Property valuation rights: from the ancient Sumerians to urban development

Property valuation rights

The Code of Hammurabi was the first legal text and it cites the concept of property up to seven times. Let’s do a little history and review what property rights are and how they are valued.

In ancient Mesopotamia, around 1800 BC.C. appears Property Valuation Adelaide what is considered to be the first set of laws, the Code of Hammurabi. A short text that, however, cites up to seven times the concept of owner. Throughout history, this term has been adapted and has been strengthened with the aim of guaranteeing the right to property, for this it is key the existence of an organism that of faith of the property, identifies it, describes its burdens and its use. We are talking about the Land Registry, an entity that was once known under the name of accounting.

In 1861 it appears in Spain as an organization in which the properties are registered to publicize the owner of the same and the charges by which they may be affected. Its purpose is to provide security in sales operations, mortgages, etc.

At present, the registration of real estate in the Registry is voluntary, but, from the moment a mortgage loan is required for its purchase, it becomes practically inevitable. Despite its voluntariness, it is a very useful instrument, so it is increasingly rare the existence of farms that are not registered and updated in this body. Being able to consult in one place most of the circumstances that affect a property, provides a very important legal security that other countries in our environment lack.

Undoubtedly, legal certainty linked to the right to property is key to social prosperity and, ultimately, to freedom and democracy. It must be alive and adapt as society evolves.

The Sumerians laid the foundations of the right to property, the Romans were responsible for concretizing and developing it and today it is materialized in the following rights:

Full domain

A property held in full ownership by one or more owners can be used in all legally possible ways, used, rented, left in disuse, altered, demolished, rebuilt, etc. It is divided into usufruct and bare property:


Usufruct is the “right to enjoy the property of others with the obligation to preserve its form and substance, unless the title of its constitution or the law authorizes otherwise,” as stated in the Civil Code.

Nuda property

The bare property is the right to property without dominion over it, without use or profitability, or what is the same, is the right to wait for the usufruct to be extinguished to recover full control over the property.

In Roman Paladino, the usufruct of a good gives the right of use and enjoyment to its beneficiary (both to inhabit it and to lease it). In the current era of longevity it is an upward right, in which the owners of the house sell the bare property to the bank, but reserving the usufruct for life.

This means that we have to value both rights more and more. The Property valuation of the usufruct is calculated on the probabilistic or contractual estimate of the time remaining until its cancellation; on the other hand, the bare property valuation is obtained from the difference between the value of the full property and the value of the usufruct.

Leases and temporary assignments

The tenant and the assignee of a property have the right to use and enjoy the property for the duration of the rental or assignment contract, with the limitations that have been freely established in the contract.

In the case of a temporary assignment (paid or free) by a Public Administration, this right is called an administrative concession. If the assignment is of a land for the construction of a building that the assignee will enjoy, we call it surface right.

In both cases, the Property valuation of the rights will be twofold. This means that it will have a different value for the assignor and for the assignee. Both values will be obtained through an investment approach.

Although it is possible to do so, rental contracts are not usually registered in the land register, mainly due to their short duration. However, administrative concessions and surface rights are subject to registration.

Groping and retraction

It is a right reserved by a third party (other than buyer and seller) to choose to keep the property for the agreed price of the sale, either when responding to the seller’s notice (groping), or upon learning of the sale (retraction). It is a relevant right in the sale of properties rented or subject to maximum legal value, such as protected housing. This right, as such, is not subject to Property valuation in itself, although it is taken into account when valuing real estate, especially when it affects its maximum value.

Mortgage right:

The lender notes in the record that it has made a loan with certain conditions, terms and amounts. In case of default, the property is the guarantee of the loan, it will be auctioned judicially and the lender will be repaired, leaving the surplus, if any, for the borrower.

Right to collect the debts of others: preventive attachments

It occurs when a creditor judicially claims the payment of any debt and the justice gives the reason, but the debtor does not pay him. Given this scenario, it is entitled to request the court to write down the debt in one or more registered properties owned by the debtor, so that, in case these are sold, it can be paid for the debt. The debtor, as long as he continues to hold the property, can continue to enjoy the property.

Both the mortgage and the liens are usually reflected in the Property valuations, but they are not taken into account in the Property valuation itself, since it only includes the value of the good and not the debts of a third party for which the good is collateral.

Right to urban development

It is a somewhat exotic right, since the registered property is not a piece of land, but an urban use. That is, the right to build a certain area of concrete use. This use has not indicated its location. Its place will be marked by a later instrument (an equidistribution project). It arises to safeguard property rights in reparcelling processes in which the farm contributed disappears without there still being a result farm.

Its Property valuation does not differ much from that of a conventional land with the same use, with the exception of some uses that are very dependent on the exact location as is the case of tertiary use.

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