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The Spanish Lawyer Online
The Spanish Lawyer Online

Antonio Flores’ Blog

Thoughts about laws and regulations which affect foreigners in Spain


Posts Tagged ‘Licence of first occupation’

Law Changes to Boost Short Term Rentals in Andalusia

January 26th, 2021

On the 12th of March 2020, hours before Spain’s socialist government politicians imposed a nationwide lockdown, their Andalusian counterparts passed an untimely regional Law Decree under the exuberant and encouraging name “Law Decree for the Improvement and Simplification of Laws for the Promotion of Productive Activity in Andalusia”. 

The law contains an undisguised declaration of war on red tape, specifically on certain aspects of the planning laws governing the grant of “build licenses” and more importantly, on the dreaded yet coveted LFOs-or License of First Occupancy or Occupation-, a piece of paper without which you cannot, in theory, turn your property into an Airbnb money-making asset via applying for a “Holiday Rental” registration. 

The revolutionary norm now allows architects to substitute Town Halls in the monopoly of grant of LFOs and gives them powers to sign off properties that, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, would be entitled to get one (because they are law compliant or where not, because enforcement action is barred due to passing of time); and this is no small feat because, all over Andalusia, many properties would just simply never get an LFO no matter how hard you tried and how long you waited.

Qualified architects will now be able grant LFOs by means of a “responsible declaration”, an equivalent to a sworn oath or affidavit where an architect, subject to certain verifications, will issue a fully valid LFO. 

This is very significant in municipalities that have endemic license processing issues or are short of staff to process LFO applications rapidly. But also, those properties that having been built legally no longer are, due to planning permissions being removed or declared illegal, most notably in Marbella (circa 30,000 units).

Do you want to rent -or sell- your property but you lack an LFO? Get in touch with me and I will sure help you.

Property, Uncategorized ,

Spanish Developer Used Bogus Certificates to Win Court Cases

July 15th, 2011

The title is very unsettling and surely, libel action material by anyone’s standards. But sadly, it is exactly what is being done by Inmobiliaria Peñarroya, developer for La Reserva de Marbella, to uphold the legality of these properties in courts.

The story, in short, involves licenses of first occupancy issued by administrative silence that were granted, supposedly and according to Peñarroya, for a number of buildings completed at La Reserva de Marbella. These licenses were granted by Leopoldo Barrantes Conde, currently indicted in the Malaya Operation, on behalf of the Marbella Town Hall, and the certificates are there to prove it.

However, my colleague Luis got suspicious because these certificates lacked the classic stamp issued by the documentation registrar of any Town Hall to evidence the date of notification of the administrative act. So we wrote to the Town Hall to enquire whether these certificates were actually part of the file stored with the Planning Department ,and, to our surprise, we were advised they were not, there is simply no trace of the original document supporting the photocopies in file.

The seriousness of this situation is shocking: already, the Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the developer on the basis of these fraudulent ghost licenses, perpetuating this deliberate legal anomaly based on fake official document.

Mr. Barrantes issued the licenses on the 16th of December 2005 and was arrested on the 29th of March 2006.

In our opinion, one of the following has happened:

  1. The documents have been drawn up for the occasion, using Photo Shop or another less sophisticated method, leaving the registrar stamp out.
  2. The documents were, at some point, officially issued by the Town Hall but the originals were removed by someone, either before or after the arrest of Mr. Barrantes.
  3. The originals existed but have been carelessly lost, or inadvertently misplaced

Whichever the case, the use of the documents by La Reserva de Marbella constitutes “procedural swindle” (estafa procesal), an action entailing deliberately deceiving a Judge or court into issuing a ruling that would have not been otherwise reached.


Litigation, Scams , , ,