Legal Guide

What is the “Cédula de habitabilidad”

The “cédula de habitabilidad” which we refer to as the habitation certificate is one of the key documents you must have when you come to sell or rent your property. But what it is and how you can get it?

What is the certificate of habitability?

This is a certificate issued by the town hall that means that the property complies with the town hall’s habitation requirements and it lasts for 10 years. After this date has expired it will be necessary for the current owner/s of the property to renew the certificate and especially if you considering selling or renting the property.

What are the requirements?

The certificate regulates the useful surface, size of the area of the house as well as the minimum equipment featuring in the property: toilet, kitchen, hot water, etc. The requirements are not very demanding so the most common is that the houses meet the minimum standard.

What types of habitability certificates exists?

There are 2 types of certificates, which can be issued only by certified architects.

The first occupancy licence

If your property is brand new then it will have been issued with what’s called a first occupancy licence or “Licencia de Primera Ocupación”. This indicates that the property developer has fulfilled all obligations and that the property is ready for occupation. Tis first occupancy licence has to be then replaced at a later stage by the habitation certificate.

The second occupancy certificate

Know also as “Cédula de renovación/rehabilitación” has to be requested when the habitation certificate expires. Make sure to allow plenty of time as it usually takes at least 3 months from when the request is submitted.

How do you get it?

As mentioned above, if your property is brand new, should have been the builder who has requested it on completion of the work. Make sure to ask advise to your solicitor to check out if this has been sort out. If you are buying an existing house, then the previous owner of the property should have requested the certificate. If you are plan­ning to sell your house, you should get help to or­gan­ise your pa­per­work so as to avoid delays – what you don’t want to do is to lose a buyer.

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