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Question:

Do we have the right to compensation for damages caused by town halls as a result of work that they have carried out?

Yes, many town halls regulate grants with bylaws or municipal ordinances for help towards compensation.

Where the works are for public use or social interest, the damage to residents and the owners of businesses situated on public roads where the work takes place, deserve to be compensated by the government.

According to the European Court of Human Rights, the Spanish Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court, nuisance caused by odours, dust or noise suggest an unlawful interference to the rights of peaceful enjoyment of the home and private family life, which violates the fundamental right to personal family privacy in the home, protected by the articles 18.1 and 2 of the Spanish Constitution and by article 8 of the Rome Convention for the protection of Human Rights, the Public Authorities are required to take measures.

Where businesses are directly affected by the work, there is a loss which merits being compensated.

There are different forms of compensation and these vary from one municipality to another, for example where there are permanent rights of way affected by the works, making it impossible to use them while the work is being done, supposes that you will not pay the taxes relating to  the establishment.

Compensation for nuisance and damages are considered to be those material damages, disturbance of the peaceful enjoyment of the home, lack of comfort, loss of tranquillity, the physical environment of the building, caused by sound waves and other repetitive noises, odour, dust, smoke, traffic diversions which hinder access to buildings which are main residencies and permanent access rights for businesses, as a direct result of the building works.

The beneficiaries of compensation are usually decided in the grants that are given, but in general we can say that compensation is given to the owners of the properties who are on the municipal census and whose property is their main residence, especially in the area which is affected by the Works, and those individuals   or legal owners of commercial or industrial establishments or services whose premises or businesses are affected.

The economic compensation is normally as follows:

  • The amount of municipal rates corresponding to the fiscal year, if they are homeowners, or individuals or legal owners of commercial or industrial businesses or services.
  • The quota of municipal tax for economic activities corresponding to the year 2009, if they are legal owners of commercial or industrial businesses or services.