registering house on land

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 10 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #51514
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    We are still waiting for our house to be made legal. We don’t have a building licence. The local town hall still maintain all will be OK and when their new plan arrives back from the Junta our house will be shown as legal. However, they still don’t know when the plan will come back.

    The legal rep. who got us into this mess, has now come up with a solution. Evidently we need an architect to say the house is finished, and we go to the Notary and register the new works because of the lapse of time between paying the money for the licence and now, without any interference from the town hall.

    As my husband is now suffering from stress and we want to return to the UK at the end of the year, if possible, we have asked her to let us know how much this will cost. We have been waiting for over a year now for the “new plan” to come to fruition and it has taken its toll on our health. We are disillusioned with the Spanish legal system, estate agents, the lot, and our “dream” has been well and truly shattered.

    Do you think this idea will work?

    I suspect we would be fools to trust this legal representative again, without finding out if the end result documentation would enable us to mortgage or sell the house.

    Any comments please.

  • #60661
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Dear ‘guest’:

    You say you don’t have a building license… did you ever have one, revoked later, or you never had one?
    was your house built following an approved, full (basic + developed) project signed by a registered architect and endorsed by the local Architect Association? Did an Architect and a ‘Aparejador’ (kind of Project Manager, it’s a figure that I belive doesn’t exist in the UK) surveyed the works?

    I’m afraid that given the details you describe, your house is simply illegal (was built without a license) and therefore susceptible of being demolished if not legalized (an Architect signing a legalization project, should certify that the building observes technical regulations and the local planning, and the town council has to approve it) but as I see, your additional problem is that there is no plan!!!! so an other question arises: Did the plan for your particular area ever existed??? and, if it did, was later revoked by the regional authorities????

    The answers to these questions are important as they will tell us what is exactly the work to be done by an Architect (and I quote you) ‘to say the house is finished‘ and the responsibility and liability he is assuming by doing so in order to estimate the costs of his work.

    You should provide more information to get a more accurate answer. I’m sorry if it sounds disappointing but I’m afraid it may be quite difficult to find an Architect to legalize a building in an area with no plan. I tell you this as I am lawyer and counselor of the COAA, the Official Architects Association of Asturias (northern Spain) and I must tell you that I would have to discourage any Architect to do this kind of work given the conditions above described. (so I hope your house is not in Asturias)

    On the other hand you say the Town authorities say everything will be OK as they expect a new plan soon that will be compatible with your house, so ‘de facto’ you have what in Spain is called a ‘licencia en precario’ (some kind of provisional license) which gives you no legal rights but means that when the time comes your house could be legalized and, by now and till then, no legal action is being taken against your building (they won’t order demolition)

    Also when you say (and I quote again) ‘and we go to the Notary and register the new works because of the lapse of time between paying the money for the license and now, without any interference from the town hall‘ you have to specify how many years you are talking about…

    Please give us more details and we’ll try to give some ideas…

  • #60667
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Dear Cesar

    To answer your questions, we paid money to the town hall for a building licence in 2001. We were asked to pay further monies and to adhere to certain rules – i.e. install a proper septica fossica, plant trees etc. etc. but unknown to us a licence wasn’t issued. An architect produced plans stamped by the college of architects in Malaga and the house was built.

    I believe the town did not have a proper plan and that this is now being drawn up within the guidelines of the POT plan and with input from the Junta of Andalucia. (We have been assured many times by the town hall that all will be OK when the new plan is agreed, and they want to know why we are worrying.) They don’t seem to understand that we need to get our money back from the house – we are not “rich English people” with another house in the UK – all our worldly goods are invested here in Spain in the house.

    We do have a final certificate from the architect which is dated Nov 2003, even though we moved into the house in February 2003.

    We have been advised that if we get another architect to produce a final certificate – I am guessing the date will be earlier than 2003 – under the 4 year rule we will be able to register our house on the deeds for the land, which we have.

    At the moment we are waiting to find out how much this will cost. It seems a bit dodgy to me, but I have been assured that as the original building licence was dated 2001 it will be OK. I am not sure myself whether there was actually a licence in 2001, but certainly I have a receipt for monies paid to the town hall. There was certainly a verbal OK given to build at that time.

  • #60670
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Drakan,

    This is yet another example of why we British get SOOOO upset by the Spanish “way” of conducting building/property purchase. As you probably know, in the UK we have very tight building controls and regulations. There is always an inspector from the council watching every step of the way during construction, to make sure all the plans are being adhered to. In Spain there appears to be no control…until it is too late for the purchaser and then we have to start lengthy and expensive legal action against the developers etc.

    On the bright side…we give you and your counterparts plenty of work ! 🙂

  • #60671
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Lawywers always have lots of work in spain. In the boom years they are raking it in doing property transactions and the bust years are spent sorting out the mess they made before.

