Search:     Go  
The Spanish Lawyer Online
The Spanish Lawyer Online

Newsletter

Receive our monthly newsletter and stay up to date!

  Go

Learn More about our newsletter!


The Licence of First Occupation Explained

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt - Lawbird Legal Services
29th of January 2009

In short, a Licence of First Occupation is a licence issued by the Town Hall which is granted once the building works have been completed, and allows purchasers to dwell in a property. If a long time has passed since the building works ended and the developer has failed to obtain this licence, it may be a sign of serious underlying legal problems. Although it is not illegal to complete at the notary without a Licence of First Occupation, not having one will prevent you from having access to water and electricity supplies for the property. It will also mean that no bank will be willing to grant you a mortgage, other than the developers’. It is always recommendable to complete with a valid Licence of First Occupation in place; however, there are special circumstances in which it may be advisable to complete without one, specifically if there’s no bank guarantee securing your down payments and the developer is in risk of going into administration, provided that there’s no ruling affecting the building licence due to planning issues.

Over the last years we have read in the press horror stories on those completing on off-plan properties which had not attained the necessary Licence of First Occupation and all the woes they are now facing as a result of it. But what really is a Licence of First Occupation and what importance does it have for a purchaser? In this article, structured as a Frequently Asked Questions list, we strive to deliver some insight onto this matter in a very simplified manner.

What is a Licence of First Occupation?

The Licence of First Occupation (also known as Habitation Licence or Certificate of Habitation, in Spanish Licencia de Primera Ocupación orCédula de Habitabilidad) is an Administrative licence granted by the Town Hall at the town/city in which the property is located, and enables the owner to dwell in it legally. The developer is responsible for applying for this licence once the Certificate of End of Construction has been issued. Each newly built dwelling will have an individual License of First Occupation (LFO) granted albeit in large developments the LFO are normally grouped for economies of scale. Resale properties will already have a LFO granted. In this article we will be referring mostly to off-plan properties.

What Does a Licence of First Occupation Document Look Like?

A Licence of First Occupancy document is basically a document consisting of one or more pages issued by the Town Hall and addressed to the developer who applied for the licence which states that the Licence of First Occupation has been granted for the property or group of properties in the application.

It normally has the following elements:

  1. Logo of the Town Hall issuing the licence
  2. Stamp with the date in which the document is issued and an accessions register number.
  3. File Number
  4. Plot of land planning reference
  5. Developer’s name
  6. Number and type of properties which are being granted licence
  7. Date on which the licence was granted
  8. Name and signature of the Town Hall secretary who grants the Licence and Town Hall’s Stamp

Figure 1: Anatomy of a Licence of First Occupation

 

Why is a First Occupancy Licence Needed?

The LFO is important for two reasons:

  1. Its granting means the developer has built the dwelling complying fully with the original Town Hall’s Building Licence (BL) as well as complying with all Planning laws. The inspection to grant this Licence is carried out by Town Hall’s chartered technicians who certify that the dwelling complies fully with Health, Access, Security, Planning and Construction Laws and is deemed as apt for human habitation.
  2. It is also required by the property’s owner to have access to the official utilities (water, electricity, gas and telecommunications). Spanish law requires the granting of the LFO to hook up the dwelling to the supply grid. Although in some parts of Spain there have been cases of supply companies waiving this and connecting you without the said licence. In such cases the only requirement was showing the application of having requested the LFO from the Town Hall.

Banks normally require the LFO before they consider granting a mortgage loan against the property. The only exception would be the developer’s bank which has already underwritten the whole development and is able to offer a mortgage loan without it because they are eager to spread the developer’s default risk. Also, taking on the mortgage offered by the developer’s bank has many advantages as it reduces the legal set-up expenses borne by the prospective purchaser.

How Long Does a LFO Take to be Granted?

This will depend on various factors. If the Town Hall’s technicians detect irregularities in the development or deviations from the original building licence then the Habitation Licence will be delayed until the developer fixes these problems. In a smaller town you can reasonably expect the LFO to be issued within a few months of the developer having submitted the Certificate of End of Construction providing the development has no major irregularities. In large cities the granting may be pulled back even eight months or more due to the work overload of the Town Hall.

No one can speed up the granting of the First Occupation Licence, neither the developer nor us the solicitors; its granting depends solely on the Spanish Town Hall’s civil servants. The Town Hall will allow time for the developer to mend any planning irregularity or pending communal work.

Is Every Off-plan Development Issued an Habitation Licence?

Yes. As previously written, each dwelling has its own individual LFO granted, although in large developments they are normally grouped for simplicities sake. A detached villa will have its own individual LFO whereas large developments consisting of various phases will have grouped LFOs issued. Each of these phases normally has its own LFO. So for example in a huge development of 300 units grouped in 4 phases there could be four different building licences and you would have one all-inclusive LFO granted for each individual phase grouping 75 dwellings at a time. This could well mean that even within the same finished development some properties may be legal (with a LFO granted) yet others are not legally deemed as habitable yet. You could only tell which are which by means of thorough legal analysis. Another matter being if the local authorities actually pursue those who live in, or let properties which lack the mandatory LFO, but I’ll reserve that for another occasion.

What are the Risks of not Having a LFO Granted?

If the LFO has not been granted one year or more after the Certificate of End of Construction was submitted it usually means there is a serious underlying problem. The said problem can arise from a myriad of causes such as planning problems (e.g. the development had only been granted a building licence for two storeys and four have been built, the property has been built in an area zoned as green belt, or an archaeological site of interest has been uncovered), or could mean there might be a health hazard because there is a breach of Health laws (e.g. the sewage pipeline is incorrectly laid out).

One of the most recent cases has taken place in the peaceful town of Catral in Valencia, Costa Blanca, where several developments have been finished and the purchasers have completed on the properties without a LFO been granted. More than 1,000 houses are now deemed illegal. It turns out many of those dwellings were built within the perimeter of a national park zoned as green belt land. The Government has announced that it will pull down some of them.

Is it True that Completing without a LFO is Illegal?

This is a common misconception. Completion on a property, before a Spanish notary public without a LFO is legal in Spain and the property will be lodged under your name at the land registry. However, it is not legal to occupy/live in a property without the mandatory administrative LFO. So basically you legally own a dwelling which is uninhabitable legally until the LFO is granted by the Town Hall. Many off-plan purchasers on having waited for years on end until the granting of their LFO, or with no prospects of it ever being granted due to planning illegalities, have decided to litigate and obtain a full refund of their stage payments in fear of their developers going into receivership.

What is the Difference Between an Ordinary LFO and one Granted by Administrative Silence?

