Public act of sale or deed

All the notary's checks end upon completion of the act of sale.

As a rule, at the time of signing of the deed of sale, handover of the property also takes place. At the time of handover it is highly recommended that the administrator of a condominium be asked for a declaration that the seller has paid all service levies up to date, as the buyer is liable for the non-payment of service charges due in the previous year. 

Nevertheless, the parties may agree otherwise, deciding for:

  • early handover, it being understood that the seller remains the owner of the property and therefore responsible for it under the law, 
  • delayed handover to meet the needs of the seller, a clause being inserted in the contract of sale setting a time limit by which handover must be made, if necessary with provision for a penalty for any delay.

Recently approved rule changes provide for the obligation to deposit the sale price in the hands of the notary who will deliver the money to the seller only after the successful completion of all the obligations following the conclusion of the sale. The regulation to implement this is currently in the approval process.

To protect the public, the law provides detailed rules for the preparation of the deed, in particular:

a) the notary must explain and read the entire contents of the document to the parties and any witnesses whose presence is required by law in certain cases (such as when one party is unable to sign or is suffering from sensory impairment), making sure that they understand the contents and legal effects. If he does not do so, he is criminally responsible for the crime of falsity in a public document;

b) the document, once read and approved, must be signed by the parties and any witnesses before the notary and it is then signed by the notary; 

c) what the notary certifies in the notarial deed is legally conclusive evidence for all purposes - even in the courts - unless the crime of falsity in a public document can be proved.