There are new rules in Spain that most building and renovation works require a building licence , tax collections are high on the list for all local authorities now so most probably you will find the friendly local policemen eagerly looking for any illegal building works to be sanctioned.
A building license is the authorisation granted by a Town Hall which allows the carrying out of most building works.
There are two types of building licenses; “Obra Mayor and Obra Menor” (Mayor or minor building licenses) the first type would require a previous consent from the Local Authorities and would require an exhaustive project to be prepared by a qualified architect. This gets very expensive trust me i have done it. my building license alone cost 11k. Architect fees 16k. thats before you even start.
The small building license would not require projects or previous consent from the Local Authorities just a written application presented at the Town Hall would normally be ok.. Then they will tell you there and then the amount of taxes payable and that is it. Most times its a very small percentage of the cost of the works. Example…I had fitted new gates and put a new roof on a garage it cost me 35 euros for the license.
Always best to ask first rather than risk the fines they are high now..
You can be fined from 10,000 to 30,000 for infractions to small building works and up to 600,000 for major building works.
Also employing illegal workers like your mate BOB from the local pub who is just going to give you a hand for a few days for 100 euros. cash.
If any workers doing the works are not registered to do so then you can be fined upto 20k for each illegal worker you have.
Whats the chances of getting caught ? as you may live way out in the campo.. well the local authorities have guys on horse back motor bikes and i have even seen them use drones now. Not only this but a brit i know here built a 2 foot high wall in his back garden with no permission. a neighbor reported him and he had the police round who made him take it down and was fined. the authorities drive around looking for rubbish or materials or a skip out side of properties then they check to see if you have a license.
Technically you need to ask even if its just some tilling in your bathroom or a few new units in the kitchen. always best to ask as small jobs the license is very low.
Another thing to remember here if one day you go to sell the property and the buyer does his checks and fines that there is not permission for what you have done the house could be unsellable.
You can even now go and check on any property to see if they have the correct permissions for building works watch this video below…
I have lived and worked here over 17 years now and as a builder here heard many sad stories that could easily been avoided. I have had visits many times from local authorities where i have been working and on my new house build its about once a month. it doesn’t matter where you live they will find you they have the technology now and are using it.
If your new in Spain and starting to enjoy your dream life here DONT spoil it by taking the risk, follow the rules and sleep well at night.
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