Legal Advise

If you are buying a property please, we recommend you to read these articles and basic guidelines linked below before paying or signing anything.

Contact us if you need confidential and free further advise, our legal team will be pleased to help you.


Five essential things you need to know before buying a house in Spain

By Connie Raymundo- (Article published in CBNews) 

By Connie Raymundo- (Article published in CBNews)


In each country property purchase systems differ and Spain is probably one of the most complicated due to the number of formalities that must be completed. Apart from the usual important requirements regarding the property itself (location, accessibility, services, structural condition etc) there are five other essential things you must check out before buying a house in Spain:


1. Land Registry ownership: Ask at the local Land Registry office for a 'nota simple'. This document will tell you who is the legal owner and if any mortgages or other charges are outstanding on the house.


2. Town Hall information: Ask at the local Town Hall for a certificate of any planning infringements, fines that may have been levied against the property and for files of any alteration works that may have been carried out (facades etc); this might save you considerable trouble and expense in the future.


3. Habitation Certificate: Ask the owner to provide you with the habitation certificate, called licencia de primera ocupación for new houses and licencia de segunda ocupación for second hand homes. This document guarantees that the house is habitable, and you will need it when transferring utility supply contracts.

4. Purchase expenses: Be sure you know the final price of the house including all ancillary and legal expenses - taxes, Notary and Land Registry fees are usually paid by the purchaser. You can also ask neighbours about the community fees and if there are any extra charges (derramas). The Owner must provide you with the receipt for the current year's local housing and refuse taxes paid, and which will give you a clear idea of what to expect for following years. Water and electricity contracts also involve expenses.

5. Independent professional help: Buying a house is probably the largest financial transaction you will ever make. The Notaries Association recommends that you DO NOT pay any deposit and do not sign any document without proper independent legal advice.

Connie Raymundo – Lawyer & Barrister at Raymundo & Lundkvist Legal and Expat Services. ICALI Reg. Nº 5936.

And if you are buying please, visit our website for some basic guidelines on this process:

http://www.solutions-rl.com/CONVEYANCING-BUYING.ht...

You can also contact us, we will provide you with a free estimate of costs for the conveyancing services with no obligation:

connie@solutions-rl.com

+34 609 652 327



‘Habitation Certificate’ Part 1 -

BUILDING FIRST OCCUPANCY LICENCE

By Connie Raymundo- (Article published in CBNews)

Previously called the Habitation Certificate (Cédula de Habitabilidad) and still commonly known and referred to by this name, the Land & Building Laws now provide for two different types of ‘Habitation Certificate’:

a First Occupancy Licence that has to be obtained for all New Build homes, and a Second or Further Occupancy Licence that should be issued prior to any house resale.

In today’s article we will briefly explain the First Occupancy Licence for New Build homes. As specified in the Law, the First Occupancy Licence is the Local Authority’s legal documentation which confirms that the building has been completed in accordance with the official building licence that should have been issued prior to the start of the building works. In cases where there have been any subsequent modifications or changes of any kind that are not described in the original building project for which the building licence was initially granted, this First Occupancy Licence will not be issued until and unless these modifications can be shown to fully comply with the Land Laws and the approved Town Plan etc, and an updated Architect’s project is prepared, submitted and approved in order to properly record and so legalise all such modifications. Basically, this Licence will confirm that the house is suitable for living and also that it complies with all applicable building rules and regulations. Furthermore, the First Occupancy Licence (just as is the case with the Second Occupancy Licence) is a guarantee for the purchaser’s benefit and peace of mind that the building does indeed comply with the Land Laws etc and that no demolition orders are pending for any of the building work covered by the Occupancy Licence. However, and as mentioned in a previous article, it is important to check and confirm that from the time the Occupancy Licence was originally granted to the time that the house is actually bought/sold, no additional building or alteration works have been carried out – because these will not be covered by the Licence and could later have demolition orders and/or fines set against them.

