Differences in M2 of Properties

Why Are There Differences in the Dimension of Properties

Property Measurements Marbella

Often one of the most important things to want to find out is what is the size of the property, as sometimes we see different m2 for the same property.

Unfortunately, this question is not as easy as that to answer, so it is important on a purchase that you must not rely too much on the advertised M2, especially when comparing properties, given the number of ways that it can calculated.

Land Registry M2

Whilst the title deed available from the land registry will provide information on the m2 of a property, the primary function of the land registry is to record the ownership of the property and any debts or encumbrances attached to it.

There are therefore some considerations when using the dimensions in the land registry:

  1. The m2 may include just an overall build for the entire property, without consideration to the breakdown between internal area and terraces, so it may not be possible to know what is terrace and what is the building.
  2. Changes may have been made to the property that have not been included in the land registry.

Cadastro m2

The cadastro is a registry of the location and dimensions of the property and not ownership.

It is especially relevant for tax purposes as it is used as a base for rates.

Again, there is no absolute guarantee that the dimensions are correct, as changes may have been made to the property that have not been recorded.

One particular issue that comes up is that communal areas are included in the Cadastro.

To explain, if an apartment is in a development the owner will own his property, but in addition a percentage of the communal areas will be assigned to him for tax purposes.

This extra area sometimes is included in the dimensions of the property by mistake, which of course is not correct. Sometimes in the case of a community with large grounds and communal space it can be a significant area.

Communal property for private use

Another source of error is that sometimes a property has the use of a garden that is communal but private use only.

For example, a garden apartment in a community may have a garden in front of it, but the garden belongs to the community and not the apartment, although in the community rules it may be registered that only the owner of that property may use it.

This has a certain advantage in that it is the community that is responsible for maintaining it.

The same applies to parking areas. A property may have a reserved parking but it may belong to the community, even if only that owner can use it.

It is, of course, imperative to check the community rules regarding these areas.

This causes two types of confusion

  1. In the first place relating to communal areas that are private use only that are included as part of the property. This is not technically correct as you will not be the owner of those areas.
  2. On the other hand, if you ignore these areas, you are ignoring valuable facilities and areas that you have practically an exclusive right over.

Built and Internal

Another source of error is between built and internal. The built area is the surface covered by the property, internal is the usable area.

A simple example would be a 10 x 10 building that would take up 100m2; however, internally you have less than 100m2 due to the thickness of the outside walls.

After that, let’s say you build a wall on the inside. That wall will take away from the internal available space, so the more internal walls you build the less internal space.

Terraces and built

Sometimes errors happen when in the land registry only a global dimension is given so sometimes people add the terrace when in fact they have already been added or alternatively by forgetting to mention the terraces at all.

Common Standards

There is often seems to be no common standard when publishing dimensions as to whether the built area is simply the property or whether it is the property plus covered porches or whether it also should includes the terraces. This can lead to confusion especially when comparing properties.


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Note: The above is for general guidance and no substitute for professional legal advise that I would advise buyers to take before entering into any contract.



    Ricky Bache
    Estate Agent
    B.Sc Economics
    (HEC Lausanne )
    Asesor Credito Hipotecario
    (UPV Valencia)
    Tel : +34 609 50 22 44


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