At some point in our lives we have passed an abandoned house, perhaps even in ruins. If in those cases you have imagined whose property could be … the answer could be unexpected: this house could be owned by the State.
For this, the main condition is that an owner of said property is not known. Or what is the same, in cases in which a property does not have a known owner, it will automatically be understood that said property will belong to the State.
The Law 33/2003, of November 3, of the Patrimony of the Public Administrations establishes in its article 17 that ” the properties that lack an owner belong to the General Administration of the State “. This law calls the affected properties as ” vacant ” properties, a term that came to replace what in previous regulations was classified as ” mostrencos properties “.
This word, although in other contexts is used to describe a person “very fat and heavy” or someone “ignorant and slow to run”, the truth is that the Royal Dictionary of the Spanish Academy recognizes that the goods shown are those “real estate vacant or without a known owner that by law belong to the State “.
And, indeed, the possession of these properties by the State is by law. In fact, the Law of the Patrimony of the Public Administrations explains that “the acquisition of these assets will take place by operation of the law, without the need for any act or declaration by the General Administration of the State.”
This means that, due to the fact that the owner is not known, the property is considered the property of the State. The Administration does not have to respond to any tax obligation or other responsibilities until there is an “effective incorporation” into the state patrimony.
How the State acquires these properties
In accordance with the regulations, the State can acquire these properties “by administrative means, as long as they are not being owned by anyone as the owner, and without prejudice to the rights of third parties.” If, in doing so, the existence of “a possessor as owner” is discovered, the General Administration of the State is granted the possibility “to initiate the corresponding action before the organs of the civil jurisdictional order.”
In the event that for legal purposes the state ownership of said properties is considered “sufficiently accredited, the law establishes that the property will be appraised,” upon its inclusion in the General Inventory of State Assets and Rights and on its registration in the Property Registry “, without prejudice to other measures necessary to guarantee possession.
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