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Understand the title deed when buying a property in Peru

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Investing in property in Peru is a wise choice. Options include historic homes in colonial cities, coastal properties, and city apartments, making it an attractive market.

However, for international buyers, navigating the complexities of the Peruvian real estate market can be quite challenging, especially when it comes to verifying the authenticity and legality of the Escritura Pública de Compraventa de Inmueble, which is the official title deed in Peru.

We have actually covered this specific document (among others, like the sales contract) in our property pack for Peru.

In this article, we will give some insight to ensure a smooth and legally compliant property transaction in Peru.

However, please do not forget that this blog post is for informational purposes only and that we are not legal experts. It's always advisable to consult with one. They can indeed thoroughly examine your specific situation and provide you with the most appropriate and tailored advice.

What is the Escritura Pública de Compraventa de Inmueble in Peru?

The "Escritura Pública de Compraventa de Inmueble," commonly referred to as "Escritura Pública," is a crucial document in Peru's real estate transactions.

It's a public deed that legally formalizes the sale and purchase of a property. This document is distinct from other property-related documents because it's not just a contract between buyer and seller; it's a legally recognized and notarized record that provides undeniable proof of the transaction.

When you engage in a real estate deal in Peru, the Escritura Pública is what officially transfers ownership of the property from the seller to you, the buyer.

It's prepared by a public notary and includes detailed information about the property, the terms of the sale, the identities of the involved parties, and the payment details. The level of detail and official recognition makes it a highly reliable document, crucial for any property transaction.

This document does more than just record a sale; it bestows specific legal rights to the property owner. By having an Escritura Pública, you gain the right to use, enjoy, and dispose of the property as you see fit, within the bounds of the law.

It's your primary proof of ownership, essential for any future dealings involving the property, such as applying for loans or conducting renovations.

However, it's important to note that the Escritura Pública doesn't cover everything. For instance, it doesn't automatically guarantee that the property is free of liens or encumbrances. You'll need to conduct a separate due diligence process to ensure there are no outstanding debts or legal issues tied to the property.

The presence of an Escritura Pública greatly impacts the resale and inheritance of the property. It simplifies these processes because it's a clear, legal testament to your ownership. When reselling, this document provides potential buyers with confidence in the legitimacy of the transaction.

For inheritance, it streamlines the transfer of the property to your heirs, as it's a recognized proof of ownership in legal proceedings.

For foreign investors, understanding and obtaining an Escritura Pública is essential. It not only secures your investment but also ensures that your rights as a property owner in Peru are protected and recognized.

This document is a cornerstone of property ownership in Peru, playing a vital role in any real estate investment in the country.

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How to verify a title deed in Peru?

The process

Verifying the authenticity of an "Escritura Pública de Compraventa de Inmueble" in Peru is essential for a secure real estate transaction.

This document is a notarized record of property sale and purchase, and ensuring its legitimacy involves several steps.

The main government body responsible for property transaction records in Peru is the Public Registry (Registro Público). To verify an Escritura Pública, approach the Public Registry, where you can find out if the document is properly registered and reflects the current legal status of the property.

Notaries are key in the creation of an Escritura Pública, as they ensure the legality of the document and the transaction. If you're uncertain about an Escritura Pública's authenticity, contacting the notary who prepared the document is advisable. They can confirm their involvement and provide transaction details.

Involving a knowledgeable real estate lawyer can significantly help in this process. They can navigate the legal complexities, verify the document's authenticity, check for discrepancies, and liaise with the Public Registry and the notary.

While real estate agents can offer practical advice and guide you through the process, their ability to perform legal verifications is limited compared to legal professionals.

In terms of identifying red flags and avoiding scams, always cross-check the Escritura Pública information with the official records at the Public Registry. Any discrepancies in property details, owner identity, or transaction terms are major red flags.

Confirming the legitimacy and licensure of the notary with the local notary association or relevant government office is also crucial. Engaging a local real estate lawyer is beneficial for due diligence and legal compliance.

Additionally, physically inspecting the property ensures that the property described in the document matches the actual property being sold.

