Are Land Registry and Cadastre different institutions?
In Spain, Land Registry and Cadastre are certainly different institutions.
The Spanish Cadastre is an administrative registry aiming the inventory of the country’s housing wealth for purposes of taxation. That’s why it covers the full national territory, is subject to imperative law and, differently from the Land Registries, entries are compulsory.
Land Registry aims are to define and protect erga omnes ownership and all kind of types of rights in relation to properties. For this purposes, Land Registries carry out the organization of the real rights or rights in rem and establish the rank of priority thereof in the case of these rights fall on the same property.
Land Registry statements have often got the rank of legal presumption.
Description of properties. Modifications
In the registered titles the plots are described sometimes only literary; also but complemented by a graphical base officially georeferenced, as cadastral certificate with the description and graphics or literary and accompanied by a graphical base officially georeferenced created by a technician at the request of the parties.
From 13/1996 Act on, the use of plans or graphical bases is compulsory —only— for the first registration and some substantial modifications in descriptions of plots.
Recent legislation has fuelled procedures about coordination or collaboration between Cadastre and Land Registry.
Parties are entitled to make a statement about the identity of the property between physical reality and the cadastral certification with relevant effects. If they claim this identity, the plot or property shall be described in accordance with the cadastral certification in the document public that they are going to grant.
Then, the new description will be registered as long as Land Registrars don’t have doubts about the identity of the property, because in fact we couldn’t rule out important differences between LR description and cadastral description (for example gross disproportion between cadastral surface and registered surface). If it happens, land registrars will refuse the cadastral description and send a report to Cadastre to focus this case.
In conclusion, this procedure provides a cadastral basis relevant for description of properties although the modification of the content of the Land Registries to this respect isn’t automatic because two additional requirements shall be fulfilled: (a) consent of parties or owners and (b) no doubts about identity in the Land Registries.
The neighbouring owners don’t take part in the process of defining the property: only in judicial or administrative procedures must be notified.
Publicity and information
By means implemented by the Colegio of Registradores, Registries are able to give information about the limitations or restrictions in the public domain or based on reasons of social or environmental interest.
Urban restrictions are not recorded in the Land Registry.
Anyway, Spanish Land Registries may offer publicity about urban plan caveat notes warning about licences conditions or illegal ones or procedures which lead to demolition of constructions; also about boundaries public maritime-terrestrial public domain, bankruptcy situations or contaminated soils.
With respect to the question about if LR information can be obtained online through a centralized system or a redirected access to the relevant Registry, it turns out that it can take place on line or directly by request in the office.
LR information containing a graphic report that identifies the property and explains the global legal situation and effects be requested only is provided by registries which are testing new graphic application.
As above was mentioned, land registrars scrutinize the formal and substantive legality of the documents to be registered; consequently, their scrutiny shall also fall on the total or partial non-coincidence of the graphical bases with others previously registered, so relevant nowadays in the first entry and later on modifications in the descriptions of plots.
The effects of Registry publicity regarding the property and the charges are different to the restrictions of public domain. In the case of public limitations, land registry information should explain them.
As for admission of electronic documents and if it is necessary to rely on public deeds, see above please.
About the possible responsibility of the land registrars as for the information with this respect, land registrars are responsible only regarding the information stemming from directly from the entry according to Mortgage Act.
As for associated information —as happens in case of environmental or public restrictions issues— the effect is determined by specific law in which the limitations are set out, what is shown through the metadata included in land registry information captured from the official web service deployed by the competent administration.