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When you buy a property you have to be aware of a situation that affects hundreds of thousands of houses in Spain. These are properties that are considered “outside the property management plan” (in Spanish “viviendas fuera de ordenación”).

Properties are in this situation for two possible reasons:

  • The property was originally built with a legal construction licence, but later on, because of new urban or rural planning changes the conditions for occupation, construction or other parameters makes the building non-compliant with the new regulations. For example a single house built in an area that later on is declared a Natural Park (new constructions are not allowed in Natural Parks).
  • The property was built without a legal license, but the local administration did not initiate urban disciplinary proceedings within the legal time frame preventing any subsequent penalty. For example a house built illegally without a license on rural land and more than 6 years have passed since the house was finished. Within the 6 year period, local administrations could potentially issue disciplinary proceedings and probably a demolition order as well.

Within these two circumstances properties can be partially or completely outside the property management plan. Partially means that only a subsection of the property breaks the regulations. For example if the urban plan allows only two storey buildings, in a case of a 3 storey house, only the “last” floor would be outside planning and therefore the property is partially outside the management plan.

“Fuera de ordenación” what does it mean practically.

 Local administrations in practice want the elimination of these constructions. Therefore there are a large numbers of restrictions that can vary according to the region where the building is located.

In general:

  • Property owners can only make conservation, hygiene or decoration alterations. It is strictly forbidden to modernize, improve or extend the building.
  • In cases where the building is destroyed by fire or collapses, any reparation work will have to comply with the new regulation. Sometimes this will imply that the house cannot be used anymore.

It is possible to buy or sell a property outside management plan, but this condition will affect dramatically its market value. Additionally, probably no financial institution will ever provide a mortgage.