Escritura – what is this document?
The Spanish word escritura literally means “the writing”; in legal terms, escritura is equivalent to a notarial document or a deed. Each notarial deed is thus an escritura in advance that is being made by a notary and filed in its archive. The real escritas are signed by the parties involved and the notary in the notarial office in the presence of a notary and then stored in the notary’s archive. Copies are made for the signatures of the deed; these copies are certified by the notary as true copies of the document, which are kept in its archive.
There are different types of escritas:
Escritura de division horizontal – notarial deed, whereby the distribution of horizontal real estate (for example an apartment complex) is defined in individual and common property.
Escritura de compraventa – notarial deed of sale
Escritura de poder – notarial deed, which describes and issues a proxy
Escritura de obra-nueva – notarial deed of new building, which allows a proprietor to register a lot of new construction
The escritura contains the following information:
– The name of the notary, the seller and the buyer;
– Property details;
– A statement that the seller is also the owner;
– A statement that the property is free of rent and debts;
– The price of the property;
– Payment method;
– Who and which taxes will pay will pay.
When you look at the escritura carefully, you see that no house is mentioned at all, but only a piece of land. The question is how can this be? The answer is that everything that is built on the property, such as the house, swimming pool or other estates, belong to the ground. The buildings are acquired together with the land, even though they are not described in the transfer act. If you buy an existing house or a new house that has already been built, then the escritura de compraventa applies to both the land and the buildings built thereon.
Should the house still be built or the house is still in a particular construction phase, the transaction must take place in two stages:
1. You must obtain the escritura of the country as early as possible. Of course, you will receive this after when you have paid the agreed amount. Is the escritura on your name and is it also registered in the cadaster then you only own the land and you have the guarantee that the property to be built will also be your property.
2. After the house has been completed, you can make a Declaración de Obra Nueva (= declaration, approval and registration of new building) with the notary.
In Spain, a newly built house is considered to be a house only if a notarial deed of new building (obra nueva) has been drawn up.
Without such an obra nueva you can not get mortgage financing.
By uncovering the escritura you will acquire the property, provided that it is registered in the property register – registro de propiedad. The original escritura – Primera copia de la Escritura remains with the notary. You do not get it. What you get is a copy of the escritura.
There are two types of copies of escritas:
– copia simple – simple photocopy
– copia autorizada – a copy signed by the notary
Copias simple you can get as much as you want. This also applies to copias authorizadas, but every time a copia autorizada is issued, a note is made of the original. The copia simple is a copy that does not contain any signature or stamp. Such a copy actually serves only to give the parties something in hand. For example, with a simple copy you can connect electricity, water or telephone. For the utility companies this is sufficient proof, that you are the owner. The first copia autorizada of the escritura must be brought to you for your notary or other intermediary (your lawyer or gestured) to the register office to be registered there. The register also calculates prior to the registration – the tax on the transfer as defined in the inscription. It takes from a month to three, four to take over. This document is provided with official stamps in the register office.