Common Terms, glossary of terms related to spanish law  

Glossary of Terms


 

General Terms

A

-Abogados: Lawyers, Solicitors or Attorneys
-Agente de la Propiedad Inmobiliaria: Registered estate agent
-Administrador: Administrator, e.g. of a community of property owners in a community development.
-Administrador de Fincas: Licenced property administrator
-Agencia estatal de administración tributaria: The tax office, or also called “Agencia Tributaria”, or “hacienda”
-Apostille: An official stamp on a document that certifies the signature of the official who signed it, his capacity or office, and the identity of the seal or stamp which the document bears.
-Arrendamiento: Rental (property)
-Arrendatario: Sitting Tenant
-Asesor fiscal: Financial or tax consultant.
-Asociación Provincial de Instaladores: Association of registered electricians & Plumbers
-Arras: The 10% deposit paid on a “contrato de opción de compra” (option contract) where the contract can be cancelled by either party, with the buyer forfeiting his deposit or the vendor paying the buyer double the deposit.
-Ayuntamiento: City hall or town hall.

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B

-Boletín de Instalación: Certificate for installation of Electric & water meters
-Boletín Oficial del Estado: Newspaper issued by the state for legal documents

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C

-Cargas: Charges
-Catastral: Rateable Value
-Catastro: Land Office housing all details for the Cadastral Certificate
-Catastral reference/ certificate: this shows location and measurement of the property and is used for the basis of taxation.
-Certificado de habitabilidad: A certificate certifying that a property can be lived in, which is issued when a building (DIY) conforms with the building standards and codes. It must be issued before the electricity /water can be connected or a gas contract signed.
-Certificado de empadronamiento: Certificate certifying that a person resides or owns property in a certain town. Census.
-Certificado de fin de obra: Certificate provided by an architect or building engineer certifying completion of work in accordance with the building plans.
-Certificado de No Residencia: Certificate confirming that you're a non-resident in Spain, required by non-resident homebuyers in Spain.
-Colegio: College or professional association (also a school). All professionals belong to a Colegio
-Comisaria: National police station where a “Número de Identificación de Extranjero” (NIE) can be obtained.
-Comunidad de propietarios: Community of owners.
-Comprador/a: Purchaser, buyer.
-Contrato: Contract.
-Contrato de arrendamiento: Rental contract.
-Contrato de compraventa: Sales and Purchase contract.
-Copia simple: Copy of an escritura (deed) without signatures.
-Cuota (de participación): An owner's share (expressed as a percentage) of a community development, used to calculate his percentage of community fees.

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D

-Declaración de obra nueva: Declaration and registration of a new property or development to a notary.
-Delegación de Indústria: Delegation of Industry: The authority which issues the certificate for the installation of the electric & water meters
-Denuncia: A formal complaint made to the authorities, e.g. the police.
-Departamento de extranjeros: Foreign residents department, e.g. at a town hall.
-Departamento de Urbanismo: Planning department of the Town Hall
-Derecho de paso: Right of way.
-Domicilio fiscal: Main residence for tax purposes.

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E

-Embargo: Unpaid debts, (a charge against): Actioned by a court order to proceed with the auctioning of the property to recover the debt
-Empadronamiento: Electoral registration
-Escritura pública de compraventa: the registered title deed of the property and is the proof of ownership and title. It is signed by both contracting parties and by the Notar after which it is inscribed in the Land Registry and after all the taxes are paid, the purchaser is given a copy
-Estatutos: Statutes, rules or by-laws, e.g. of a community development.
-Expediente de dominio: Proof of domination, i.e. a document proving ownership of property or land when an escritura doesn't exist or has been lost.

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F

-Finca: Farm
-Finca/Cortijo: Farmhouse

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G

-Garantía: Guarantee, warranty.
-Gestor: A licensed professional who acts as an intermediary between private individuals and government departments such as the tax office and social security.
-Gestoría: Office to deal with Bureaucracy, e.g. applications for Residencia/work permits, driving licences, transferring a vehicle to another name, taxes etc

