What is the Land Registry for?
As indicated on the same property registration web page, the Land Registry is a State institution, a public service under the Ministry of Justice that responds to the need for security in the real estate market.
Benefits of registering in the Land Registry and damages for not doing so
In Spanish law, registration in the Land Registry is not mandatory. It is voluntary, but convenient, for the many benefits that arise from registration and for the damages that non-registration may entail.
Thanks to the registration in the Land Registry, we are officially recognized as owners. We can dispose of our right, selling or mortgaging, and anyone who has an interest in buying a house or constituting a right over it may have at its disposal all the necessary information to be able to decide on equal terms and without surprises. Besides, by registering we have the assurance that no one can deprive us of our right or dispose of it fraudulently. At the same time, the damages of not registering are very important. If we do not register our right, we let that in the Land Registry appear an owner who is no longer. This entails at least two dangers:
- the risk that the former owner that still appears as owner in the Land Register sells the property to a third party.
- the risk that the creditors of the owner who appears in Land Register seize that property and we require expensive lawsuits to get rid of the seize.
Many foreign debtors flee to Spain and here they buy property where they live. Consult the Land Registry can, if so, give us a clue or a certainty of the debtor’s current address, and dispose of assets to act against these goods.
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