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Unregistered
08-01-2009, 11:42 AM
I have no escritura on my new build house, this is a large urbanisation and typicall people have had to wait a few years for the escrituras to be issued. Now I have heard that my poligono will not be issued with an escritura until a rambla is diverted. The builder is delaying doing this and their are rumours he is going to be insolvent.

My question therefore is - can I sell my house without an escritura? The only proof of ownership I have is the final payment receipt.

Lawbird Lawyer
08-03-2009, 08:44 AM
Dear Sir/Madam,

Let me start by clarifying a few points.

First of all you are not the owner of any property. This property is still lodged under the name of your developer at the land registry.

Secondly you cannot sell what's not yours. The first check any prospective purchaser is going to do is to verify that the property is registered under your name. If it isn't, no one is going to buy from you because offcially you don't own the said property.

Thirdly deeds are issued on average on the following week on which they are signed. They don't "take years" to be issued. Notwithstanding you will then have to collcet them from the Notaries office and pay the associated transfer taxes, lodging them at the land registry which takes on average between 30-45 days.

I recommend you read my article on Licence of First Occupation, specially the conclusion which I copy below:

The Licence of First Occupation Explained (http://www.marbella-lawyers.com/articles/showArticle/lfo-licence-of-first-occupation) - 29th January 2009

Should I Complete Without a Licence of First Occupation?

It is in general recommendable to complete in off-plans only if a LFO has been granted by the Town Hall. However there are exceptions to this general rule.

If the development complies fully with all the required planning permissions, you lack a bank guarantee, there’s no ruling affecting the building licence due to planning issues and there is a high risk of the developer going into administration in the near future, it would be advisable to complete. You would still have to wait until the LFO is granted before you can live in the property, but at least now there is no risk of you losing your funds if the developer becomes bankrupt.

It is very important to realise that until completion the property still belongs to the developer. So if you still have not closed and the developer becomes insolvent in the interim, the property lodged under its name may be seized by the developers’ bank or any other creditor that places a charge on it at the land registry. If you have no bank guarantee and the above happens, it is very likely you will forfeit your down payments. However, cases differ and require a case-by-case study by your appointed solicitor.

In any case, our recommendation, as always, is that you hire a lawyer with enough experience in Spanish property law to ensure your interests are fully protected.

So bottom line yes you can sell a house without an escriture but no you cannot sell it if its not registered under your own name.

Losing or not having an escritura is not a problem in Spain providing the property is registered as yours. One can always request a copy of the deed from the Notary in which it was signed.

I take for granted this property on which you've put downpayments is still registered as belonging to the developer as you have not completed at a Notaries' office. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I hope that clarifies your query,

Yours faithfully,
Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt