FIRST OCCUPATION LICENCE, it is a must to register your Holiday Rental Property
The Latest Development from The Council of Tourism at Junta de Andalucía is that they are putting all their efforts into issuing a fines (€ 2.000 minimum) to each owner who has registered their property as a Holiday Rental Property without having a FIRST OCCUPATION LICENCE.
Why is the Junta the Andalucia doing that? Because the decree 28/2016 says, in addition to many other requirements, you must have that FIRST OCCUPATION LICENCE. There was a period of grace to add this document to applications, and VFTs were issues without the First Occupation Licence. That time has now passed and the Junta are keeping their word. Oddly enough, they don't appear worried about the thousands of people who have not registered their properties at the Tourism Board legally. From last March, JUNTA DE ANDALUCIA began sending emails to people who registered their properties. Rental owners who have not yet submitted the First Occupation Licence are being asked to provide it, to prove they have the FIRST OCCUPATION LICENCE, no other question, nothing about air condition installed, nothing about complains book, ... just asking about FIRST OCCUPATION LICENCE and, if they haven't, they recommend to cancel your registration as a Holiday Rental Property as soon as possible. Failure to comply will result in a fine. That is the actual situation, FACT; If you don't have that document or its equivalent, you cannot continue renting your house as a holiday rental property.
What LEGAL COSTA PROPERTIES recommend? If you already have done the registration without FIRST OCCUPATION LICENCE, and still have not even applied for one...we highly recommend you to CANCEL INMEDIATELY YOUR VFT REGISTRATION. We know that is a very radical movement, but you cannot ignore this situation. They are right, The FIRST OCCUPATION LICENCE, (or the New Document created to facilitate properties built before First Occupation Licences came into being, a Licencia De Habitacion ) is a requirement of the VFT Licence and always has been. We believe we know why Junta de Andalucía is doing this. Tourism is the first industry in Spain, and much more in Andalucía, and we imagine that the hotel sector is putting great pressure on the Junta de Andalucía to protect the rights of hotels, hostels, campsites etc. So, you may have registered your holiday rental property in the Junta de Andalucía Tourism Board, have complied with all the requirements of the decree (installing air conditioning etc) and have registered your Property with the police as a Holiday Rental Property to communicate/ record the entry and exit of guests to your apartment or villa, but when you bought your property you missed getting the FIRST OCCUPATION LICENCE because, nobody even talked about it as a crucial document. Possibly even the lawyer who assisted you in the purchase of your holiday rental property! The fact is, if you want to rent your property, you must have this document or you are now breaking the law.
What are doing Town Halls about this? A few of city councils have seen the opportunity to inflate their municipal coffers by charging a rate they would never have believed they could collect previously. They are giving the option to all that people, who are without a FIRST OCCUPATION LICENCE to get a substitute document. It isn't exactly a license of first occupation, but the City Council will provide to every citizen who requires it, A Licence acceptable to the registration at the Junta de Andalucia Tourism Board.
So... what is that FIRST OCCUPATION LICENCE? It is a document issued to the builder of any house, block of flats, or urbanization in Andalucia, and in which it is stated that:
a) The house, dwelling or urbanization has been completed in compliance with all the requirements of the law.
b) That the building or dwelling fulfils the requirements required to be destined for residential use.
c) To make sure that the construction meets the technical conditions of public safety, hygiene and décor.
d).- Allow the building or construction to connect the supply of drinking water, electricity, telecommunications and other community services.
e) .- This is a guarantee against the third-party purchasers, to acquire at all times buildings and buildings that have a license of first occupation. It is a way of avoiding that the purchasers of good faith buy property that later has problems of restoration of legality with the city council.
Currently, if you buy a home in a new development, the FIRST OCCUPATION LICENCE will be required by the new development builder to be able to register the houses in the Property Registry, the law also says that each new owner will receive a BUILDING BOOK in which all the licenses of the purchased house are recorded. For those with a VFT , but have fallen by the wayside in getting their First Occupaton Licence, the choice is as follows.
Cease Renting or apply for your Licencia de Habitabilidad. This will involve contracting the services of a qualified Technical Architect who will draw plans of the property as it stands today. These plans are passed through the college or Architects in Malaga, approved as genuine and stamped. Then they ae presented to your associated Ayuntamiento who will charge a tax (between 0.9% and 2 %) based on the Valor Construcion of the property in its current state. The process is completed with the issuing of a Licencia de Habitabilidad which can be added to your application for the VFT in place of a Licencia De Primera Ocupacion. Total time involved can be up to four months.
Please note, In the event of a block of apartments, Inspectors are accepting one licence per building, so it is in your interest to club together and get one licence for all owners in the block. This can however, cause a problem with owners who do not want renters in their building! In this case, there is no reason not to apply in a sole owner capacity, but the costs will be less when shared.
If you have a VFT and have still not added the First Occupation Licence PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE THIS ADVICE. For all the owners we have helped to register their property, we at LCP will add your licence to your application totally Free of charge if you send it to us. For assistance in obtaining your Licencia de Habitabilidad contact us at OFFICE@LCPSpain.com