Close to 200,000 illegal rural homes in the Valencian region, many of them owned by foreigners, can now be legalised and turned into valuable assets thanks to a new initiative by the Generalitat de Valencia – the Valencian regional government.
Hundreds of thousands of homes were built illegally or without adequate planning permission in rural areas of the Valencian region over many decades, many of them in the building boom years leading up to the Spanish real estate crash that started around 2008. And many of them were bought by foreign buyers who didn’t understand what they were getting into, and purchased in good faith thinking they were buying perfectly legal homes. They have been trapped ever since with homes in legal limbo they can’t legally improve, connect to municipal services, or sell. Now they have a legal pathway out of this nightmare, but it’s up to owners to get informed and take advantage of this.
Hundreds of thousands of illegal homes in rural areas is a massive problem for everyone. The Generalitat estimates that there are approximately 194,000 unlicensed properties built on green-belt land in the Valencian region.
Most obviously it’s a problem for the owners themselves who invested a big chunk of their life’s savings in a home they can’t use properly without municipal services, can’t register to live in, can’t improve or maintain legally without a building licence, and can’t sell. They are trapped physically, emotionally and financially by the illegality of their property in the Valencian region. It’s been a decade-long nightmare for tens of thousands of families, many of them retirees who dreamed of living out their golden years in the sunshine and otherwise attractive setting of the Valencian region.
It’s also a massive problem for the region. Hundreds of thousands of illegal homes are not incorporated into the municipal network of services that manage things like waste and pollution, and don’t contribute to municipal budgets, whilst tens of thousands of households who could play a positive role in the community are bitter and resentful. It’s a poisonous, festering problem for the Valencian region.
What to do about it? Let it fester indefinitely? Demolish all the homes? Neither of those options are either practical or desirable. So the Valencian regional government has come up with a solution, but it needs owners to play their part for it to work.
Valencian Territorial Impact (Minimisation) Licences
The solution involves owners requesting Territorial Impact Licences (Licencias de Minimización de Impacto Territorial, or MIT for short) from the Valencian Agency for Territorial Protection, known as the Agencia Valenciana de Protecció del Territori in Valenciano. This applies to most homes built before the 20th of August 2014.
This is a complex problem, and the solution reflects that – it’s not something you can solve online with a few clicks. There is a process to go through, and there may be costs involved, but for many owners it will be worth it.
This is a relatively new solution so it may not be easy to get information on how it works but if you are an owner of an illegal property in the Valencian region built before August 2014 enquire at your town hall and check out this YouTube video and channel below.