Spanish property rates – catastro

Filed under : Conveyancing & Property Law
De Cotta Law Conveyancing


All properties in Spain have a rateable value. Rates, or council tax as it is now known in the UK, are locally charged and vary quite substantially with rural areas having much lower rates than those in the coastal or city areas. This reflects the level of infrastructure provided by the various Town Halls. The rates bill – IBI Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles states the Catastral or rateable value of the property.

As a general rule each Town Hall will revise the rateable values of properties every six years by undertaking a check on the descriptions of property at the Catastro offices and where there is a discrepancy they will update the catastral plan. This is currently being undertaken in the Nerja area. Throughout Spain there is increasing use of aerial and satellite mapping showing a number of properties with a surface area greater than that being billed for in the rates.

Consequently, the exercise will result in higher rates for some property owners and there is also a 60 € tax payable to the Catastro for the administrative costs of the process. The good news is that although this increases the rates the cost of applying to have the castastro map changed if you do this privately is considerably more. This is because you have to present a topographical map to the authorities and pay a qualified surveyor to carry this out. If you are selling your property the purchaser can make this a requirement if your rateable map is not up to date. In some areas however the updating procedure still takes many months if not years to complete.

This whole procedure is totally separate from the land registration procedure and description of the property in the escritura or deed. It might be necessary to execute a deed of new works and register this with the land registry if you have extended your property or added a swimming pool for example. For more information or questions related to updating your property details with the land registry and/or with the rating authority please contact us on [email protected] or telephone 952 527014.