Both LFOs are equally valid. Under Law 30/92 if a Town Hall does not reply to a licence petition within a given period of time it is automatically considered granted by positive silence. This is called Administrative Silence Rule and is a special administrative procedure which enables licences to be obtained after a certain period of time (currently 3 months), if no response has been obtained from the Town Hall. If a LFO is obtained through Administrative Silence it is just as valid as an ordinary one obtained expressly through the Town Hall under Spanish Administrative Law. It is pointless to challenge a licence obtained by Administrative Silence as it is perfectly legal in our system, provided it wasn’t obtained breaching any laws.

What are the Associated Problems of Completing on a Property without a LFO?

Although it is legal to complete in such a case, it has numerous legal and practical drawbacks which ought to be highlighted by your lawyer to aid you in making an informed decision. To name a few:

  • Primarily, you will not be able to take out a mortgage on the property or remortgage it - if needed be- by any bank other than the developer’s.
  • You will not be able to benefit from the official utility supplies; only from the developer’s supplies (water and electricity) with all the associated problems this has, namely that you may be cut off at any time as it is the developer who is paying for it and if they go into receivership you will be shut off. Besides, the site supply electricity doesn’t have the same strength and power surges are fairly common on simultaneously turning on various electrical appliances such as air conditioning.
  • Any future prospective purchaser, or their lawyer, will haggle with you and only pay a lower purchase price if you lack a LFO in a newly built resale. In a resale, the purchasers in turn will undergo the same problems to secure finance by means of a mortgage loan. A lack of a LFO implies that you are actually reducing the base of potential purchasers for your resale.
  • If there are planning issues, the Town Hall can set a charge against the property and you as the new owner of an off-plan –and not the developer- may be held liable to pay the fine for the planning illegality.
  • Needless to say, you cannot let a property legally without a LFO.

Should I Complete Without a Licence of First Occupation?

It is in general recommendable to complete in off-plans only if a LFO has been granted by the Town Hall. However there are exceptions to this general rule.

If the development complies fully with all the required planning permissions, you lack a bank guarantee, there’s no ruling affecting the building licence due to planning issues and there is a high risk of the developer going into administration in the near future, it would be advisable to complete. You would still have to wait until the LFO is granted before you can live in the property, but at least now there is no risk of you losing your funds if the developer becomes bankrupt.

It is very important to realise that until completion the property still belongs to the developer. So if you still have not closed and the developer becomes insolvent in the interim, the property lodged under its name may be seized by the developers’ bank or any other creditor that places a charge on it at the land registry. If you have no bank guarantee and the above happens, it is very likely you will forfeit your down payments. However, cases differ and require a case-by-case study by your appointed solicitor.

In any case, our recommendation, as always, is that you hire a lawyer with enough experience in Spanish property law to ensure your interests are fully protected.

--

Lawbird Legal Services is a law firm with a broad experience in Litigation, and is specialized in representing clients affected by real estate and planning problems. More information about Lawbird.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Discuss this Article

  • uhpuxexw Says:

  • Conn Says:

    I feel you should also point out the dangers of not completing on the required date, specifically after the LFO was granted.
  • Lawbird Lawyer Says:

    Dear Sir/Madam, It's a fair point. This article is really a F.A.Q. that picks up on all the legal queries related to LFO I've received over the years. I judged that writing on the dangers of not completing after its granting was slightly off the point as it had to do more with litigation and besides the article is already over 2,000 words long as it stands so I had to draw the line at some point or other. But I've thought about it too many times over. In any case in other sections of this website I've covered the topic already. Regards, Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
  • Philip Says:

    I have lost my LFO. Have lived here for 10 years. Have a catastral certificate and pay my IBI I am conected to all services etc. How can I get a duplicate and what will it cost?
  • Lawbird Lawyer Says:

    Dear Sir, You can request a copy from the Town Hall where it was issued (Planning Department). All you need to bring along is your passport and a copy of the Title deed. It should be free if you do it on your own.
  • mike Says:

    The builder of our apartments walked away from the complex approx 4 years ago, since then we have completed all the work necessary to apply for the LOF. Now our application is in we have found out that a company who is owed money buy the builder has embargoed land that we have agreed to hand over to the Town Hall. Can the embargoing of the land prevent the Town Hall from issuing the LFO. They have said that the building is compliant.
  • Lawbird Lawyer Says:

    Dear Sir, It's up to your Town Hall to reply on this issue, we cannot assist you, as the decision is only theirs. You've probably reached an agreement with them to legalise your development in exchange of a plot of land which is now in jeopardy. I'm sure you will both come to an agreement and your development will obtain the LFO eventually as it benefits the Town Hall as well.
  • Steve Smith Says:

    Do you need to apply for a licence of first occupation after restoring a tumbled down ruin?
  • Lawbird Lawyer Says:

    Dear Sir, Do you have permission from the Town Hall to restore the ruin and live in it?
  • Graham Jones Says:

    We had to complete on our apartment as the bank guarantee was worthless and the developer was bankrupt. The development has no First Occupation License and the Architect refuses to sign off the work as being complete unless the Community of Owners pays the fees owed by the developer. This runs in a considerable sum which the community cannot aford to pay. We have therefore secured the services of another architect to oversee the minimal amount of completion work. He will submit his project to the Colledge of Architects and submit the Completion Certificate in order to obtain the First Occupation License. One member has concerns that the Colledge will not accept another architects certificate. If they are correct then we may never get the project completion certificate unless we pay the first architect their "ransom money". I cannot believe that this is correct and we are preparing to pay the new architect a fair sum for finishing things off. Can you comment on this? Graham
  • Lawbird Lawyer Says:

    Dear Sir, I suspect this could very well be the case, yes. It should be the same architect that signs it, not a different one. I believe that member you write will be right. As we always recommend on giving legal advice, one should in general not complete without a Licence of First Occupation issued by the Town Hall. There are a few exceptions in any case which are already highlighted in the article that starts this thread i.e. developer is teetering on filing for receivership and the buyer has no bank guarantees issued securing their stage payments. Yours faithfully,
  • john Says:

    i am due to sign 4 a resale my solicitors says i need a 2nd habitation license is this true as i need a surveyor at 350 euros 4 this
  • Lawbird Lawyer Says:

    Dear Sir, In some parts of Spain (i.e. Valencia region) a second Licence of First Occupation may be required, yes. Surveyors normally charge 350€, it's a fairly standard fee. Yours faithfully, Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
  • Jesper Says:

    Hello, We are about to buy a townhouse outside Marbella. It is a 10 years old townhouse. Our laywer was about to sign the contract yesterday but called us to inform us that there is no Licence of First Occupation. In the community there are three rows of townhouses but there is only licence for the first row. What is the "worst scenario" if we sign? Kind regards, Jesper
  • Lawbird Lawyer Says:

