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scampicat Aug 20th 2007 9:08 am

Building Permission?
 
We have a little derelict house we are doing up. It has two floors, no rooms as such.

We have removed a concrete stair balustrade to replace it with a wrought iron one, and a set of concrete stairs that led nowhere; also a concrete storage area.

We are now going to replace the floor as it is very uneven.

We are not at this time putting any fixtures or fittings into it, nor any electricity, it already has a water supply.

Basically, what we are doing is tidying it up - replastering walls and installing new windows (but in the same place and same size as the old ones).

Someone has frightened us to death and says we should have had building permission and architect's plans to do this and we will not be able to sell the place if we don't.

Surely you don't need permissions and plans to plaster walls or replace a concrete balustrade with a wrought iron one, or stick some glass in a window aperture? Or to renew a floor?

On the escritura it just says it is a two storey building of such-and-such a floor area and it is still that,there are no extra or less 'rooms than there were before.

Can anyone help?????

spain Aug 20th 2007 9:58 am

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by scampicat (Post 5210674)
We have a little derelict house we are doing up. It has two floors, no rooms as such.

We have removed a concrete stair balustrade to replace it with a wrought iron one, and a set of concrete stairs that led nowhere; also a concrete storage area.

We are now going to replace the floor as it is very uneven.

We are not at this time putting any fixtures or fittings into it, nor any electricity, it already has a water supply.

Basically, what we are doing is tidying it up - replastering walls and installing new windows (but in the same place and same size as the old ones).

Someone has frightened us to death and says we should have had building permission and architect's plans to do this and we will not be able to sell the place if we don't.

Surely you don't need permissions and plans to plaster walls or replace a concrete balustrade with a wrought iron one, or stick some glass in a window aperture? Or to renew a floor?

On the escritura it just says it is a two storey building of such-and-such a floor area and it is still that,there are no extra or less 'rooms than there were before.

Can anyone help?????

it does seem silly yes BUT I wold recommened you apply for permission/license to be on the safe side

we needed permission to re-tile our bathroom :eek:

the tax is small, usually 3%-6% of the total cost of the work

its a simple procedure (well I say simple - filling in a form - sometimes a chore in Spain :)) and the town hall will tell you if you do need an architects project for thr windows (which isnt un-heard of)

scampicat Aug 20th 2007 2:41 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 
Thanks for your advice.

Well in that case it can stay as it is, no way are we forking out money to line some architect's pocket when what we are doing is just basic maintenance/repairs.

My husband has totally replastered our house that we live in, to me that is like decoration, so we asked no permission. Maybe we should have asked permission before we moved our new sofa in or bought a new cooker.

Jobs for the boys, as always in Spain.

The house can stay derelict then, no skin off our noses, we thought tidying it up would be better for the village.

But thanks for telling me!

jdr Aug 20th 2007 4:20 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by scampicat (Post 5211746)
Thanks for your advice.

Well in that case it can stay as it is, no way are we forking out money to line some architect's pocket when what we are doing is just basic maintenance/repairs.

My husband has totally replastered our house that we live in, to me that is like decoration, so we asked no permission. Maybe we should have asked permission before we moved our new sofa in or bought a new cooker.

Jobs for the boys, as always in Spain.

The house can stay derelict then, no skin off our noses, we thought tidying it up would be better for the village.

But thanks for telling me!

You need licences for all works, patios, pergodas, bathrooms, kitchens, tiling, brick walls, even painting the exterior.
You can dodge it, but if someone denounces you, expect a fine and possible order to change back to as was, or if you want to sell you will need the licences to back up the changes to the deeds.

scampicat Aug 20th 2007 4:53 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by jdr (Post 5212140)
You need licences for all works, patios, pergodas, bathrooms, kitchens, tiling, brick walls, even painting the exterior.
You can dodge it, but if someone denounces you, expect a fine and possible order to change back to as was, or if you want to sell you will need the licences to back up the changes to the deeds.


