Nota Simple Spain in English

Property Owners in Spain to get English Language Help

Intense lobbying by the British government in the EU, English language press, and by expatriate residents in Spain has resulted in the Spanish government conceding that English language help for property owners will be made available as new property regulations came into force on July 7, 2011.

In the first instance, property owners and buyers will now be able to request a copy of the ‘nota simple‘, the Land Registry Certificate, in English. The certificate contains all of the pertinent details of the property including any charges against the property. The English language nota simple will be available from the Colegio de Registradores, or can be applied for online after paying a 29 Euro fee including VAT and translation (See Currencies Direct Spain for the best conversion rates).

In addition, owners of property bought outside planning regulations, a form of ownership known as ‘fuera de ordenación’ can now apply to have their interest recorded in the Land Registry for additional protection. Specifically, this will allow owners who bought in good faith to have their property recorded in the registry, whilst also protecting the fuera de ordenación status of the property. This is particularly important for owners of properties who may in the future face demolition orders, and are unable to prove their claims due to not having their property listed in the Land Registry.

The changes to the Land Registry now mean it is no longer possible to have a property included and a ‘nota simple’ issued until a license of first occupation has been approved, a construction license approved, and finally a technical certificate from a technical architect stating the construction and building standards meet those of the plans under which the construction license was approved.

Whilst these changes on the face of things appear to be simply a case of amending the laws to add more detail to the ‘nota simple’, in fact these are significant indeed since the majority of land ownership demolition orders and fines over the last 25 years have been due to non-conformance with Land Registry regulations.

By including all pertinent information in the nota simple, and by making this available in English from the College of Architects, the Spanish government hopes that future investors will at least be able to understand the notations in the property certificate thus avoiding a repeat of previous years.

The most significant development however relates to future purchases of Spanish property, an update to the Ley Estatal de Suelo which will make it impossible for buyers to purchase Spanish property that does not satisfy local town planning laws, and therefore, cannot be issued with a nota simple.

Unfortunately, current owners of property under ‘land grab’ litigation will not benefit from the new changes, and the British government and EU will continue to lobby the Spanish government to have these properties legalised, or at least offer compensation to owners whose property is subject to a demolition order.

Giles Paxman, the British ambassador in Spain stated, “I welcome these initiatives. Communicating essential information in English, combined with the measures announced in the decree, should help to ensure buyers are accurately informed of any legal issues connected with a property.”

Almenara Golf Course

Almenara Golf Course ****

18 holes, Par 72, and 6,168 metres, Costa del Sol Golf Course

Almenara Golf Course in Spain was designed by Dave Thomas in 1999. Set around lakes and Cork Oak trees. Greens already accepted as being of tournament quality. A future classic course.

Almenara Golf Club extends its activities to golf tourism. Almenara is the first complex which has provided for golf courses and Hotels, located between the Valderrama and San Roque courses. The Almenara course, opened in the Spring of 1999, has been built over very hilly terrain and the Dave Thomas layout adds even more difficulties with narrow fairways and typical high lipped fairway bunkers, which catch anything hit off target.

This is riot a wide course and what with the danger lurking alongside or across the fairways you are often better off leaving the driver in the bag. A well built course where maintenance is good.

This is now a 27 hole golf course set in the upper part of Sotogrande 500 metres from Club de Golf Valderrama and five minutes from the beach, surrounded by cork oak trees and wild pines and several streams as well as a natural lake, all of which serve to make this a very beautiful course.

Located close to Valderrama this course has spectacular views and is maintained to a high standard. Set around two lakes the undulating terrain offers a true test of golf. Large greens are protected by fine sanded bunkers.

Soft spikes only. Buggy recommended.
To make a reservation to stay at the four star Alhaurin Golf Resort, visit

Avda. Almenara s/n, Sotogrande, CP11310. San Roque (Cádiz) España
Tel: 902 18 18 36

Recipe for Albondigas Spanish Meatballs

Albondigas – Spanish Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Albondigas can be found in almost every tapas bar in Spain throughout the year, and are typically served piping hot, but cool down remarkably quickly outside of the pot. Most bars will have their own slightly different recipe so visitors to Spain shouldn’t be afraid to order this tapa as they bar hop and sample local cuisine.

Generally there are two types of sauce the meatballs are cooked in, the rich red tomato sauce, and the gravy style pale garlic sauce albondigas clarasthough this is rarer and in most bars will not be served at all. It is important to realise that the wors ‘tomato sauce’ do not do justice to the flavour of the sauce, this is not ketchup, it is a delicious tomato and olive oil based sauce that is quite unique to this recipe.

This Albondigas recipe will make 12 meatballs.