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H

-Hipoteca: Mortgage

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I

-Impuesto sobre el valor añadido (IVA): Value added tax. The rates are: 4% on milk and bread, 7% on food, restaurant, hotels, buying a new property. 16% on professional services, alcoholic drinks and commercial sale
-Impuesto sobre transmisiones patrimoniales (ITP): Transfer tax (payable by the purchaser when buying a resale property instead of VAT which is levied on new properties). In Andalucia is 7%
-Impuesto sobre Actos Jurídicos Documentados (AJD): A 1% tax on 'documented legal acts' equivalent to the stamp duty charged in some countries.
-Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles (IBI): Annual property or real estate tax/local rates Impuesto municipal sobre el incremento del valor de terrenos: Capital Gain Tax: See plusvalia.
-Impuesto sobre el Patrimonio: Wealth tax, commonly referred to as patrimonio.
-Impuesto sobre sucesiones y donationes: Inheritance and gift tax.
-Impuesto sobre la Renta de las Personas Físicas (IRPF): Income tax.
-Impuesto sobre el Patrimonio y sobre la Renta de No Residentes: The tax declaration (form 214) for both wealth and imputed letting tax for non-residents owning property in Spain.
-Impuesto sobre Actividades Economicas (IAE): Business tax or licence for business people and professionals (which replaced the former fiscal licence).
-Impuesto sobre Construcciones, Instalaciones y Obras: Tax on 'construction, installations and work' levied on all building work requiring a municipal licence
-Impuesto sobre sociedades: Company or Corporation Tax.
-Informe urbanístico: A certificate from the local town hall stating what can be built on a plot of land.

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J

-Juzgado: Court or tribunal.
-Junta: Regional Government

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L

-Ley: Law.
-Ley de arrendamientos urbanos: Law governing urban property rentals.
-Ley de costas: Coastal building law which governs construction in coastal areas.
-Ley de Propiedad Horizontal (LPH): Law of horizontal division of a community development defining the legal rights and obligations of owners.
-Licencia de apertura: Business opening licence.
-Licencia fiscal: Fiscal licence.
-Licencia de obra: Building licence.
-Licencia de primera ocupación: Licence required for the first occupation of a building, necessary to have an electricity, water, gas meters installed. Habitation license.
-Llave en mano: Ready to occupy, i.e. key in hand

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M

-Memoria de Calidades: Building specification

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N

-Nota simple: Extract of the property register showing a property's details (such as the owner) and whether any encumbrances (debts) are registered against it. Also a copy of property deeds.
-Notario: A legal professional acting as a public official when signing public deeds like wills, power of attorney, mortgages, and sales agreements. He ensures that the law is complied with and that all parties know what they are signing.
-Número de Identificación de Extranjeros (NIE): Fiscal or tax identification number required by all property purchasers in Spain.
-Número de Identificación Fiscal (NIF): The fiscal number which all Spaniards have (the same number as their identity card and passport numbers).

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P

-Patrimonio: Wealth tax.
-Plus-valía: A tax on the increase in land value. Capital Gains tax. Officially called impuesto municipal sobre el incremento del valor de los terrenos.
-Poder: Power of attorney or proxy.
-Policía municipal /local: Municipal or local police.
-Policía nacional: National police.
-Precio de Compra: Price of purchase
-Primera copia: Signed original of the escritura or a certified copy.

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R

-Recaudación municipal: Municipal property tax (rates) office.
-Recaudación provincial: Provincial tax office, e.g. for business tax.
-Registro de la propiedad: Land registry where all the details of properties are kept such as ownership, debts, mortgages, etc.
-Renta: Earnings or income.
-Representante fiscal: Official fiscal (tax) representative.
-Residencia: Residence card or permit.
-Retención: Withholding tax. Also the 5 per cent of the sale price that must be retained by the buyer (in lieu of taxes) when a non-resident sells a Spanish property.
-Reunión anual de propietarios: Annual General Meeting

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S

-Segregación: Segregation
-Seguridad social: Social security.
-Seguro: Insurance.
-Seguro Decenal: 10 year structural insurance

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T

-Testamento: Will and Testament.
-Todos los gastos: All fees or charges, e.g. in a property purchase contract.

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V

-Valor catastral: The fiscal or rateable value of a property fixed by the local municipality, on which property taxes (IBI) are calculated

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At the Estate Agents ( Inmobiliaria ) or Architects (Arquitecto)

A

-Acometida: Connection, e.g. of electricity or water
-Adosado: Semi-detached, but usually refers to terraced town houses.
-Agente de Propiedad Inmobiliaria (API): Qualified and registered real estate agent.
-Aire acondicionado: Air-conditioning.
-Albañil: Bricklayer or labourer.
-Alcantarillado: Sewage system.
-Aljibe: Water cistern.
-Alquila: Rent (See : For)
-Amueblada: Furnished; Unfurnished is sin muebles.
-Aparcamiento: Parking, usually refers to private off-road parking.
-Aparejador: Architectural engineer (the person who usually supervises the building of a property) or quantity surveyor.
-Apartamento: Apartment.
-Arboles: Trees.
-Armario: Wardrobe.
-Aseo: Toilet
-Ascensor: Lift, elevator.
-Aspiradora: Vacuum cleaner.
-Atico: Top Apartment, attic ( Atico de Lujo is a penthouse )
-Azotea: Flat roof.

