To further certify this information, following Law 13/2015 the description of the property also features a graphic representation that is geo-referenced and cross-referenced with the information on file at the Cadastre (Catastro). Thus, the location, boundaries and surface area of the property can be certified.
Who has access to this information?
Only those who claim to have a legitimate interest, meaning anyone who wishes to know the status of a particular property can access the information on record at the Land Registry. However, they must explain their interest in obtaining the information to the registrar, who will analyse and decide whether that interest is legitimate. Only then will he or she issue the document.
The applicant will receive the information either in the form of a nota simple (non-certified copy, issued for information purposes) or a certificación (certified copy signed by the registrar).
How is a property registered?
The Registry has different districts throughout the country, and you should look for the one that corresponds to the area in which your home is located. You can find the right registry on the website of the Colegio de Registradores (Registrars Association) by selecting the option 'Localice su registro' (Find your registry). You will also have to complete various steps (or entries), depending on what exactly you want to register (ownership, rights, encumbrances, etc.). Entries filed at the registry have no expiration date, do not need to be updated and come with a cost, depending on the value, characteristics and location of the property.
If you would like to learn more about the complete registration procedure, be sure to visit the website of the Ministry of Justice.
To register or not to register?
Filing a property at the Land Registry is entirely voluntary, though it is always advisable, as it recognises ownership and therefore gives you the security of knowing who the owner is. Filing provides added transparency and legal certainty to transactions carried out in the real estate market: once filed and made public, the information put on record is deemed to be truthful. In practice, this means that filing, while optional, is extremely useful because it will save you time and legwork when buying or selling a property.