The Licencia de ocupación must be renewed every time it has been built or remodeled. Applying for or renewing a Licencia de ocupación is done by an architect. The latter must investigate whether permits have been issued for all previous renovations followed by a final delivery (Final de obra), and in particular whether the work has been carried out as stated in the permits. described (note: also by previous owners) . The architect will check the situation on site against the then and the current zoning plan. Another document that buyers are regularly confronted with is that the municipality is not aware of any irregularities. This one is misleading because it doesn’t mean they aren’t there. It is no secret that building and renovating without a permit is the rule rather than the exception due to the inadequate control. Far too often the Licencia de ocupación is not even mentioned let alone the risks being mentioned. And there is the problem, which current owners are unaware of, but may experience the consequences.
This validity check is not done for cost reasons, but usually in the interest of sales as it reveals issues. The renewed Licencia is factually unlawful and therefore invalid. It means that the potential risks pass from one owner to the next, until an owner is unpleasantly surprised after years of carefree living pleasure. It is a kind of pyramid scheme in which far too many owners unknowingly participate and we as a group of homeowners now know all about it.
With this background information you will now better understand why the Licencia de ocupación is so often invalid or has been obtained illegally, but such an invalid document is of no use to you when it comes down to it. You are completely dependent on the arbitrariness of, for example, a government agency, a municipal official for permits, an insurance company for the payment of damage or a notary at the sale and that can have consequences that you as a (future) owner are not waiting for. It is very similar to driving without a valid driver’s license. The chance that you will be stopped may be small, but if you have an accident you do have a problem (see risks below). What Casa Propia is all about is that you are the only one who can decide whether you are willing to take risks, not the broker and / or lawyer who states in contracts that you are aware of the situation without reporting the risks, thus safeguarding the professional from liabilities and you as a buyer the consequences accepts without knowing it.