    Dear Sir, It depends on the legal standing of your community. As you are probably aware in Marbella there were over 18,000 illegal properties. This has been reduced to less than 500 with the (ever) imminent approval of Marbella´s new Master Plan. Those dwellings to be demoslied are largely uninhabited, with the exception of the Banana Beach which remains as the symbol of Marbella's Gil corruption era. Please read my articles on the matter which has a list of those developments which had/have legal issues: Developers Forced to Compensate Marbella's Town Hall for Planning Irregularities - 1st October 2007 Marbella’s New Master Urban Plan to be Approved Provisionally - 28th October 2008 The legal situation has vastly improved since I wrote both articles. As I do not have details on your case it's hard for me to give you founded legal opinion. In any case one does not normally request a Licence of First Occupation for a resale property that is over ten years old. LFO are requested for new build or off plan property. In your case do you have official utility connections (water & electricity)? Do you have an individualised water and electrical meter? Does the landlord have a contract with the utility companies? Is he paying IBI tax? In your case, and taking for granted your property is not one of the 500 dwellings legally earmarked for demolition, the worst case scenario would be for you to pay a fine to the Town Hall to "regularise" the illegality. I know some developments in which a green belt area belonging to the Town Hall has been built upon by a front row ort else even a golf course, whereas the back rows where built in a proper building-designated area. Yours faithfully, Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
  • Jesper Says:

    Thank you so much for your answer! Yes, the townhouse we are interested in buying (In a community called "Last Green") has individualised water and electrical meter. Does that make it safer for us to buy? We are ready to take the risk that a buyer in the future will try to pay less. But the worst scenario is to loose our investment or even worse, to loose our investment and be forced to tear it down...Could that happen.? Regards, Jesper
  • Lawbird Lawyer Says:

    You're welcome. Last Green? Doesn't ring the bell, sorry. I'm writing now an article on property demolitions because everyone seems to be fretting over this issue as if buying in Spain was a legal gamble of sorts. Far from it. Let me clarify that demolition orders in the vast majority of cases are circumscribed to rural property. Obviously we have prime examples in developed land such as the Banana Beach always on the media spot light, but these are very rare let the truth be said. Your lawyer should be able to confirm on whether your property will be legalised or not within the next months. Even though the New Master Urban Plan for Marbella hasn't been approved yet lawyers are aware already of the developments which will obtain a LFO, even if provisional. It's not as if lawyers were in the dark on this issue. I know it sells newspapers to scare everyone off their shoes but in Marbella at least the damage extent is under control and we know which developments are earmarked as illegal or do not qualify for a regularisation procedure. As written previosuly they are under 500currently. With this I do not mean to condone the past era of corruption, juyst merely setting the record straight. Even well-known developments in Marbella East (i.e. Elviria area) will be legal in a few month's time once they obtain the provisional LFO or the new Master Plan is approved once and for all. The fact that your property has individualised water and electrical meters is legally reassuring, yes, because it means you are not under the builder's supply (which can be terminated without notice if they for example file for creditor protection) and have offical utility connections. But I cannot confirm, sorry. In any case let me just add that LFO are not normally requested for resales, unless the property is fairly new (i.e. under 5 years old). LFO are typically requested for off plan property, as per my article. I've even had a case in which someone wagged his finger at me accusingly at completion because I had failed to provide a LFO for a twenty year old property!!! Whatever. Yours faithfully, Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
  • Jesper Says:

    Thank, now I am a little more calm. The contract is now ready ti sign. The lawyers has made an appendix to the contract with the text: "La parte optante conoce el hecho que la finca carece de Licencia de Primera Ocupacion, conociendo y aceptando la actual situacion urbanistica de la finca, no teniendo nada que reclamar por este concepto a la concedente, incluso para futuras cargas y/o gravamenes que la finca pudiera ser objeto." Is this a proper appendix when the LFO i s missing? Regards, Jesper
  • Lawbird Lawyer Says:

    Dear Jesper, Further to your prior query the New Master Urban Plan of Marbella is foreseen to be finally approved in February 2010, next month. Source: REU. Even on final approval, it will be legally challenged by many lawyers on behalf of their clients. Regarding your question on the appendix, it means is you agree not to hold the vendor liable for any problems that may arise because of a lack of First Occupation Licence (LFO). You expressly acknowledge that you are fully aware of the Planning status of this dwelling (meaning if there are any illegalities you are claim that you are fully aware of them and accept them) and additionally you waive taking any legal action against the vendor should there be any future Planning problems such as any compensations necessary to have the property regularised. More on this here: Developers Forced to Compensate Marbella's Town Hall for Planning Irregularities - 1st October 2007 This is the kind of document I would not sign or have any of my clients sign unless I am positively certain of the Planning issues involving this real estate. Otherwise you are basically signing a blank cheque not holding liable the vendor for any event related to LFO and Planning issues allowing them to legally walk away clean. Should there be any kind of Planning problems, you will be held responsible. You expressly waive any legal redress against the vendor. So bottom line, it's not a "normal" appendix to sign on lacking a LFO by any stretch of the imagination. It is one-sided, biased and favours the vendor. In general you should only complete when a LFO has already been issued by a Town Hall (for off plan properties, resales do not normally require a LFO). There are however qualified exceptions to this golden rule which are clearly explained in my article on License of First Occupation that starts off this very thread and are related to the developer being close to filing for Creditor Protection or the buyer not having been provided with bank guarantees to secure their stage payments: The Licence of First Occupation Explained - 29th January 2009 Bank Guarantees in Spain - 12th November 2008 Yours faithfully, Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
  • Joolz Says:

    We completed purchase of town house in Jan 2008 and got Bank G'Tee for 12000 euros as no Habitation Cert. Our house is completed and habitable and was on builders elec untll this was disconnected last summer. The developer has stopped working on site (11 houses - 4 completely finished) Our solicitors have now executed the bank g'tee and the builders bank have agreed to release the funds as the 2 year period has passed and we have no Habcn Cert. Can we connect to our own elec supply yet or can we apply independently to the local council for a HAbcn Cert?
  • Lawbird Lawyer Says:

    Dear Sir or Madam, Until a LFO is issued by the Town Hall you will not be allowed, normally, to be on official supplies. As my article mentions, exceptionally there are regions of Spain which allow you to connect to the official utilities providing only a receipt of having requested the LFO (which may or may not be granted). You can hire your own electrical device if you wish. But as per the article that starts off this very thread, it is ILLEGAL to live in a property which lacks the mandatory LFO. Although it is legal to complete on such a property if you wish to. You can all group together and request from the Town Hall the Habitation Certificate if you wish if the developer has gone bankrupt. But you will then be expected to finish off any pending communal works or remedial work as well as paying the associated Town Hall fees for issuing the First Occupancy Licence. Because the issuance of this licence has associated a fee. Normally it is developers themselves who request and pay for the LFO. Yours sincerely, Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
  • Ramani Hopgood Says:

    My parents in law have lived in Spain for 4 years. The purchased a proprty with 100% mortgage from the bank. Recently they leanred that their house has been built illegally. Although they have been told they wont pull it down, they have been told that they will have no electricity to the property and of course they cannot sell the house. The builder is "missing" How can it be that a bank gae them 100% mortgage without checking that it was legal or not? I am desperately trying to find out what to do, please help. Their house is in Buggara/Pedralba Valencia
  • Lawbird Lawyer Says:

    Dear Sir, This is a common blunder foreigners make on buying property in Spain. The logic behind this is that if a bank has to give you a mortgage on a property then, even if it's for their own sake, they will make all the legal checks on the property verifying it is legal. In fact, why bother using a lawyer at all if the bank checks everything? The mistake underlying this flawed logic is that it's not the bank's job to check the legalities of a property and they simply don't do it; it is your duty, as a buyer, to check them out. Which is why I always advise foreigners to hire a Spanish registered lawyer on buying either an off-the-plan property or a re-sale. Please read my article on the matter: Buying Property In Spain Part I. Buying Resale: Avoiding the Pitfalls - 31st January 2010 The lawyer you hire will make sure the property you are buying is fully legal and complies with both local, regional and national laws. Yours faithfully, Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
  • Philip Howard Says:

    My friends bought a house and it does not have a first occupancy certificate. They have an escritura but want a catastra. They are not paying IBI. They have lived in the house for five years and pay electricity, water and the charge for waste. How can they get a catastra?
  • Lawbird Lawyer Says:

    Dear Mr Howard, I'm sorry I do not understand what you are referring to by a "catastra". Yours sincerely, Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
  • Philip Howard Says:

    They have no certificate catastral. Their local authority has checked the computer and although there is a record of the property the record is limited and a certificacion catastral has not been produced.
  • Lawbird Lawyer Says:

    Dear Sir, Your query is unrelated to this thread's content. A certificación catastral is not the same as Licence of First Occupation (LFO). Maybe the confusion stems from the fact that a LFO is also known as a "Habitation Certificate". Your friends may be confusing both. Yours sincerely,
  • Angel Says:

    How many years do the certificate of first occupation lasts for? 5,10, 15 years? When do you need the second certificate of occupation and how long do they last for, 5,10,or 15 years?
  • Lawbird Lawyer Says:

    A Licence of First Occupation has, as a general rule, no expiry date (*). It is for off-plan property as the article that starts off this thread explains in detail. A LSO may be required by some Town Halls when the property: 1. is sold on 2. when there's a change of the legal classification of the property 3. the property has undertaken significant refurbishment/overhaul 4. a change of the utilities supplier etc. (*) in some parts of Spain there are expiry dates of the LFO i.e. 5 years for a LFO as per Valencia's regional Planning laws. And 10 years for a LSO as from the time the LFO was issued. But as I write, this is normally an exception. Spain is made up of 17 different regions, so besides the national legal administrative framework common to all of them you additionally have all the local and regional laws that rule further on the matter. Yours sincerely, Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
  • Diana Myers Says:

    We purchased as a resale from a builder who siad he livedin property for one year before granting of first licence of occupation. The licence does not include the outbuildings or swimming pool and only the house is on Escritura. Should we have received a separate licence for outbuilding and pool . We did use a solicitor but obviously all was not checked thoroughly. Help please
  • Lawbird Lawyer Says:

    Please expand more on your query. From what I undertsand you've purchased a property (a detached villa) that in its land registry description does not have included otehr construction as well as your swimming pool? Is your property labelled as a rustic property in the campo? Yours faithfully,
  • mark rhodes Says:

    looking to buy a villa in tenerife,on amarilla golf,the property is 15 years old but the owner has no LTO ,it is not registered at the land registry but has the documents to do this.The deeds (escritura)are not in his name ,the water and electric are independent suppliers in his name. The spanish/english solicitor says that its legal to buy but i am not sure ....any ideas.
  • Lawbird Lawyer Says:

    Dear Mr Rhodes, This conveyance may potentially be fraught with legal problems. Is this villa built on rustic or in urban land? It is worrisome that the property is not lodged at the land regisrty and that it's not under the name of the vendor because it can potentially lead to claims on ownership from third parties which you may be unaware of. Old properties do not have a Licence of First Occupation, that's normally for off-plan properties. Exceptionally in some regions of Spain, i.e. Catalonia, they've passed new laws whereby LFO expire after 10 years and you must renew them if you plan on selling the property or making an extension to it. There's a huge outrage now with "illegal" rustic properties that are very old and are unable to obtain a LFO or renew it despite having being built 30, 50 or even more years ago. Please read carefully my article on the matter of buying unregistered properties; there are legal ways to overcome this problem: Quoting an excerpt, Buying Property In Spain Tips Part I. Buying Resale: Avoiding the Pitfalls - 31st January 2010 2. Has the Property Been Registered Properly? It is commonplace that extensions on properties are unregistered at the land registry. You will only find out on requesting a mortgage loan when the bank either turns you down or else offers significantly less money than what you were expecting because the extensions remain unregistered i.e. a 4 bedroom villa which has only 2 bedrooms registered at the Land Registry. This problem can be easily overcome by signing a New Build Deed at the Notary and paying the associated local tax levied by the Town Hall for the extension. This deed is then registered and the property description is amended accordingly adapting it to reality. This ought to be done by the vendor prior to the sale, unless agreed otherwise. This case is especially true of rural properties. Other cases, such as illegal rural properties, may be fraught with legal problems i.e. the property had only been given a licence to build a small tool hut of 3x3 m2 to plough the fields and yet a villa has been built instead. Rural properties can be a legal quagmire and it is essential you retain a lawyer to act on your behalf and best advice you on the matter, from the very beginning. In other cases, for perfectly legitimate reasons, properties remain unregistered or they lack the Title Deed (escritura). i.e. property inherited from one generation to another. There are different legal ways to overcome this minor problem: Acta de Notoriedad or else following an Expediente de Dominio. Reagrding a LFO some people may have become over obsessed with this issue. LFO are in the majority of cases devised for off-the-plan properties. If you are buying a re-sale property (urban) older than 10 years old it is highly unlikley it will have a Licence of First Occupation. However if the property is rustic it is highly advisable to double or even triple check a LFO has been granted or can be attained from the Town Hall where it's located. Foreigners keep making a mistake on buying rustic property in Spain as in many cases a house cannot be built on top of rustic land for legal reasons. Hence many of the problems featured on the press on properties being earmarked for demolition in Spain are, for the most part, illegal rustic properties, not urban properties. It is essential to take qualified legal advice prior to buying rustic property as it may be a legal minefield. Yours faithfully, Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
  • Martin Roe Says:

    My property was due to be completed in Sept 2006 with a 3 month extension taking me to 31st Dec 2006 i still have not been informed the property is completed should the Developer legally inform by Registered Mail? Apparently the F O L was issued in Nov 2007 kind regards
  • Lawbird Lawyer Says:

