There are many terms you will hear when you purchase a property in Spain, at CoolCasas we always recommend that you use an Independent Lawyer, take recommendations from your Estate Agent, but do your own research and make sure you are happy with your Legal representation, as you would do in your home country.

Agencia Tributaria - Tax office 

Apostille - An Apostille is an official government-issued certificate added to documents so when they are presented they are recognised in another country. This could be a birth or marriage certificate
Ayuntamiento - The town hall of the municipality (Town)

Basura - This is a tax paid to the local town hall for refuse/rubbish disposal and is normally charged as an annual payment.

El Catastro /  - The Catastro is the Land Registry in Spain where the deeds/escrituras are registered. 

Cedula de Habitalidad (Certificate of Habitation) - When a property is completed by a builder, then a Cedula de Habitalidad is issued so that the services (Electricity/Water, etc) can be registered in the new owners name. It is commonly asked for by lawyers now during the purchase of all properties.

Codigo postal - This is the postal or zip code in Spain

Community Charges - If a property is located in a community of houses or in an Apartment complex then there will most likely be a Community Charge which is for services in and around the community, from pool and garden maintenance to the painting of the outside of all the properties, each community is different. 

Contrato de Reservacion - In the Costa Blanca, when you make an offer on a property then the property for sale needs to be removed from the market, whilst a Contrato de Compra-Venta / Purchase Contract is prepared by your lawyer. In order to do this, the seller/estate agent requires that a holding deposit is paid, usually between €3,000 to €5,000 (depending on the value of the property), which forms part of the final payment for the property. 

Contrato de Compra-Venta / Purchase Contract - When all the checks have been undertaken by your lawyer a Purchase Contract will be prepared, once signed you will need to pay 10% of the property value. The final payment/exchange takes place when you go to the Notary. 

Empadron/Padron - This is a certificate that you obtain from the local town hall, it shows that you are registered as living at an address in the town. 

EPC - Energy Performance Certificate. This shows how energy efficient a home is, when you buy a property or sell one will need to be presented. 

Escritura - This is known as a Title deed in most countries, it is a legal document that shows many details about a property and its owner. 

Factura - This is an invoice for goods or services rendered

Hipoteca - This is the Spanish word for a Mortgage

IBI-SUMA - The word IBI stands for Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles, which is a tax on immovable and tangible property, e.g. land, residential homes, garages, and commercial and industrial property. In the UK this is known as "Council Tax and in Germany "Grundsteuer". In Spain, the amount payable is based on the Valor Catastral, which is registered at the Cadastral

IVA - This is "Impuesto sobre el Valor Añadido" or a sales tax, the rate varies from 21%, 10%, 4% or 0%

NIE-NIF - This is a Tax ID, for Spanish Citizens it is called Numero de Identificacion Fiscal for non Spanish Citizens this is called Número de Identificación de Extranjero

Nota Simple - This is a short version of the Escritura (above)

Plus Valia - When a property is sold this is a local town (Municipality) tax which is paid, it is calculated on the value of land value the property is built on.

POA/Power of Attorney - This is a document used to give your lawyer full or limited right to represent you in a defined legal process, e.g. Purchasing a House in Spain

Renta - This is known as Impuesto sobre la Renta de Personas Físicas, which is a declaration of annual income from the previous year. 

Seguridad Social - This is the Spanish term for the Dept of Social Security

Seguro - This is the Spanish term for Insurance

SIP - When you register for Medical care within the Public Health system in Spain, the local Central Salud (Medical Center) will issue a SIP Card which you show each time you book an appointment at the Medical Center

TIE - This is the "Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero", an identity card that is issued to document nonspanish citizens who reside legally in Spain. 

Valor Catastral - This is a value given to a property for the purposes of calculating taxes in Spain

Contact Click Casas today to discuss Proeprties for sale in Spain +34 656 64 57 70 or email us at

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