Renting out in Spain – First Occupation License (LPO) in Andalusia

MiMove on 2020-09-04

This week we have a look at how to rent out your home in Spain and discuss the first occupation license (LPO). This is very important read for those of you looking to stay in Spain only some time of the year or if you are looking to invest and rent out. The topic is written by a guest blogger from C&D Solicitors, Gustavo Calero Monereo. Read the original here.

CDC Solicitors come highly recommend and they have their office in Torrox-Costa in the Malaga province. Most of their clients are northern Europeans and so they offer services in English, Dutch, Swedish, German and French.

We at MiMove highly recommend you to consult with or have help from a legal point of view when buying property in another country. Although you are much safer buying a property through MiMove since we only collaborate with professionals and we guarantee several aspects of each property, it does not mean that you should not consult or take legal advice – especially comes to contract writing or checking what you can or cannot do with your property. Want to add a garage to your property? Or, as in this blog discusses, rent it out? Then consult CDC Solicitors. 

First Occupation License (LPO) in Andalusia

In Andalusia it’s no legal requirement to buy or sell an urban property with the First Occupation License. This permit was normally never part of the legal investigation conducted by the lawyer during the buying process. In many towns it didn’t exist until the seventies or even eighties. Afterwards, the documents often went lost because it wasn’t necessary anymore once the property had a water of electricity contract.

However, the First Occupation Licence (LPO) recently did become an issue for urban properties. This was when the relatively new RTA rental registry for short-term rentals put it as a legal requirement to have the FOL / LPO whenever you apply for the RTA licence. Having a RTA-licence without a FOL can mean a large fine. In worst case it can mean loss of the rental licence needed in order to advertise your property on commercial websites.

Get the LPO
Get the LPO to rent out your property in Spain

Apply for First Occupation License

In certain cases, it is possible to apply for a copy of the original First Occupation Licence at the Town Hall through a special procedure. However, if this isn’t possible because the property is too old or the Town Hall lost the original, you need to apply for a new license. In this case an architect needs to make a technical report, pay a tax to the Town Hall and submit the project to the urban department.

Then you’ll have to wait until the Town Hall issues the license. Because many people did the same thing at the same time, the waiting lines at many councils extend to over one year. This is of course is problem if you are investing in a property for rental purposes and don’t want to run the risk of a fine in the meantime.

On March 12, the Andalusian Government published in its Official bulletin (BOJA) a Law Decree to simplify the regulation of some procedures in Andalusia. This regulation has affected a multitude of procedures as the new article 169 bis of the Urban Planning Law of Andalusia (LOUA) of 2002 was approved, which affects the First Occupation Permit.

First Occupation Licence
First Occupation Licence

Is it Necessary?

Also, article 169.3 of the LOUA has been modified with a second paragraph that establishes that the acts that are subject to responsibility declaration do not require a licence. As a general statement, we can say that the new decree allows for obtaining the right to occupy or use the majority of buildings located on consolidated urban land in Andalusia – by submitting the responsibility declaration together with the required legal documentation.

In other words, it will no longer be necessary for these buildings to obtain the First Occupation Licence (LPO) from the city council. This is because the new Declaration of occupation or use replaces the Occupation Licence.

It’s important to understand that this doesn’t change the legal situation of the property. For example, to apply for the LPO you need to have an individual water contract. The City Councils can also ask for additional requirements.

As the licensed architect is professionally responsible for the content of the application, they can’t apply for the permit if the property doesn’t live up to the official rules. In theory they would risk loosing their architect license.

Read the rest of the article about the Responsibility declaration of the First Occupation Licence in Andalusia on the website of C&D Solicitors. Also available in Dutch and English.

Author: Gustavo Calero Monereo, C&D Solicitors, (lawyers in Málaga/Andalusia, Spain)


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