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.