  • 250g minced beef
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of grated manchego cheese (substitute parmesan)
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 3 finely chopped cloves of garlic
  • 2 finely chopped green onions (shallots)
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cups of plum tomatos
  • 2 tablespoons of rioja (Spanish red wine)
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped basil
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped rosemary


These meatballs are very easy to make, simply mix all of the meatball ingredients (minced beef, breadcrumbs, manchego cheese, tomato paste, garlic, green onions, thyme, turmeric, salt and pepper) together in a bowl using a large spoon or fork.

Split the mixture into 12 chunks and roll into balls. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil till it sizzles (not boiling), and add the meatballs till they are brown all over.

Next add the tomato sauce ingredients (plum tomatos, rioja, basil, rosemary) and cook for 20 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve 2-3 meatballs in small tapas dishes with sauce and bread.

To make this dish extra special, garnish the tapas with dried basil leaves. You can also experiment and add preserved red chillis to the sauce ingredients.

Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Traditional Porra (Soup) from Antequera, Spain

Traditional Antequera Porra (Southern Spain)

In the South of Spain in the summer people make delicious cold soups, the most famous being gazpacho. Another is porra, and this recipe for traditional Antequera porra is super simple to make.

This soup is softer in taste than the gazpacho and offers a thicker substance. Ask for it in restaurants and be pleasantly surprised, unless you accidentally ask for “Porro Porra”, in which case you might receive a rather incredulous stare and the comment that in Spain joints (ahem, a soft smokable drug) aren’t normally served…

Ingredients for the Traditional Antequera Porra

  • 1 kg tomatoes
  • 2 peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 boiled eggs
  • 150 g finely diced serrano ham
  • 3 / 4 glass extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • a few slices of day old bread

Preparation for Traditional Antequera Porra

  1. Rinse the tomatoes and remove the peel, then discard the seeds. Cut the tomato into pieces.
  2. Wash the peppers and discard the seeds. Cut these into small pieces.
  3. Peel the garlic cloves and cut into chunks.
  4. Crumble the bread into small pieces. You can also always use a little bit of water soaked bread (I always do), but this is not really necessary.
  5. Put it all in a bowl and mix while gradually adding the oil and vinegar it, until the mixture reaches the consistency of a thick soup.

Serve the soup cold with crumbled egg, bits of serrano ham and bread cut into wedges and placed on top. Instead of serrano ham, many people often substitute tuna and/or slices of tomato.


Recipe courtesy of Trudis de Ronda. Website: Recepten in het Nederlands

And for more Spanish Tapas recipes why not have a look at the available books from Amazon Uk or US. We get a small commission from the sales and that helps us to carry on the great work here at Ronda Today

Gazpacho, cold tomato soup

Gazpacho Andaluz

What can I say about gazpacho that hasn’t been said already, by the poets and playwrights of our region? It’s the Andalucian wonder-food, which has sustained us over centuries of poverty and hardship. “Cold tomato soup” doesn’t sound very spectacular, but believe me, it has magical properties.

It nourishes us when we’re hungry, cools us when we’re overheating, cures hangovers and soothes a thousand ailments. My family members think nothing of pouring a glass of tradtional gazpacho straight from the fridge, and consuming it as a refreshing drink.

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English Cemetery Malaga

Malaga’s British Cemetery Gets Protected Status

The Anglican cemetery in Malaga is to be added to the Catálogo General del Patrimonio Histórico Andaluz, in English the general catalog of historic places, after the Andalucian Directorate General of Cultural Assets approved it’s inclusion as a Bien de Interés Cultural (BIC), location of cultural interest.

St Georges cemetery is located on around 8,000 sqm of land close to Malaga’s Plaza de Toros on the eastern side of the port, and was originally founded by the British Consul to Malaga William Mark in 1830 in response to protestant burials on the seashore in the dead of night, a practice he found disgusting and lacking in dignity.

Within the grounds of the cemetery there is also an Anglican chapel built in 1839, and expanded in 1891 to become the existing church servicing Malaga’s Anglican communion. The gardens of the cemetery double as a botanic garden with several rare specimens of tree and shrub thriving.

Inclusion as a BIC on the general catalog is aimed at ensuring protection of the graves, structures, decorative walls, and of the gardens. As mainland Spain’s first protestant cemetery, it has been described in the general catalog as a monument of “outstanding historic and architectural significance”.

It is expected the cemetery will be formally included in the general catalog within the next 12-24 months, although the procedure for registration requires the church board begin the process of protecting the premises immediately after being notified of the decision to start registration.

Upgraded Mortgage Protection for Spanish Property

The Spanish central government has recently amended laws relating to mortgages to offer more protection for embattled mortgagees facing financial difficulties, with specific changes to personal income thresholds which rise by 261 euros per month, and adjusting the minimum value attached to the repossessed homes upto 60% of the value of the mortgage.

