I must have hundreds of articles in my blog all of them directed to inform the English speaking public about Spanish architecture, construction, energy saving etc.
Well, the article that has about most visits every single day of the week is the one “A house that may be divided into two in case of divorce”. So I thought that instead of being negative maybe I could not only update it but also re-orientate it with a more positive approach.
As we all know the crisis and difficulties in accessing employment here in Spain, have forced some homeowners to look for options to earn extra income and dividing a house for letting could be a good idea, although some space is lost, a monthly rent may be guaranteed.
If you are shuffling this idea but you have doubts about its legality, you should know that you can split your house in two and rent it, nevertheless, there are several rules that must be taken into account first and should follow the procedures below before you hang up the 'Rent' sign.
Home segregation regulations
Even if you own the property, before you start demolishing and laying out partitions, it is advisable to know the rules that affect the division because you will have to abide by the regulations especially those that emanate from the Spanish Horizontal Law, together with Autonomous Regions Building Regulations that usually controls the conditions of habitability and if that was not all, finally the local (municipal planning laws).
As you can see, they are not few and you will have to have them all present to make sure that it is possible to divide a house or apartment in the locality where you live, and, very importantly, the minimum conditions of habitability which must respect the apartment or resulting house from the division.
This point will vary depending on your place of residence but, for example, Catalonia sets a minimum of 36 square meters of net floor area.
In the Valencian Region the minimum net area for a house is 30m2 and 24m2 for an apartment.
Steps to divide your home to rent it
It is possible to get lost among so much regulation, so if there is something you have to be clear is that the Horizontal Law establishes without any room of a doubt that the apartment or flat can be subject to segregation or be divided to form small and independent living dwelling.
The HL also indicates the first of the steps that you will have to embark on this work is to obtain administrative authorisation for the division, generally from the City council. After that, the following steps will need to be carried out:
- To engage an architect to design the project of the division. (He will have to make sure that all minimum standards and regulations are comply with)
- Ask for a license from the City Hall.
- Once the division is finished, you will have to ask for the habitation certificate for the new dwelling.
- Inscribe the division to public deed before a notary and register it in the Property Registry registering the changes from the original house to the new houses or apartments. This way, you can register the contract when you rent if you wish.
Segregation of the house and community of owners
It will be a good idea to start investigating in parallel if the community of owners will allow that division. So it will be prudent to obtain the approval of your neighbours in the Annual General Meeting, before you carry out the division of your house, you should study the statutes of the community; does it allow subdivisions of units into a smaller one? The first point to investigate is: do they authorise divisions? If this is the case must make sure that your division does not result in any impairment for other owners or does not modify the participation fees of the whole building or urbanisation, then you may go ahead, but I strongly advise to consult them even if you do not need them.
However, if the quotas are altered, you will not only have to get them to authorise the division, but you must have the support of three fifths of the owners and of their quotas.
Therefore, if you are willing to divide your house into two apartments so that the rent of one of them gives you a break, I strongly advise you to also consult a professional who will advises you and paves the way to get the project through.