But there are no changes to the deeds! It's still as it was and is not going to be any different. Just with new plaster on the walls and new windows to replace the rotting ones! It doesn't actually say on the deeds whether we have a wrought iron balustrade or not. It just says two floors of so many sq.metres and that is not changing. We are not putting any dividing walls in. The outside we were going to have re-rendered and painted white (same as it and every other house in the village).

We have no land so it is purely and simnply internal work apart from the rendering/painting.

So they may want us to put the rottoen windows back and take the plaster off the wall,? And un-paint it? I don't think so.

Can't be arsed, it can stay as it is, not going through all that palaver and certainly am not going to pay any tax just because we've stuck a bit of plaster on the wall..

jdr Aug 20th 2007 5:02 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 
It doesn`t make any difference to me and it may not change the deeds, but its obvious that work has been carried out with no licence and potential buyers can insist you sort it before they buy otherwise they could be liable for it.

scampicat Aug 20th 2007 5:13 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by jdr (Post 5212303)
It doesn`t make any difference to me and it may not change the deeds, but its obvious that work has been carried out with no licence and potential buyers can insist you sort it before they buy otherwise they could be liable for it.

Yes, I understand what you are saying, but we don't intend selling it so it can just stay derelict.

Sorry for ranting. Thanks all for your advice, at least I know now about the latest little nonsensical bureaucratic offering!

pwwm Aug 20th 2007 6:22 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 
There are large daily fines if you are caught to be working without permission, jdr is quite right in what he has said re needing permiso, it is cheap enough and you can then wave the bit of paper at any police that come calling.
Friends of mine here have been working on thier place and the police called as a neighbour had denounced them, thankfully she had listened to me and had the permiso paper.

You have been warned

scampicat Aug 20th 2007 6:41 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by pwwm (Post 5212558)
There are large daily fines if you are caught to be working without permission, jdr is quite right in what he has said re needing permiso, it is cheap enough and you can then wave the bit of paper at any police that come calling.
Friends of mine here have been working on thier place and the police called as a neighbour had denounced them, thankfully she had listened to me and had the permiso paper.

You have been warned

Take your point although I still find it difficult to believe that you can't stick a bit of plaster on the wall without getting caught up in bureaucracy.

Are you SURE you need permission to do internal repairs? We are not building anything, literally just tidying the place up.

I can't imagine our neighbours would mind us IMPROVING the place so that it doesn't look as though it is about to fall down.


We don't see the Guardia here. Occasionally they will turn up at the bar for a sol y sombra.

Fred James Aug 20th 2007 8:50 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 
It's not a question of bureaucracy.

What you have to remember is that over 50% of all income to most of the town halls comes from building licences - that's why they are hot on it and why there is so much corruption.

If central government or regional government funded the town halls properly they would not need to charge so much for licences. It's not so long ago that the mayor got no salary but got a % of all building licences.

Hillybilly Aug 20th 2007 9:24 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 
You need a Minor Works Licence for "non-structural works of partial reform, of repair, of renovation, of modification or replacement of floors, ceilings, walls , staircases, tiles, plumbing, electrics, heating and sanitation installations, paint, stucco and other coatings and interior carpentry".
You only require an Architect's Proyecto for a Major Works Licence ie for anything remotely structural which replacing the floor would be.
You can apply retrospectively to have the works "regularised".

wiccan Aug 20th 2007 9:41 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by Hillybilly (Post 5213398)
You need a Minor Works Licence for "non-structural works of partial reform, of repair, of renovation, of modification or replacement of floors, ceilings, walls , staircases, tiles, plumbing, electrics, heating and sanitation installations, paint, stucco and other coatings and interior carpentry".
You only require an Architect's Proyecto for a Major Works Licence ie for anything remotely structural which replacing the floor would be.
You can apply retrospectively to have the works "regularised".

