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The Spanish Lawyer Online

Should a property purchase contract stipulate the real extension of the property?

Property Law

Antonio Flores Vila

15th of July 2001

Q. We are on the process of buying a property in Spain and already paid the deposit. But on the "contrato privado de conpraventa" is stated that the square meters of the property and the land are much less than in reality, but the boundary is already stated just as in reality. They said that they did it to avoid bigger tax payment in the past. We want to have the real measurement on the real deed stated.
What should we do to make have it done ?


    A. What you inform me about is quite normal in Spain, as it use to be the case that when the first entries into the Land Registry took place, the owners would declare much less in order to avoid taxes paid based on the size of the land.

    However, as the Land registry will probably have less square meters registered that what the reality says, it would be convenient for a surveyor to measure the land, aided by as many documents of the land as possible. For example, a visit to the ┬┤catastro┬┤ department in the Town Hall of your municipality should prove useful to know how many square meters are registered in that registry.

    If the property has less square meters, it is important to know exactly which parts of that house are not registered. It could be the case that the property has been extended without any licence, and therefore it would be wise to find out how much of it is not on the deeds, in order to have it legalised. In order to rectify these irregularities, there are several procedures which can be used, depending on the size of the unregistered land and/or property.

    You should seek legal assistance to look into the matter further, as you may be able to put pressure on the vendors as you still hold most of the funds. If you are not able to find a solicitor near your area, let us know.

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