Sometime it is not clear if a property has been legally or illegally built in Spain. There is still a culture of ‘laissez faire’ within certain areas of Spain, which can lull foreign settlers into a false sense of security regarding the potential to build and live in rural areas. But this attitude is not to be confused with a carte blanche for would-be self-builders.
The Spanish planning system is highly regulated – the fact that even many locals have taken the law into their hands and built ‘illegal’ dwellings is simply due to the inability of the local authorities to always enforce the planning laws which are in place.
People building illegally have done so without an architect, and so will not benefit from the guarantees which an architect-built home in Spain will give you. Firstly a well-designed and properly executed home (which comes with 10 years of building insurance), a house which is registered, a ‘Cedula de Habitabilidad’, and a property that is, therefore, worth something when it comes to sale or inheritance. But most importantly it gives you peace of mind.
Before buying a property, don’t just check the planning laws at a local level. Check the planning regulations at a regional level.
Ask the question: does the property have ‘Cedula de Habitabilidad’ ? is there any reason why i should be refused ‘Cedula de Habitabilidad’ ?
If you use a Spanish lawyer we would recommend using a lawyer that specialises or understands in planning law.
If you would like SKH Architects to investigate the legality of at property in relation to planning regulations the please please contact us.