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The Decree 60/2010, of the 16th March approves the town planning disciplinary regulations of Andalucia.

Article 92.2.a) of the Andalucian statutes state that the municipal councils are responsible for urban discipline and are answerable to the Junta de Andalucía.  The emphasis of these new regulations is placed on the restrictive part of the law, that is to say severe fines and demolition orders.

Article 27 establishes the requirements for inscribing your property in the land registry.  You will need to have a habitation license from the town hall and a certificate for the completion of building works (fin de obra).  These certificates will show that the work done on the property, whether it is an extension or the addition of a swimming pool etc., correspond to the plans that were originally submitted to the town hall.  The end of works certificate is given when the architect presents a copy of the planning permission and the certificate which has been endorsed by the college of architects, and these are approved.  The completing of the new build has to be signed in deeds at the notary. The other requirement for the inscription in the land registry is to file a copy of the Building Book ‘Libro del Edificio’. If properties are not registered with the land registry in their current form, then you will find that they are very hard to sell.

To be able to obtain water and electricity supplies to the property you will need to have the habitation license. While the building or restoration work is being done, the suppliers will normally provide a temporary contract until the building license expires.

The Decree 60/2010, of the 16th March regulates the procedures, amongst others, for suspending construction and the revision of licenses, constructions that do not have the relevant licenses, orders to return the property or land to its original state including demolition orders and reconstruction.  The town hall can begin procedures for the violation of town planning and issue sanctions.  The Registrars at the Land Registry must inform the Council responsible for town planning of applications for the inscription in the registry of properties which have licenses or those which do not need licenses, when they may be contrary to urban planning regulations or territorial regulations.  The infractions can be classified as: minor infractions, those where the suppliers of water and electricity, do not ask for licenses; more serious infractions where buildings are constructed without licenses or the transformation of land use which are contrary to town planning regulations; and very serious infractions include those of urban subdivisions on land which is not to be developed and those which do not have the necessary planning permission to be legalised at a later time.  These specifically are where the land is classified as protected undeveloped land, coastal areas, parks, and listed buildings.   The penalties for committing these kinds of violations can be found in Chapter III of Title VII of the Law 7/2002 of the 17th December, or in articles 207 and 208.3 of this Law. Unless the infringement is specifically stated in this said law, the town planning violations will be punished in the following manner:  Minor offenses can range from a fine of 600 euros to 2,999 euros; serious offenses can range from a fine of 3,000 to 5,999 euros; and very serious offenses can range from 6,000 to 120,000 euros.  Complimentary regulations for sanctions can be found in article 216, 217 and 221 of the Law 7/2002 of the 17th December which can increase the sanction to the amount gained by the person at fault, as per Article 72.

The new regulations make a particular emphasis in the endorsement on plans from the college of architects that should verify that the plans conform to urban planning regulations.  These are stipulated in article 6 of the regulations and they include the positioning of the building within the plot, where it is and how far it is from the boundaries and the distances between buildings.  The land use, what kind of building it is, the height of the building and how much of the plot the building takes up. The kinds of documents that are subject to urban development control are those that include building, demolitions, and the division of properties; the endorsement is a stamp, which is put on plans that need municipal town planning licenses as per article 8 of the Regulations.  If it is found that there are no serious town planning infractions, then the endorsement is stamped on the plans, conforming to article 14 of the urban disciplinary regulations,  however if there are any and the architect refuses to correct his plans then the endorsement will not be given.  The professional associations such as the college of architects will deny the endorsement when the plans do not contain the requisites in the corresponding regulations and they will contact the local authorities if they believe that any serious planning violations have been committed.  The town planning department will then take the relevant action for such infractions.

If you have a property in Andalucia, we recommend that you check that the description in the Land registry certificate (nota simple) coincides with the actual property; we often find that our clients have problems selling their properties due to not inscribing the reformations that they do or the swimming pools that they build.  If in doubt contact your lawyer to discuss the matter.