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Home > Legal & Financial > The Spanish cadastral office or catastro

The Spanish cadastral office or catastro


If you own a property in Spain you have probably heard about the cadastral office or the “catastro” and the cadastral value of your property. But what is exactly the “catastro” and what are its functions?

In principle we can say that the cadastral office or the “catastro” is a kind of an administrative registry depending directly on the Ministry of Treasury in which all real estates of urban and rustic nature are listed and described according to their physical –surface, building, maps, localization etc. – , juridical – ownership or other rights and uses – and economical characteristics. That means it fixes the so called, cadastral value.

Recording of any kind of real estate or property and its different changes in the cadastral office is obligatory and different to the Property registry is free. From the legal point of view, however, it does not grant an rights recognized against third parties on the position as owner like the Land or Property Registry does.

The main use of the cadastral information is for ax calculations: it is used as taxable base in the calculation of state – calculation at 1.1% or 2% of the cadastral value as fictive income by second dwellings in the Income Tax for Residents and Non residents   – as well as also for local taxes like the Local Ground Tax (IBI) or the Tax that burdens the Increase of Value of Urban Estates (“Plusvalía Municipal”).

The recordings in the cadastral office must be changed and regularized by the real estate owners, but also might be or directly carried out  by the cadastral office through corrections according to visual inspections, or even aerial photographs. The principal goal is to detect illegal buildings and to readjust the cadastral valuations. In these cases of challenging the cadastral value by new building works, for example, normally a period of 15 days is granted to the cadastral owner in order to discuss the new circumstances and the new value assessed. In case of no answer and when the cadastral office has determined that the correspondent real estate is not “updated” there is no specific sanction but the new cadastral value enters automatically in force together with a € 60 general fee. From that moment you will see that your yearly Council Taxes has been considerably increased.

We strongly recommend in those cases to verify and checked exactly that the building works that that are the base of the increase of the cadastral value are correctly and the new values also realistic. Otherwise claims in administrative procedure should be launched.