If you’re interested in buying a particular property in Spain, one of the documents you have to make sure you obtain before paying for or signing anything is this land registry certificate called ‘la nota simple’. Here’s why it matters so much and how to get it.

If you’re house hunting in Spain, it probably feels as though there’s a hundred different things to remember to cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s of the Spanish property system.

While there can be several hoops to jump through, one thing you must not forget is the nota simple. But what is it? And why is it so important?

In basic terms, the nota simple is a detailed report of a property that is on the market.

They are crucial because they contain a full description of each property, what condition it’s in, who the legal owner is, when they bought it, any debts or legal charges against the property, defined use of the land, and any community costs for which prospective buyers would become liable.

This Land Registry Certificate also contains the IDUFIR (Identificador Único de Finca Registral – Unique Property Identification Code) and practical information like the square footage, physical boundaries, alterations made to the property, and, most importantly, confirms who the legal property owner is so you can’t be defrauded.

That’s why, if you view a property that you like, it’s very important that you request the nota simple before you sign a deposit contract on said home to guarantee it’s reserved for you. If you discover something about the property which dissuades you from buying it, many banks and investment firms will not reimburse you the reserva (deposit) amount from this agreement, which is usually between 1 and 5 percent the value of the property.


It is not unheard of in Spain for property owners to not update the nota simple when they make changes to the property. If this happens to you during your house hunt, be sure to raise it with the owner immediately, and any third-party estate agents or letters you are dealing with.

Discrepancies between the nota simple and what you see when you go to view the property can have legal and financial ramifications: if, as is common, the nota simple is not up to date, mortgage lenders are obliged by law to make offers based on the lower reported value.

How to get la nota simple

You can request the nota simple in person at your closest land registry office but note that it will only be available in Spanish and there should be a legitimate interest in buying the property.  If you’ve viewed the property through local estate agents, it’s also worth asking them if they can provide you with a copy.

If you are looking for a property in Spain and need a mortgage, email mark@vci-network.com for the latest criteria.

We have been working with UK mortgage brokers for over 20 years helping their clients buy their dream home overseas.