These changes were announced by Spain’s 1st deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba on July 1st, and herald a softening of the burden imposed on mortgage holders, and a hardening of the government’s position against banks that have largely been seen as part of the problem rather than the solution to Spain’s economic crisis.

Regarding income levels, Perez Rubalcaba announced that when a home is embargoed pending foreclosure, an act that is similar to bankruptcy proceedings in other nations, the personal income of the mortgagee is capped to recover debt owed. With this latest announcement the income retained by the mortgage holder and not passed to debtors rises from 700 euros to 961 euros per month, and additional amounts of 192 euros per month can be retained for each member of the household without an income.

Describing the minimum resale value of a repossessed property, Perez Rubalcaba said the current level of 50% of the value of the remaining mortgage places terrible burdens on borrowers who are liable for remaining debt even after their home has been repossessed and sold. The new minimum level will rise to 60%, and is expected to give much needed peace of mind to families facing repossession.

Certain measures however have not yet been instituted, being considered too radical in the short term, with proposals to clear the mortgage debt after repossession being rejected.

In addition, the minimum-interest clause (Clausula Suelo) has not been repealed or amended. Banks and mortgagors are permitted to charge a minimum amount of interest on variable rate mortgages irrespective of the floating Euribor base rate meaning mortgagees have not benefited from recent drops in the central bank rate.

UK Tax Residence Regime

UK Tax Residence Status for Expats in Spain

In June 2011 the UK government changed the law relating to tax residence to bring the UK into line with Ireland and other European countries as relating to income and capital gains tax. The law effectively means that tax residency will be assessed for as much as three years after leaving the UK, and earning a substantial income in the UK or visiting for extended periods of time will avoid losing tax resident status.

This has tremendous implications for expatriate residents in Spain who may inadvertently fall foul of UK tax residence regulations due to owning income generating property in the UK, or who choose to spend several months in the UK to avoid weather.

The new tax residence laws take effect from the 6th April 2012. The new regulations are intended to make it harder for UK residents to escape their tax obligations and also ensure that new UK residents are more easily brought into the UK tax system.

On initial reading the act seems confusing, but in essence the following guidelines apply and need to be born in mind by expatriate residents.

PART A: You are considered a non UK resident if:

a) You were not resident in the UK in all of the previous three tax years, and were present in the UK for less than 45 days in the current tax year.
b) You were resident in the UK in one or more of the previous three tax years, and were present in the UK for fewer than 10 days in the current tax year.
c) Or left the UK to carry out full-time work abroad provided they that you were present in the UK for less than 90 days in the tax year, and no more than 20 days are spent working in the UK in the tax year.

    PART B: You are considered a UK resident if:

    a) You were present in the UK for 183 days or more in a tax year.
    b) You have one or more homes only in the UK.
    c) You carry out full-time work in the UK.

      PART C: Connection factors for UK residency
      This section states that the number of days spent in the UK, together with the connections one has established with the UK, make an impact on whether you qualify as a non-UK resident and thus outside the current UK taxation bracket.

      Specifically, the five connection factors take into account;

      Family: whether the spouse or civil partner, common law partner, or minor children are resident in the UK
      Accommodation: whether the individual has accessible accommodation in the UK that they have made use of during the tax year under review
      Substantive UK work: whether the individual works for periods of time or earns a substantive amount of UK income, but doesn’t work full time in the UK
      UK presence in previous years: whether the individual spent more than 90 days in the UK in either of the previous two tax years
      More time in the UK than other countries: whether the individual has spent more time in the UK during the tax year under review than any other single country.

        The Connection factors are assessed in the following way to determine residency if the individual was NOT resident in all of the previous three years;

        Days spent in UK Impact of connection factors on residence status
        Fewer than 45 days Always non-resident
        45 – 89 days Resident if individual has 4 factors or more (otherwise not resident)
        90 -119 days Resident if individual has 3 factors or more (otherwise not resident)
        120 – 182 days Resident if individual has 2 factors or more (otherwise not resident)
        183 days or more Always resident

        The Connection factors are assessed in the following way to determine residency if the individual was resident for one of the previous three years;

        Days spent in UK Impact of connection factors on residence status
        Fewer than 10 days Always non-resident
        10 – 44 days Resident if individual has 4 factors or more (otherwise not resident)
        45 -89 days Resident if individual has 3 factors or more (otherwise not resident)
        90 – 119 days Resident if individual has 2 factors or more (otherwise not resident)
        120 – 182 days Resident if individual has 1 factor or more (otherwise not resident)
        183 days or more Always resident

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