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When a development is given planning permission, plans are submitted and approved. Once the units are available to be given to buyers, the developer has to create a condominium regime based on the private and common areas of the development. Once all details have been approved, a notarized regime is established that includes measurements and percentage ownership of the common areas for each unit, which is sent to the Public Registry Office for issue. This regime forms the basis for all individual deeds (escrituras) to be created for the units, as and when they are sold by the developer or thereafter, by private owners.
All private deeds (escrituras) specify the measurements of the unit in the first couple of pages based on the regime. At the time of purchase, the closing lawyer and Notary should have checked the measurements specified in the deed against the registered regime documents.
These measurements provide the calculation by legal authorities as to the property taxes (predial) due on individual units and the percentage ownership that the HOA should use to calculate annual HOA fees, as mentioned previously.
The responsibility lies with the seller of the property and their realtor to disclose all issues related to their unit, during the showing and buying process. The buyer has the right to have the property inspected by professionals, such as architects, engineers, plumbers and electricians as part of conditions of sale, if this is included in the offer agreement.
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