Reply To: New Buyer


If you are planning to erect a house or do any major repairs or alterations to existing ones involving structural components or even for minor construction works you must apply for a permission. In Spain the local planning system controls the use of land and what’s built on it through two types of license

a) Minor construction work permit “Licencia de Obra menor”To find out what kind of works are considered minor you have to check the local regulation. You may contact the planning department of your local planning authority for advice requesting application form and decide on permit type. It is often a good idea to meet a planning officer for an informal discussion before you proceed. You will not be charged for this. Each Town Hall has his own ordinance but generally speaking under this type are included:

Repair work without alteration of the volume or the principal use of the facilities and services of communal use
Building works which are wholly internal.
Works that do not affect the external composition or structure

For instance: Changing the floors, changing the tiles, building or removing partitions in the interior of the house, placing or removing doors, windows, gratings, tiling a garden or terrace, adding decorative girders/pergolas to a garden or terrace, raising the walls of the garden.

Documentation required
Aplication with description of the works, proposed use, budget, owner and/or builder identification and location. You should keep one sealed copy of the application form

b) Major construction work permit “Licencia de Obra mayor”For undertaking works such as new buildings, alterations, demolitions or even the construction of a swimming pool you need to apply for a “Licencia de Obra mayor”

Documentation required
Application form signed by an architect, architectural engineer, promoter and builder must be accompanied by a plan of the site, details of any proposed works and two copies of the construction drawings endorsed by the Architects Association

Construction Tax “Impuesto sobre instalaciones construcciones y obras” I.C.I.O. and/or Licence fees. These are calculated depending on the figure set by your Town Council, approximately ICIO costs about 3-4% of the estimated construction costs and Licence fees about 1-2%. It is irrelevant for this tax if you have the materials and you and only you are going to undertake the works therefore you have to pay tax in this case calculating the cost according to the guidelines of the Architect Association. These fees are not refundable even the permit is not granted.

It is not necessary to make the application yourself. If you wish, you can appoint an agent (for instance, an architect, a solicitor, or a builder) to submit it for you on your behalf but your agent will need a written and express authorization

If the Town Hall does not reply you with a written notification within the time period provided by law , you will automatically obtain the licence, assuming that the correct information was submitted and it complies with planning regulations.

If you don´t wait until your application is granted the local authorities could impose you a disciplinary penalty.

If the council turn down your application or imposes conditions, it must give written reasons and if you think the council’s decision is unreasonable, you may wish to consider appealing to the Mayor. The deadline for submitting an appeal is indicated in the decision of the Town Hall

If you know any construction works undertaking without permission you could report to the Council even if you do not have any nuisance or detriment.

Regarding your question about local development plans (or similar) you can inspect them at every Town Hall

Felix Lopez Law Firm