The transfer of ownership regarding Spanish timeshare property is formalised by the deed of sale.
Spanish law requires a deed be executed in the presence of a notary in Spain and on completion of the sale all sums will become due and owing.
On the date the deed is signed, the buyer will become the legal owner of property and responsible for it thereon after. If it is not possible to go to Spain to attend the notary's office to sign the Spanish deed of sale, the buyer can grant ‘power of attorney’ to a third party who can sign the deed of sale in their name and on their behalf. In the case of properties forming part of a multiple development, such as a timeshare apartment block, the notary will also draw up ‘estatutos de la comunidad’ or the co-ownership rules.
A Spanish notary will not advise on or explain the contents of the deeds, therefore buyers are advised to take independent legal advice from suitably experienced lawyers before any such document is signed. Be wary of translations of any document, as this may be insufficient for legal purposes or even inaccurate.
It is unlikely to contain an explanation of the actual legal meaning and implications of clauses or references to Spanish law. A translator cannot and is not employed to identify missing clauses which should be added for the buyer’s protection nor to explain the legal implications of the documents they translate.
The original signed deed is retained by the notary and an official copy (copia auténtica) of the same is produced, sent to and lodged with the Land Registry for registration, recording your ownership of the property.
The notary can inform the Land Registry electronically however, he will not deal with the actual registration of the deed on behalf of the buyer.
Your lawyer should organise payment of the necessary taxes before the deed can be sent to the Land Registry for registration.
The sale is deemed to have taken place at this completion stage, but registration of the deed at the Land Registry is a key element of completion (as any buyer will not have the benefit of protection from potential third-party claims until the actual registration formalities are concluded).
When taking out a mortgage to purchase the property, your lender will normally deal with the payment of the taxes and registration of the deeds to ensure that their interests are registered and the charge on the property is in place. Your lawyer will be able to supervise this and confirm the actual registration for you.