Almost all issues can be resolved, it is a matter of taking the necessary steps to legalise, if possible
Many problems can arise with deeds. More frequently when it involves a rural plot. It may be the case that there is a deed for the land but the house built on the land was not registered. So it appears as if it is only as a type of shed or garage. Or sometimes an extension, garage or pool have not been registered. These are works that need an “Obra Mayor” or major works licence and architect’s plans.
Almost all issues can be resolved with deed problems. A Spanish solicitor only needs to deal with the necessary steps to legalise work. Molina Solicitors has dealt with many such cases over the years and also when recent work has been done without the appropriate permissions. Thus resulting in fines or demolition orders.
There also may be boundary disputes with neighbours. Also issues with the Property Register and the Catastral office (we have seen cases of mistakes made originating from when the Constructor’s plots were not noted correctly on paperwork). And even cases whereby clients have realised that after many years of paying for a property and having possession, that the deeds are not in their names.
Deeds issues can be complicated and require a deep study. But we are experienced in property law and can usually assist with these types of issues. For instance, a recent case is a group of four friends and ex-business partners who approached us. As they wanted to change the ownership of a property in Andalucía from four names to that of just one man. We started the process, collecting documents. However when we saw the title deed we spotted something strange.
When the property was purchased the solicitor representing the buyers did not have power of attorney and was acting verbally. This was odd as without power of attorney, the property could not be registered in the Land Registry and would not be theirs. We checked the Land Registry. And as we thought, even though the purchase was years ago, it was never registered. Thus the house remained in the name of the builder.
Furthermore, the builder was in bankruptcy in the Courts in Spain. If we had not investigated thoroughly the property would have been lost in a fairly short space of time. As we realised, we were able to speak to the clients. We contacted the public notary, obtained power of attorney, paid the tax. Then we could register the title deed and present a document in the Courts. This was to demonstrate the problem with the deeds and get the house released as an asset of the builder.
The issue was resolved and the property transaction could go ahead as originally planned. Having said this, generally (but not always) the properties with problems are rural properties. Usually as the owners felt that they could build a pool, a garage or an extension without planning permission or architects involved. They believed perhaps rules were more relaxed in the country. If they were, they are not now.
Every situation with problems with deeds tends to be different and specific. But if you are considering buying a property, particularly one in the countryside, then please contact us for advice. Especially before paying a deposit. As certain checks may need to be made. In addition, if you are aware of a deeds problem with your property that needs solving please contact us for advice.