CASE STUDY – Building Licences


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Before you alter your property in any way at all you should first check if anything is written on the subject in your Title Deeds (Escritura).

Depending on the alterations or improvements you intend to make, you may have to discuss your plans with your Community of Owners and obtain their permission. Then you may need official permission. These permissions must be obtained before any work is started. Do check that official permits are necessary for what you intend to do. In some areas, heavy fines are issued for non-licenced work.


There are two types of building licences:

– a Licencia de Obra Menor (Minor Works Licence) is required for most home improvement projects, including those of a DIY nature, on the existing premises (improvements which do not result in an increase of space or rooms).

– a Licencia de Obra Mayor (Major Works Licence) is required for any project which extends or changes the useful volume of the property or its surface area (extensions and additions of any kind, including putting a bathroom into an existing space).

Any alterations have to be documented – you apply for the relevant licence form (solicitud) at the Planning office (Urbanismo) of the Town Hall. If you do not do this you will find yourself in a difficult situation when you come to sell your property, the new details of which will not match with those written on your Title Deeds.


What is the procedure when the building work is finished?

Once the extension has been completed the new description of the property must be declared before the Notary Public and then inscribed at the Land Registry. This procedure has to be done anytime before the sale or mortgaging of the property even on the date, or just before, completion.


How can the 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. One 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.

Please make an appointment to come and see us if you have any plans to make alterations to your property and we will help you throughout the process.


  • Steven Prichard

    I am joining two apartments, with new bathrooms floors window, etc the work has overrun by two months so far and I am now being asked to stop. Several neighbours have complained about the noise. My original license was to alter a bathroom. Can I ignore the complaints and carry on?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Steven,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      It is important that you have the correct licence before commencing with work of this nature, permission is needed from the Community and also an appropriate works licence. With the appropriate legal permissions, you should have no problems in continuing and finishing the work. The neighbours are not able to do anything about the problem of the noise, unless it takes years but an over run of a few months is quite possible with this type of work. But you should ensure that your permissions are all in order before you carry on, given the present situation. We will contact you directly via email to discuss this matter further and assist you in any way posible.

      Kind regards

  • Dee

    Hi I have a traditional townhouse AnD I am re doing the bathroom, kitchen, external courtyard and downstairs WC. Would this be a obra menor license at the town hall? I have a builder but he hasn’t advised me of any permits

    • Jane

      Hi Dee

      Yes the obra menor for changes and upgrades if required from the Town Hall.

      Kind Regards


  • Sebastian

    Hi! I’m on Mallorca Applying for a obra Menor. I don’t understand what R.C.D papers are and if I need them for my application at all. Any suggestions? Central Manacor.

    I understand that it is “Residuos de Construcción y Demolición” but do I really need documents from whatever that agency is to get my Obra Menor?

    Contracte R.C.D
    Avaluacío R.C.D
    Carta pagament R.C.D

    • Jane

      Hi Sebastian

      We understand that this is the tax that you have to pay to the Town Hall to occupy the public areas to leave a container where all the waste from the works will go. hope this helps.

      Kind Regards


  • David O’Brine

    Hi I have some builder friends who are willing to move in and carry out the works on my apartment. They are from New Zealand and I can trust them to move into the apartment and perform the (minor) works-new kitchen/bathrooms / revamp. Is this feasible or do they need to be licenced Spanish workers to hire skips etc

    • Nicola Ryan

      Afternoon David,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      We do not think you have to be a registered builder to hire a skip ect, it would be best to discuss this with the company directly. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards

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