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B

-Balcón: Balcony.
-Baño: Bath or bathroom.
-Barbacoa: Barbecue.
-Barrio: City quarter or neighbourhood, district.
-Basura: Rubbish/Garbage.
-Basura y Alcantarillado: Rubbish collection and mains drainage, for which a charge is made by the local municipal council.
-Boletín de instalaciones eléctricas: Certificate from an officially certified electrician stating that a property has been wired according to the regulations (necessary to obtain a contract with the Endesa)
-Bombona: Gas bottle.
-Bricolaje: Do-it-yourself supplies.
-Buen estado: good condition.(En: in )

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C

-Calefacción: Heating.
-Calidad: Quality.
-Calle: Street, often written as C./ in addresses.
-Campo: In the countryside.
-Cesped: Lawn.
-Chalet: Detached villa.
-Chimenea: Fireplace, chimney.
-Ciudad: Town or city.
-Cocina: Kitchen (also stove, cooker). Fitted kitchens are called American kitchens
-Código postal: Postal code.
-Comedor: Dining room.
-Contador: Meter (electricity, gas,water).
-Cortijo: Farmhouse or house on a finca (farm).
-Cosas comunes: The parts of a community development that are owned communally.
-Cuarto: Room.
-Cuarto de baño: Bathroom.

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D

-Depósito: Tank, deposit e.g. for water.
-Desván: Loft.
-Doble cristal: Double glazed.
-Dormitorio: Bedroom.
-Dormitorio principal: Master bedroom.
-Ducha: Shower.
-Duplex: Maisonette.

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E

-Edificio: Building.
-Electricidad: Electricity.
-Entrada: Hallway, entrance. Also the down payment on a home, the balance of which will be paid by a mortgage. The entrada isn't returnable if the buyer withdraws from a purchase.
-Equipados: Equipped.
-Escalera: Stairway.
-Espacio para piscina: Room for a pool.
-Estudio: Study/studio apartment.

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F

-Fianza: Security deposit.
-Finca: Farm or farmhouse. Generally used to refer to any rural property outside a town or village.
-Fontaneria: Plumbing.
-Fosa séptica: Septic tank.
-Frigorífico: Refrigerator.
-Fuente: Spring or fountain

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G

-Garaje: Garage.
-Gastos de comunidad: Community fees.
-Generador: Generator (electricity).

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H

-Habitación: Room.
-Hacienda: Property, farm. Also the tax office, now officially replaced by the agencia estatal de administración tributaria, although hacienda is still used by most people.
-Hectárea: Hectare or 10,000 square metres (2.471 acres).
-Huerta: kitchen garden or irrigated land. Huerta: Kitchen garden, allotment or it can mean irrigated land.
-Huerto: Orchard.

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I

-Inquilino: Tenant.
-Inventario: Inventory.
-Invernadero: Conservatory or greenhouse.

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J

-Jardin: Garden.

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L

-Ladrillo/ladrillos: Brick/brickwork.
-Lavadero: Laundry or utility room.
-Lavadora: Washing machine.
-Localidad: Location.
-Lujo/lujoso: Luxury/luxurious.

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M

-Mal estado: Dilapidated ( bad condition).
-Mantenimiento: Maintenance.
-Mármol: Marble.
-Memoria: List of materials and specifications for a building job.
-Memoria de caIidades: Building specifications, e.g. for a house, which must form part of the architect's plans.
-Metros cuadrados: Square metres.
-Muebles: Furniture.
-Mudanza: Move house.
-Muro: Outside wall.

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N

-Número de API: The Agente de Propiedad Inmobiliaria (APl) registration number of a real estate agent with the local college of estate agents.

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O

-Obra con garantia: Work/construction guaranteed.
-Oficina de rentas y ventas: Sales and rental office.

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P

-Plan General de Ordenación Urbana: General Urban Development Plan or town planning
-Parabolica: Satellite dish.
-Parcela: Building plot.
-Parcialmente construida: Partially constructed or completed.
-Pared Inside wall (Pared medianera: Party wall.)
-Parquet: Wooden floor.
-Patio interior: Central courtyard of a house.
-Piscina: Swimming pool.
-Piso: Apartment, floor (of building).
-Plan parcial: Plan of building plots, e.g.in a community development or a municipality.
-Planta: Floor.
-Planta baja: Ground floor .
-Potencia: Power rating, e.g. of a home's electricity supply.
-Pozo: Well.
-Pozo negro: Cesspool.
-Pueblo blanco: White village, e.g. a village in Andalusia with white-washed houses.
-Puerta: Door, gate or portal.
-Puerta de cristal: French window.

