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How is property registered when there is no title?

Property Law

Antonio Flores Vila

6th of September 2001

Q. I had a rather nightmarish experience on my first purchase in Spain, where real estate and the catastro are a bit of a joke. Think that the courts sold me the wrong property that had been auctioned, and when it all came out, they never took any responsability and I had to discover what I actually bought and correct all title catastro errors at my expense.

Also Can you clarify me what would be the purchase procedure with a property with no title? briefly...

In my last case even with the title made no difference since the property was sold 3 times! prior with the wrong.


    A. There are several ways of registering property without title. The more commonly used one is the ´expediente de dominio´, which is done via the Courts and where no previous title exists, for example, a purchase sale deed or an aceptance of inheritance deed.

    The ´acta de notoriedad´, which is done in a Notary Public, is another system, but requires a public title as the one mentioned before. These procedures require sworn declarations on public documents as well as witnesses.

    Bear in mind that in Spain registration of property is not obligatory and there may be land, or a dwelling, which never had an entry in the registry although the it had been transferred several times before.

    The acta de notoriedad is a quicker procedure than the expediente de dominio. The former can be completed within 40 days, and the latter may take up to 6 months, depending on the effectiveness of the courts involved.

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