ALBA CONSULTAS

Language Law and Integration in Spain
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Legalising Property

There are three types of construction under Spanish law: "Legal, Illegal and a-legal".

A construction is legal when it has been built with all the plans and projects from architects, structural engineers and topographers, with all the required permits from town halls, district councils and public works even forestry and environmental departments if required.

A construction if illegal when it has been built without permissions, permits or not following the adequate building regulations.

A construction is "A-legal" if it has been built pre 1983 and is not built on protected or dangerously located land.

A new build property which is more than four years old is often mistaken as "legalizable" - in fact, this is a legal loop-hole. It is "A-legalizable" on the understanding that the property or extension does not affect any third party. In many cases the owner can pay a fine, get his architects plans and the town hal is likely to turn a blind eye as demolition is both unpopular and costly and is only usually undertaken if the property is built in a dangerous location such as a cliff edge or dried-up river bed, or does not comply with building regulations and standards of construction and materials.

Properties which are a-legal can often still be a good purchase on the understanding that you have seen independent advisors to do the adequate searches both on the property and the area.

If an illegal construction is affected by a development plan under the LRAU/LUV it is often affected without compensation.