If you are considering the possibility of buying a nice plot and constructing a house “by yourself” to satisfy all your ideas on what an ideal home should be like, you need to obtain the necessary license which gives you permission to build the dwelling of your dreams – the so-called “building license”
The building license is the administrative act that permits the carrying out of a particular and future work. That means the specific recognition of the features of the technical project.
The approval of the project therefore signifies that it respects the sector regulations and the urban planning which governs the area on which you would like to construct.
The building license allows the construction process to start. The public body usually in charge of the building licenses, except in some Spanish autonomous communities, is the town hall governing the area where the plot is located. The act of granting the license is not a discretionary power of the local government but a regulated act whose fulfilment entails that both the project and the town hall have fully regarded the legal system.
It is very important to comply with the urban planning regulations otherwise you may commit an administrative infraction which may cause, in the last resort, the demolition of the building.
The necessary steps for the license to be granted begin with the request before the competent town hall. Although it is not essential to show your domain on the land, it is always admissible to provide the title that justifies your right on the land.
The form will normally be provided at the town hall. It needs to be submitted along with the project drawn up by the competent professional association, usually the Architects Association.
You also need to submit a description of those activities that will be subject of the license, indicating the destination, use and purpose of the works specified in the project, and finally, if necessary, all documents proving your sufficient right to carry out the construction and use of the land.
The filing of the request starts the administrative procedure. The public body in charge of the file is obliged to give a specific resolution in one sense or another.
During the procedure, every person who believes they could be affected by the concession of the license is entitled to serve a pleading on it.
The administrative authority that is to grant the license could decide in four different directions:
- Not to admit the request of the license due to lack of some essential requirements.
- Grant the license.
- Grant the license under certain conditions.
- Deny the license.
The procedure of the concession of licenses is governed by what is known as “silencio administrativo” (administrative silence). This is a legal term, by virtue of which the legal system grants any given petition, provided that the competent public organ does not answer in time.
According to the laws in Andalucia, in the event that three months have passed since your request and the precise documents were registered at the municipal registry, it is understood to be granted, provided always that your request contradicts no legal rule.
Should it take place, it is worth asking for a certificate for the approval of your petition by administrative silence.
The license is valid from its concession and it establishes under what terms and conditions building is allowed. In the case that the license does not specify the obligatory period for constructing what is included in the project, the urban act of Andalucia allows one year to start the works and three years to finish them completely, although the municipalities may extend this period if they consider it necessary.
Non-fulfilment of the licenses expiry might result in their expiry. They can also be either suspended or cancelled when the works have not been finished before the approval of new urban planning which contradicts them..