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The Law in Spain – Putting the Simple in Nota Simple

Simply put, a Nota Simple is a full and comprehensive property report that contains an officially verified description of a property that is up for sale. It can be obtained from your local property title registry office, or if you are a subscriber to their website, then it can be downloaded online.

The Nota Simple is an extremely important document when purchasing a property in Spain because it contains information pertaining to the legal status of the property, so if you are an interested buyer, it outlines who the registered owner is, what the property’s registered description is, what – if any – legal charges or restrictions are registered against the property, and a number of other important pieces of information, including:

  • The date the current owners bought the property
  • Any debts on the property that must be settled before ownership can be transferred
  • The property’s defined boundaries
  • The total square metres of the land and the gross overall area of all built structures
  • The defined use of the property (residential, agricultural etc)
  • Any rights other users have on the property and land (rights of way, roads, water etc)
  • Any community costs the owner is liable for
  • In some cases, the Nota Simple will include the Catastral reference too

Requesting a Nota Simple

In order to obtain a Nota Simple, you need to provide the individual owner’s full name or the name of the company that owns the property. Ideally, you should also be able to provide an NIE and/or passport number. Alternatively, you can use the Property Registration data, which is either the Finca number or the unique identification number: IDUFIR.

If you have this information, then you are able to carry out a search on any property in Spain. Your Nota Simple can be obtained in Spanish and requested in person at any registry office.

Dealing with Inaccuracies

Upon receipt of a Nota Simple, you may well find that there is the occasional discrepancy and inaccuracy between what the report says and what your eyes tell you. These errors are important, and should be flagged up and rectified before the sale is completed. It may sometimes be the case that improvements have been made to the property since the Nota Simple was completed, but these discrepancies should still be recorded.

These inaccuracies might mean that a Spanish lender will only offer a mortgage on reduced rates, as they are obliged by law to estimate on the lesser of the two pieces of information that are recorded/evident. 

By journalist, editor and former Costa del Sol resident, Ian Clover.

Please note: Every effort was made to check the accuracy of the information contained within our 'legal stuff' articles at the time of writing, but may well have been superseded over time. VIVA cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions, nor for the authenticity of any claims or statements made by third parties. We therefore strongly recommend that readers of these articles make their own thorough checks before entering into any kind of transaction. Prices were correct at the time of publication but may now vary due to circumstances beyond our control. The views and opinions of editorial contributors do not necessarily reflect those of VIVA .

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