Illegal Work or Illegal Houses
Denuncias, fines, demolition orders, AFOS ...
How do you know if your property in Andalusia is legal or not?
It is not uncommon for expatriates to discover that the property they bought when they came to Spain (to Andalusia) is, in fact, illegal. Often they paid a lot to purchase the house and also forked out taxes and fees to the Town Hall, in some cases even obtaining a license. Nevertheless, their paperwork does not satisfy the Spanish legal system.
Many have paid to legally build another type of construction – an agricultural building – but then the developer wrongly uses this licence for a house even though it is not legal to build dwellings on rural land.
Most problems arise because something is wrong with the paperwork. Of course, were the license wrongly granted by the Town Hall and they let you go ahead and build, you have the right to demand damages and the responsibility lies squarely at their door.
Here are a few “must dos” when buying a property in Spain:
In the Land Registry– check the house is registered and get the vendor’s name
In the Town Hall – check the urban designation for the finca (the land and any property on it)
In Catastro – check the plot size, the real owner and whether the building is registered or not.
Remember, in Spain it is illegal to build a house on non-urbanizable land, apart from rare exceptions. To find out if a dwelling is built on land with planning permission, it must be checked against the General Urban Planning Framework.
Many title deeds clearly indicate that the finca is RUSTIC, or that it is situated on a particular parcela and polígono with a building already on it. These details, and the simple fact that the dwelling is outside the urban area, leads one to suspect that the property might be illegally built.
Confirming your property’s legal status is an essential first step to safeguarding its existence and discovering if any further measures need to be taken. But don’t despair, help is available.