occupation license or Habitability license,

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MartiD
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occupation license or Habitability license,

Postby MartiD » Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:55 pm

Hi - we just need some guidance and advice. We have put a deposit on an apartment and the solicitor has said if they cant locate the occupation license or Habitability license in the town hall that we can get it afterwards.

We were wondering how important is this document and if this is the norm to get it sfterwards or should this completed before the sale. The solicitor said we could get an Architect to sort it afterwards but this sounds like something surely the seller should be doing before the sale instead of us as it will cost money. We dont plan on renting it out. Many thanks in advance for any advice.

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Re: occupation license or Habitability license,

Postby Beachcomber » Mon Feb 24, 2020 7:09 am

It is very important. If they cannot produce it do not go ahead.

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Re: occupation license or Habitability license,

Postby MartiD » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:28 am

Hi Beachcomber
Many tks for reply. We thought it was possibly an important document as why would solicitor be sourcing it otherwise. The seller must have bought the apartment originally without it. It may mean that we have to pull out of the deal if we cant get it before the sale..solicitor is saying it could now take 3 months..These situations are confusing when you dont know the law.

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Re: occupation license or Habitability license,

Postby El Cid » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:32 am

It doesn't seem to be a problem for some. In one of the largest Urbs in Nerja, built about 30 years ago none of the properties has a habitation certificate.

Sid

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Re: occupation license or Habitability license,

Postby Beachcomber » Mon Feb 24, 2020 12:25 pm

A friend bought an apartment and two garage spaces on a 'luxury' development in Estepona on the promise that a licence of first occupation would be forthcoming at a later date. We advised him not to but he went to a 'prestigious' lawyer in Marbella who convinced him that everything was in order and that the development would subsequently be issued with a first occupation.

The first occupation was not forthcoming and never will be. The whole development is illegal and he will be lucky if it is not earmarked for demolition. The only way he can sell the property is by accepting a ridiculously low price from someone who is willing to buy it with no first occupation and who doesn't need a mortgage.

Unless you are willing to take the same kind of risk I would leave well alone.

If Sid is referring to El Capistrano in Nerja, well, no comment.

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Re: occupation license or Habitability license,

Postby costakid » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:53 pm

WALK away.

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Re: occupation license or Habitability license,

Postby El Cid » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:18 pm

Beachcomber wrote: If Sid is referring to El Capistrano in Nerja, well, no comment.
That's a shame, I would like to hear your view on this. My information came from the President of the urbanisation and yes, it is Capistrano.

Sid

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Re: occupation license or Habitability license,

Postby elusive » Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:43 pm

Capistrano village?

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Re: occupation license or Habitability license,

Postby Beachcomber » Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:59 pm

I remembered that there were huge problems with El Capistrano when it was being built in the 1970s/80s I found this article from 1986:

https://elpais.com/diario/1986/08/23/es ... 50215.html

I has assumed that all its problems would have long been resolved but if they still have no first occupation (or cédula de habitabilidad as it would have been then) obviously they haven't. Whilst looking this up I also came across the fact that a lot of the properties are crumbling through lack of proper foundations.

Presumably these properties have been changing hands nevertheless but in the current climate I would definitely not buy a property without a licence of first occupation or equivalent.

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Re: occupation license or Habitability license,

Postby MartiD » Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:51 pm

Many thanks for everyones reply and advice.

The apartment is in Caleta. The solicitor is suggesting a walk away clause without penities could be included in the contract should the FOL not turn up in the Town Hall. The Vendor ahas agreed this.

We really not sure what to think at this stage.
Marti

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Re: occupation license or Habitability license,

Postby El Cid » Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:52 pm

I haven’t heard out the structural problems in Capistrano, but it does happen. There is a big development here on the side of a hill and many properties are moving really badly. It is going to take years to sort it out and many are now uninhabitable, certificate or not.

We built our house legally and the amount of paperwork attached to the escritoria is amazing, plus all the land and geological surveys and structural engineers reports. Very expensive but it does give you some peace of mind when you look at the abuses of the law that many developers and mayors have done.

Sid

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Re: occupation license or Habitability license,

Postby Beachcomber » Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:48 pm

Yes ours similarly although we did not have geological surveys the builder was very knowledgable about the type of land and built the very deep foundations accordingly.