Hi what would you rather have a little bill for permits now and then or council tax like the uk ? I know which I prefer and Its not the uk system
Wiccan

spain Aug 20th 2007 10:16 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by scampicat (Post 5212603)
Take your point although I still find it difficult to believe that you can't stick a bit of plaster on the wall without getting caught up in bureaucracy.

Are you SURE you need permission to do internal repairs? We are not building anything, literally just tidying the place up.

I can't imagine our neighbours would mind us IMPROVING the place so that it doesn't look as though it is about to fall down.


We don't see the Guardia here. Occasionally they will turn up at the bar for a sol y sombra.

I know from personal experience - its not worth the risk just get the license :thumbsup:

scampicat Aug 20th 2007 10:53 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by wiccan (Post 5213481)
Hi what would you rather have a little bill for permits now and then or council tax like the uk ? I know which I prefer and Its not the uk system
Wiccan

At least I can budget for my Council Tax and it makes sense, and most households pay it.

scampicat Aug 20th 2007 10:59 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by Hillybilly (Post 5213398)
You need a Minor Works Licence for "non-structural works of partial reform, of repair, of renovation, of modification or replacement of floors, ceilings, walls , staircases, tiles, plumbing, electrics, heating and sanitation installations, paint, stucco and other coatings and interior carpentry".
You only require an Architect's Proyecto for a Major Works Licence ie for anything remotely structural which replacing the floor would be.
You can apply retrospectively to have the works "regularised".

Thank you for this informative post.

The work will not get done then. I am not paying an architect. Some friends of ours had to pay 600 euros up front and the architect did nothing, and then they were not allowed to sack the architect!

Reading your post again, we have to have permission to paint our house inside? Unbelievable. As I say, I'd better let the town hall know I have bought a new sofa.

Anyway, I have learned a lot today. It's no wonder half the houses in our village are falling down if these are the hoops one has to jump through to do simple repair work.

Oh well, you live and learn.

Pam Sarky Aug 20th 2007 11:03 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by scampicat (Post 5213763)
Thank you for this informative post.

The work will not get done then. I am not paying an architect. Some friends of ours had to pay 600 euros up front and the architect did nothing, and then they were not allowed to sack the architect!

Reading your post again, we have to have permission to paint our house inside? Unbelievable. As I say, I'd better let the town hall know I have bought a new sofa.

Anyway, I have learned a lot today. It's no wonder half the houses in our village are falling down if these are the hoops one has to jump through to do simple repair work.

Oh well, you live and learn.

Have to say, I am with you on this one. We have painted a couple of rooms and it never crossed our minds to get a permit/license whatever they want to call it :curse:

Hillybilly Aug 20th 2007 11:11 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 
It may be a pain in the a**e and many many people of course don't bother (esp for something as relatively trivial as painting) but...one definite advantage of doing things "legally" is that it's the only sure way you can offset the costs of property improvements against any CGT liability if/when you come to sell.

scampicat Aug 20th 2007 11:15 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by Hillybilly (Post 5213792)
It may be a pain in the a**e and many many people of course don't bother (esp for something as relatively trivial as painting) but...one definite advantage of doing things "legally" is that it's the only sure way you can offset the costs of property improvements against any CGT liability if/when you come to sell.

Yes, that is one point.

Anyway, thanks all for your input and maybe in a week's time I'll calm down and get the permissions. Otherwise the house can just fall down.

Now I'm off to another part of the forum to find out how I get a Spanish Driving licence, but this particular problem has been caused by British bureaucracy!

Hillybilly Aug 21st 2007 11:09 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 
IMHO I think the Spanish equivalent of Building Regulations are much more (too?) lax.
There is no equivalent of the Party Wall Act. Hence your neighbour can demolish the house that was once terraced to yours and leave your ex-party wall completely unsupported.
Insulation and ventilation requirements are downright poor.
Fire and escape regulations relating to 3 storey houses are virtually non-existent.
And be thankful there is as yet no equivalent of the FENSA requirement for replacing windows....;)

David Aug 22nd 2007 8:56 am

Re: Building Permission?
 
