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What is The Registry Of Puerto Rico and Why is it Important to Real Estate Property?

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The Registry in Puerto Rico Legitimizes Your Real Estate Property.

18 Aug, 2022

Registry of Puerto Rico

What is Land Registry of Puerto Rico


The Property Registry of Puerto Rico is composed of an administrative office located in the Department of Justice and 29 operational sections covering the 78 towns of the island, located in Aguadilla, Arecibo (2), Barranquitas, Bayamón (4), Caguas (2), Carolina (3), Fajardo, Guayama, Guaynabo, Humacao, Manatí, Mayagüez, Ponce (2), San Germán, San Juan (5), San Sebastian and Utuado.

The administrative and fiscal functions of each of the 29 sections of the Land Registry are performed by a Registrar, a Supervisor, a Certifier, an Administrative Assistant and several Technicians and Office Workers. It has a total of 37 Property Registrars and around 380 employees. It receives an average of 250,000 documents annually for registration.

The operations of the Land Registry are governed primarily by the provisions of Law 210 of December 8, 2016, known as the Puerto Rico Real Estate Registry Law. In addition, they are regulated by the Jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, other legal provisions contained in the Notarial Law and the Civil Code and by the internal regulations adopted by the Department of Justice.


Why is the Land Registry of Puerto Rico Important?

The purpose of the Land Registry is to register documents relating to real estate transactions. It offers publicity about these businesses to notaries, banks, appraisers, degree students and the general public. People interested in making transactions related to real estate in Puerto Rico go to the Registry to obtain information about the owners of the properties, and the charges or encumbrances fall on said real estate. It is a fundamental information for the legal traffic of real estate because it offers certainty to businesses. It is therefore a fundamental tool for the economic development of the country. It is equally so in the fight against crime. By virtue of the fact that the registry gives absolute publicity to the transactions that are presented there, state and federal law enforcement agencies seek and obtain information of enormous importance for the identification of money laundering and tax evasion.

It should be noted that although business is done outside the Land Registry, registration offers legitimacy. That is, it is a public declaration by the State that that business is valid. In a simple way, we can say that the registry tells us who is the owner of the house and which bank is the creditor, among other important data. If a bank is uncertain about who owns the property, it will not lend money to do business with that property. That's how important registration is. When it doesn't work well, when it doesn't provide the necessary certainty, business grinds to a halt and this has serious consequences for the economy.

In simple terms, the purpose of the Land Registry is to publicize transactions on real estate, such as a house, plot or apartment. The owners of the property and their charges or encumbrances are recorded, information that is public for those who have an interest in verifying the legal status of the real estate.


When Should I go to the Registry of Puerto Rico

The Land Registry should be the starting point when the interested party wishes to carry out any business with a real estate, such as before buying a property. By visiting the Land Registry, you can verify who owns it and if the property has any charges or encumbrances.


What do I Need to register my documents in the Land Registry of Puerto Rico

  1. Submit to the Registry a certified copy of the document. Public deeds certified by a notary, court documents, or administrative certifications from government agencies are usually submitted to the Registry.
  2. Pay the corresponding fees. The payment vouchers for each document are fixed according to the Tariff Law, based on the value of the transaction.
  3. The presentation can be in person or online. If the presentation is personal, it must be made in the section of the Land Registry that serves the demarcation or municipality where the property is located. In this case, the fees are paid through payment vouchers issued by the Department of Finance which can be purchased in collections or through the system of stamps and vouchers of the Department of Finance. The online presentation is available only to authorized notaries who present through their account in the Karibe system which provides for the payment of fees through the Virtual Collection system of the Department of Finance.


Is Registration Mandatory

The registration of a document is voluntary and not mandatory. However, in cases such as mortgages, horizontal property regime, restrictive conditions and the right of surface, the registration is constitutive, that is, necessary for effects against third parties to arise. 

If you have bought a property that is not registered with the Land Registry of Puerto Rico, I highly recommend you do so as soon as possible, and I would also hire an attorney that is familiar with the process.  If you are not sure on which attorney to help you with, please contact us and we have a couple attorneys we have worked with that are very good with this process

I am sure you have many more questions regarding the Land Registry of Puerto Rico. Please contact us and we will help or point you in the right direction for answers.

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