THOUSANDS of expats are holding their breath for long-awaited changes to property regulation across Andalucia.
The Junta approved a bill last week to amend the LOUA urban planning law, which could save thousands of homes built on illegal land from demolition.
Expat campaign group AUAN president Maura Hillen is lauding the change in law as ‘revolutionary’.
“We estimate that it will benefit 60% of our members, and the regional government estimates it will benefit some 25,000 homes,” Hillen told the Olive Press.
The group was set up following the construction boom in the late 2000s.
During which time many illegally constructed homes were unwittingly bought up by British expats who thought everything was in order.
Consequently thousands of expats faced the prospect of their homes being destroyed, and many have already been torn down.
The changes proposed, which will now go through the Andalucian parliament, would allow owners to obtain a licence of first occupation, a step towards legalising properties over six years old.
This is very welcome news of course but 25,000 does not seem like a very high figure when you consider there are approximately 300,000 so called illegal properties in Andalucia. We need much more detail on this but it would appear that people will be able to register their properties via the old “four year rule” which is now the “six year rule”.
Several questions need to be answered, namely, does this new ruling apply to people who have properties on segregated land? Will people with notices of infractions/revoked building licences be able to use the six year rule? Are we to assume that those properties on flood plains and protected land are not to be legalised?
Wouldn’t it be nice if the Junta de Andalucia could finally resolve this tedious and life ruining issue.
And remember that all the properties have to be improved to a standard required by the building regulations as if they were legally built, including a retrospective decennial insurance. If they don’t have that they can’t be sold for 10 years, as is the case with legitimate houses.
What building regs. As a Bilbao architect said to me ” you know there is nothing remotely like UK Building Regs. Part 11.
Quite simply there are no well built properties in Spain, even in Cataluyna, 20 year old apartments fall down.