What previous information must I obtain in order to make a secure purchase?
Property developers and estate agents are obliged by law to provide certain legally binding information to buyers, via the adverts they place. Property developers must make certain information and documents available to the public pertaining to:
— The documentation of the company or property developer in the Trade Register. This covers legal and economic documentation, as well as information about the people registered and the representatives of the company or property developer.
— General property location map.
— Property’s floor plan.
— Guarantees of the installations.
— Description of the property, including the floor space area and living space.
— General description of the building, communal areas and additional services.
— Reference to the materials and finishes used in the construction of the properties of the building, communal areas and additional services, including thermal and acoustic insulation.
— Details of the Property Register. This provides a legal description of the company, the owners and any encumbrances.
— The total selling price and payment method.
What information must be obtained before buying a second-hand property?
The purchase of second-hand properties is not subject to the regulations and obligations described above. But we must request the following documentation from the seller:
— Registration information of the seller’s or conveyor’s property, the certification that attests to the content of the Register.
— The receipt confirming that the latest Property Tax annuity has been paid.
— The certificate provided by the secretary of the association of flat owners, which confirms that the seller is up to date with payments of the common maintenance charge.
What must you do before signing a purchase/sale contract?
Direct inspection of the physical condition of the property This is crucial and must be carried out. Furthermore, for second-hand building or property, you should take a professional architect or surveyor with you.
If the property has any “latent defects”, meaning defects that could cause medium to long-term damage, the seller is responsible for any repairs. Documentary inspection of the legal status of the property The most important document that can confirm the property’s legal status is the certificate of ownership and Property Register encumbrances.
This certificate must confirm that the property is finished, that there are no encumbrances or limitations and that the seller is the legal owner of the property.
The tax status of the property must also be checked, in order to confirm that the latest Property Tax annuity has been paid.
Contract completion: private contract or public deed
In accordance with the principle of freedom as to the form and content of contractual arrangements, a property purchase contract can be drawn up either as a private or a public (authorised by a notary) document. Only public deed purchase contracts that are recorded in the Property Register provides buyers with the legal assurance that they will not be sued in their property, since the buyer is indemnified and held harmless against any claim or action arising from defects or errors in the seller’s ownership status.
When and how should I pay for the property?
The price should not be paid in full until you have checked all the documentation.
PAYMENT METHOD. There are several possibilities:
— A down payment or good-faith deposit is the payment of portion of the price, as a way of commitment.
In the event that buyer pulls out of the contract, s/he looses this amount, and if the seller pulls out, s/he is obliged to pay double the down payment or deposit.
— Payment on or after contract completion. There are three possibilities:
1. Cash payments, only if the property is total free from encumbrances in the Register. The price agreed on contract completion must be paid in full.
When part of the price is paid when purchasing a property before it has been built, the property developer is legally obliged to guarantee the buyer the total refund of this amount in the event of contract non-fulfilment.
2. Deferred payment. This is when payment of part of the price is deferred, even if there are no encumbrances, via:
— Resolutory condition, so that if the buyer does not pay in the agreed period, the seller becomes the owner of the property again.
— Mortgage, in the case of the non-payment, the property is auctioned in order to pay the seller.
3. Subrogation of pre-existing encumbrances. Subrogation could be a useful option, especially if the property sold is mortgaged. In these cases, the amount received by the seller will be reduced by the amount of the mortgage loan that is pending repayment, as long as the buyer takes over the existing mortgage. You must bear in mind that if judicial foreclosure proceedings have been initiated on the mortgage, the buyer must be extremely careful, and preferably demand that the property be previously released.
Alicante Trade Register
Plz. Deportista Andrés Muñoz, 8 — 03003 Alicante
Telf: 965 92 64 91 / 81 70
Open between 9:00am and 2:00pm / 4:00pm and 6:00pm.
C/ Arquitecto Morell, 19 — 03003 Alicante
Telf: 965 22 70 43
Open between 9:00am and 2:00pm / 4:00pm and 6:00pm
Regional Government Social Welfare Department, Land and Property Regional Headquarters
Avda. Aguilera, Nº 1 — 03007 Alicante
Telf PROP: 012
Open from Mondays to Fridays, 9:00am to 2:00pm.
Mondays to Thursdays, 5:00pm to 7:00pm..
Valencia Property Institute IVVSA
C/ Gerona, 4 — 03001 Alicante
Telf: 965 93 45 40
For assistance regarding low-cost state-subsidised housing: 9:00am to 2:00pm.
For assistance regarding social housing: 9:00am to 2:00pm.