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Nota Simple is one of the most important documents used in Spanish real estate conveyancing process.

9 February 2018


Nota Simple (Nota Simple Informativa) – Property Registry Filing

Nota Simple is one of the most important documents used in Spanish real estate conveyancing process. It is an official report obtained from the Land Registry of Spain (Registro de la Propiedad) that contains information pertaining to the legal status of the property.

The actual name of the document is a 'nota simple informativa', according to Spanish law it has only information value and no weight of evidence in a judicial or administrative proceeding (e.g., a court of law); it has no watermarks or other signs of authenticity.

However, Nota Simple is an extremely important document when purchasing a property in Spain because it gives the practical information that can secure a deal. It also has multiple uses. The owners of Spanish property from non-Schengen countries need it to obtain a multiple-entry visa or a residence permit in Spain based on acquisition of Spanish real estate, or for arranging the Letter of Invitation for relatives and friends who need a visa to enter Spain.

Document formats can be different but Nota Simple always contains the standard identity data of the Property Register, the unique registration number (not to be confused with the Referencia Catastral in the municipal tax bills (Impuesto de Bienes Inmuebles) and the unique identifier of the registered real estate (Identificador único de Finca Registral), which identifies the property in any Property Register of Spain, not only the one where it was registered.

Nota Simple provides

  • general description of any property (house, apartment, garage, storage, land), classification of property, i.e. residential, agricultural, VPO ('Vivienda de Protecccion Oficial'; social housing), exact address, square meters, etc.;
  • boundaries and the use of the land (urban, agricultural, plot for construction);
  • names of the previous and current owners and type of ownership;
  • name of the notary who registered the deed of sale and all registration data;
  • information about any charges, debts, easements or encumbrances that limit the use of the property, i.e. mortgages, unpaid taxes, community debts, private debts, embargo pending legal resolutions, etc.
N.B. The description of the property may be completely inaccurate. For example, if the owners have undertaken works to refurbish the property or made extensions to it these may not be recorded at the Land Registry.

Requesting a Nota Simple

The Spanish Property Register has something to be proud of. The State Collegium of Spanish Registrars was the first in the European Union that started to use the technology of presenting the document in digital form with a graphic database. That allows to get Nota Simple very quickly. Every real estate company has its own registration number in the Register of Spanish owners, which allows to require Nota Simple in the relevant branch of the Register and receive it within 24-48 hours.

A standard Nota Simple is only produced in Spanish, having a date of issue and an expiration date (valid for 90 days). It is highly recommended that this document is discussed with a legal expert or a real estate professional, to make sure that everything is in order and the property meets your requirements.

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