How to Examine the legal situation of the home

Just visiting is not enough to tell you all you need to know about the home you are thinking of buying. You also have to find out about its legal situation, that is, you need to know:


  • Who it belongs to, and therefore who its owner or owners are.
  • If there are any liens or burdens, such as mortgages or injunctions affecting the property.
  • If there are lessees or tenants.
  • If the home is part of some special programme, like low income housing. In Spanish known as “Viviendas de Protección Oficial”.
  • In cases where the home is a flat, and membership in the building tenants’ association is mandatory, whether all fees have been paid by the owner.
  • If the owner owes any property tax (impuesto sobre bienes inmuebles, formerly called contribución urbana).
  • In cases where the home is new or is still under construction, find out whether the developer has insurance covering damage caused by structural defects in the building.
  • In cases of low-income housing or price controlled housing (vivienda de precio tasado), whether it is prohibited to sell the home or whether the public administration holds the right to buy the home back from its owner at the original price.