Verifying the identity of the seller and their right to sell the property is crucial to avoid impersonation scams.

Also, be cautious with payment requests, especially if they're outside normal transaction processes or through unofficial channels.

In any real estate transaction, especially in a foreign country, being vigilant and conducting thorough verification is key to protecting your interests.

Don't hesitate to seek professional help and ensure everything is in order before proceeding with the transaction.

What to check

Understanding the history of a property in Peru through its title deed, the 'Escritura Pública de Compraventa de Inmueble', is a critical step in the real estate transaction process. Here's how you can access and interpret this vital information:

To trace a property's history, you'll need to access its public records. This is done through the Public Registry (Registro Público) in Peru, where all property transactions are recorded.

By examining these records, you can trace the chain of ownership, previous sales, and any other legal transactions involving the property. This history is important because it can reveal patterns or issues, like frequent changes in ownership, that might indicate potential problems.

Understanding past ownerships and transactions is crucial. It helps you know who has legally owned the property, how it has been transferred over time, and if there have been any disputes or irregularities. This information can highlight potential legal issues that might affect your rights as a future owner.

Checking for outstanding debts or liens is another essential step. Liens can be placed on a property due to unpaid taxes, mortgages, or other debts by the previous owners. In Peru, this information can usually be obtained from the same Public Registry.

Debts or liens against a property are critical because they can be transferred to you as the new owner, meaning you could be responsible for paying them.

Verifying the property's measurements and boundaries as stated in the title deed involves comparing the deed's description with physical surveys and existing property records.

Discrepancies in property boundaries or size can lead to disputes with neighbors or legal issues. If there are discrepancies, they might need to be resolved through a new survey, legal action, or negotiation with adjacent property owners.

Finally, understanding zoning laws and land use restrictions is vital. These laws dictate what you can and cannot do with your property.

Local municipal offices or the urban planning department are typically responsible for this information. They can provide details on zoning classifications, building regulations, and any other restrictions that could affect your use of the property.

Also, be cautious with payment requests, especially if they're outside normal transaction processes or through unofficial channels.

In any real estate transaction, especially in a foreign country, being vigilant and conducting thorough verification is key to protecting your interests.

Don't hesitate to seek professional help and ensure everything is in order before proceeding with the transaction.

After our research and the feedback collected from our local real estate partners, we have written an article about the risks and pitfalls when buying a property in Peru, you might want to check it out.

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How to update the title deed after the property transaction in Peru?

After purchasing a property in Peru, updating the title deed, known as the "Escritura Pública de Compraventa de Inmueble," is a vital step to officially record your ownership. The process involves several specific steps.

First, the Escritura Pública must be drafted. This is typically done by a notary public. The document includes all details of the transaction, including the identities of the buyer and seller, the property description, and the sale price.

After the deed is prepared and signed by both parties in the presence of the notary, the next step is to register this document.

Registration of the Escritura Pública is done at the Public Registry (Registro Público). This step is crucial as it legally recognizes the change of ownership.

You'll need to submit the original Escritura Pública along with any other required documents, which might include proof of payment of property taxes and transaction fees. The Public Registry updates its records to reflect the new ownership status. This process can take some time, so patience is necessary.

Once the property is officially yours, considering certain types of insurance and additional protections is advisable. Property insurance is essential, as it protects your investment against damage or loss due to unforeseen events like fires or natural disasters.

Liability insurance is also worth considering, as it can cover you in case someone is injured on your property. Additionally, title insurance might be available. This can protect against any legal issues that might arise from inaccuracies in the property's title history.

Regarding inheritance laws, especially for foreign owners, understanding how the title deed interacts with these laws is important. In Peru, inheritance laws can be complex, and property ownership does not automatically ensure straightforward inheritance processes.

For foreign owners, it's crucial to have a clear will that complies with both Peruvian law and the laws of your home country. This will help ensure that the property is inherited according to your wishes.

It's also advisable to consult with a legal expert familiar with both Peruvian law and the legal system of your home country to navigate any potential complexities.

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This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Readers are advised to consult with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions. We do not assume any liability for actions taken based on the information provided.