New urban-planning laws being drafted by regional Government of the Balearics envisage getting rid of the Licence of First Occupation, meaning less red tape for developers and their clients.
Many foreigners buying property in Spain have come unstuck over the years with the Licence of First Occupation (LFO), known in Spanish as the Licencia de Primera Ocupación (or in the case of refurbished homes the Habitation Certificate – Cédula de Habitabilidad). An LFO / Cédula is needed to get the utilities connected, but can only be obtained if the property complies with all the planning regulations. Many new homes built during the boom failed to get an LFO due to planning infractions.
The draft law gets rid of the LFO, which could save buyers time and anything between 1,000 and 5,000 Euros. Proof that the end of building works document has been submitted by the architect and accepted by the town hall will be enough to legally occupy a new home and get the utilities connected, if the draft becomes law.
Many aspects of urban planning laws are controlled by the autonomous regions, so if this change becomes law in the Balearics it won’t affect other regions, where LFOs will still be required.