Owners
You will automatically join the community of property owners when you buy your property in Spain. Spanish law gives legal status to this community so that it can regulate the joint ownership of common property (gardens, communal swimming pool, tennis courts, lifts, stairs, roof space, paths and lighting within the grounds, drains).
Contrato de Compraventa - Private property sales contract
Delegacion de Urbanismo – District Survey's Office
Organisation which grants building permits.
Escritura - Deeds
Common practice in Spain when buying a property is firstly to sign a private sales contract before the deeds. In order to be valid, any property title deeds in Spain need to be signed and authorised by a Spanish notary.
Gestoría - Firm specialised in obtaining official authorisations, permits, licenses.
Hipoteca – Mortgage
Impuestro sobre Bienes Inmuebles - Annual property tax
The annual property tax (known as IBI) is fixed by the local authorities, depending on both the value of the land and of the property itself.
Impuesto de Actos Juridicos Documentados – Stamp duty
Approximately 1% of the purchase price.
Impuesto de Transmisiones Patrimoniales – Transfer tax on real estate
6% of the amount declared in the property deed.
Impuesto Sobre Construcciones, Instalaciones y Obras – Construction taxes
Impuesto Sobre el Patrimonio – Capital gains tax
According to Spanish fiscal law, the buyer withholds 3% of the total purchase price. This amount represents part of the capital gains tax on the profit made by the seller at the time of the sale. That is the difference between the current (official) sale price and the price paid by seller when he/she originally purchased the property + the value of any reforms and improvements carried out since then.
Impuesto Municipales – Local Taxes
Licencia de obra – Building permission
NIE – Identity Number for Foreigners
Spanish legislation makes it compulsory for anyone selling or buying property in Spain to have a NIE number.
NIF – ID Number for Residents
Propiedad – Property
Propietario - Owner
Préstamo con techo – Mortgage loan
Poder - Power of Attorney
You may give power of attorney to your lawyer or another trusted party to act on your behalf if you are not able to come Spain to complete your property purchase or mortgage.
Registro de Terreno - Land Register
The official land register, approved by the government, lists details of real estate both urban and rural and gives information about any special features they may have. It is also used by the Treasury to work out Spanish Annual Real Estate Tax. The catastro includes information such as size of estates, location, boundaries, adjoining areas as well as giving physical details of land and buildings. Certificates are issued by regional bodies which manage the Land Register and are in charge of recording the information required.
Seguro Multirriesgo Hogar - House Insurance
Señal - Down Payment/Deposit
The amount of money usually handed over in Spain to the property vendor as a guarantee that the purchaser will sign the deal within a given time frame. It is usually made up of a percentage of the total price of the property. This is non-refundable and is a quick and simple way of reinforcing the commitment of buyers and sellers in the property market and is supported by Spanish law. Once contracts have been exchanged the deposit already paid is normally deducted from the total price of the property when the deeds are signed before the Spanish notary at the moment of the property purchase.
Tasación – Independent valuation of property
Toma de Posesion – Handing over the keys
Traspaso – Transfer of rental or lease contracts