What is the minimum, legal size for a dwelling in Spain? | Part 1 |

There has been a building regulation in Spain since 1944 called “Order of the Ministry of the Interior of 29 February 1944”. That law laid down the minimum conditions to be met by all kinds of homes, regardless of ownership throughout Spain. Believe it or not this legislation is still in force in several autonomous regions (including the Murcia region) where they do not have a particular law which lay down the minimum conditions to be met in the design of any type of home. 

Now that we have 17 regional governments we have 17 different regulations governing the design of a new dwelling. In this article we will analyse the closest to us geographically speaking i.e. the Valencia Regional regulations:


The Valencia region

In the Valencia region there is the Order of December the 7th of 2009 from the Ministry of Environment, Water, Town Planning and Housing which approves the conditions of quality design and development.

In the Murcia region there is the law 5/1995 of 7 April, on living conditions in residential buildings which also recommends general guideline for accessibility for the disable. These regulations it promotes the field of accessibility for the disable rather than dealing with the ground of habitability, so in Murcia we still use the Order of the Ministry of the Interior of 29th  of February of 1944.


In the Catalan community

The Catalan Government approved the October 31, 2012 a decree regulating the living conditions to be met by households and reduced from 40m2 to 36 m2 the minimum area that a dwelling must have for any new construction. This regulation intended to relax the requirements for housing design and adapt to the new economic reality of the country, amended the decree passed in 2009, which stated that the new homes should have a minimum area of 40 square meters.


As a working example let's take the Valencia regulations.

While there may be some slight variations between the laws of other communities and the national dated from 1944, in most cases the limitations in terms of sizes and minimum numbers of rooms are very similar. I must say however that apart from the regulations of the autonomous communities, the national regulations we also have to take into account the municipal and local planning regulations.

Another very important to keep in mind is that when we compare different legislations we have to apply that legislation that is most restrictive.

First we must distinguish whether the building is new construction or rehabilitation. Secondly we will consider if the housing will be adapted to be used by disabled persons. Thirdly, if the use of the building is for business letting, i.e hotel, bed and breakfast etc.


Minimum dimensions for a newly built house.

Minimum floor areas

The net areas within a house type must be 30 m2.

The net areas within an apartment type of accommodation can be reduced to 24 m2.

The houses can have different degrees of compartmentalization, depending on the internal layout.

The premises that make up the house will have the minimum areas shown below



Types of premises

Net area M2

Single bedroom


Double bedroom




Dining Room


Living-dining area


Living room













In houses of two or more bedrooms, at least one of them will have 10m2 of net area, without including storage space.

The laundry can be located in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in the toilet or in a specific enclosure for that function, always having sufficient spaces required for placement and use of equipment provided.


Relationship between different spaces or enclosures.

The relationship between living spaces shall comply with the following conditions:

a) The space where a toilet is located must be an enclosed and compartmented room, which can also accommodate an area for personal hygiene.

b) Every space or area with a bath or shower is considered a “wet area” for the purposes of applying the Spanish regulations of “Indoor Air Quality” from the Technical Building Code, and the internal finishes must comply with that established in Article. 5 d), of the aforementioned regulations. (This regulation specifies the rules that we have to take into account when ventilation wet rooms)

c) When dwellings have more than one bedroom, one may access to a space for personal hygiene from the circulation spaces of the house.

d) The bathroom and toilet will not be a through access to another room or enclosure.


Ceiling heights and spaces between furniture.

1. In houses the minimum headroom is 2.50 m, allowing up to 10% of the total net area with a height of 2.20m. In circulation spaces, bathrooms, toilets and kitchens, the minimum headroom shall be 2.20 m.

2. We should be able to inscribe two types of minimum circles in rooms or enclosures :

a) The circles must be free of obstacles, allowing free movement for the user within the house. These spaces can overlap each other, if the functions are grouped in the same enclosure.

b) The spaces to define furniture must allow the proper placement of furniture in the house. These spaces cannot overlap with any other space, being designed each in its specific type of furniture. The doors opening can invade the space free of obstacles and spaces for furniture.



Living room

Dining Room


Laundry Room

Bedrooms Minimum dimensions



Space free of obstacle


1,2m Diameter circle must be inscribed between sanitary ware and wall enclosures

1,2m Diameter circle must be inscribed between furniture

1,2m Diameter circle



1,2m Diameter circle

Space for


3,00m x 2,50m


2,5m Diámetro

1,6m between internal walls

1,10m x 1,20m


Double bedrooms.

One at least must be 2,60m x 2,60

ò 4,10m x 1,80m.

Single bedroom

2,00m x 1,80m



Please read the Final part of this article!!

