Glossary of terms

Glossary of Spanish Terms

The following is a listing of terms commonly used with regards to property in Spain.
Abogado A Spanish lawyer
Aguagest Water company.
A.P.I. Estate agents accreditation (also see G.P.I.E.).
Arras Contract Clauses inserted into a sales contract to allow either party to break the contract prior to completion, provided that certain penalties are paid.
Aval Bancario A guarantee covering any money placed as a deposit or as stage payments against an un-built or unfinished property.
Boletín de Instalaciones Eléctricas The certificate from the electrician once the property is complete.
Capital Gains Tax The capital gains tax is a tax paid on the profit made from a property transaction, residents can pay 15% and non residents can pay 35%. Profit is determined by subtracting the purchase value from the sale value
Cedula de Habitalidad Certificate of habitation issued when a new build property is complete. Required before the property can be switched from the builders supply connecting for utilities.
Certificado de Fin de Obra Certificate from the architect when building work on the property is finished.
Declaración de Obra Nueva A declaration on your house deeds in front of the notary to show new building work on your property.
Community Fees Paid to the equivalent of the “residents association” to cover community costs like gardening and swimming pool maintenance.
Community of Owners The equivalent of the “residents association” on an urbanisation.
Contrato de Compra-Venta Sales contract also termed as the Private Purchase Contract
Empadron This is the local Town Hall register of people living in the area (similar idea to the census records). The Empadron is normally valid for 3 months at a time and is needed to buy a car, get medical health cards, register children in school etc.
Escritura The sales transfer document and title deeds to the property that states the purchase price the property was bought for.
Fianza Building deposit paid to Town hall prior to building work to ensure that there is no damage to council property.
Fiscal Representative Someone you appoint to keep your tax affairs in order and worth their weight in gold.
Finca Farm or rural building plot.
Gestor An agent – can be a property agent.
G.P.I.E. Estate agents accreditation (also see A.P.L).
Hacienda The tax office.
Iberdrola Electricity company.
I.B.I. Impuesto Sobre Bienes Inmuebles. The equivalent of rates.
I.A.J.D. Tax charged at 1.4% when I.V.A. is charged.
Informe Urbanístico A plan from the town hall telling you what you can build on a certain plot and relates to the 1986 Plan Parcial.
l.S.P. Impuesto Sobre el Patrimonio or Wealth Tax. Based on the value of all assets in Spain.
l.S.R. Impuesto Sobre La Renta. Income tax on all second home owners in Spain and non residents for the estimated letting value of the property. If the property is not let, it is calculated on the estimated rental value of the property. Notional rental value calculated at 2% of the Valor Catastral. Paid at 25% by non-residents. If the property is let the tax is paid at 25% on actual rent received.
I.T.P. Impuesto Sobre Transmisiones. Transfer tax on resale properties charged at 7% of declared purchase price.
I.V.A. VAT – Only charged on new build properties, land and commercial property.
Land Registry The place where the tile deeds are lodged and registered into the new owners name following a sale.
Letting Scheme or Lease Back Guarantee In its simplest form where you let your property for an agreed number of weeks to a management company, who sub-let it at a profit.
Licencia Building licence issued by the Town Hall.
LRAU or Valencia Land Grab Laws Compulsory purchase order that has caused tremendous upset in the Valencia region over the last 10 years.
New Build Off plan property.
N.I.E. & N.I.F. Tax number for residents and non-residents.
Notarised The act of officially sealing or approving an official document in front of a public notary.
Nota Simple An extract from the Title lodged with the Land Registry declaring who is really the owner of the plot and if it is free from charges.
Off-Plan Property Property that is sold from plans and is in the process of being constructed.
Public Notary An official witness of documents like purchase contracts and mortgage deeds.
Plus Valia A type of Capital Gains Tax charged by the local Town Hall on the sale of a property. Based on the increase in the value of the land only since the time of the last sale.
Power of Attorney A third party given official authority to sign documents on your behalf.
Proyecto Project book prepared by architect prior to building work being approved.
Resale A property which has been in previous ownership although it might not have been occupied.
Residencia Status of anyone who wants to remain in Spain for more than 183 days a year.
SUMA The equivalent of rates.
Tasador Approved Spanish valuer.
Tax Retention When buying off a non-resident the purchaser pays 3% of the purchase price to the Tax Office while they sort out the vendor’s Capital Gains Tax
Tecnik Town Hall architect
Telefonica Telephone company
Urbanisation A development containing properties with official Government, provincial and Town Hall consents.
Urbanisation fee See community fees
Valor Catastral An official Government valuation of the property, usually lower than the actual market value. Used to calculate various taxes including the l.B.l.

Do you need an expat solution? Then... Contact Us!