Amend­ment of the sur­face area of a plot in the land registry

Costa Levante News - - RESIDENT'S ADVICE DESK - Le­gal and Tax ad­vice from Fer­nando Aliaga

In Spain there are two dif­fer­ent reg­istries that con­tain in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing real es­tate, namely the Cadas­tre and Land Registry. The said in­sti­tu­tions work in con­junc­tion to pro­vide le­gal se­cu­rity and trans­parency in the prop­erty mar­ket and as such, all those ti­tles that af­fect own­er­ship or sim­i­lar rights over prop­erty that are reg­is­tered in Land Registry must con­tain the cadas­tral ref­er­ence of the prop­erty which pro­vides the cor­re­spond­ing fis­cal in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing the plot of land and the con­struc­tion built upon it if there is one. In ad­di­tion to the fis­cal in­for­ma­tion, the Cadas­tre pro­vides a so called graph­i­cal and de­scrip­tive cer­tifi­cate which must be in­cor­po­rated into the ti­tles that are reg­is­tered in Land Registry in those cases fore­seen un­der Span­ish Law. In this man­ner, the Cadas­tre pro­vides com­ple­men­tary in­for­ma­tion to that which is con­tained in Land Registry it­self.

How­ever, on some oc­ca­sions, the fact that the two reg­istries are cur­rently two to­tally in­de­pen­dent in­sti­tu­tions causes cases in which dis­crep­an­cies ex­ist be­tween the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by each one of them with re­gard to the same prop­erty. For ex­am­ple, a plot of land may be reg­is­tered with a larger sur­face area in the land registry than in Cadas­tre or vicev­ersa. Does this mean that the prop­erty is “il­le­gal”? The an­swer is ob­vi­ously no, and these de­fects, that are on most oc­ca­sions caused by the ad­min­is­tra­tion that man­ages the Cadas­tre, may be reme­died.

The Land Registry statute was re­cently re­formed and now con­tains sev­eral meth­ods for the amend­ment of dis­crep­an­cies with re­gard to reg­is­tered ti­tles.

1.- Cases in which there is a dis­crep­ancy of no more than 10% be­tween the ti­tle in land registry and the sur­face area in the Cadas­tre re­flected in the graph­i­cal cer­tifi­cate of the plot: It is un­der­stood that the two reg­istries are re- fer­ring to the same prop­erty as long as it is clear that the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by each registry refers to the same phys­i­cal area of land and the dif­fer­ence in the sur­face area does not im­pede a per­fect iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the prop­erty or cause doubts or con­fu­sion with re­gard to the ti­tles to the neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties.

2.- Amend­ments of dis­crep­an­cies of more than 10% of the sur­face area of the plot pur­suant to ar­ti­cle 199 of the Land Registry Statute.

This pro­ce­dure es­tab­lishes that the owner of the prop­erty or any holder of rights over the prop­erty may in­cor­po­rate the de­scrip­tion con­tained in the Cadas­tre if the sit­u­a­tion of the prop­erty and its graph­i­cal de­lim­i­ta­tion per­mits the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the bound­aries and the cor­rect sur­face area of the plot by means of a graph­i­cal and de­scrip­tive cer­tifi­cate from the Cadas­tre.

The reg­is­trar in Land Registry Will process the ap­pli­ca­tion and no­tify the own­ers of the neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties that would po­ten­tially be af­fected by the mod­i­fi­ca­tion and the Cadas­tre it­self in those cases in which it is nec­es­sary prior to mak­ing the fi­nal amend­ment.

3.- Amend­ment of the Sur­face area when the dis­crep­ancy is not more than 5% of the reg­is­tered ti­tle: When the sup­posed dif­fer­ence in the sur­face area be­tween Land Registry and Cadas­tre is less than 5% of the sur­face area of the ti­tle reg­is­tered in Land Registry, the reg­is­trar may di­rectly reg­is­ter the amend­ment with­out hav­ing to process the stan­dard pro­ce­dure fore­seen in ar­ti­cle 199 of the Land Registry Statute on the ba­sis of an in­formed de­ci­sion and when no doubts ex­ist with re­gard to the ac­cu­racy of the amend­ment ap­plied for and when the ti­tle in ques­tion was not cre­ated by virtue of pre­vi­ous seg­re­ga­tions or par­cel­la­tions which would have specif­i­cally at­trib­uted the plot with a de­ter­mined sur­face area that would not ad­mit fu­ture dis­crep­an­cies.

In this case, and only once the amend­ment has been made in Land Registry, would the reg­is­trar be obliged to no­tify the own­ers of neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties to make them aware of the mod­i­fi­ca­tion made and so that, if nec­es­sary, they could ex­er­cise those rights that they may have.

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