If you own a flat for rent or are considering selling your apartment , you must be familiar with all the necessary documentation. One of the certificates that is required is the certificate of occupancy, essential for any real estate management.
Next, we will tell you what it is, how it can be requested, what types exist, and we will solve all the doubts you may have about the certificate of occupancy!
What is the certificate of occupancy?
The certificate of occupancy is an administrative document that certifies that a home meets the necessary conditions of health and solidity to be habitable and, therefore, have a residential use.
This procedure is not mandatory in all the autonomous communities, in Catalonia, yes. That is why it is better that you consult the City Council of your city.
When is it necessary?
This document is essential when buying a property, when contracting supplies and to start your vacation rental. It is important to bear in mind that any dwelling without a certificate of occupancy is considered illegal, so it is very important that the property has this when it comes to signing a mortgage.
Who is in charge of requesting it?
A technical architect is in charge of making the report on the house and who issues it is a technician from the town hall, who will or will not accept that information. In the positive case, the certificate will be signed, otherwise, if the space is not considered optimal to be habitable, you will have to make the appropriate improvements so that it is granted.
What information does it contain?
To complete the certificate of occupancy, the technician must have the following information:
- Housing location
- Useful area (m2)
- Rooms and spaces contained in the property
- Maximum occupancy threshold
- Identification of the technician who performed the inspection
What requirements must the dwelling meet to obtain the certificate of occupancy?
In Spain, there are 3 essential requirements to obtain the certificate of habitability. These revolve around:
- Security: The house must have optimal facilities and supplies and be in good condition.
- Hygiene: It is mandatory that the property meets minimum ventilation and lighting requirements.
- Habitability: All homes must have a series of minimum units, such as kitchen and bathroom, have a minimum height depending on the room, be equipped with windows, doors, hot water.
In addition to this, the property must be deeded as a dwelling and appear in the Cadastre.
Types of occupancy certificate
Currently, Spanish regulations contemplate three types of certificate of occupancy, depending on the age of the property and the condition of its occupation:
- Certificate of occupancy of first occupation: This is the one that refers to newly built homes, however, in this case, they are obtained by default.
- First occupancy certificate of occupancy for rehabilitation: This type of certificate must be requested in homes that have undergone some reform or work.
- Second occupation certificate of occupancy: Finally, these certificates are requested when the validity of the previous certificate has already expired , therefore, it corresponds to an existing old dwelling.
Resolved doubts about the certificate of occupancy
Can you live without a certificate of occupancy?
Although it is possible to live without a certificate of occupancy, it is not recommended, since you can face multiple sanctions and even eviction.
I have been sold a house without a certificate of occupancy, what can I do?
As we have mentioned, the certificate of occupancy is mandatory to sell and rent a home. Unfortunately, in some real estate portals there are properties that do not have it. This can be a serious problem for you if you buy it and therefore become the owner. A house can only be sold without a certificate of occupancy, in these cases:
- If the new owner is going to tear down the property or do a complete reform .
- If the property is going to have other purposes than a residence. In this case, the new owner must register this new use.
- When the certificate has not yet been issued, but the application process has been submitted.
If you are not in any of these three cases, you must immediately request the certificate of occupancy.
Who pays for the certificate of occupancy? How much is it worth in Barcelona?
The certificate of occupancy is the responsibility of the owner. The Barcelona City Council fees are as follows:
- First occupancy certificate of occupancy: €43.05 (for registering a home)
- Second occupancy certificate of occupancy: €19.85
- Duplicates of the certificate of occupancy: Free
If you need more information, we recommend that you consult the pages of the organizations responsible for the certificate of occupancy of your demarcation. In the case of Barcelona, visit this Barcelona City Council website.