Very important news regarding new Planning law in the Valencian Community – Comaskey Properties

The Valencia Community has published a new Law (DOGV 5/2014 of July 25) of Planning, Urbanism and Landscape. The new Act comes into force 20th August 2014.

This Act has some aspects that significantly change what we know so far about deadlines associated with the redevelopment and reforms of housing, etc. We have consulted with the local Notary and have verified all the information. The Act is very long and we are summarising the information in it here.

Most importantly for our clients and architects that usually prepare plans to reform and redevelop old houses and pools, up until now, the Administration had a limitation period after which they could not fine for works carried out WITHOUT A LICENCE or on extensions not complying with the rules, of 4 years, and a Certificate could be granted approving these works and the could be legalised then at the notary.

Effectively, works done on a property over 4 years ago could be legalised either by the current owner, or by a new one, if they wished.

Unfortunately, commencing on August 20, 2014 the New Law comes into force and according to Article 236 of the new law, the period becomes 15 years. This means that:-

– The owner of a house that has been built or substantially extended and had no planning permission (and is unlicenced), but is compliant with urban expansion rules, can register the extension or work by applying for a building permit. Or they do not need this if they can prove and issue certification that the work was completely finished over 15 years ago.

– The owner of an extended house who does have a licence but the extension does not meet the planning regulations to legalise it, will not be able to record the extension on the deeds and in the Land Registry, unless now it can be shown it was completed 15 years ago or more.

Naturally this extends to all types of buildings, houses, pools built without licences, extensions to dwellings, garages, porches etc.

So, in summary, the previous 4 year rule that allowed people to legalise work carried out on their property before this date without being fined, has been changed to 15 years.

This is going to be a complete shock to those who have extended and built pools without licences, and the work would not be passed now, and they were hoping to be able to legalise it with the Certificate of Age after the 4 years had passed.

Of course, also it gives the Town hall much more time to be able to find, and fine people for work done in previous years and not legalised. Work that can be legalised as within planning rules will also certainly be more expensive to legalise.

If you have all the licences and all legalised this does not affect you.

If you did work older than 4 years ago and it was approved, but not legalised on the deeds, that should be fine, but if it was done and WITH NO LICENCES and would not be passed, it does affect you, unless it was done more than 15 years ago.

This is one of the most important developments in Urban Law and these is very little time now to resolve any outstanding issues unfortunately for people before the 20th August 2014. However, it may be worth trying to resolve any small issues pending in writing, if matters were already in place, even if the final technical certificate cannot be formalised by the College of Architects before they close for their August break.

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