Buying Property In Spain? You Have To Read This First: Nota Simple Explained

Buying property in Spain is acquiring a piece of paradise to call your own. Indeed, this land of dreams, rich history, and amazing landscapes can very well change your life. But before you move there, you need to learn to navigate Spanish bureaucracy.

You’ll hear time and again the name "nota simple” (simple note). This is one of Spain’s most important documents when it comes to buying and selling property or land.

Thus, we put together this post to solve all your inquiries and bring you one step closer to your dreams.

What Is A Nota Simple?

To say it in layman terms, a nota simple is a simple, official description of a piece of land. Included in it, you’ll find vital information such as ownership details, boundaries, a brief description of the property, and the existence of any liens or charges against it.

In other words, the nota simple is the single most important document you need before even thinking about acquiring a specific property.

When Do You Need One?

A nota simple is required in these scenarios:

  • Buying, selling, and lending property
  • Matrimonial proceedings
  • Debt recovery
  • To apply for a mortgage loan
  • Inheritance proceedings

All of these scenarios require a nota simple. Bear in mind that law enforcement agencies and private detectives seeking non-disclosed assets in Spanish territory might also request it.

What Is The Information On A Nota Simple?

Every nota simple contains simple yet vital information about the property.

  • Current ownership – All the data about the owners of the property. In the case of purchase, it will direct you to the owner; otherwise, it will inform the land belongs to you.
  • Type of ownership – Besides giving you the owner’s personal information, it will also tell the reader what type of ownership they have. It can be leasehold, freehold, urban, VPO, etc.
  • General property description – This is a very meek description of the property (whether it is an empty land, a house, apartment building, etc.)
  • Property boundaries – This is crucial information to understand the true dimensions of the property.
  • Debts, charges, encumbrances, or easements – What is the property’s current state in terms of debts and other past charges? Knowing this information is crucial to make a better bargain when buying.

Some Applicable Scenarios

  • Buying, selling, or renting Spanish properties – Rental scams exist all around the world. That being said, a nota simple could be the perfect way to avoid one. All the information about legal proceedings against the property, embargoes, outstanding taxes, legal limitations, charges, liens, long-term tenants, or encumbrances will be in the nota simple. This can be a game-changer preserving you from a lot of trouble.
  • Applying for a mortgage loan – Whenever you apply for a mortgage loan on Spanish property, the first thing you’ll be requested is an updated nota simple.

Although the list of application scenarios for a nota simple could go on forever, these are the most important ones. It is worth mentioning that during matrimonial and inheritance proceedings as well as debt recovery, a nota simple might be asked too.


The importance of the nota simple for the Spanish legal system is virtually unmatched. Moreover, it might be the very first thing that you’ll ask or be asked before selling or buying property in Spain.

Therefore, be ready to request one, and don’t let the possibility of living in paradise slip through your fingers. Dare to move to the life of your dreams buying property in Spain but always request for a nota simple first.

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