Due to the large number of visits we have had and large number of doubts about the possibility of dividing (or segregating) a house in two about this article that we originally wrote on December 13, 2015, we are going to update and expand the information about this topic so that our readers are better informed.
We are going to structure the answers to the future division of assets according to whether it is a plot, an individual dwelling, an apartment, or a combination of some of these circumstances.
1. Division or segregation of parcel or land?
The first thing is to be clear about whether you want to segregate or divide the land, farm, or plot. Note that to segregate means to separate a part of a registered farm by establishing a new, smaller one: in this case, the parent or original farm would remain but smaller and the parcel would be segregated. Keep in mind that the tax is paid on the value only of the segregated property, which is usually the smallest.
In a split, an originally registered farm is divided into two or more new registered farms and thus the parent farm disappears. Fiscally, this operation is taxed for the total value of the original property.
In both cases, the Tax levied on the operation is the Tax on Documented Legal Acts, which varies depending on the Autonomous Community where the farm is located: but it is around 1 or 1.5% of the declared price.
But before proceeding to carry out the segregation or division of the property, the current planning of the property in question must be verified. To do this, you must go to the urban planning department and find out if the smallest segregated or divided plot meets the "minimum plot" established in the General Plan of the municipality.
Access to the public road will also have to be taken into account since a plot that does not have access to the public road cannot be sold, if so, the owner of the original plot will have to prepare a road through his land for it. objective. . . Likewise, future access to water, electricity, and sanitation infrastructure should be considered if it is not available at the time of segregation or division, since the ditches to carry these services take up space and will have to pass through somewhere.
In the event that the plot signs part of urbanization and the minimum plot explained above is met, permission must also be requested from the community of owners.
Rules to follow
Next, I show you some of the rules that must be met to obtain the certificate of occupancy necessary to connect water and electricity.
The independence of access to the property
Have a minimum of 30 square meters in each of the new apartments including a bathroom and kitchen.
Minimum room size; 10 square meters. (Although this depends on the type of room).
Insulation of the party wall between the two houses (minimum 20 centimetres), although there are other construction techniques that could reduce this size.
Thermal and acoustic insulation solutions for the exterior enclosure of the new home. It is also important to confirm the minimum plot size in the case of a single villa or house. These requirements may change in each municipality.
If you find yourself facing a complicated case of distribution and division of a home, I strongly recommend that you seek the advice of an architect. I have been involved in cases that are heartbreaking and could have been resolved sooner at a fraction of the cost.
The certificate of occupancy is processed in the corresponding town hall and requires the certificate of a professional technician. The current regulations on fire prevention and minimum surfaces are included, the rest is general for all of Spain.
In addition, to proceed with the division of a home, the following is needed:
- Building license: requested from the town hall, payment of the municipal fee. (Usually about 4% of the estimated cost of construction).
- Preparation of the project: a technical project must be carried out by an architect. The division of a house in two contemplates the segregation of a property, which must be carried out by a qualified professional (architect). In addition, in the legal part, there will be a new deed in addition to the original since we will have the new segregated housing.
Which professionals should participate?
The division of an apartment or house into two or more parts is a work of a certain scope, which requires the presence of adequate technical personnel. In addition to the services of an architect, you must hire the services of a lawyer to draw up the deed of segregation, which is authorized by a notary, and register the resulting new home in the land registry.
It is always advisable to consult with the professionals involved to calculate the expenses
The division of a house is usually a good way to obtain income, and it is usually done in large apartments in Madrid and Barcelona that are sold or, better, the smaller apartments are rented. However, the results of each dwelling after the division may not be so good: small rooms, excess corridors, difficult accessibility of the dwellings, etc. For this reason, it is advisable to seek prior advice from a good professional.
2. Divide a house into two
Before taking the first step, you should consult the regulations of the autonomous community, specifically, the Law of habitability or minimum spaces of a home
(each autonomous community has its laws regarding the minimum requirements for a home to be
a home. This regulation establishes the minimum habitability criteria, in terms of rooms and
dimensions, that a home must meet to be lived in. Check here my article What is the minimum legal area of a home in Spain?
Not everything ends here, you also have to analyze the local ordinances of the city council. Likewise, it is convenient to inform the administrator of the community of neighbours if the dwelling is part of a building or urbanization. How do you understand the application of the Horizontal Property Law to your case? It is important to know that both the Land Law and the Horizontal Property Law require administrative authorization to divide the home. This authorization is granted by the corresponding body, which in most cases if the dwelling is located in an urban area, corresponds to the City Council. If the home is located in a non-developable or developable area, previously called rural land, in which case it also corresponds to the autonomous community where the home is located and to the town hall itself, which normally processes the application to the community.
