PURCHASE OF A PLOT OF LAND IN SPAIN
PURCHASE OF A PLOT OF LAND - DEVIATION IN SURFACE AREA
Purchase contract Spain: incorrect description of the plot
Difference in area measurement
Notarial deeds of sale in Spain usually contain only a copy of the registration in the property registry, without taking into account the actual size and location and the land register (cadastre).
This may be sufficient for the purchase of an apartment in an apartment building, but not for the purchase of a plot of land, and certainly not when it is not a clearly delimited building plot, but a piece of agricultural land (finca rustica).
The Spanish law governing the purchase of land, Art.18.2 TRLC, requires coordination between
REAL ESTATE REGISTRATION - CADASTRE - REALITY
and, in particular, that the purchaser of a plot of land has a legal right to it and that this must be expressly required for every land purchase in Spain:
- That the correspondence between property registration, land registry and reality is explicitly declared by the parties in the notarial deed of purchase.
- That any discrepancy is shown by a survey plan and that the deed of sale states the procedure by which the discrepancy can be rectified, both in the property register and in the land register.
- Who is responsable for the costs of the rectification procedure?
A typical contract clause in a notarial purchase agreement for a plot of land in Mallorca may, if agreed, be written as follows:
Notarial purchase agreement
REPRESENTACION GRAFICA: Los Señores comparecientes manifiestan que la finca descrita se corresponde con la que resulta de la CCDG, referencia catastral y concuerda con la realidad.
If there is a discrepancy with the land registry, this must be included in the sales contract and the correction procedure must be indicated, such as....
No obstante , manifiestan que la certificación catastral no se corresponde fielmente con la realidad, por lo que aportan la validación grafica catastral de la representación grafica alternativa que contiene la descripción real que incorporo en esta escritura para la rectificación según el art.18 .2. (TO EMPHASISE THAT THE GRAPHIC REPRESENTATION SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE DEED OF SALE AND NOT JUST THE LITERAL DESCRIPTION AS BEFORE).
This avoids legal disputes, such as the famous case with the Banco Santander, where a buyer bought two adjoining plots and later found out that it were the neighbour plots that he wanted to buy, coincidentally identical in description; the graphic presentation and the plans had not been included by the parties in the deed of sale.
The buyer initially lost the case against Banco Santander, as more than four years had passed, and only in the last instance did he win, as the Spanish High Civil Court had a different opinion, as there was no will to buy the land in question, and the buyer wanted to buy another plot.
Not only in these extreme cases, but also in the case of a deviation of more than 10% of the land area, the case can be taken to court.
In the Catalan real estate law, Art. 621-50 has been introduced that in the case of a deviation of more than 10% of the surface area when purchasing a plot of land, the purchase contract can be cancelled and that in the case of a deviation of less than 10%, a reduction of the purchase price can be demanded.