    Dear Mr Roe, I'm surprised. Developers normally, on attaining the LFO from the Town Hall, send a registered letter almost on the same day to either the off-plan buyer or his legal representative with a copy of the LFO compelling them to complete. Maybe your lawyer has been notified by the developer of this unbeknown to yourself. Yours faithfully, Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
  • Unregistered Says:

    Dear Mr Roe, I'm surprised. Developers normally, on attaining the LFO from the Town Hall, send a registered letter almost on the same day to either the off-plan buyer or his legal representative with a copy of the LFO compelling them to complete. Maybe your lawyer has been notified by the developer of this unbeknown to yourself. Yours faithfully, Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt Dear Raymundo is it not the law that i must be informed by registered mail that the property is ready? Also is the 11 month delay in recieving the F O L is this period long enough to cancel the PPC? Yours faithfully Martin Roe
  • Lawbird Lawyer Says:

    Dear Martin, If neither you nor your appointed legal representative have been sent a registered letter compelling you to complete ex Art 1504 of the Spanish Civil Code, you can legally withdraw from the Private Purchase Contract on grounds of late delivery in handing over the property and litigate for a ful lrefund of your stage payments. 11 months delay is more than enough. If however, either you or your lawyer have received this formal communication I do not advise pulling out and litigating. More on this in my article on buying off-the-plan property in Spain: Buying Property In Spain Tips Part II. Off-Plan Property - 18th April 2010 Quoting an excerpt: 5. Make Sure the Dwelling Attained a Licence of First Occupation (LFO) A Licence of First Occupation is issued by the Town Hall where the property is located and is granted once the building works have been duly completed (Certificate of End of Works or Certificado Final de Obras in Spanish). It allows off-plan purchasers to dwell in a property legally. The LFO is important mainly for two reasons: ◦It provides a check on the Planning Legality. Its granting means the developer has built the dwelling in compliance with the original Town Hall’s Building Licence as well as complying with all Planning laws. The inspection to grant this Licence is carried out by Town Hall’s chartered technicians who certify that the dwelling complies fully with Health, Access, Security, Planning and Construction Laws and is deemed apt for human habitation. ◦It is required by utility companies to have access to official supplies (water, electricity and gas). Spanish law requires the granting of the LFO to hook up the dwelling to the supply grid. Although in some parts of Spain there have been reported cases of supply companies waiving this and connecting you without the said licence. In such exceptional cases the only requirement was showing the application of having requested the LFO from the Town Hall. It is in general recommendable to complete only once a Licence of First Occupation has been attained; however completing without a LFO is legal in Spain and the property will be registered under your name at the Land Register. The following are just some of the drawbacks you may face if you happen to close on an off plan property lacking a LFO: ◦Primarily, you will not be able to take out a mortgage on the property or remortgage it - if needed be- by any bank other than the developer’s. ◦You will not be able to benefit from the official utility supplies; only from the developer’s supplies (water and electricity) with all the associated problems this has, namely that you may be cut off at any time as it is the developer who is paying for it and if they go into receivership you will be shut off. Besides, the site supply electricity doesn’t have the same strength and power surges are fairly common on simultaneously turning on various electrical appliances such as air conditioning. Until the LFO is attained, the developer has to pay, by law, for the utility supplies. ◦Any future prospective purchaser, or their lawyer, will haggle with you and only pay a lower purchase price if you lack a LFO in a newly built resale. In a resale, the purchasers in turn will undergo the same problems to secure finance by means of a mortgage loan. A lack of a LFO tacitly implies that you are actually reducing the pool of potential purchasers for your resale. ◦If there are Planning issues, the Town Hall can set a charge against the property and you as the new owner of an off-plan –and not the developer- may be held liable to pay the fine for the planning illegality. ◦Needless to say, you cannot rent a dwelling without a LFO. There may be nonetheless exceptional circumstances in which it may be advisable to complete without one. Specifically if there’s no bank guarantee securing your down payments and the developer is in risk of going into Administration, provided that there’s no ruling or legal procedure affecting the Building Licence due to planning issues (as explained above in point three). It is very important to realise that until completionthe property still belongs to the developer. So if you still have not closed and the developer becomes insolvent in the interim, the property lodged under his name may be seized by the developers’ lender or any other creditor that places a charge on it at the land registry. If you have no bank guarantee and the above happens, it is very likely you will forfeit your down payments. However, cases differ and require a case-by-case study by your appointed solicitor. The issuance of the LFO by a Town Hall is the major milestone in the off-plan procedure. In fact, from a legal point of view, it marks the turning point whereby the property is now deemed to have been delivered legally to the purchaser. Once the LFO has been attained and the developer has sent you a registered letter compelling you to complete within a deadline before a Notary public, you should no longer withdraw from the PPC and litigate (specifically read point three in the link supplied) for a refund as you are bound to lose at court. This is known as forced completion. Developers can actually pursue you abroad against your home country’s assets once they’ve obtained a favourable judgement from a Spanish court. Do not think for one moment you can walk away breaching an off plan contract and that there will be no legal consequences arising from it. Some developers will be happy just withholding the stage payments as compensation and yet others will sue you on top demanding fulfilment i.e. that you close on the property. Indulging in reckless litigation can leave you seriously out-of-pocket. Yours faithfully, Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
  • Steve Smith Says:

    I have asked Iberdrola if I can upgrade my electrical supply from a 3.3Kw to 5.5Kw but they have told me to do so I must have a new Cedula de Habilitidad, is this the same as an LFO and what is entailed in getting it renewed? My house is on an urbanisation and has a LFO from when it was first built 35 years ago.
  • Lawbird Lawyer Says:

    Dear Sir, Yes, it's the same thing. As I quote below from post 29 on this very thread, in some regions of spain the LFO has to be renewed after a given timeline or else when you have carried out works on the property or sold it on. A Licence of First Occupation has, as a general rule, no expiry date (*). It is for off-plan property as the article that starts off this thread explains in detail. A LSO may be required by some Town Halls when the property: 1. is sold on 2. when there's a change of the legal classification of the property 3. the property has undertaken significant refurbishment/overhaul 4. a change of the utilities supplier etc. (*) in some parts of Spain there are expiry dates of the LFO i.e. 5 years for a LFO as per Valencia's regional Planning laws. And 10 years for a LSO as from the time the LFO was issued. But as I write, this is normally an exception. Spain is made up of 17 different regions, so besides the national legal administrative framework common to all of them you additionally have all the local and regional laws that rule further on the matter. Yours sincerely, Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
  • Susana Isabel Says:

    Hello We are going to buy a villa in Costa Calida, (4 years old) and wanted to know if we have to change the existing LFO document from the previous owners name into our name. Thank you.
  • marcia Says:

    How do I legalise a kitchen extension that is not on my escuturia built 8 years ago, before I sell my property.
  • aflores Says:

