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New build or property extensions

It is generally believed that when you are a homeowner you have the freedom to expand or reform the property as you want. This idea, of course, is erroneous.

In Spain as well as any other European country, we must bear in mind that there are planning rules that apply in each municipality and are enforceable. In the case that you do not follow all legal procedures for your extension or new build, you shall be faced with a significant financial penalty and in some cases the demolition of the building.

The first and only thing to keep in mind is that you must request building permits at the corresponding Town Hall, the license requires a technical project prepared by a qualified technical architect.

The law requires you to submit a technical project whenever you carry out an alteration, extension or any other changes to the property that require building work, in exactly the same manner as a new build property would require.

Necessary documentation in order to carry out building work
  • Photocopy of N.I.E.
  • Property deeds to the house
  • Project drawn up by a qualified technical architect
  • Details of the constructors/builders and proof that they are up to date on all payments

Then you shall need to hire a building engineer to ask as project manager.

You must take in to account that in Spain, the intervention of two technical architects is required to required for building works to carry out any extensions or new builds, this is stated under the LOE (Urban Building Law).

Builder recruitment

The construction contract is a legal agreement where the parties reflect the details and cost of the construction project, in which it is important that you include the following clarifications:

  • Building specifications or technical project
  • The total cost of the building works to be carried out
  • Payment instructions
  • Start and finish date for the building works
  • Penalty clause in case the works are not carried out on time or within the time frame.

It is very important that both the builder and the property owner sign the contract.

Builder Obligations

The constructor is the agent who contractually assumes the responsibility before the promoter to execute with human and material means, of his own or other, the job or part of the job, always subject to the contract and project.

The obligations of the constructor are:

  • To perform the work according to the project drawn up by the architect, with the goal of achieving the maximum quality.
  • Have the academic or vocational training that enables to fulfill the conditions required to act as a builder.
  • Designating the site manager who will be the manufacturer's technical representative.
  • Comply with the health and safety measures and provide all the necessary means.
  • Signing the layout or start of work act and the reception of the work act.
  • Contract insurance coverage for property damage or a bond with a one year warranty.
  • Insurance coverage for liability to third parties throughout the durance of the building works in case any accidents should occur.

Builders and architects involved in the project, and their responsibilities

The responsibility of the builder and the technicians starts from the signing of the start act up to the signing of the work completion act signed by the technicians. Also, they has the following responsabilities:

  • One year for execution of jobs affecting the termination or completion of the bulding work.
  • Three years for any cracking, moisture and any problems arising from buildings installations.
  • Ten years for defects that affect the foundation, supports, beams, metal forging, bearing walls or other structural elements, and which directly compromise the mechanical strength and stability of the building.

There is a misconception by people on the decennial insurance, it is generally thought that the decennial liability is general but as we have already mentioned above, There is a time limit for each cause that may affect the property, it is very important look after and maintain a property, and not claim for cracks or humidity after several years for example, because this cause only has a three year coverage, if you should wish to complain about cracks and humidity this must be done within three years of the building work.

What procedure should be follow once the building works have reached completion?

Referring to the extension, once all work has been completed, it is evident that the current housing has increased the square meters it occupies, and therefore we must update the registered square meters and property description before a notary public on public deeds and after, correctly register the deeds with the corresponding land registry office and "catastro".

How to declare a new build or extension before a public notary and correctly register the modification afterward

Shall need to produce a variety of documentation before a notary public in order to legalize the property and update the m2 it occupies.

  1. Building completion certificate: this certificate ensures the legality of the work and certifies that the work has been performed in accordance to the project for which the license was obtained. The certificate must be signed by the project architect and chief technical architect of the works.
  2. Habitation certificate (only necessary for new builds)

The perfect figure to assist the property would be that of a qualified lawyer due to the process being some what difficult and the requirement to present various documents in addition to the one we have mentioned above, also a lawyer knows and understands the Notary and registry systems and how they function.

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