Hello Scampicat

You do NOT need to pay an architect for minor building work. You only need to employ the services of an architect for major building work.

The law in Spain says that any type of work on your property should have a building permit. This is very cheap and is usually only 3% of the value of the work you intend undertaking. So long as there is no structural work your work will be deemed minor and will probably only require the completion of a form at your local ayuntamiento.

If you get caught doing any work without the permit, your work could be stopped, you may be fined and will have to pay for the building permit in any case.

Stick to Spanish law it's not expensive and can save you a lot of problems.

scampicat Aug 22nd 2007 9:14 am

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by David (Post 5220347)
Hello Scampicat

You do NOT need to pay an architect for minor building work. You only need to employ the services of an architect for major building work.

The law in Spain says that any type of work on your property should have a building permit. This is very cheap and is usually only 3% of the value of the work you intend undertaking. So long as there is no structural work your work will be deemed minor and will probably only require the completion of a form at your local ayuntamiento.

If you get caught doing any work without the permit, your work could be stopped, you may be fined and will have to pay for the building permit in any case.

Stick to Spanish law it's not expensive and can save you a lot of problems.

Thanks - our neighbours have given advice and help on some of the work, they are pleased we are tidying it up, I don't think they will be denouncing us.

Nevertheless we will probably apply for the licence :mad:as I believe expats should be seen to be trying to uphold the law even if Spaniards don't.

One British lady in our village has just been fined 1600 euros for not building in accordance with the approved plans.
However, her house is now as she wanted it in the first place, so maybe she considers it worth paying the fine and not getting caught up in the bureacracy to have what she wants. It probably works out cheaper than architect's plans anyway.

I'm not agreeing with this, but she is only doing as the Spaniards here do.

Mitzyboy Aug 22nd 2007 9:34 am

Re: Building Permission?
 
Its the same here .......... for internal stuff no one seems to apply for licences on the basis its cheaper to pay the fine if ever it comes to light. I guess the time its most likely is when you sell the place.

keithwalters Aug 22nd 2007 10:00 am

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by Pam Sarky (Post 5213771)
Have to say, I am with you on this one. We have painted a couple of rooms and it never crossed our minds to get a permit/license whatever they want to call it :curse:

Ditto. We have also retiled our bathroom and kitchen (illegally, without planning permission). Unless they actually put photos on the original deeds how the hell would they know that the tiles have been changed?????

julie22 Aug 22nd 2007 10:22 am

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by scampicat (Post 5220398)
Thanks - our neighbours have given advice and help on some of the work, they are pleased we are tidying it up, I don't think they will be denouncing us.

Nevertheless we will probably apply for the licence :mad:as I believe expats should be seen to be trying to uphold the law even if Spaniards don't.

One British lady in our village has just been fined 1600 euros for not building in accordance with the approved plans.
However, her house is now as she wanted it in the first place, so maybe she considers it worth paying the fine and not getting caught up in the bureacracy to have what she wants. It probably works out cheaper than architect's plans anyway.

I'm not agreeing with this, but she is only doing as the Spaniards here do.

Scampicat, if you have not already done so would suggest going to your local Town Hall and explaining the work you are doing.
We put a small roof (matching the roof tiles on the villa) on our lavadero, basically to stop the washing machine getting wet when it rains. Someone reported us and whilst OH was doing the work the police turned up!!
They were very good and informed us that they would be going to the Town Hall that afternoon to check we had got the licence (basically allowing us to get to the Town Hall that same morning and get the licence before they checked). As OH was doing the work himself, we just gave an estimate of the costs, which the Town Hall was OK with, the licence cost us 30 euros, so worth it in the end.

scampicat Aug 22nd 2007 11:06 am

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by Mitzyboy (Post 5220445)
Its the same here .......... for internal stuff no one seems to apply for licences on the basis its cheaper to pay the fine if ever it comes to light. I guess the time its most likely is when you sell the place.

