Specifics of the registration of apartments or premises that form part or a building

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1. With respect to the registration of the apartments of the condominium: are there any specific formal characteristics of the registration related to the condominium or any characteristics that indicate that such apartments are subjected to a condominium, such as a formal statement, a number or other sign in the condominium or the corresponding share related to each apartment?

Let’s examine separately registration of buildings and registration of the different flats or premises in what the buildings are divided.

A) Registrations of the buildings shall include a description of the situation in accordance with the Mortgage Act, the characteristics of the property as a whole, the different flats and independent premises. The description of the property or building shall express the required circumstances on Spanish Mortgage Act and (particularly) all services and facilities which exist.

In the LR History of the property or site where the building has been constructed, its flats and premises, each one, will be indicated a sequential number and the corresponding share or participation quota related to the property. Both indications —number and share— will also form part of the registration of each flat or premises and express its relationship with the property or building.

The registration of building sites or buildings as a whole might include the designed flats.

We will also find in the LR History of the building the Statutes which governs the Condominium. We talk about them below.

Registrations of the building will be made in favour of owner or owners of the property.

B) Registrations of flats or premises of a building in Condominium will take place separately, as long as the registration of the property (the building of which they are part) includes the indication of the foundation of this system, e.g. the organization in Condominium regime.

These registrations will keep their relationship with the registration or LR History of the building where they are located through the indication of the LR data of the building. The fact that forms part of a building in Condominium will also indicated by references to a share and a sequential number, which link directly with the property or building.

That of each floor or premises will express its extension, boundaries, floor and annexes, such as garage, attic, basement, storage rooms or other elements suitable for enhancing the use and enjoyment of the flat.

Registrations of each flat or premises will be made in favour of each owner of them.

With respect to alterations in the description of property in LR Histories (as for extension, boundaries, status of the communal elements, division or merge of flats or other physical or juridical modifications), Land Registrars take into account the following principles:

  • For modifications in the building or any communal element, the consent of all owners is required. (In this event, the suitable agreement may be adopted in a legal meeting of the board of proprietors). But it these modifications affect any apartment; the consent of the owner of the apartment must be required.
  • In event or modifications in interest of owners that alter the description of an apartment as has been made by the foundation title of the condominium, the consent of all the proprietors is required.

Otherwise, Land Registrars will refuse registration of these changes.

Moreover, statutes may contain provisions to govern modifications of the building or some of its parts or apartments. Actually it is happening long ago, unlike oldest registered Condominiums.

2. Anyway, does registration of the apartment include the share of the apartment related to the global condominium?

Certainly it does. Normally indications of the share —a percent nearly always— will be recorded as in the History of the flat as in the one of the building.

This share shall only be modified by unanimous agreement of the proprietors.

Along with the share, a sequential number involves the relationship with the building in Condominium.

3. What type of relationship is there between the registration of the building and the registrations of the apartments? Are the building and the apartments in absolutely separated registrations, with no connection at all?

Horizontal Ownership Act and Mortgage Act establish a connection between both LR Histories, the one of the property or building and the one of the flat or premises.

Several circumstances show this connection:

  • The LR History of flat or apartment will content a brief indication of the data related LR History of the building.
  • Both LR Histories (building and flat) will content the mentioned indications of share and sequential number.
  • All charges which burden the property or building also encumber all flats or premises horizontally divided, so these ones will be liberated from that source charge only when this one is deleted or cancelled in the LR History of the building.
  • Modifications in the building or its elements will be link with the LR Histories of the flats or premises by means of annotations referred to the modification (depending on the case, normally brief registrations or marginal notes).

4. Which physical data of the apartments are usually collected in the registration to describe the property? (Floor or storey where located, surface, boundaries, access, rooms, postal address, cadastral code).

As independent properties, apartments or flats will be described in accordance with the Mortgage Law requirements.

Then, their description will contain location or situation as clear as possible (e.g. postal address), storey of the building where located, extension, boundaries (according to Mortgage Regulation, on their left (at the front), right and back).

Description will include the cadastral references in those cases legally required, as well as any other circumstance useful for distinguishing the property from another.

Particularly, description of apartments has to include annexes, such as garage, storage rooms or other elements suitable for enhancing the use and enjoyment of the flat.

As for modifications of physical data of apartments and Land Registrars’ decisions, please see above.

5. If registrations in your system refer to a plan or to the cadastral map, how (if at all) does the plan show the position (horizontal and vertical) of the apartment within the building?

In practical terms, we may claim that Spanish LR system admits to rely on a plan to describe apartments as long as there are no doubts as for location, storey and extension of them. However, nearly always description is literary.