Unfortunately, we have been told that this IS the situation, we are the legal owners of an illegal property. We recently hired some independent lawyers (ie outside of the area, based in Spain and the UK) who have confirmed that there are 2 areas of property law that need fulfilling before a property is deemed fully legal. They have spoken to the Catrastral office, land registry and our local town hall.
I have been told recently, via another forum, that the ability to get a license of antiquity this way has been stopped. May be it is something our developers were counting on?! Our property was built in 2003 – ironic!
We have a house just outside Albox (need I say more?), bought in July 2005. We now know that it has been built without permissions, licenses etc on rural estate. The PGOU, which is currently under revision, is stating this. Our Catastral record says the land is urban, which it isn’t in reality. I dont know how the record shows this but I have my suspicions.
We only suspected it was illegal when we found that we would not be getting an electricity contract in July 2006. We were told that we had mains electricity but were on a builders supply until the developers had finished all the builds. Incidentally we have a water contract. We were asked to pay an anomalous and not previously mentioned connection fee by our neighbours (the developer), but this was not going to lead to a contract. They also were charging us for consumption without giving proof that they were/are paying for electricity themselves. They refused to write us a bill with rates, units or dates on for us to pay. They said, pay this amount (€932 for the year) or we cut you off. Which they have done (September 2006)!
Strangely, this amount has now been reduced to €530 but still no proof is forthcoming.
They then said that they have a “private agreement” with the electricity company concerning payment and they have a private transformer, so they maintain that the electricity is theirs and they can charge us (and our neighbours) anything they like. The electricity company are ignoring our requests for an investigation.
Having done some research (August 2006) and found that we were supposed to have received an electricity bolletin and license of first habitation upon completion of the contract (our lawyer seems to have missed this too). When asked for this, the neighbours initially said we could have the papers after the payment to them had been made. We now know that this was never going to be possible as they do not have permissions to build, let alone any licenses. The electricity company had confirmed that without these a contract is not possible eventhough we have an escritura. The town hall confirmed about the licenses when we went to see them with our escritura to try to obtain them retrospectively.
In addition, it is suspicious that we received our registered escritura only 5 months after signing when our neighbours who signed a month after us had not received theirs a year after they had signed. Our neighbours knew that we could not give them the balance for the house until we had a registered escritura (we needed a mortgage). Somehow, miraculously, the neighbour announced that we would be receiving it in December 2005 – as I say only 5 months after signing at the notary. Our lawyer was surprised too as he said that there were some people still waiting for registration to complete after 18 months! How was it possible? Again I have my suspicions. I dont believe that just constant nagging by our neighbour achieved this result.
What else can I say? If anyone knows anything different legally I would be interested to hear.