Type in the "find box" at the bottom of the is page: What is the minimum, legal size for a dwelling in Spain Final part

Write a comment

Comments: 12
  • #1

    Ramon (Monday, 13 August 2018 16:11)

    Hello, from where did you get this information?

  • #2

    Juan Pacheco (Monday, 13 August 2018 17:16)

    Hello Ramón,
    The information above was obtained:
    For Valencia region, the Order of December the 7th of 2009 from the Ministry of Environment, Water, Urbanism and Housing which approves the conditions of quality design and development.
    For the In the Catalan community from a decree approved by the Catalan Government on the October 31, 2012.

  • #3

    Dennis Delany (Thursday, 09 January 2020 16:50)

    There are a number of linguistic errors in this article (mostly calques of Spanish): norm should be rule ( a norm in English is an unwritten rule that members of a community abide by more or less unconsciously), figure should be definition or legal concept (figura in the legal sense is not a figure in English, the most usual translation of figure in Spanish would be cifra or imagen) typify should be define or stipulate (typify in English means that some behaviour is typical of an individual, usually in a pejorative sense). Urbanismo is Urban Planning not 'urbanism. Modify should be amend if you are talking about legislation.People in a house don't circulate, traffic circulates. The phrase "should be able to register two types of minimum circles" is meaningless in English.
    In the phrase "...a particular law which lay out" it should be 'lays down' - we don't use the subjunctive as much in English as it is used in Spanish.Every is not used with plural nouns - every room or enclosure not every rooms or enclosures.

  • #4

    Desha (Wednesday, 02 February 2022 23:25)

    In Valencia, are there any rules governing how far above ground is considered a semi basement?

  • #5

    Juan Pacheco (Friday, 04 February 2022 10:59)

    Hi Dennis,

    Thank you very much for having taking the time to check my English in this article. I have tried to correct all the points you have mentioned if you see any other mistake please do tell me.
    Incidentally Strictly speaking Urbanism is not Urban Planning is Town Planning..
    Once again, thanks.


  • #6

    Juan Pacheco (Friday, 04 February 2022 11:07)

    Hi Desha,
    For a space to be considered to be a basement or semi basement in most region of Spain is 1m from the ground level or pavement to the the upper surface of the floor or slab.
    In a sloping site this is more complicated as the 1 m is measured from the middle of the slope.

  • #7

    Steinar (Monday, 18 April 2022 12:15)

    Hi Ramon. The information listed in the arrays in your article, do they cover the regulations for the Andalusia region
    BR Steinar

  • #8

    Juan Pacheco (Monday, 18 April 2022 17:39)

    Hi Stainer,
    It does not cover the Andalusia region, but it is normally similar.


  • #9

    Hugo van Os (Friday, 03 June 2022 07:19)

    Dear Juan,
    what is the minimal width of the shared entrance door of an apartmentbuilding in Valencia (Alicante)?
    Currently we have a double door (77 cm one door, both 160 cm when open).
    We think of making one of 90 cm.

  • #10

    Juan Pacheco (Monday, 06 June 2022 13:23)

    Hi Hugo, in the article 6 of the (Integrated text of the Order of December 7, 2009 of the Department of the Environment,
    Water, Town Planning and Housing which approves the conditions of design and quality in
    development of Decree 151/2009 of October 2, of the Consell.)
    Texto integrado de la Orden de 7 de diciembre de 2009 de la Consellería de Medio Ambiente,
    Agua, Urbanismo y Vivienda por la que se aprueban las condiciones de diseño y calidad en
    desarrollo del Decreto 151/2009 de 2 de octubre, del Consell. It says:
    Article 6. Horizontal and vertical circulations.
    1. In all buildings with more than one dwelling, community circulation spaces.
    They will have the following dimensions:
    a) Access: The entrance door will have a minimum free space of 0.90 m wide and 2.10 m high.
    Please remember that the 0,90m is the actual free opening not the width of the door. The width of the door should be bigger. You must discount the the thickness of the frame to obtain 0,90m of free circulation space.


  • #11

    Ron (Friday, 11 November 2022 17:10)

    When a storage downstairs in 2019 is converted in a 2.20 m high bedroom plus 2.0 m high bathroom and not known in the landregister what is the legal status? What should i as possible buyer do? Can we use it?

  • #12

    Juan Pacheco (Friday, 11 November 2022 17:58)

    Hi Ron,
    When you mention a "storage downstairs" I presume you are referring to a basement.
    Here in Spain, most councils do not accept basements as livable quarters for health reasons, especially with such low head heights. The height is fine if used for storage or a garage.
    Having said that, nobody is going to stop you if you place a bed in that space and use it as a bedroom but you will not be able to register it in the land register as a livable quarter.
    I hope that was of use.


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