How to adjust your deeds (escritura) to include extensions, pools etc.

Including pools & garages in your deeds.

The reason you may be advised to have extensions, pools, out houses & garages written into your deeds are because if you wish to sell your property the solicitors dealing with the purchacers can require that this is done before a sale goes though so that everything that is on the plot is reflected in the deeds. This can also be a requirement of the bank if the client is buying with a mortgage.

The other reason is in the unlikely event that a motorway, railway or any other type public service should be planned to go through your property, then you would only get compensation for what appears in the deeds. (This does seem unlikely but a plot of land belonging to my wife and I was compulsory purchased from us in the Albertera area in 1998. It was acquired to build a large water deposit; we received the full current value as compensation at the time).

There are various possibilities or classifications of plots that have bearing on how the deeds are changed to include additions.

  1. A plot with one house where you are the only owner.
  2. A plot which has been divided in which you ore the sole owner of the house but you are a joint owner with other home owners of the land the house is situated. This situation is very similar to an apartment block you own the apartment; it is 100% yours but you are also a joint owner of the common elements (hallways, the lift and the land the apartment block is built on). This is called a horizontal division & in the case villas it is called a fallen horizontal division. It will be necessary to explain more about the horizontal division in this article, but for now I will deal with the first classification.

If you wish to have extensions included in your deeds the process is simple if you are the sole owners of the plot in which your property is located. (If you share the plot with other property owners then this has some different rules which I will address also in this document).

  1. You will be required by the notary to produce plans of the extension, pool or garage. If you have previously registered your property with the rates office then the same plans are valid for this process.  Click here to see the information on how to get these plans produced. Once you have these plans drawn up by a qualified Spanish architect or engineer he should produce an antiquity certificate which proves your extension or addition is more than 4 years old so you will not be fined for illegally building. The antiquity certificate now needs to be stamped by the school of architects or engineers which certifies that the technician is qualified to produce this certificate. This should be done for you by the technician dealing with the plans. The plans should cost no more than 400€ the antiquity certificate 150€ and to have it stamped (visado) 60€.

 

   The same plans and certificates that are used for registering the property with the rates office are used for writing the extensions at the notary so you do not have to pay the same thing twice.  

2. Once the plans & certificates are produced you can go to the notary to have the extensions written into the deeds. The notary will need to know you understand what you are signing. If you do not speak Spanish then you will need a translator. You will need to bring the original deeds to the Notaries office. It does not need to be at the office where you signed the deeds but it does need to be in Spain. Bring your new plans and passport or residency card. The deeds will be read to you by the translator and the Notary will read again in Spanish then you and your spouse will sign with the translator signing as well.

The fee that the notary will charge can vary buy how many people are owners of your property, how many pages are in the modified deed, how much is being declares etc. A recent client who went through this process was charged 247.54€ (Callosa de Segura). I.V.A included. She was a widow who lived on her own.

3.  You will need to go to the bank to pay the 1% tax on the value declared in the deeds.  You will be given a form at the notary office to enable you to do this.

4. Once the Deeds are signed at the notary & the tax paid they will need to be taken to the land registry offices to be recorded there. You will have to pay 100€ to start the possess but will most likely have to pay more again depending on the amount of pages in the deeds then the amount of people on it as well. First they are taken to the liquidation office then to the land registry. Depending on the work load it can take between 2 weeks to a month for the papers to be processed. (The registrar only considers the written words in the deeds but you can have the plans included as well at the signing of the deeds. This will increase the cost but has no real legal bearing but does look ¡impressive to a potential purchaser if included). You can then get your registered deeds from the land registry office.

The following is a list of the costs based on a recent widowed client.

Notary fee…………………………………………………………………………….…247.54€ (Callosa de Segura). I.V.A included.

Translation……………………………………………………………………………75€ (not needed if you speak Spanish)

Registry…………………………………………………………………….……………95€

Taxes of the declared value of pool & out houses etc 1%………………..80€  

Administration………..……………………………………………………………..…….50€ (not needed if you do all the work your self).

I add to this the cost of registering the extensions etc at the rates office:-

Technicians fee for the plans……………………………………………………………400€

Antiquity certificate ………………………………………………………………..…..150€

Visado (stamp of approval from the school of engineers)…………………..60€

Administration……………………………………………………………………………. 100€ (not needed if you do all the visits to the various offices)

Total ……………………………………………………………………..………………..1285.54€ 

Now to comment on the Horizontal divisions. There are various types which I have come across. When a plot is divided to build and sell on it is from that time considered a community of property owners even if the community is not legally established with its statues and rules.  Often the motive that builders had these divisions made is a loop hole in the Spanish system to be able to build various houses on one plot and sell the houses to various individuals with a defined division with in a plot. This loop whole has now been closed and it is no longer legal to or possible for this type of division to be made on single plots of land with the motive to build various villas This division makes it possible for various deeds to be made for each property on the one plot. There is a deed of horizontal division that defines that area each property owner has within the plot.. This deed will be mentioned in the deeds that you have when you purchased your property and it will say in which notary it was signed and you have a right to have a copy if you take your deeds to that notary with your passport or N.I.E. number.

In some cases there is a clause in the deed that permits any of the property owners within the plot to legally modify, extend build pools etc within the division where you have exclusive use (your garden). There may already be a pool or garage when you purchased the property that is not mentioned in the deeds or that you have built and wish to have included in your deed. If this clause exists in your deed or in the deed of horizontal division then the possess of inclusion is quite simple; you will need to show the notary this clause and the new deed will have no hindrance in passing through the land registry.

If this clause does not exist then there are a few considerations to take into account. You will not be able to add anything to your deeds without the permission of all the other members of the community (co-property owners of your plot). The house belongs to you but any extension that is extended onto the garden is now going onto a common element. Even if the pool outhouse etc already exists there is a legal procedure to adhere to for these elements to be included in your deeds. The most practical thing to do in this case is to form the community of property owners officially which will have a annual general meeting and in that meeting one of the issues to tackle is to allow property owners to legally extend there properties adding outhouses, pools etc or if they already exist then to permit the members of the community to have the additions written into the deeds without all the members of the community having to attend the signing of the deeds. Once this is agreed in the community meeting then the president and vice president have to sign a paper to that effect at the notary office which will mean that anyone from that moment on will be able to do deed adjustments without anyone else having to present themselves at the notary. There are many benefits to the property owners in forming a community of property owner which I will comment on at another date.

If the plot is only split into 4 or five divisions then there is a cheaper way of dealing with this situation. The property owners can sign a power of attorney in front of the notary permitting the property owners to legally extend or include existing addition son the deeds.

If you would like more information or assistance please contact me on (0034) 617354758 or email me on patrickvine63@hotmail.com

you can also visit www.inlandproperties-spain.com

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About Patrick Vine

I am a Englishman living and working in Spain as a property consultant dealing with the technical and legal aspects faceing the expat communities living in the south Alicante & north Murcia areas. I am married to a wonderfull Spanish girl called Inés and have 3 children. Jessica, Rubén & Joshua.
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One Response to How to adjust your deeds (escritura) to include extensions, pools etc.

  1. Pingback: Orihuela town hall to deal with illegal properties that evade paying taxes. | Finding Solutions for the Expat Community.

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