Spanish Property Glossary of Terms from Novi Property Mallorca

Abogados - Lawyers / Solicitors

Agente de la propiedad inmobiliaria - Estate Agent

Alcalde - Mayor

Asesor fiscal - Tax adviser

Ayuntamiento - Town hall

Cargas - Charges on the land

Catastro - Property / land register

Cédula de habitabilidad - Certificate to certify that a property is habitable

Certificado de Final de Obra - Certificate granted by the Architect confirming completion of a new building. This must be in place prior to Completion / signing at the Notary's office

Contrato de Compra Venta - The sales contact , signed a the Notary's office, between vendor and purchaser

Comisaría - Police station

Comunidad or Comunidad de Propietarios - Community of Owners in complex or block of apartments. President, Treasurer and Secretary are appointed by the owners to administer the communal areas conduct expenditure from the service charge etc.

Comunidades autónomas - Autonomous regions of Spain such as the Ballearic Islands

Contrato privado - The private contrato that is signed by both vendor and purchaser setting out the basic terms of the sale. Equivalent to "exchange of contracts" in the UK

Contribuciones (also now know as I.B.I - Impuestos sobre los Bienes Inmuebles) - Local rates payable to the Town Hall

Copia Simple - Copy of the original Escritura (deeds) less the signatures

Cortijo - Farmhouse ie house on a rural Finca

Declaracion de Obra Nueva - Formal registration, by the owner, of a new building at the Notary's office, resulting in the creation of an Escritura (deeds) for the new property

Denuncia - Formal complaint eg against illegal building work

Departamento de Urbanismo - Town Hall Planning Department

Empadronamiento - Electoral register

Domiciliación de pagos - Standing order

Escritura - Property deeds

Estado de cuenta - Bank statement

Expediente de Dominio - Proof of ownership documentation, issued by the courts where there is no Escritura for the property

Finca - Rural house and land

Gestoria / Gestor - Office / individual dealing with administration and bureaucracy associated with living and owning property on Spain - residency permits; payment of taxes / submission of tax returns; transferring vehicle ownership etc (the profession does not exist in the UK)

Hacienda - Spanish tax office

Hipoteca - Mortgage

Impuestos sobre transmisiones patrimoniales - Transfer Tax of 6% payable by purchaser on acquiring a property


Licencia de Obra - Licence to build, issued by the Town Hall for all building work

Licencia de Primera Ocupacion - Licence of first occupation. Can not be granted without the Town Hall first having sight of the Certificado de Final de Obras (see above). This licence is required before a new owner can get an electrical meter installed

Memoria de Calidades - Building Specification

Municipio - Town council

N.I.E. (Numero Identificacion Extranjero) - Tax registration number for foreign residents and property owners (obtained from Gestoria - see above)

Nota Simple - Land Registry Office document setting out the property registration details; current owners, whether there is a mortgage or other charges against the property

Notario - Notary or Government appointed lawyers that legalise many legal documents and transactions in Spain including transfer of property, Powers of Attorney etc.

Número de identificación fiscal (NIF) - Tax identity number

Número de identificación de extranjeros (NIE) - Tax identity number for foreigners

Patrimonio - Wealth Tax

Plus Valia - Local tax raised on the sale of a property based on the % increase in value since the last change of ownership. Generally in Spain paid by the vendor, although in Mallorca it is customary for this to be paid by the purchaser

Poder - Power of Attorney

Precio de Compra - Purchase Price

Residencia - Consent to reside in Spain with the rights of a Spanish citizen (resident's card)

Registro de la propriedad - The land registry

Seguro Decenal - 10 year structural insurance which should come with all new property

Testamiento - Will and Testament

Urbano - urban (eg terreno urbano - urban land)

Valor Catastral - Rateable Value