    Hello, You are required to have an architect state that the works are more than 4 years old and that not administrative proceedings have been brough about by the Town Hall. With the above certificate you have to go the Notary request him to issue a declaration of news works, which will be signed by you, and have it then registered. Application taxes here are of 1% of the value you give to the kitchen, within reason (avoiding unrealistically high values).
  • Ideal Country Property Says:

    We have several clients who wish to sell their fincas in Coín and Alhaurín el Grande; they are all having problems due to a lack of First Occupation Licence. As an example, the property is a detached villa built on rustic land within the municipality of Coín; there is a swimming pool and outbuildings which are all registered on the Nota Simple and appear on the escritura, the Catastro information is correct and the IBI has been paid up to date. As with 99% of rustic properties this house never had a LFO however the buyer's lawyer is insisting that the purchase could not go ahead without it. The only other possibility is to get a certificate from the town hall in Coín to state that they do not have any outstanding issues with the property. (certificado de inexistencia de epediente sancionador). Coin town hall are flatly refusing to issue any such certificate for this or any other property. The same problem arises in most of the inland towns, some town halls are still giving the certificate, some are charging up to 7,000 Euros for it but in this case the owner cannot sell and the buyer cannot get the house they want. Are you familiar with this problem and can you offer any solution?
  • aflores Says:

    Hello Ideal Country Homes, greetings from Marbella! You are right, if you have the property registered and you have a certificate proving that there is no disciplinary action taken against these properties, you dont need a license of occupancy. This is because the following concur: 1- Town Halls dont wish to sign papers on rural properties, even if these have become fully legal, because it is not required on these type of properties. Also, they have opted now for a minimum-as-possible intervention on rural properties. 2- License of occupancy is not applicable on properties that are registered and become legal by passing of time, that is, after 4 years have passed since construction was finished without the Town Hall having started disciplinary action. Town Halls HAVE to issue these certificates if indeed there have been no "expedientes" opened. 3- The above is not applicable where these properties are built on land of special protection. All the above is pursuant to the LOUA and the Reglamento de Disciplina Urbanistica. If your buyers have queries they can opt for one of the following: a- Get a lawyer to sign a document stating that nothing will happen to these properties, indicating the details of profesional indemnity insurance backing him/her, alongside a certificate from the Town Hall stating that no action was taken in the last 4 years (Certificado de Inexistencia de Expediente Sancionador AND Prescripcion Urbanistica). b- Go to the Andalusian Government to obtain a certificate stating that the properties are indeed legal (this may take very long). c- Ultimately buy somewhere else.
  • Ideal Country Property Says:

    Hi Antonio thanks for your reply. One question. How do we MAKE Coin town hall issue the certificate if thay are refusing to do so?
  • Mark Says:

    Hello What an interesting site! I hope you can help with my query. We have been living in a new build villa on an urbanizacion here just outside Alicante for 5 years. We have got our Licencia de Primera Ocupacion and have the utility bills in our name as well as our IBI. My question is, one of our neghbours (who has the same documentation as us) is currently selling their property and have been told they need to also have a Final De Obras and 10 year guarantee document - which none of us have. I understood that by being given the Licencia de Primera Ocupacion, this was all that was needed. Could you clarify please? Many thanks
  • Steve Cartwright Says:

    Hi, I completed on a property 5 years ago which didn't have a LFO. I hadn't realised at this point there was any issue. Although our apartment was deemed illegal it has, according to the newspaper (SUR 15/6/10) been awarded licences. How do I go about confirming that a licence exists. Someone has said the developer needs to re-apply and give land back. This is very confusing and it would be greatto get a real answer. Thanks
  • lesley cheeseman Says:

    Hi we have an off plan property in Llanos del pearle near Zurgenia our builder has installed individual electricity meters and we are paying him for the electricity direct but the water is niw being supplyed by the local farmer at 40 euros a month there are still two houses that need to be built yet so we still have builders electric but we are now being forced to pay for the water and electric The farmer will not give us a recipt for the money as he is selling his agricultural water illegally and so not declairing this ,his son also works closly with the local mayor of Zurgenia can anyone advise us as our solicitor and our neigbours solicitors seem usless .Is allof Spain corrupt
  • Patricia Says:

    Dear Ms. Cheeseman, Welcome to the belegal forum. I am afraid that you are now in a very unconfortable situation as the title deeds should not be signed until the indvidualised water and electricity installations are properly set up. There are significant works that need to be done in order to do the installations, being these of a high cost for the builder, and therefore the solution for your concern is in the hands of the builder. Regards,
  • Pamela Harte Says:

    We commissioned a villa in 2002, we completed in 2004, we obtained our first licence of occupation dated June 2007. We have now received 4 years backdated rates from the Town Hall. My question relates to non residence (renta) tax, from what year is this payable, ie from the date of completion on the escritura or from the date of Licence of First Occupation.
  • Marta Says:

    The non resident tax is payable from the completion date as stated on the property deeds.
  • Pamela Harte Says:

    Thank you Marta, just one last question. Can I pay this annual non resident tax personally direct to the relevant tax office or do I have to appoint the services of a gestoria?
  • Marta Says:

    You are most welcome. I know I will probably sound biased here, but I certainly recommend the services of a gestoria, lawyer or accountant who is able to do this for you. Bear in mind that you are not given an exact figure (just as you obtain for the IBI or basura tax), but it is something which varies from year to year and must be correctly calculated, filled out and submitted to the tax authorities. Failure to do so can create unnecessary headaches! Please feel free to contact us for a quote.
  • gina Says:

    i have bought a villa in altinkum turkey we have our tapu and habitation certificate we bout the villa with pool, but we have now heard that unless the pool is listed on the tapu or habitation certificate that we may have to pay 5000 lira to get it registered is this true?
  • mark r Says:

    Buying a villa in tenerife built 1990 has all services....do i need a habitation license from the seller.Previous ownwer has been there 10 years...
  • aflores Says:

    Dear Mark R. In principle, the answer is yes. The license is necessary to ensure the legality of the property with respect to the Town Hall. If there is no license, you need to be told the reasons why this is the case, and particularly whether the Town Hall considers it to be fully legal. I would suggest you hired a lawyer for this purpose.
  • yolanda Says:

    we are buying a villa in tenerife it has a nota simple,escritura and is around 20 years old ,the owners have been there 10 years.They have all services and provided bills....question is do i still need a habitation license or cedula.
  • Patricia Says:

    Hello Yolanda, You need to request the copy of the building license form the vendor, as well as the First occupation licence, or cedula. He may not have it, and in this case you can check that the dwelling is a single family house and that the whole total area is inscribed in the Land Registry note. For a better guarantee, you can request that the vendor obtains a certificate from the town hall that indicates the legality of the building and that there does not exist any pending file for urban infractions in relation to the said dwelling. We recommend you to have the assistance of an expert solicitor during the purchase process. Best Regards,
  • Andy Nash Says:

    Hi, We puchased a ruin in 1990 in Formentera del Segura.We have an escritura for the land but the ruin was not listed ,we obtained planning permission from the town hall to renovate and also permission to convert an adjoining barn into a restaurant. we had permiso de obras,fin de obras, an opening licence for the restaurant. We have water and electricity contracts etc,in fact everything but a cedula.The town hall clerk said we were developers and when we sold the property if we brought the new owners in with a water and electricity contract they would issue a certificate of habitation .Unfortunately this clerk has recently been sacked, just as we have found somebody who is interested buying the property from us .My question is do you see any reason for the town hall not to issue a certificate now given that we have lived in the property for over twenty years. should we try and obtain a certificate prior to selling or should we follow the advice of the ex-clerk and let the new owners try and obtain one.
  • Patricia Says:

    Dear Mr. Nash, Even if the ex-clerk suggestion was valid, we recommend you to start the process to obtain this First Ocupation Licence or Cedula because the fact of not having it yet can minimize the number of prospective buyers and could also be an excuse for them to try and lower the selling price. The aid of a solicitor in these cases is most convenient. Best Regards,
  • Andy Nash Says:

    Dear Patricia, Many thanks for your speedy reply to my query. In these hard times it is a surprising change to find a group of VERY professional people to offer advice for free rather than the usual expat rumours,most of which are usually totally wrong. ON BEHALF OF MYSELF AND EVERYBODY WHO YOU HAVE HELPED WITH FREE ADVICE MAY WE WISH ALL OF YOU A HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A HOPEFULLY PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR. Best Wishes Andy
  • Patricia Says:

    Hello Andy, Thank you for your compliments! Fortunately our business model allows us to contribute to the community in these hard times. Happy Christmas!
  • margaret Says:

    I bought my house in an urbanisation in costa blanca in 2003. We are fully connected to electric, water etc but do not have a certificate of habitation.The developer went bust several years ago. Can I legally sell my house?
  • Marta Says:

    Hello Margaret In your case there are two possible hypothesis: 1) That there is a habitation license in place but you never got hold of it. This could have perfectly happened. Please ask the community administrator, neighbours, Town Hall, or even bank if you obtained a mortgage for this property, whether they know if there is one in place. 2) That it was never granted, in which case you could find out the reasons for the absence of it. You could check with the community administrator or Town Hall. You are legally entitled to sell your property without the habitation license as your property is in a perfectly habitable state and it has its water, gas & electricity supplies. However you might find it difficult to find a buyer.
  • Fuzzynana Says:

    se bought a townhouse in an super community 2 years ago. we didnt need a mortgage so the issue of the LFO did not arise, but now we want to sell. the community has several phases and our phase is the only one that does not have an LFO, our phase is now 12 years old, we all have elec, water, pai IBI etc. our presidents have been working hard in order to get the licence and our lawyer has assured us thet it has passed all the tests they make and we will be getting it. the propblem is, the planning dept in Marbella has moved, and happen top have lost one of the pieces of paper. how on earth can we sort this out. Our lawyer says we have to wait till they find it! our presidents have been to the planning dept themselves and seen the boxes piled up where our application is lost. how can we get them to find our lost paper?? several of us are now wanting to sell our homes. is there a way that we can find out online if our phase has been granted the LFO, or now that it is 12 years old, can we assume that the prospective buyers will not be needing to see the LFO.
  • Fuzzynana Says:

    i forgot to mention the urbanisation is Los Pinos De Aloha Golf phase 4, Nueva Andalucia. we just need to know who we need to push, our lawyer, or the town hall, although we all thought that by ujsing a lawyer that it would be up to them to pursue and chase it. we are a bit scared to push too much!!!! to get the LFO kind regards
  • Patricia Says:

    Hello Fuzzynana, The LFO is required in order to sell your property allowing the buyer to register the property in his/her name. Lacking it, the CO can apply for it, which they are now doing, and according to your message the Town hall has failed to issue it yet due to internal organizational and administrative reasons, beyond the control of any lawyer. Therefore, I am afraid that you can only wait for the document to be found or re-issued in order to finalize the LFO granting process. Regards,
  • Fuzzynana Says:

    thanks for your reply. our lawyer contacted us again yesterday to confirm that the urbanisation has passed the tests made and that the paperwork is boxed up at the town hall!! We did not seem to have a problem registering the property in our name when we bought it 2 years ago, our lawyer at the time ensured us that it wouldnt be a problem as it was a 10 year old property. now it is 12 years old we all believed that it would only cause a problem should a buyer try to get a mortgage, and if they was a cash buyer it wouldnt be needed. as for waiting, we have been waiting over 6 months for them to open the boxes!!! is it up to us to opush our laweyer or is there something that us the residents can do to hurry things along. kind regards
  • Patricia Says:

    Hello Fuzzynana, The only thing hat can be done for the time being is rely on the Administrator and lawyer that are already in contact with the Town Hall and that they keep on insisting. Regards,
  • longlostson Says:

    Hi, we are looking to purchase a house just outside Rafal on a small complex of houses. These were completed 8 years ago without the Certificate of Habitation, and some have been resold since (all fully connected to mains, water, etc). They are currently going through the "regularisation / legalisation" process - this is all that is outstanding. As such, the price is €100k less than other properties in the area. In terms of risk v reward, this looks like a viable property & the bank that has a mortgage on it already is willing to fund 50% LTV. Does this sound like "issues galore", or that the houses in the hamlet are going through the process - it's all about time? Thanks in advance, LLS
  • savo Says:

    iam trying to get my LFO from the twon hall in vinuella there are 20 houses in our commuity 19 have got electric and ours has not and we need the LFO to get it but our laywer says she cant get it from them?can you help
  • Pamela Harte Says:

    A friend of mine is selling their property near Torrevieja and have been told by the Estate Agent that there was a new law about 18 months ago that states that the Habitation Licence is valid for only 5 years and that they will need to obtain a new one in order to sell. Is this true?
  • Claire A Says:

    We are in the process of buying a village house (approx 100 years old) however we have discovered the square footage listed on the deeds do not reflect the property square footage. We have asked the vendors solicitors to get the deeds corrected. To do this we have been told that a Licence of First Occupation is requried. Is this correct? If not what is required to get this done?
  • aflores Says:

    We are in the process of buying a village house (approx 100 years old) however we have discovered the square footage listed on the deeds do not reflect the property square footage. We have asked the vendors solicitors to get the deeds corrected. To do this we have been told that a Licence of First Occupation is requried. Is this correct? If not what is required to get this done? Claire, if the reality of whast is built exceeds by more than 20% of the registered size, the vendors will have to follow a special registration procedure. This is not a problem normally and can be done with an updated Town Hall certificate, but it will attract some costs. If the difference is less, then the procedure is far simpler.
  • JudyM Says:

