Posted by Caroline Ketley on November 06, 2014
Can you sell property without title deeds?

What would happen if you went to put your property up for sale but when going through all your paperwork and documentation, you realised that you had lost your original title deeds (escritura)? Would you be able to continue with the sale? And how could you obtain a duplicate copy?

This isn’t such a strange scenario, especially if you have been living in your property for a long time and are prone to frequent bouts of spring cleaning or rearranging furniture.

So, what do you do if after hunting around your home you still can’t find the original title deeds? Can you still go ahead with the sale?

Well, you don’t have to worry as there are several options if this happens to you.

Firstly, so long as your title deeds have been registered at the Property Registry office (Registro de la Propiedad) and your name figures as the owner of the home, the notary will authorize the sale when you go to sign even if you do not bring the original with you.

In this case, the notary himself will apply for the information recorded with the registry: ownership details and any outstanding charges on the property. This will be enough to go ahead with the sale of your home.

However, if there is still time before you actually go ahead with the sale and you would prefer to have a copy of the title deeds in hand, you could also apply for a new authenticated copy of the escritura.

To obtain an authenticated copy

In this instance, all you have to do is go to the notary where the original title deeds were signed when you purchased the property and ask for them to supply you with a new copy.

If you can’t remember where you signed the original, go to the Property Registry and ask for a non-certified informative note (nota simple informative), which will give you the name and address of the notary at which the title deeds were signed.

Note that the authenticated copy of the title deeds will only be handed over to the person or people who figure on the deeds as the owner of the property in question.

Tax and registry

Once you have your new authenticated copy in your hand, there are still a couple of steps that must be completed in the process.

Tax: You must go to the tax office (Agencia Tributaria) of the autonomous region where the property transfer tax was paid and present them with the new copy of the title deeds. They will be able to check and confirm that the property transfer tax has already been paid.

Registry: Next, go to the relevant property registry office. They will confirm that the original title deeds were in fact in your name and make a note on the new copy that this is the case, the deeds were lost and that the new title deeds are just an authenticated copy of the original.

Take note

If you only need to accredit ownership of the property and check whether there are any outstanding charges, for example when the bank asks for this information before granting a mortgage loan, it may only be necessary to apply for a Certificate of Ownership and Charges (certificado de dominio y cargas).

Nevertheless, it is always best to have an original copy of the title deeds whenever possible. The authenticated copy is exactly the same as the original deeds.



  • property
  • title deeds
  • lost
  • escritura
  • property registry
  • sell property
  • duplicate copy
  • notary


leftOn The Pulse is a leading website dedicated to researching and reporting up-to-date information about Spanish property, legislation and the economy