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October 31, 2014
It often happens that foreign clients choose this type of properties for investments in Spain. However, their acquisition requires a wise choice of legal advice, as not all professionals are used to this type of purchases and there are risks that the client may face, once he or she has effectively acquired the property.
Therefore, among many difficulties, it may occur that the property is built on protected land. This means that town planning infractions never expire. As a result, the Town Hall of the place where it is located may bring the corresponding actions against such property, resulting in a demolition, in the worst case scenario, or at the very least in a sanction.
Currently, the Andalusian Law in force, 7/2000, of the 17th of December, allows for the regularization of properties built on non developing urban plots. However, the legal circumstances of those built on protected plots are still uncertain.
Notwithstanding the above, all is not lost in these cases, as it will be the lawyer´s mission to carry out important legal searches in order to determine the year of construction and the declaration of the protected status of the plot to be purchased. In the event that the construction works were built after the declaration of protected status of the land, the risk of actions to be brought by the Town Hall will remain. On the other hand, if it is possible to prove that the declaration was given before, it will be possible to regularize the situation in those cases in which the property was built on unprotected but non developable rustic land, therefore having as a consequence that the construction built on it can be regularized.
Once clarified that it is possible to regularize the property, it is important that the lawyer study the exact procedure in force in the Town Hall of reference, as application of this regularization varies from one Town Hall to another. It is common that documentation provided by the interested party that proves the age of the building works, suitability for dwelling, as well as payment of a rate that varies between 3% and 5% of the works value at the time of construction is needed.
Other common problems that arise when acquiring this kind of properties is in arranging utilities, as electricity contracts often do not match the utilities of the dwelling or the water supply comes from a shared well, etc. Therefore, a prior in depth investigation by the lawyer of the client is very important in such cases
At Lexland, our department of Town Planning Law is highly qualified and specialized in this type of purchases. We carry out detailed legal searches, as our aim is for the client to be completely aware of the situation of the property that he or she wishes to acquire and whether or not it can be regularized.