But as someone else has said, how will anyone know that you have tiled or painted (or even replaced plaster) on the walls? No-one will, will they?

Yes, they will notice a renewed floor and windows, I understand that and I can also see that as this can be deemed as structural work then that is why the approval is necessary. But to stick a coat of paint on a wall? Come on, they are just taking the pi$$!

jdr Aug 22nd 2007 11:30 am

Re: Building Permission?
 
All about licences and fines HERE on a pdf document pages 12-13-14. 50% to 300% of works value, or possible demolition as well as the fines.

Fred James Aug 22nd 2007 11:42 am

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by jdr (Post 5220813)
All about licences and fines HERE on a pdf document pages 12-13-14. 50% to 300% of works value, or possible demolition as well as the fines.

These high fines usually only apply to major planning breaches.

For the sort of minor things we are talking about here they do not usually issue a fine, it is usually called a "legalisation tax" and it is usually the same as the cost of the building licence (which has to be paid in addition).

This is what was issued to a neighbour who built a pool without permission. He had a legal house and would not have been refused a licence.

Another neighbour who had a "house" that was classified as an agricultural building also built a pool without permission and received a demolition order on the basis that you cannot legalise what was not legalisable in the first place - strangely though, he received no fine.

As always, the rules vary from one town hall to another.

scampicat Aug 22nd 2007 12:10 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by jdr (Post 5220813)
All about licences and fines HERE on a pdf document pages 12-13-14. 50% to 300% of works value, or possible demolition as well as the fines.

What a useful document - thanks!

scampicat Aug 22nd 2007 12:15 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by Fred James (Post 5220851)
These high fines usually only apply to major planning breaches.

For the sort of minor things we are talking about here they do not usually issue a fine, it is usually called a "legalisation tax" and it is usually the same as the cost of the building licence (which has to be paid in addition).

This is what was issued to a neighbour who built a pool without permission. He had a legal house and would not have been refused a licence.

Another neighbour who had a "house" that was classified as an agricultural building also built a pool without permission and received a demolition order on the basis that you cannot legalise what was not legalisable in the first place - strangely though, he received no fine.

As always, the rules vary from one town hall to another.

And it appears that common sense is used when fining you for your 'crime'.

(Slightly off-topic) However, neighbours of ours (who I hasten to add have not done any illegal building work), bought what was sold to them as a house (because the vendor lived in it), but are now being told it's a nave. It does have water and electricity connected but no mains sewerage. They have now been told that a road is going to be built alongside their property and because it is classed as a nave the developers have authority to knock it down if necessary!

They bought this property in good faith.

Beware of rogue Estate Agents and Lawyers get EVERYTHING formalised before parting with your money.

Rosemary Aug 22nd 2007 1:59 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 
When we arranged for the builder to remove our old windows and put in the new ones we asked him to sort out the licence and he put it down as part of the estimate. We do not have a copy of the licence so how would we stand if we sold the house?

Rosemary

spain Aug 22nd 2007 4:44 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by The Oddities (Post 5221453)
When we arranged for the builder to remove our old windows and put in the new ones we asked him to sort out the licence and he put it down as part of the estimate. We do not have a copy of the licence so how would we stand if we sold the house?

Rosemary

did you make the payment direct to the bank/town hall for the licence or did the builder ?

go to the town hall as they will have a copy of the forms that the builder put in (or not :frown:)

Rosemary Aug 22nd 2007 5:25 pm

Re: Building Permission?
 

Originally Posted by spain (Post 5222199)
did you make the payment direct to the bank/town hall for the licence or did the builder ?

go to the town hall as they will have a copy of the forms that the builder put in (or not :frown:)

He is a builder that is known to the town hall so I think that he would definitely have put in the form. Although the estimate stated labour, materials and licence none of it was individually costed just a total for the job. When he finished we paid him in cash and he signed the estimate to show that we had paid. Did not think about not having a copy of the licence until I was reading this thread.

We will talk to the nice people in the town hall and request a copy.

Thanks

Rosemary


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