Acquiring a building licence is the first step if you are planning to build your home. There are further licences needed during the various stages such as proof of build or end of works to achieve the well known “licence of first occupation”. This licence will assure that you can get all the services connected and that your house is legal. There are also insurances that have to be in place. To make sure your build is carried out correctly and legally, use a good architect who follows the law and regulations of your town hall and the college of architects.
Mayor and minor works. (Obra mayor and Obra Menor). Do use an architect for licences even if the work is indoors such as replacing a kitchen or bathroom. Licences are necessary for most building works even putting up a garden shed. Those who carry out these works without one, can be heavily fined.
Town hall licences are needed for most works in a building. Either obra menor (minor) or mayor (major). Communities should also be informed and permission sought. Those businesses carrying out the works or the architect if obra major, are the persons who need to seek permission. Please note that ultimately the owner is responsible for having obtained the necessary licences prior to the start of any works, so you need to check, especially when working with freelancers instead of construction companies or an architect.
Also, if there is a need for a skip to be placed on the public road, you´ll need a licence for that too.
There is also obra nuevo which would be new build such as an extension.
Note: when you hire workmen yourself, you need to check their legality (registered self employed Autonomo), ask for a quote in writing, with IVA, and their full details incl. NIE/NIF or CIF number. Make arrangements for payments in installments, related to stages of work completed, by bank transfer as otherwise, the Tax Office won’t accept them if you want to use them as deductions on your income tax declaration. And ask them if they have liability insurance and are fit to work, not ‘de baja’ (on sickleave) as hiring someone who is in receipt of sickness benefits is a grave offence. Workmen should have a card that certifies that they have followed a course with regards to safety at work (prevención de riesgos laborales). You need to ask for that too, and check it’s in date.
Needless to say that any workmen or construction companies who are not willing to share the above information with you, should be avoided.
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