What is the Cedula de Habitabilidad?

When buying a property in Spain, it is important that it is Cedula de Habitabilidad present. This article explains why.

What is this?

The Cedula de Habitabilidad or Licencia de Primera o Segunda Ocupación shows that your flat or villa meets local housing standards. This document is issued by the municipality. You can obtain the Cedula de Habitabilidad compare with the certificate of conformity in Belgium.

Why is the Cedula de Habitabilidad important in new construction?

The certificate makes your residence 'habitable' from a legal point of view. In case you Buy on plan or invest in a new home, this document is therefore crucial. After all, without this certificate, there can be no connection of water or electricity.

Since July 2008, a newly built house cannot be sold without Cedula de Habitabilidad. In other words, without this certificate, notaries and the land registry cannot transfer title deeds. As a result, the notarised sale deed of a sale on plan cannot be finalised. So if you are doing a sale on plan, it is advisable not to pay the final instalments until the promoter is in order with his permits and certificates.

Read more tips on buying on plan in Spain.

Is the Cedula de Habitabilidad important when reselling?

From a legal point of view, as a seller of a resale, you have no Cedula de Habitabilidad needed. Commercially, though, this may have implications. In some Spanish municipalities, the buyer needs the attestation to transfer the utility connection to his name.

Attestations for most resale properties were initially valid for a period of 5 years . This period was extended to 10 years. At present, new attestations in new construction no longer have an expiry period.

However, if you make notifiable changes to your property, you must apply for a new certificate of conformity.

What in the case of rentals?

In a previous article, we explained the various obligations to rent out your residence. It is the case that without Cedula de Habitabilidad may not rent out a property to tourists. This is mainly a problem with older properties under resale, as the certificate is often no longer valid or up to date.

Read more about the obligations when letting in Spain.

How to apply?

You can apply for this certificate from your local municipality. In some municipalities this will go more smoothly than in others.

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