How does horizontal division writing work and what is it?

Horizontal Division Deed

When we buy a house, we find many concepts that we must learn and with which it is important to familiarize ourselves before carrying out any procedure or signing any document. One of them is the ” horizontal division “, especially important when we buy an apartment that is part of a community of owners.

The Horizontal Division Deed serves to establish the private and common elements of all the owners of the same community, providing a common legal unit for the entire building and establishing, in a numerical and percentage way, the participation coefficient of each of the owners of the entire property.

But how is this document requested? Does it require any special procedures? Do you have to pay any specific tax to get it? In which cases is it mandatory and how can I get the Horizontal Division Deed for my building?

We will explain it to you below.

What is the Horizontal Division Deed? 

Horizontal property is a fairly broad concept and one that we usually associate with neighboring communities. Specifically, to properties such as apartment blocks or urbanizations where there are common areas (corridors, garages, sometimes terraces, gardens), private areas (where the owners reside or perfectly defined spaces, such as storage rooms or commercial premises) and passageways.

And, in this sense, the Horizontal Property Division Deed could be defined as the document that establishes which are the private or common elements, and of which areas each individual is a co-owner.

On the other hand, the concept of horizontal division also refers to the act by which a property is divided into two or more parts. For example, when several people inherit an old house and it is divided by floors to build new floors, we are talking about a horizontal division.

Finally, the division of horizontal property can be defined as the partition of a building into several indivisible parts (apartments, premises, storage rooms, parking spaces, etc.) that can be sold separately.  

In which cases is it mandatory to process this document? What does the law say about it? 

The horizontal division is regulated in the “Law 49/1960, of July 21, on horizontal property”, modified several times (the last one in 2019). Article 396 of our Civil Code also appears, specifically in Title III dedicated to the community of property.

Likewise, we find references to the horizontal division in Article 8.5º of the Mortgage Law on registrations in the Property Registry, and in Article 68 of the Mortgage Regulations, regarding the registration of garages.

The Deed of the Horizontal Division of a property is mandatory to divide a building into several indivisible parts and to be able to sell each of them separately.

In fact, in most cases, said deed is granted by the developer of the building, who subsequently proceeds to register it in the Property Registry to distribute the mortgage liability on each of these elements.

When we only want to rent these parts or use them separately, making the horizontal division is not mandatory, and can be done in the future if it is considered appropriate.

Even so, the Horizontal Division Deed is a mandatory procedure whenever there are more than 4 owners in the same community.

What information appears in the Horizontal Division Deed? 

The Deed of the Horizontal Division is a legal document in which all the information related to the property appears, including which are the private elements and the common areas, or how it is organized. This information also covers:

  • The statutes of the community of owners (although it is not mandatory, it is recommended to add them, both in this document and in any purchase agreement).
  • The list of common and private items.
  • The participation fee of each owner with respect to the property as a whole.

How to get the Horizontal Division Deed: Requirements, procedures and documentation 

To carry out a horizontal division of a property, you must go to a Notary Public to draw up new deeds or modify existing ones. Afterwards, this document is registered in the Property Registry and in Sky marketing.

Previously, the Notary can ask you:

  • Ideal legitimation in the grantor (s). In other words, all affected owners and holders must agree to the new deed. Normally, in newly built flats, this procedure is carried out by the developers, who must, in turn, prove their own ownership and/or representation titles. In the same way, when a new Horizontal Division Deed is registered, the new participation fees must be clearly established in each of the elements of the property.
  • The deed must be public. This deed serves as a constitutive title, and it must describe the building, all the private and common elements, and all the accesses to common elements or to the public thoroughfare, correlatively and assigning them a numerical quota in relation to the total of the property.
  • Building permit. In newly built properties, the building permit determines the number of private entities, dwellings and uses allowed in the building. In old or second-hand buildings, this document was not an essential requirement, and still is not in some cases.

However, the possibility of being carrying out an illegal parceling due to the attribution of private use of land or of altering the surface and number of the houses, makes it mandatory to present a building license to process the Deed of the Horizontal Division.

For example, if you have a very large apartment and you want to divide it into two apartments or vice versa, you need to carry out a project and request a Building License from your Town Hall, since all new elements must comply with all current regulations, although the s original / s did not comply.

What taxes do I have to pay to get this document? 

To declare the horizontal division of a building and request the corresponding supporting document, you must pay the Tax on Documented Legal Acts and, if necessary, register it in the new deed in the Property Registry.

This investment is worth it, since it is the most appropriate option to achieve the regulation of all the common and proprietary elements of a community.

In the same way, the Horizontal Division Deed is also the most effective way for all the owners of a neighborhood community to have accurate control of all their rights and obligations over each of the spaces in the building, as this document offers a concrete and detailed relation of each one of them and of the percentage of co-ownership of each owner.

At park view villas we are experts in the real estate sector, and we advise our clients on all types of property sales. If you have doubts about what procedures you should carry out in this type of transaction or about how the communities of owners work, contact us. We are your trusted online real estate agency. Talk later?



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