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Many foreigners consider Spain a good destination to purchase a real estate, whether to live here or get some sort of financial gain. In our earlier post concerning to the Land Registry in Spain, we talked about the importance of this body and what are the acts that have to be registered in it.

On this post we will focus on the principles of the Spanish Land Registry and some comparisons with other legal systems or Land Registry models in Europe.

Since the functions and concepts of Land Registry vary from country to country, with this post we intend to give you a brief overview of the Spanish registration system, basic in our legal system to ensure legal security in the purchase procedure of properties.

According to Spanish Mortgage Act, the Land Registry can be defined as the legal institution that aims to publish the ownership and other real rights which could exist over immovable property.

As we have said before it offers publicity therefore registration is not required for the transfer of ownership: when the contract is set in public deed our legal system grant the transmission of the property. Compared with countries around us there is no uniformity in this regard, for example in Germany is a mandatory requirement for the transmission that the selling contract between the parties have to be registered in the Land Registry, so it is from that moment that the German legal system grants the transmission.

Anyone interested in buying a property should go to the Land Registry in order to ensure that the seller listed as true owner and thus be protected.

Also will be entitled to register a property in the Registry those who have acquired any property rights, by purchase, donation or any other transaction; those who transferred the right to a third party and finally those who have a legitimate interest in the registration of the right.

The acting of the registrar will be similar to a notary public: verify the legality of the titles intended to be registered and may refuse registration or proceed with it.

As we said, registration is merely declaratory, nobody is forced to register their rights in the Land Registry, in this sense govern the rogatory principle by which the performance of registrars constrain to requests from the interested. However there are some exceptions such as the registration of a mortgage that the law requires as a prerequisite, is what is called constitutive registration.

In this regard it is noteworthy that this system is different in England and Wales since in these countries there is taking a modification of the registry system through the Land Registration Act 2002: the main purpose is to pass to a system which is gradually imposing the obligation to register, giving a period of two months those acquires a property right to register it in the Land Registry. It is a complex process that is still being implemented in all the territories of both countries.

Therefore if you are not Spanish and you plan to purchase a property in Spain is appropriate always keep in mind that the models vary from one country to another, so it is always a good idea to contact a lawyer to take charge of the process in the Registry and so avoid any problems.

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