MartiD, as long as the walk away clause is watertight it should be OK but make sure you know what is in the contract. Have it translated by an independent translator if necessary even if the lawyer provides you with a translation. It is not unknown for the Spanish version to say one thing and the English something totally different. In a Spanish court of law the Spanish version of the contract takes precedence. The English translation is for your information only.

You may be asked for a sum of money to 'take the property off the market' but avoid this if you can. You, as the purchaser, are in the driving seat. If they insist do not pay over more than €3.000 and ensure that the contract states that every céntimo is refunded if the LFO cannot be obtained or any other aspect of the paperwork is unsatisfactory.

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Re: occupation license or Habitability license,

Postby MartiD » Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:55 pm

Thank you Beachcomber. We have paid €3000 deposit in Jan so this has just come about now re the FOL. The agent says you dont automatically get an FOL for older buildings as this is a new law and you have to request them. Also that they are only needed for rental properties and not for renovations etc.. Tks again for the advice Beachcomber...Its frustrating but hopefully sortable.
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Re: occupation license or Habitability license,

Postby Beachcomber » Mon Feb 24, 2020 7:53 pm

I bought my first property in Spain in 1982 and it had been issued with a Cedula de Habitabilidad (the forerunner of the licence of first occupation).

I had the rural property in which I currently live built in 1996 and this has an LFO. Even the original old shepherd's cottage built in 1953 has a Certificate of Antiquity because it was built prior to the requirement for a Cedula de Habitabilidad

I also bought an off-plan apartment in 1999 and this had been issued with an LFO.

None of these properties are rental properties. How old does a law have to be for it no longer considered to be 'new'?

In view of what you have been told I would suggest that it is even more imperative that any documentation you have signed or will be required to sign is properly translated by someone who is independent and is not known to the lawyer.

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Re: occupation license or Habitability license,

Postby MartiD » Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:39 pm

Many thanks for all the advice. We are very clear now that the licence is required before proceeding any further.

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costakid
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Re: occupation license or Habitability license,

Postby costakid » Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:58 am

It sound like your Lawyer is only interested in getting the deal through so he gets his fee. Not sure who you are buying off but it is not unknown in Spain for the Lawyer to know the seller especially in smaller towns. A friend of mine was a bank manager in Torre Del Mar and he literally knows everyone who is Spanish in that area. A Lawyer would be similar.

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Re: occupation license or Habitability license,

Postby maureenscot » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:47 pm

Does this mean that the other flats are all illegal too Speak to neighbours. Doesn't seem like good advice from lawyer

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Re: occupation license or Habitability license,

Postby Manchesteral » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:59 pm

Beachcomber wrote:Yes ours similarly although we did not have geological surveys the builder was very knowledgable about the type of land and built the very deep foundations accordingly.

MartiD, as long as the walk away clause is watertight it should be OK but make sure you know what is in the contract. Have it translated by an independent translator if necessary even if the lawyer provides you with a translation. It is not unknown for the Spanish version to say one thing and the English something totally different. In a Spanish court of law the Spanish version of the contract takes precedence. The English translation is for your information only.

You may be asked for a sum of money to 'take the property off the market' but avoid this if you can. You, as the purchaser, are in the driving seat. If they insist do not pay over more than €3.000 and ensure that the contract states that every céntimo is refunded if the LFO cannot be obtained or any other aspect of the paperwork is unsatisfactory.

A close friend of mine is currently going through a very similar process regarding a property in La Cala de Mijas.
It's a small town house on a decent plot and built around late 90's -2000 or thereabouts.
As far as he knows there are no outstanding problems but he has made an offer on the property on condition that everything is above board, he has asked his lawyer (not local) to draw up a document stating that any serous problems will negate the sale and that he will be free to walk away without financial punishment should any serious problems arise and that the money will be kept in escrow, I haven't spoken to him for a week or so so i'm not sure where he is with this, I'll try to find out .

MartiD
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Re: occupation license or Habitability license,

Postby MartiD » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:03 pm

Many thanks Beachcomber and Manchesteral. As advised by the everyone here we said we didnt want to sign until all paperwork in order so the solicitor accepted this. Fingers crossed. It's really great to have a forum like this that everyone is so helpful and shares their experiences and wisdom with those of us who dont know what to do. Thanks again to everyone. Marti


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