The Nota Simple Explained
A Nota Simple is an official extract report that contains a full property description and
can be obtained from the local property title registry office or, by subscribers, over the
Internet. This is a very important document in Spain, as it contains information about the
legal status of a property. If you intend to buy a property of any kind, it is very important
to know who is the registered owner, what is the registered description and what legal
charges or restrictions are registered against the property.
The information contained in the Nota Simple includes:
*The current owner(s), their relationships and when they bought it;
*Any debts secured on it that must be paid before its ownership can be transferred e.g.
mortgages, unpaid taxes, community debts, private debts, etc.;
*The boundaries of the property, though these are often hazily described as just the land
owned by their neighbour;
*The total square metres of the land and the gross overwall area of all built structures;
*The use of the property (whether residential, agricultural, etc);
*The rights that others may have on the property e.g. public paths and rights of way,
roads, water, sewage, etc.;
*The share of the costs of the community of owners in which it lies;
*And if you are really fortunate, the Catastral reference. (Described in another article)
Before you request a Nota Simple, you will need to provide the following information:
*The full name of the individual owner or owning company. Ideally, but not essentially,
you should also have the NIE, CIF or passport number.
*The Property Registry data, which can be either the Finca number or the unique
identification number: IDUFIR.
With either of these sets of information you can carry out a search of the whole of Spain
and obtain details on all the property owned by an individual or company. As there can
be many owners with similar names, it’s best if you can restrict the search ideally to the
minimum of which registry office the property is registered in.
You can obtain a Nota Simple in Spanish, from the land registry and this can be
requested in person at any registry office. Alternatively, go online where requests are
usually obtained within 24-48 hours. In both methods there is a small charge.
Alternatively, ask somebody with a subscription to obtain information for you.
As stated above, the Nota Simple will contain information as to whether there are debts
associated with the property. It is possible for debts of an individual to be attached to the
property he owns although they may have no other link to the property itself. Be aware
that if there are debts attached to the property, then it is essential that they are cleared
before the ownership is passed over to the buyer, otherwise they will remain and become
Inaccuracies may also mean that a mortgage valuer working for a Spanish lender or
insurer could have to value on a reduced basis, as they are obliged by law to use the
lesser of the actual area and that recorded in the title, whenever there is a difference
between the two. Outbuildings such as garages, stores and even swimming pools should
be recorded too, as this all affects the value of a property. However, unless you have an
excellent grip of Spanish or are adept at dealing with Spanish bureaucracy, it is
recommended that the Nota Simple is discussed with a legal expert or property
professional, to make sure that all is in order and the property meets your requirements.
If you would like more information about the Nota Simple and how it could affect you,
the team at Survey Spain Network is available to offer informed help and advice. We
have the advantage of carrying out Acquisition Surveys of the building and being able to
compare the actual property with the Nota Simple and the Catastral description (see other
article) and thus make sure that differences are caught prior to purchase, so that
correcting them remains the responsibility of the seller and is not transferred to the buyer,
at his or her future cost.
Article courtesy of Campbell D. Ferguson, Survey Spain Network –
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