Here you will find answers to many problems that expats may come across when embarking themselves in building or buying a place in the sun. These solutions and explanations shown here are the result of more than 25 years of experience working as an architect in Spain. These articles have been published previously in one of the best newspapers for expats in Spain, "Costa Blanca News".
If you have a particular problem which is not covered here, do not hesitate to send me an email and I will try to respond as soon as possible... and free of charge, of course.
There has been a norm 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 out the minimum conditions to be met in the design of any type of home.
On my last article I did explained the different regulations which emanated from the many Spanish regional communities on the minimum standards accepted for a minimum size house and how we still use in some regions a law from 1944 such as the Murcia region.
The Spanish Cadastral Office is scanning the whole of the Coast looking for new builds, renovations or changes of use of buildings that were previously invisible to them.
Need to improve on safety in your own community? It seems that the burglary has grown in the neighbourhood where you live and you do not feel safe without surveillance measures in the building or complex where you live?
To open a delicatessen shop, a hairdresser or a local real estate development office was never an easy job in Spain specially with regards to all the paperwork involved. According to the OECD, Spanish Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Spain is the second country in Europe with more bureaucratic obstacles when creating a company. In order to give impetus to the small entrepreneurs seeking a job out in the small business, a new law that accelerates the necessary formalities for the empowerment of the different municipalities has been created.
If you are going to carry out an important transaction in Spain, it is recommended that you do it in front of a notary. The notary is one of the important figures in Spanish culture. Notaries continue to enjoy a prominent position in Spanish society not to mention a privileged income flow guaranteed by law.
Important tips on first occupation license. What on earth...is that?
Most of us have gone through this once or more times. Yes I am referring to the moment at the local notary where the deeds are signed and the property keys are handed over long last. We have a brand new property to enjoy, but alas when the services company are contacted to obtain connection to electricity, water or gas supply, someone mentions the damn words: "Licencia de Primera Ocupación" What on earth...is that?
To follow my article about La LOE (La Ley de Ordenación de la Edificación). The building Bible in Spain. I pointed out that a Code of Practise, similar to the UK Building Regulations came to light on, March 29th of 2007 (commonly known as the “CTE”).
It is well known by all, that the construction industry is important within the Spanish economy and yet if I ask any British person on the Costa; about the LOE? probably would respond; La LOE what? However, I would not blame him, because if we perform the same exercise with any Spanish fellow almost certainly would get the same result.
Although “La ley de Ordenación de la Edificación” (LOE from now on) Law 38/1999 of November 5th , 1999 that came into force on May 6th , 2000, has gone unnoticed by the layman, this act has had the greatest repercussion on the Spanish construction industry than any other legislation in the history of Spain.
During this time of crisis I have been asked more than once, about the minimum sizes and number of rooms that a new intended house should have, to obtain the regulatory building licence.
In one occasion a client with airs of a hermit and somewhat misanthrope, was looking for a large plot of land roughly 25.000 m2 as far away as possible from any town where he envisage to build a small, a very small house, composed of one bedroom with a small kitchenette built in the bedroom and a toilet next to the bedroom with access from outside.
I am sure that those of you who read my column regularly have read my frequent complains on Spanish legislations. Not only the manner in which it is written, convoluted and full of long winded phrases that could be said in a simple and straight forward way, but it seems that the legislator tries his best to enmesh a million of pages of rules and regulations so that it is as difficult as possible to make head or tail of it.