    I am in the process of selling an 9 year old apartment and was asked for copy of Licence of First Occupation. Couldn't find the copy amongst all the original paperwork and noted that you can get a copy for FREE from Urbanismo at the Ayuntamiento. In fact, this cost €80 euros in Mijas and €45 in Marbella. And you have to supply photocopy of Escritura.
  • Rogers Says:

    I have been waiting to complete on an apartment in Alicante which I have a valid contract on .My solicitor said I should not complete on the property which was ready 23/8/2011 last year .as it had no Habitacion cert. The solicitor seems to have gone out of business and on enquiries to the builder who is still solvent they sent a notice to complete in February 2012 when the eventually got the Habitacion certificate . They sent it registered post accidentally to another customer so they received no reply from me, and assumed we had defaulted Now they say they cannot complete as an embargo has gone on my apartment by a creditor and they are saying its my fault and I will have to go to Court to remove it As we have paid almost the whole build money I am worried about losing the money . I said they should do it what id the procedure please.
  • Patricia Says:

    Hello Rogers, If you never completed on the sale, the property can be seized by the bank if the developer has been embargoed. If you wish to complete, you can ask the current owner (developer or any other person that is now the registered owner of the property) to clear the embargo and get the property in the right order to be sold, so you can complete on the sale. I recommend you to contact you solicitor, so he can inform you on the next step. If he is unable to continue with your file ( you mention he seems to be out of business ), you can ask him to pass on your file to another solicitor that can carry out the work. If you wish you can contact me to look into it in detail ( click on my profile ). Regards,
  • Rogers Says:

    Thks very much The developer is still in business and has offered to give another house to the claimants to clear the embargo but the claimants have refused. They know we have paid fo the house but obviously dont trust the developer. The developer says he cant help us anymore and it up to us to clear the embargo!! I think its cheaper to embargo another property of theirs as they are still building at least maybe that an idea.
  • Holly Says:

    Can anyone please give me the latest development on the LFO situation regarding La Reserva De Marbella. We have been paying IBI and taxes since 2005. We have had all the Utililities since 2005. I have a copy of the Builder's LFO application for three months stamped by Marbella Town Hall. We were told by our Lawyer that there was a "hold up" with the Town Hall issuing the document but led to believe that it was on it's way when we completed in 2005. We are on the PGOU and as far as we know have been recognised as legal after finding out in 2006 that we were not, due to our developer building on land illegally. This has now resulted in the value of our properties drastically falling because we still do not have the LFO and any buyer will use this and pay cash because the banks are not lending without the LFO. I have read that our development is still going through the courts do you know why and what happens next please. Also more worrying will the owners be liable to pay compensation? How long do cases like ours drag on? The staff at the Planning Department in Marbella just say to enjoy our properties and that there is nothing to worry about? Is it worth another visit to them or are they as much in the darkl as us seven years on! Thank you. Kind regards Holly
  • Patricia Says:

    Hello Holly, As you have already completed on the purchase, I am afraid that there is not much that can be done at this stage, as you were told the LPO was not in place and you, at the time, took the risk to complete on the sale, considering the implications ( Lack of LPO making it more difficult to sell ). Today, it is certainly true the administrative situation of the development has changed and that those dwelling have a conditioned LPO, being the conditions that of meeting certain urban requirements. Also, we agree that the market value of the properties in that development has dropped, if compared to the selling expectations by the time you bought your house. There are many legal actions taking place against LA RESERVA DE MARBELLA and our Law firm handles many of them, though they are cases where the sale was never completed, so they are different cases to yours. Once you have completed on the purchase, the possibilities to render it void are very small as you decided to complete even being aware of the license situation ( or at least aware of the implications not having the LPO would have). I believe, in accordance with our experience, that starting some kind of legal case in your situation would have very reduced chances of success, considering you bought the property back in 2005 in your free will. Regards,
  • holly Says:

    Hello, in response to your helpful post I do not think I explained properly the information I was interested in. I just want to know why and what is happening which is holding up our LFO after we have been made legal on the PGOU. We are not wanting to take any action against the developer. We are thinking of selling our apartment and this would be better with a LFO. Also the ten year limit which needs no LFO for resale, when is this applicable from the year the purchase contract was signed and deposits made or the year the sale contract was signed. I would be greatful for any advice. Is it worth sending a legal letter to the Town Hall for information or will they be in the dark along with everyone else? It must be three years since the new PGOU came out, why is this taking so long for La Reserva de Marbella?
  • bettyespana Says:

    We bought our off-plan home in Orihuela Costa 10 yrs ago.We have never had our LFO,however we do have our deeds from the Land Registry.Those were received 6mnths after moving in.We were disconnected from builders water/electric & connected to our own supplies with no problem.Our builder was Technologia Urbanistica who are now bankrupt & the Town Hall say they cannot help us.Our urbanisation was abandoned before the work was all completed however as there are 100+ homes we have carried out the uncompleted work ourselves at a large cost.What else can we do in order to get the relevant documents.I must also add that this has not affected any re-sales of our properties. Thank You.
  • Patricia Says:

    Hello Bettyespana, In principle, the Community of Owners would have to be the ones to hire the services of an architect to certify the building works have been completed in compliance with the project that was filed at the town hall when applying for the Building´s Licence, that would eventually lead to the First Occupation Licence. Of course, we recommend you to have a solicitor check all the related documentation before taking any action. Regards,
  • Dee Says:

    Hi wonder if you can give us some advice please. We purchased a ruin in Orihuela seven years ago and we were advised by our builder that it would be cheaper to build a new build on the plot rather than renovate the ruin. He assured us that he would obtain all permissions etc. Seven years on we find that this was not the case and we have an illegal build that we have a mortgage of over 200,000 on. We have electric and water contracts and pay suma and the new build is registered we also have deeds for both properties. Somewhere down the line, we also paid an official to prepare papers saying the building has been there over four years with no problems from the council. We are not looking to sell at the moment but concerned we have no Certificate of Habitation, we have enquired at the Town Hall and they say its an illegal build and they cannot issue one. Is there anything we can do to obtain one please? Dee
  • UXrlBTzFXP Says:

    http://ruizialtaba.com/studio/ambienonline/#21203 generic ambien online no prescription - ambien 5 mg tablet
  • L181SKY Says:

    Hello dee, im glad to have found this site tonight and surprised the lawyers didnt reply... I was wondering if you had received any replies with help from anywhere. We are in similar position trudi
Post your comments below:
  Or login to the forums
Note: Anonymous posts need approval before they are displayed.

Please confirm that you are human:

Featured Links: Apply for your Spanish NIE Number
© 1999-2014 Professional Ideas SL All Rigths Reserved - Copyright Notice    - Interesting Resources | Glossary | Terms of Use | Contact Information Contact Details    
Professional Ideas SL CIF: B92930627 - Tomo: 4505 - Libro 3414 - Folio 196 - Hoja MA-97033