  • #60675
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    To ‘Guest’

    @Guest wrote:

    We do have a final certificate from the architect which is dated Nov 2003, even though we moved into the house in February 2003.

    We have been advised that if we get another architect to produce a final certificate – I am guessing the date will be earlier than 2003 – under the 4 year rule we will be able to register our house on the deeds for the land, which we have.

    Did I understand right????

    Are you telling me that someone is proposing you to hire an Architect to produce a bogus Final Certificate with a fake finishing date so you can thus fool both the Notario and the Land Registry with the 4-year rule so you could have your house registered????

    If that’s what’s happening I’m afraid it only has one name: FRAUD and quite difficult to carry out I may add (unless they are thinking on simply forging the document) It may be also considered as a criminal offense punished with severe fines

    A Final Certificate (‘Certificado Final de Obra’) is a public and official document issued in a standard from (following the 01/28/1972 Order of former Ministry of Housing, today ‘Ministerio de Fomento’) to be filled by an Aparejador and an Architect with the date of the end of the works and certifying the house was built in accordance with a valid and registered project, also it has to be endorsed by their respective Official Associations (also official & public institutions) to be a valid document. Those Institutions, as well as the professional’s insurance companies in many cases (as professionals have to declare to their ICs all their works) keep a registered copy of the certificate in their archives so they won’t by no means endorse a new certificate with a new date unless you can supply concrete evidence that the first date was a mistake…

  • #60676
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Claire wrote:

    Drakan,

    This is yet another example of why we British get SOOOO upset by the Spanish “way” of conducting building/property purchase. As you probably know, in the UK we have very tight building controls and regulations. There is always an inspector from the council watching every step of the way during construction, to make sure all the plans are being adhered to. In Spain there appears to be no control…until it is too late for the purchaser and then we have to start lengthy and expensive legal action against the developers etc.

    On the bright side…we give you and your counterparts plenty of work ! 🙂

    Hmm Claire, I’m dissapointed myself the way some things are carried out over here. 😳

  • #60677
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    ……so that scuppers that idea 🙁

  • #60678
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I understand Cesar getting so indignant at the idea of fraudulently fiddling the date on the form.

    But don’t forget these people paid for a building licence in 2001.
    They thought they had done everything right.

    Is it their fault they havn’t been given the bl ’til now?????
    Is it right they are now both ill with stress over the whole deal with their dreams shattered????????

    Personally, as it is the Spanish bureaucracy that has created this mess, if one could fiddle a date on a piece of paper to solve the whole thing, so what.

    Worse things are going on in Spain – like developers fraudulently keeping purchasers money when they don’t build anything. If the police should be knocking on anyones’ doors, it should be theirs…..

  • #60679
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Just what I was thinking, Sofia. “boot” and “other foot” sprang to mind!

  • #60680
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Dear Sofia:

    I’m not indignant but astonished…

    I told you in a private message that I was not ‘professionally’ familiar with the building process in the mediterranean coast as I practice in northern Spain and I assure you this is definitely not happening here… WE DO HAVE very strict and tight controls here… I can tell you by my direct experience that authorities here take very seriously everything related to building.

    In my 14 year experience I can only tell of two cases in Asturias similar to what you people are describing in this forum (large building compounds not finished, made of plan or without a license…) And in both cases we got criminal sentences even declaring the civil responsibility or liability of the banks involved in the operation and forcing the authorities to legalize buildings…

    Of course there are irregularities in Asturias but I don’t know if people here are more aware of their rights as almost everything is reported and action taken or it’s just because we don’t suffer as much as overdevelopment as you but with less than a million and a half population and aprox. 600 Architects working here there are about 100 lawsuits per year related to the building process (and that is only counting lawsuits where architects are involved) that get sentenced in an average of a 6-month period… I would say that the system is working

    What else can I say?… you think your rights are being abused?… It’s not the Law, but the way the Law is enforced and as in many legal systems authorities need charges to be presented and reports to be made…

    You feel a single report may not be enough to ‘move’ the disappointingly and exasperating slow Spanish bureaucracy??? please don’t be offended but well, you are quite a lot of people there… and as UE citizens and many of you being residents, you have full political rights, the right to elect and to be elected for local town councils… do as Germans and you own countrymen are doing in the Balearic Islands… unite yourselves, associate yourselves, press them, use the local media, collect signatures… fight… I may tell you that when representing neighbor associations I always get a better, satisfactory answer from town halls presenting 200 signatures, pressing them, using the threaten of going to the media, etc… than presenting a beautiful-made and impeccable-founded appeals…

    To Guest…. I guess ‘scupper’ if you mean ‘ruin’ or even ‘wreck’ is a good way to describe it

  • #60681
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thank you for all your input, especially Cesar.

    I thought the idea was probably a form of fraud and I don’t suppose we will actually go ahead with it.

