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Habitation Certificate

What is a habitation certificate?

An habitation certificate is a mandatory certification that proves that our housing meets the minimum requirements of habitability required by current regulations and therefore is habitable.

Who can apply?

The habitation certificate can be applied for by any individual or professional as long as the property is intended for the use of domestic habitation.

In which case is it mandatory?

The habitation certificate has been mandatory since 2007 in following cases:

  • To contract utilities for the property such as water, electric and gas.
  • For the signing of rental contract.
  • For property purchase and sales, the notary public requires the original habitation certificate

What details are included in it?

The property owners name is never stated on the habitation certificate, as the certificate is for the property, not for the owner of the property.

The following details are the ones that shall be reflected on the habitation certificate:

  • Property address and the province in which it is located.
  • Square metres the property occupies.
  • Interior distribution of the house (bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen and living room.
  • The recommended number of occupants established by the corresponding Town Hall.
  • Date of issue and expiry.

hat duration does it have?

The duration or validity assigned to a habitation certificate is 3, 5 or 10 years from the concession, depending on the Town Hall corresponding to the location the property.

When the habitation certificate has expired, you shall need to follow the same procedure again, including any adjustments, extensions, etc. to the property that may have changes it’s composition with the pass of time.

You must keep in mind that in many homes extensions or modifications have been made over the years, and these may not comply with current planning and cannot be legalized, this may be a problem if you want to sell as the habitation certificate cannot be renewed.

What kind of procedure do I have to follow?

There are two kinds of procedure:

  • Habitation of first occupancy when the property is a new build.
  • Second occupation licence when the property is not a new build or the habitation certificate has expired.

Regulation

Requirements to obtain the certificate:

  • A property we can call habitable must have a minimum interior floor space of 20 m2.
  • The minimum height from floor to ceiling must be 2.50m all though in bathrooms, kitchen and hallways the minimum would be 2.20m.
  • The bathroom should have direct ventilation to the facade or a mechanical extractor, which can be static if it’s vertical, the property must also have a toilet, sink, shower or bath in good condition.
  • It’s recommendable to have the hot and cold water installation in good condition.
  • The kitchen should dispose of a sink and a cooking devise located together as a minimum requirement.

For your information

When renting an apartment, the landlord is obliged to provide the habitation certificate number, if the property does not have a valid habitation certificate it is the landlord’s responsibility to obtain one. The certificate reference number should appear on the rental contract.

Is now mandatory for the vendor to produce the ORIGINAL habitation certificate before the notary public upon the signing of sale/purchase deeds at the pubic notary office, in no case should it be acceptable to produce the provisional certificate or the stamped application form.

In the scenario of purchasing a property without a habitation certificate your are at risk of encountering many problems such as the property having more square metres than the Law permits or that the property cannot be legalised or even the impossibility of obtaining a habitation certificate which would lead to the demolition of the house.

As we have previously reiterated, it is most important to obtain the habitation certificate because with out it you shall not be able to contract utilities such as water, electricity, gas, etc.

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