When the house is part of a building, it is also necessary to have the permission of the community of owners to carry out the division. The Horizontal Property Law requires the agreement of 3/5 of the owners, who represent at least 3/5 of the participation fee, to approve the division of the home.
The Horizontal Property Law was modified and the unanimity requirement was eliminated. Currently, the vote of 3/5 parts of the community is necessary (art. 10.3B)”, unless it is “as a consequence of the inclusion of the property in an area of action for rehabilitation or regeneration and urban renewal, in which case it will be mandatory (art. 10.1E)”.
Article 10.3 of the LPH establishes that clarify this dense section, administrative authorization is required, in any case, for the following: The constitution and modification of the real estate complex are referred to in article 17.6 Land Law. art. 17.6 Land Law, establishes that the constitution and modification of the real estate complex must be authorized by the competent Administration where the property is located. It is an essential requirement for its registration that the corresponding title be accompanied by the administrative authorization granted or the notarial testimony of the same.
However, said authorization will not be necessary in the following cases:
- When the number and characteristics of the private elements resulting from the real estate complex are those resulting from the building permit that authorizes the construction of the properties that make up the complex.
- When the modification of the set does not produce an increase in the number of its exclusive elements.
Administrative authorization is also required for the division, segregation, aggregation and grouping of floors or premises and the construction of new floors and any other alteration of the structure or fabric of the building, including the closure of terraces and the modification of the envelope to improve energy efficiency, or of common things, when the requirements referred to in article 17.6 of the Land Law are met.
This reform has meant the express repeal of article 8, which required the consent of the affected owners and the approval of the owners' meeting, which had to distribute the quotas without altering the others.
Now, on the one hand, art. 10.1 e) Permits them without the prior agreement of the Board of Trustees in the case of rehabilitation, regeneration or urban renewal actions. But, on the other hand, article 10.3b, the contracts that require Administrative authorization without determining which is the competent Administration to authorize them, although it is assumed that the Law refers to the local Administration since numerous regional legislations and numerous ordinances already require authorization from the municipality for these actions.
However, if the Community Statutes already include the possibility of segregating or dividing the dwellings, the approval of the Homeowners' Meeting will not be necessary. The community may only object if the segregation does not comply with the provisions of the Statutes or urban planning regulations, or harms a neighbour or the common elements of the property.
Once the entire process described above has been carried out, the Redistribution of quotas must be carried out.
The division of housing supposes a new structure of the resulting apartments that require a redistribution of the fees to be paid in the community.
Generally, this fee is calculated in proportion to the area of the house, so if it changes, it must be modified, a task that corresponds to the administrator of the farms. By the way, the agreement that authorizes this modification of the home, that is, the agreement that is presented at the owners' meeting, must illustrate the new percentages with numbers.
The construction project
The reform that is carried out to create two independent houses is a work that requires an important building license, and this is where we architects come into action since an architect must carry out the construction project to divide the house and that from 2007 has to comply with the Technical Building Code, in terms of housing density, minimum habitability requirements, etc.
Obviously, the new dwellings must have independent accesses to each of the dwellings, a minimum surface area, and improve the thermal and acoustic insulation between dwellings to comply with the new requirements of the Technical Code.
As for the cost, it depends on the scope of the work, but an average investment for a comprehensive reform is between 1,000 and 450 euros per square meter depending on whether it is a simple reform where it is not necessary to touch the wet rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens, or where it is necessary to demolish the entire interior.
Write and register
Once all the procedures that we have explained above have been carried out, we can now raise the new homes to a public deed to access the Property Registry. It must be registered in the Registry so that the parties resulting from the division each have their registration form and enjoy the registration effects and go through the checkout since the division deed supposes a taxable event of the Tax on Documented Legal Acts.
As you well know, without the public deed, new homes cannot be registered in the Property Registry.
It should be clarified that the very shape of the house largely determines how it is more convenient to carry out the division; for example, if it is an independent house or a flat that is part of a building.
In an isolated single-family home, the division can be: horizontal, leaving each floor as a different home, or vertical, called a lying horizontal division, in which the property is divided from top to bottom creating two semi-detached houses.
Finally, you must request a first occupation license so that each home can have its supply of electricity, water and gas. The division of a floor can be done by dividing the space into two apartments or by segregation when only part of the floor is separated, as we have already mentioned.
Studios of architecture in Murcia and Alicante
I hope this article has been helpful to you, but if there are some left, feel free to ask a question on the blog I will answer you as soon as possible from our studios of architecture in Murcia and Alicante.