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R

-Reformada: Reformed, e.g. modernised.
-Rejas/Rejillas: Iron security grilles or bars, e.g. on windows and patio doors.
-Renovado: Renovated.
-Rustica: Agricultural property. Rustic.

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S

-Salon: Lounge, living room.
-Seguro de hogar: Household insurance.
-Sistema de seguridad: Security system, alarm.
-Solar: Plot of land.
-Solarium: Solarium/sun roof or deck.
-Sótano: Cellar, basement.
-Subasta: Auction, e.g. of property.
-Suelo rústico/urbano/urbanizable: Agricultural land (suelo rústico),building land (suelo urbano) and land that can be changed from agricultural to building land (suelo urbanizable).

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T

-Taller: Workshop.
-Taller del constructor: Builder's yard.
-Tejado: Roof.
-Temporada: Temporary or short term, e.g. a seasonal property rental contract.
-Termo: Water heater.
-Terreno: Land, plot.
-Terreno Rústico: Agricultural or rural land.
-Tranquilo: Quiet.
-Traspaso: Lease or transfer of property.
-Trastero: Storage room.

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U

-Urbanización: Urbanisation or housing estate. A community development.

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V

-Vado permanente: Keep clear. No parking zone, e.g. in front of a private entrance or garage.
-Vallado: Fenced in, e.g. a garden.
-Vecindad: Neighbourhood.
-Vende: Sale. (Se: For )
-Vendedor/a: Vendor or seller.
-Ventana: Window.
-Viejo/a: Old.
-Vigas de madera: Wooden beams, beamed ceiling.
-Vivero: Garden centre.
-Vivienda de Protección Oficial (VPO): Subsidised housing. Council housing.
-Vivienda: Dwelling.
-Vivienda habitual: Primary or main residence.

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Z

-Zona verde: Green zone where no building is permitted. Also refers to gardens, lawns and other 'green' areas.

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At the Bank (Banco)

A

-Amortización: Repayment of the initial loan amount by instalment including the capital and interest as in a mortgage.

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C

-Cambio: Exchange, but also the currency exchange rate. Small change.
-Cargos: Costs or charges.
-Cuenta corriente: Bank cheque (current) account.

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D

-Domiciliación de pagos: Standing order, e.g. for payment of utility bills.
-Domiciliación bancaria: Direct debit.

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F

-Fecha: Date

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G

-Gastos: Fees or expenses.

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E

-Euribor: European Inter- Bank Offered Rate, which is based on the interest rate for 12month Euro deposits published by the European Central Bank

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H

-Hipoteca: Mortgage which will be recorded in the Property register.
-Honorarios: Fees.

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I

-IRPH - Indice de Referencia de Préstamos Hipotecarios: is the rate used for variable mortgages published by Banco de España.
-Importe: Amount.
-Impuesto: Tax.

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M

-Mensualidad: Monthly payment, e.g.for a mortgage.

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R

-Recargo: Surcharge.

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S

-Saldo: Balance
-Señal: Deposit.

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T

-Tasa: Fee.
-Tasa Annal Equivalente(TAE): The effective annual interest rate, e.g. for a mortgage, after interest is compounded and all commission and fees are included.
-Tipo de interés: Interest rate.
-Transferencia: Banker's order. Transfer.

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Other useful words

A

-Almuerzo: Lunch, (in Spain between 2:00pm and 4:00pm, most of the office and shops will close).

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C

-Cena: Dinner, or evening meal

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D

-Desayuno: Breakfast.

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E

-Estanco: A tobacconist (seller of rental contracts, other official documents and papel del estado).

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F

-Factura: Bill or invoice.
-Ferreteria: Hardware store or ironmongers.

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O

-Ocasión: Bargain, special offer.

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P

-Papel del estado: Tax stamps (literally 'state paper') issued in various denominations for the purpose of making official payments to government offices, e.g. to apply for a residence permit. Sold by estancos (tobacconist shops).
-Peligro: Danger.
-Precio: Price.
-Presupuesto: Estimate, quote.

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R

-Recibo: Receipt.

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S

-Seguro de viaje: Travel insurance

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