Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

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Gasman
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Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

Postby Gasman » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:59 am

Hello all
Can I refer to this post by David Searl in 2010 and ask what the situation is currently end-2016? We are thinking of selling our house, finca of 3000 m on urban-recognised residential land. Built 1998, bought by us end 2006, with lawyer advice in place, and full escritura and catastral registration at the time. We do not have a Cedula or Habitacion. The Town hall say they have nothing to do with it, and refered us to the Catastro office which does not have any architects plans and say they therefore cannot issue a Licencia de Primer Ocupacion/Habitacion ... since we do have the Escritura in order, do we need to pursue the Licencia, as advised by one estate agent, or leave sleeping dogs lie, as advised by two other estate agents! Apparently to get one we have to employ an approved architect, have plans drawn up, photos done, and pay a hefty fee both to the architect and to Catastro!
Cheers - Gasman

postby DavidSearl » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:43 pm
FROM DAVID SEARL
FOR JOOL
Your question is: "My property does not have a Certificate of Habitation. What happens when I go to sell it?
1. Nothing. Your property is registered in the "Registro de la Propiedad". Your deeds, the Escritura, are in order. That is all you need to sell your property.
2. The "Cedula de Habitacion" was replaced by the "Licencia de Primera Ocupacion", both issued by the Town Halls. It is only on a newbuild property that anyone needs to be concerned. Many older properties never received the Cedula.
3. Perhaps your information from the other forum is incomplete. It is very unlikely that the Junta would take any action against an older dwelling simply for the lack of this Cedula.

Good luck with it, David Searl

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Re: Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

Postby Trooperman » Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:46 am

This has been "done" here before:
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=34526&p=335390#p335390

I can now update it somewhat because I have sold my finca (that never had, nor was ever going to acquire) a first occupation licence. The buyer is a Spanish lawyer (!!!!) and whilst she would like a DAFO, it was a condition of sale that the absence of a DAFO would NOT scupper (or whatever legal term is appropriate) the sale. I am still going through the motions of acquiring one and if I get it, then she will be delighted and I'll be a grand out of pocket but, hey ho! it'll be sorted for good in that case!
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Re: Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

Postby El Cid » Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:57 am

We built our house in 2002 and the process then was to involve architects right at the start to get a building licence. When everything was complete and the architect had signed off the final notice, then and only then could you get the licence of first occupation (which comes from the Ayuntamiento). Without that it would have been impossible to get them to issue the final escritura (which should contain a copy of the licence of first occupation) and register the property.

The catastral registration was a separate matter and is not connected to the main process. We only got our Catastral paperwork completed 2 years later.

Lots of older properties do not have an LFO, but I would expect one built as recently as 1998 to have one. For example, it is now impossible to get an electricity supply to a new built without producing one. That was the case in 2002.

Sid

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Re: Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

Postby wollie » Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:12 pm

I have a friend in a similar situation that I mentioned here before but we really do not know what to do if anything.
Bought house (wreck) about 10 years ago, got architect and full plans for total reform with some difficulty.
When water/electric was being connected a document was asked for and when the Ayuntamiento were asked they would not supply, then they were asked if they give a letter to say this document was not needed and would not give this.
Anyway the water got connected and thankfully things going ok but they keep wrecking my head about this every time I see them and I am fed up with it, she is fine but he never stops. It was only when I noticed on here this LFO thing here they became aware they not have this.

They think the problem is that the Town Hall should not have given the licence as it should have being classified as a new build so no-one would sign-off on it in case there be a problem later. I think the Architect would have being able to get the licence at the time but they were using an idiot translator that obviously did not know what do and did not ask anyone.
I have being told that new build licences come from different office with different rules but I do not understand.
I am telling them to leave very alone but someone on-here may be better advisor than me.

many thanks

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Re: Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

Postby Miro » Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:59 pm

A friend recently bought an apartment (in a relatively old building) and mentioned something about the seller having to obtain a copy of the licence of first occupation. I've never heard of this before - certainly not for apartments. Was this introduced recently as a new legal requirement for all sellers? If so, I'm surprised that I've never (until now!) seen or heard anything about it at all.
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Re: Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

Postby Beachcomber » Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:28 pm

I bought an off-plan apartment in 1999 and a Licence of First Occupation was issued as part of the overall documentation as was the LFO for my rural house which I had built in 1996. My urban duplex also had one but the question did not arise when I sold it in 2000.

If anyone has real problems in this area I can give the name of a firm of lawyers whom I have known for over thirty years and trust implicitly. Needless to say they are NOT located within the province of Málaga but have had successful outcomes in respect of several cases here in Málaga and in other Andalucían provinces.

Details will be sent by PM on request.

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Re: Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

Postby Miro » Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:43 pm

I've sold several properties (all apartments) over the years - the last time in 2006, but never ever needed to produce a licence of first occupation. So my question again - is this a new requirement? I know you now need an energy certificate, for example, but haven't heard before about needing to produce a LFO. I have my property listed with several estate agents, but not one of them has ever asked if there's a LFO (the property was built in 2003) It does, so I'm not concerned, but nobody has ever asked! We've had plenty of viewings, and some strange requests (such as "can I look in the fridge" - seriously!) but again, not one person has ever asked if the property has a LFO.
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Re: Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

Postby wollie » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:51 pm

It is likely that this document is held by the company that manage these apartment buildings, it be part of their brief to ensure all in order so this is administered by then through the community charge.

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Re: Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

Postby Beachcomber » Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:32 pm

In the case of my apartment the LFO covers the whole block and we each have an individual copy of the document. It was issued to the developer once the building had been completed to the satisfaction of the local authority long before the establishment of the community of owners although it is they who now hold the document.

Properties have required a habitation certificate since, at least, the 1980s, maybe earlier. It was originally called (and still is in some areas) a Cedula de Habitabilidad. Although they are increasingly being requested in the case of sales of urban properties the main problem lies with rural properties that have no such document the lack of which is very likely to result in the loss of any prospective sale. An LFO may be obtained providing there is a building licence and final architect's certificate to which the property conforms as well as some other documentation but most do not qualify.

This is where the Asimilado a fuera de ordenación en suelo no urbanizable (AFO) comes in which is really nothing more than a money making exercise for cash strapped municipalities which 'regularises' the situation of qualifying illegally built rural properties (which they should never have allowed to be built in the first place). This regularisation process costs several thousand euros but it does not 'legalise' the property. If a property is illegal now it will be illegal for evermore and, if examined closely, it becomes apparent that the LFO does nothing more than corroborate its illegality. It does, however, mean that the property cannot be demolished but that's about all.

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Re: Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

Postby Miro » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:34 pm

I thought my question was quite simple really, but seems not.
Are notaries routinely requiring sellers to furnish a copy of the licence, or not? Is the licence required as part of the legal pack in the same way as the energy certificate? Or is it just something that some notaries might wish to see, for some rural properties of questionable legality?
Don't worry about what people think, they don't do it very often

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Re: Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

Postby Beachcomber » Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:02 am

It is not the notaries who are requiring sight of the licence it is the legal representatives of purchasers of properties which do not have one and, as far as I know, it is not required as part of the estate agent's 'legal pack'.

Many ill-informed lawyers (especially coastal lawyers dealing with the purchase of a rural property) have become so paranoid that they are even insisting on an AFO whether the property has an licence of first occupation or not.

The LFO is really something of an anomaly. One could reasonably expect, in any well-regulated, first world, European Union member state, that if there was a legal requirement for a newly constructed property to be issued with such a document as a licence of first occupation no-none would be living in the property, and certainly not for the past twenty or thirty years or more, if it did not have one. It is a licence of first occupation not a licence of continued occupation.

In fact, if the property had been built contrary to planning regulations and could not therefore qualify for an LFO because it had no building licence or final architect's certificate it would be reasonable to expect that it would be demolished rather than be allowed to be sold to the first unsuspecting purchaser that comes along and sinks his life savings into it.

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Re: Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

Postby Miro » Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:16 am

Got it, thanks! And totally agree with your comments. I really couldn't understand why my friend's seller had to obtain a LFO for a 30 year old apartment in an urban area. Presumably it was simply my friend's lawyer being paranoid, as you say. After all, I've not actually heard of one single case of illegal builds in this municipality. It's not Marbella!
Don't worry about what people think, they don't do it very often

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Re: Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

Postby wollie » Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:27 pm

Beachcomber,

Your post is very informative but if possible can I ask.
What is an AFO ? I have not come across this term before.
Also if the utility companies are going to ask the new owner for LFO are the Lawyers not duty bound to protect their clients by having the said LFO document.
There seems to be a lot of confusion about this topic and it be nice to just know for definitive what the story is or if the individual solicitor will decide when a property goes on the market.

Many thanks

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Re: Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

Postby Trooperman » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:48 pm

Beachcomber can answer for himself, but I can furnish some details if you'd like: AFO stands for Asimilacion Furea (de) Ordinacion and is usually preceded by a "D" (meaning Declaracion) or a "C" (meaning Certificado)....so you get DAFO or CAFO.

If electricity is already provided, then it is unlikely that a LFO will be asked for, as that document is needed for the electricity company to connect initially (to protect their own backsides!).

I can tell you that the absence of a LFO will impede any application for work(s) on a property by a town hall concerned about doing things properly (as they all wish to do nowadays).

I have found out, after living here for 15 years, that a Spanish lawyer will normally only do what is asked of him/her: there seems to be no standard set of obligations or procedures to undertake in a conveyance. As I said in my post above, I have sold my house in the campo (without LFO or DAFO) but I have asked my lawyer to check for a LFO on the next house I wish to buy: as Beachcomber says, it is something that can be asked for my a purchaser or his legal representative.
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Re: Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

Postby Miro » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:06 pm

Trooperman wrote:...a Spanish lawyer will normally only do what is asked of him/her

Very true. I was asked a couple of years ago for a recommendation of a lawyer for a friend who was buying a villa of questionable legality. I was happy & confident to recommend one I knew, but told him that whilst the lawyer would answer any & all of his questions, he would not tell him what questions he needed to ask.
Glad to say all worked out OK. :thumbup:
Still puzzled why (another) friend's lawyer would have insisted on seeing a LFO for a 30 year old urban apartment though. Obviously, all utilities have been connected for as many years, so why bother? I can't see such a block being deemed illegal and torn down now.
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Re: Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

Postby Beachcomber » Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:06 pm

I did actually refer to an AFO and describe what it is in the last paragraph of my post on 29 October 2016, at 23:32 but here it is again in case you missed it:

Beachcomber wrote:This is where the Asimilado a fuera de ordenación en suelo no urbanizable (AFO) comes in which is really nothing more than a money making exercise for cash strapped municipalities which 'regularises' the situation of qualifying illegally built rural properties (which they should never have allowed to be built in the first place). This regularisation process costs several thousand euros but it does not 'legalise' the property. If a property is illegal now it will be illegal for evermore and, if examined closely, it becomes apparent that the LFO does nothing more than corroborate its illegality. It does, however, mean that the property cannot be demolished but that's about all.

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Re: Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

Postby chrissiehope » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:47 pm

Just to add to the confusion (;-) ), I have a 'Certificate of Antiquity' which basically states that the property (rural, originally built some 80 years ago, fallen into semi-ruin & reformed by us in 2006) is over 10 years old, and conforms to all the rules of habitable property. This was issued by the local Town Hall in 2008, and is probably the only certificate we are likely to get :-) !
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Re: Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

Postby Devils Advocate » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:18 am

An interesting thread to come back to after a stint over in Spain to put our place on the market.

We've gone with a 6 month sole agency agreement to test the waters, not expecting a quick sale in this climate although properties around us are moving, of that that there is no doubt, whether they are receiving anywhere near the asking price is another issue.

Anyway, my thoughts/questions are this. We've bought 3 properties in Spain now over our 15 years of ownership there.
We felt this time the agents were very, very clued up on what was needed and what is important as opposed to years ago when the house was just bought or sold with very few questions asked.

The paperwork/Escitura was scrutinised, bills from utility suppliers, proof of IVI payments and other outgoings were asked for and all painstakingly copied. Questions about the poso septica and whether it was 3 chamber etc. were answered and checked.

Then this "DAFO" word appeared as I was told it might. We had a section of the long front arched terrace roof built to replace some cane/bamboo covering that perished many years ago. We had the new section constructed to match the centre (concrete/tiled) centre section thus covering 2/3rds of the terrace. No increase in footprint and still as per escitura/Catastro.
We asked at the Town Hall for advice but was told it was just replacing the damaged section so no problem.
Now a DAFO may be needed to sort this, 1500e to 5000e we were told........maybe!! I'll argue the toss on that one when the time comes lol.

Which leads me to the DAFO question. I mentioned it to another couple who live there full time and who's house is on the market. They too need a DAFO they say as their poso is an old soak away thing unlike our modern one.

So what does this DAFO do? They can still sell the place I guess but just get stung for another 3000 or so Euros.

Yep, DAFO was a new one on me.
Property owner in Andalucia since 2002. How time flies.

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Re: Selling house - do we need Licencia Habitacion?

Postby Gasman » Sun Nov 06, 2016 7:15 pm

Thanks for all the input guys and gals -so really it is all as clear as mud and successful sale of the property depends on who wants to buy it and how picky their lawyer/gestor is .... lovely ....
We will keep the information on a recommended architect handy and meanwhile see if we get any offers!! Market seems slow so far!
Cheers


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