    We have a final certificate, which we paid over 3,000 euros for. Perhaps it will be possible to have the date changed on this, as the property was finished in the February and not the November. Then we would only have just over a year to wait for the four years to pass legitimately.

    Hopefully in the meantime the town hall will come up with the goods!!

    Its just really annoying that our neighbours whose house was built without construction insurance now have their four years up and can go ahead, whereas we took the option to take out the construction insurance – so that we would be able to mortgage the house or sell it – have to wait longer because our house took so long to build because of all the formalities, surveys etc. Both contracts to build were taken out at about the same time.

  • #60683
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Cesar,

    It is, in a way, comforting to know that not allof Spain is corrupt. hopefully, it is confined to the “Costas”. What you say about going “en massse” to the Town Hall etc, is something we had thought of, but the problem is, we only know of a small percentage of the purchasers on our particular development. The developers for sure will not name names !

  • #60701
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @sofia wrote:

    But don’t forget these people paid for a building licence in 2001.
    They thought they had done everything right.

    They didn’t pay for a building licence – they made an APPLICATION for a building licence and paid the submission fee. There is a difference. As in the UK you make an application and pay for planning permission etc but it can always be rejected and you never works until you have permission to build. It’s exactly the same procedure here. How on earth can people think that making an application and being give a verbal OK is the same as being given formal written permission 🙄
    Surely there are enough forums such as this one and TV programmes highlighting the pitfalls attached to this sort of venture by now for people not to keep making the same mistakes over and over? Apparently not.

  • #60702
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    We did pay for a building licence and have a receipt. We paid 626 euros, 814 euros and 1,842 euros to the town hall, all asked for on official forms from the town hall.

    Our escritura for the land makes note of a licence to build a house by the ayuntamiento of ………..

    We thought we had the correct paperwork. We didn’t know until January 2005 that the paperwork we had was incorrect. We were in the process of asking a solicitor to register the house on the land as we were in the process of obtaining a mortgage. We thought the only paperwork we didn’t have was the licence of first occupation.

    When we found this out we tried to get a mortgage on the land, but the valuer could only value it at 1 euro a square metre as there was no building licence.

    You can imagine our horror at finding out the value of our only assets in the world, no actually our car is worth more.

    If we had found a forum such as this earlier on we would have been forewarned.

  • #60703
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    o.k. then – heaven forbid we should ‘criticise’ the procedure – I stand duly slapped for daring to comment on behalf of these people.

    How about the fact they applied for the building licence in 2001 and it is now 2006….. and the Town Hall says don’t worry, everything will be o.k.

    (quote)…..”as in the U.K. you make an application and pay for planning permission etc but it can always be rejected and you never ((do the)) works until you have permission to build…..”.(unquote)

    Dare I at least venture a ‘comment’ on how slow this procedure has taken i.e. 5 years to get a building licence, accompanied by reassurances from the Town Hall.

    Don’t quote U.K. at me – this situation (and many others I could name) just doesn’t happen in U.K.

    As for reading these type of forums, please excuse my ignorance but at the time I ‘purchased’ my disaster back in 2003, I didn’t know these forums existed.
    neither did many other families we now know who also ‘bought’ and got their fingers badly burnt.
    There are thousands of us who (wrongly) trusted our lawyers to take care of us – as we do with our lawyers in the U.K.

    And re. t.v. programmes – I don’t think they broadcast ‘negative’ stories back in 2001 – I never certainly saw any then.

    Guest, whoever you are, you are obviously ‘perfect’ in all you do. i just hope you never suffer the stress, anguish and loss of money that many of us have. May your good luck (or sheer brilliance in all matters) continue.

  • #60704
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Ah, have just read that these people did get a building licence in 2001.

    I think Guest’s… 🙄 (rolling eyes with, no doubt, sarcasm) should be 😳

  • #60707
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Guest wrote:

    We are still waiting for our house to be made legal. We don’t have a building licence.

    ….is what they said in the first line of the first post

  • #60713
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    We don’t have any paperwork called a licence. We paid for it. The town hall still have our money. They didn’t say “don’t build”. According to the person who dealt with our legal paperwork the licence was revoked. I don’t know because I didn’t see it.

    Most of the fault is with the town hall. They wanted people to build and openly encouraged it.

    Some of the fault is with using legal representation recommended by the estate agent.

    Of course we should have double checked everything, but when you are in the UK and someone in Spain is taking care of all the formalities for you, you tend to delegate some of the tasks to them.

    No, there were no “housetrapped in the sun” progammes on the TV in 2001, everything on the Costa del Sol looked rosey.

    We have learned our lesson the hard way, and my husband says we should use 3 lawyers, and if they all agree the paperwork is a licence then believe them!!

  • #60716
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Guest, it seems that you & your husband have been duped, like so many of us. They take your money then s*** on us from a great height! 😈

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