Marbella Minor Building Permit Limitation – should we talk a chance?

Spanish Property Insight Forums Spanish Property Forums Property Questions & Answers Marbella Minor Building Permit Limitation – should we talk a chance?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Yolanda P. – Ypama Abogados 1 year, 4 months ago.

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  • #222165



    We are interested in buying a villa in Marbella that needs a lot of internal refurbishment including opening up the living space and knocking down some internal load bearing walls. Normally a minor building permit is enough for internal reforms but we are taking out the load bearing walls and completely renovating it inside so it looks like it would be a major building permit will be required which takes a lot longer to get. However, our Spanish architect says we can do the work with a minor one and slip under the radar of the local council and nobody will know as we are not extending the size of the property and only doing internal reforms. He says the risk of having an issue and getting caught out is low but if we did get caught out it would be a fine. We really don’t want to wait a long time for a major permit and am willing to take a risk with using the minor permit. Does anybody have experience with this type of thing in Marbella? Any suggestions?

  • #222170


    below the radar

  • #222269

    The risk of an inspection is high.  Clients of mine are just finishing a major internal renovation in Marbella.  Fortunately they did have an obra mayor licence, which their architect and I recommended, because during the renovation they had two inspections and all paperwork was demanded.  All renovations done by clients of mine in recent years, either genuine obra menor or obra mayor, have been inspected during the work.  I think it is poor advice by the architect although common in the past.  But since the Marbella town hall corruption scandals they keep a much closer eye on what is going on.  Someone will tip them off.  Not only will you be fined but the work can be stopped as well until you have the right licence.  Not worth the risk.

    • #222271


      Hi and thanks for the comment. Could you tell me how long it took your client to get the obra mayor licence? When did they apply for it and when was it received. Thank you.

    • #222275

      I don’t remember it taking too long, they bought the house in December 2016 and work started in May 2017.

    • #222278


      Thank you again. Would you be able to share the name of the architect for this project with me?

  • #225043


    Barbara’s advice is 100 % correct. The fact that you are not extending the area of the house means that (most probably) you will not be denied the licence for the works. But if you are caught without the correct licence, the works will be stopped by the Town Hall until you have the correct licence AND YOU (not the architect) will be fined for having initiated the works without licence.

    Also, bear in mind that your are going to knock bearing load walls and that implies risks. if by any chance there is an accident during the works, it is not going to  make you any good if you don’t have the correct licence.

    Kind regards

    Yolanda Palencia

    Ypama Abogados


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