Each builder must submit plans to the Town Hall in advance of starting any building work of Urbanisations or individual houses. When the work is finished on the entire area that was submitted, the builder then must advise the Town Hall in order that they inspect the building works and approve the same.
What is an Habitation Certificate?
The ‘Cedula de Habitabilidad’, or Habitation Certificate, is issued by the Town Hall, on satisfactory completion of the building Project. This means that everything on a new property is in order and has been passed by the Town Hall.
Originally, the Habitation Certificate had a validity of 5 years and stated that the building conforms to the original plans submitted to the Town Hall. When the five years expired, the owner of the property had to renew the certificate via the Town Hall, who issued the new certificate in the name of the owner of the property. Now, however, things have changed and the Habitation Certificates are issued without an expiry date for the property and even if the certificate said valid for 5 years originally it is valid for 10 years (called a Licencia Segunda Ocupacion). Once they are renewed, they are also valid by law for 10 years and called a Declaracion Responsable.
If any renovations are made to the property (including the closing in of patio areas, paving of gardens, adding of additional rooms etc) permission should be obtained by the Town Hall, prior to starting the works. The real problems occur when you are selling your property. Even if they don´t expire, on changing properties there has to be a new Licencia applied for. The difference for the sellers will be in that case, the buyers need to pay for it, and not the sellers..
This is also when the Town Hall will become aware of any minor works made without permission, due to the paperwork that they require in order to obtain the Habitation Certificate. So, any of you planning to sell your house in the future, we recommend that you get your paperwork in order. Spanish Solutions offers a full service including the obtaining of this certificate and also Architects projects in the event that they are required. If you would like some help with obtaining your Certificate, please contact us.