On 25 November 2021, the parliament of the autonomous region of Andalusia approved the "Ley de Impulso para la Sostenibilidad del Territorio en Andalucía" (hereinafter: LISTA) adopted. The LISTA consists of a set of new urban planning rules in Andalusia. In this entry, you will find more information on its concrete impact for owners of second homes in the Spanish interior.
Illegal housing: AFO procedures
There are some 300,000 illegal houses in Andalusia. Often these buildings are located in Spain's interior, in rustic zones. These properties are coveted by second-home buyers. After all, you buy a spacious house on a large plot of land for a usually reasonable price.
To regularise these properties, the AFO regulations came into being. Through an AFO procedure, an owner can regularise his property subject to respecting strict conditions. But after a successful AFO procedure, you may still no expansion or improvement works perform. For example, you will not get a permit for a swimming pool or an additional outbuilding. In addition, the turnaround time of an AF0 procedure can quickly reach 6 months. The costs are not small either.
Impact of new urban planning rules in Andalusia
The new regulations - and the law has yet to be fleshed out - would simplify the AFO procedure for single-family houses in rustic areas. These buildings would also be allowed to be renovated to a limited extent. However, Junta still needs to flesh out the LISTA. We should expect these actions only during 2022.
Decision: don't crow victory too soon
Still be careful when an AFO lawsuit comes up. There might be improvement in the future, but currently we read mostly speculation. In practice, an AFO procedure can take a very long time and we find that sellers do not effectively initiate a procedure until they have found a prospective buyer. So be well informed about the concrete state of affairs.