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Declaring a “new build” or extension

Published 02/06/2009

Generally it is believed that when we own our own property it gives us the right to freely extend or renovate it as we wish. This idea, of course, is incorrect and in Spain, as in any other European country, failure to comply with the law in these matters can result in sanctions, economic or otherwise, and in some cases demolition.  So what must be done to make your property modification legal?

What is needed to gain authorisation for building work?

The first thing to take into account is the necessity to apply for a building license from the corresponding Town Hall. The licence is issued on presentation of the building project, drawn up by a qualified architect, and the payment of the Town Hall fee. The law governing building projects establishes the obligation to have plans drawn up in the case of extensions, modifications, renovations and total reformation as well as in the case of a complete “new build”.

Once the licence has been applied for at the Town Hall, if the recognised period of time elapses without notification of rejection, then it is possible to proceed to signing the new build or extension Deed before the Public Notary. This can be achieved by obtaining a Certificate of Administration from the Town Hall or by simply presenting at the Notary the licence application form, officially stamped. Building work can commence as soon as any one of the aforementioned have been obtained.

What is the procedure when the building work is finalized?

In reference to an extension, once it has been completed it signifies that the original property has been changed with an increase of square metres. The new description of the property must be declared before the Notary Public and then inscribed at the Land Registry. Failure to complete this procedure will prejudice the future sale of the property and eliminate the possibility of being able to mortgage it.

How can the “New Build” or extension be declared at the Notary and then registered?

Various documents must be presented to the Notary to enable him or her to check the legality of the build and if it’s description actually coincides with the reality of what has been built. On of the key documents controlling this is the architect’s certificate, known as the Final Building Certificate, and this must be signed by the architect, the signature being witnessed and authenticated by the Notary. In signing the certificate beforehand or appearing personally at the signing of the New Build Deed the architect declares that the building work has been completed according to the original plans which secured the licence from the Town Hall.

Marina Lorente

Marina Lorente

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