What is the Padron Municipal?
Every municipality in Spain holds a record of local residents, the Padron. This is held at the town hall (Ayuntamiento). The UK equivalent would be the electoral role. Anybody who owns a property in Spain should register, whether they live here permanently or not. Even if you are renting on a long-term basis, you can apply to be registered. However, take note that you can only be registered on one Padron.
Who does it benefit?
Although, it is not compulsory to be registered, it benefits both you and the municipality (borough) which, as a homeowner, you are part of. It benefits the municipality because the local government receives funding depending on the number of people registered on the Padron. For this reason, it is imperative that you register to ensure the amount of funds necessary to run the municipality (borough) and maintain the infrastructure are received by the local government.
The funding is used for essential amenities such as policing, health centres, cleaning and maintenance. If you do not register, basic services will suffer as they do in many areas as so many foreign residents do not bother to register, mainly because they are unaware that they should. It even affects staffing in the health clinics, post office and all the services that we take for granted.
If you are planning to live here and have children, it gives you the right to enrol your children in the local schools (if places are limited preference will be given to registered children). It also allows you to take advantage of local leisure facilities with discounted fees at the municipal sports centre and exercise classes. It is often necessary when looking for work via the municipal ‘job centre’ equivalent. There are numerous advantages to having a certificate of empadronamiento (issued to you when you register).
It is clearly in the best interest of both the residents (home owners) and the town hall, to ensure the maximum number of people are registered on the Padron as it impacts on the income of the town hall and on the services that they can/will provide to the community.
Gordon Cockburn CRA Membership Sec.