The First Occupancy Licence has a validity of 10 years and is absolutely essential when signing contracts with the utility providers. These supply companies (Water, Electricity, Gas etc) simply cannot connect their services to the property if the Occupancy Licence has not been obtained. Also, and in accordance with the provisions of the Law (which incidentally have been legally case-tested and reconfirmed by Court precedent on many occasions), a house sold without an Occupancy Licence is not considered to be a proper house, as its suitability for living (ie habitation) has not been confirmed and approved: so the purchase-sale contract can be cancelled, which means that the builder will have to refund all the purchaser’s monies and most probably pay compensation as well. If you have bought a New Build home and no Occupancy Licence has been provided, please contact us and we will be happy to help you – your initial consultation or visit is free of charge. Connie Raymundo – Lawyer & Barrister at Raymundo & Lundkvist Legal and Expat Services. ICALI Reg. Nº 5936.

And if you are buying please, visit our website for some basic guidelines on this process:

http://www.solutions-rl.com/CONVEYANCING-BUYING.ht...

You can also contact us, we will provide you with a free estimate of costs for the conveyancing services with no obligation:

connie@solutions-rl.com

+34 609 652 327



‘Habitation Certificate’ Part 2 -

BUILDINGS SECOND/FURTHER OCCUPANCY LICENCE

By Connie Raymundo- (Article published in CBNews)

As mentioned in our previous article on this topic, Occupancy Licences (previously known as Habitation Certificates) are important legal documents which confirm that a house is suitable for living in and also that it complies with all applicable building rules and regulations. A First Occupancy Licence has to be obtained for all New Build homes and, in accordance with the provisions of Article 214 of the new Valencia Land Laws (LOTUP) and Article 33 of the Buildings Law, a Second/Further Occupancy Licence has to be obtained in all cases when the First Occupancy Licence is over 10 years old, when the house is sold for the second or further time, and/or when new utility services contracts are needed (for example when changing these into a new owner’s name) Second Occupancy Licences have to be formally applied for in writing by means of a ‘Responsible Statement’, and to which the documentation requested by your specific Town Hall should be attached (please consult with your own local authorities as requirements can and do vary). Submission of this application will have an automatic positive effect and the Second Occupancy Licence will be considered to be granted for every house that a) originally had a valid First Occupancy Licence, b) was properly built in accordance with an Architect’s project and c) had all the relevant building permissions etc. Do be aware however that this application will not have the same effect in respect of those houses for which a First Occupancy Licence was not applied for at the proper time, as the local authorities will now need to carry out a full inspection prior to granting their approval for the Licence to be issued. In the eyes of the Law, those owners of houses that were unable to get the First Occupancy Licence due to problems of legality are in a completely different legal position, and will only able to secure a Second Occupancy Licence if certain other legal conditions are complied with and, in accordance with the Law and general conditions covering this situation, there are no pending planning infringement fines or open demolition files – these should be either be non-existent or have already expired.

It is not practical in an advice article to try to cover every possible option for every individual situation, so ‘general information’ on these matters can sometimes easily lead to initial misunderstandings. For example, in the famous case of Catral, over 1200 houses were built illegally and because of this, purchasers were unable to get the First Occupancy Licence for their properties. The local authorities had to draw up and pass a special bylaw in an attempt to resolve the majority of these cases, and after complying with certain legal requirements, Second Occupancy Licences will be granted to any houses that do not have any pending fines or open demolition files or where, as mentioned before, any such fines and/or files have now expired. This was an absolutely tremendous step forward that has helped many worried residents obtain their ‘Habitation Certificates’ and yet, after so much effort over a period of 12 years working towards legalising this situation, it has completely amazed both the local authorities and this legal firm that less than 30% of the people that could be entitled to a Second Occupancy Licence for their homes have actually applied for it! If you are a Catral resident and you want to know whether or not you may be entitled to a Habitation Certificate for your property, or alternatively if you are resident in any other town and need help to get a Second Occupancy Licence, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to advise you – your first consultation or visit is free of charge. Connie Raymundo – Lawyer & Barrister at Raymundo & Lundkvist Legal and Expats Services. ICALI Reg. Nº: 5936.  

And if you are buying please, visit our website for some basic guidelines on this process:

http://www.solutions-rl.com/CONVEYANCING-BUYING.ht...

You can also contact us, we will provide you with a free estimate of costs for the conveyancing services with no obligation:

connie@solutions-rl.com

+34 609 652 327