NEW LAW 2022 – What You Should Know When Renovating or Building a Property in Spain
The Mojo gents are kicking off the new year with some good news: building laws are changing. And this means, if you’re planning on building or refurbishing a house, the process will become a whole lot faster…
“One of the biggest challenges for any investor is TIME, and there always seems to be something that delays the construction process,” says Jacob. “However, with the implementation of the Responsible Declaration Law, it means construction projects can now begin work as soon as the architect’s project is completed and the building tax is paid.” We had a good talk with Jacob and one of Mojo’s trusted partners and highly regarded architects, Jesús Flores, to dig deeper into the subject
What are the general challenges encountered when starting a building project?
Starting a new building project in Spain is always challenging. It involves many different aspects such as design, construction, financing and most important of all, compliance with the local planning laws and regulations. The viability of the entire project depends on this last factor more than anything else, as where you intend to build will need to have the necessary classification and the design will be subject to size, height, footprint and other limitations.
What does LPO (Licencia Primera Ocupación) mean?
LPO is the administrative license required for habitation, or use, once a building is completed. This document is also essential when it comes to legalising and registering the new property. Not having it will impede the property sale and many other things, such as mortgages or tourist license for holiday rental allowance.
Can a property be completed without an LPO?
A property might be physically completed but it won’t legally exist until it obtains the mandatory LPO. In the past 20 years, obtaining the LPO from the local Town hall has been, in many cases, difficult and frustrating. It’s a common nightmare for many property developers in this country, who have had to wait for months, and sometimes years, to finally obtain this extremely important document.
How does the new Responsible Declaration Law improve the process?
The Responsible Declaration Law should simplify and speed up the entire procedure greatly, just by avoiding the Town Hall’s intervention and transferring the authority to the project’s architect. It makes a lot more sense, as the architect is the one who has been supervising and directing the construction project from the beginning, has the necessary knowledge of the law, and now has the power to legalise it.
How does this new law benefit people who want to invest in new constructions or developments?
LPO benefits from this but also any form of renovation works intended on existing projects that do not involve extensions or structural alterations. In practice, this enables an investor to buy an existing property and start renovating it entirely (internal and externally) as soon as the architect’s project is completed, the local building tax is paid, and the builder is ready.
How does this affect the sale of second-hand properties?
Second hand properties to be renovated are the ones that benefit most from this legal novelty, as they are the only ones that can obtain the building license via responsible declaration.
Which buildings can present a responsibility declaration for their first occupation?
All of them, as long as they match the building license, either granted by the Town Hall or obtained by Responsible Declaration, and are duly signed off on completion by the project director, usually an architect or a team formed by the architect and an ‘aparejador’ (quantity surveyor) -, whenever they are both legally required, (usually new builds and big renovations)
So, how can Mojo help?
“Construction in Spain isn’t a simple process,” says Jacob. “In order to succeed, and to avoid aggravation, you need to make sure you’re duly assisted by a professional architect. At Mojo, we have a tight network of tried and tested, qualified architects and construction companies – Jesús being one of them. Before even buying a plot, we’ll make sure that as the customer, you’re properly informed and guided throughout the entire process”