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Alcaucin propertiesAccording to a recent article on the Typically Spanish website, there are more than a quarter of a million homes in rural municipalities across Andalucía that have been built with no permits. Now to be legalised we believe it will affect values. If it has a licence then its value will be higher. If there is no way it’s going to get a licence then its value will drop.

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This despite the reform of the Land Law is still awaiting definitive approval.

Some 4,500 illegal homes in Conil (Cádiz) are close to regulation. This week the town hall will make public its incorporation in the Junta decree, approved in 2012 which gives the green light to solve the cystic problem which has affected numerous villages in Andalucía; the existence of more than a quarter million homes without licence in 332 municipalities (42.83% of the total number) have responded to the Junta’s call.

Of these 82 already have the advance approved, so the owners can now deal with the papers which will removed their homes which have been out of legal limbo for so many years.

There is much more to do to meet the promise made by Susana Diaz last year which means 25,000 homes are still waiting for her reform to be applied, the reform which gave coverage to buildings constructed on non-buildable land.

In 2012 the Junta decided to put into order three decades of uncontrolled building; many homes and urbanisations had been growing in the region without any control. But the situation was complicated as many of the owners demanded a legalisation which would allow them basic services, light, water and drainage. Some of them know their homes were irregular while others purchased not knowing a licence was needed.

The 2012 decree reflected that duality; on the one hand many of the illegal homes were in renovation zones in the ordered legal plans in each municipality, and on the other were in land, which for its location or characteristics should never had been built upon.

The process is in the first phase of transaction. It’s up to the town halls, at the request of those interested, to start the process already seen in 332 municipalities. To do so the town hall has to define which irregular buildings are in urbanisations, those in scattered rural areas and lastly those isolated and will have to be first declared assimilated out of ordination (AFO).

‘We are attending to a general problem in Andalucía although it is up to the town halls to complete all these processes’, so said Nieves Masegosa, general secretary for territorial ordination of the Environment Council of the Junta de Andalucía, speaking to El País.

332 municipalities have passed the first phase, 201 have told the Junta that the decree is not necessary in their territory as they have no problem, 49 have started the procedure and 82 have completed it.

The fortunate early ones can now embark on their regularisation, which will depend on the location of their home; in an urbanisation where a joint regularisation will be completed as a whole, or if isolated where the owner will have to carry out the process alone.

None of the cases will escape the costs to be paid by the owner, firstly for the legalisation and secondly for the legal connection of public services.

So far by province, Almería is the most advanced in the application of the decree with 84 of their 103 town halls completing the first phase. In Cádiz there are 18, Córdoba 28, Granada 44, Huelva 25, Jaén 45, Málaga 47 and Sevilla 41.

In an attempt to move the process along, in 2012 when the Junta issued the decree, they put a time limit, which ended last January 7. Nieves Masegosa explained, ‘now we have to revise all the allegations, to then be approved in the Government Council and then lifted to the Consultative Council’.

The first decree allows the regularisation of property provided no judicial process is already open, if the property is not on a flood plain or in an area of special protection, or if the property has been built for more than six years, the time when the town planning irregularity is prescribed. It means these cases amount to 25,000 homes, which are not covered by the reform, most of them in Málaga and Almería where they have been constructed on non-buildable land where the prescription does not apply.
However these homes, generally purchased by foreigners, can be connected to water, electricity and officially registered.

Each town council has to establish the characteristics of the property so it can be considered to be a real home. In Conil for example the homes must not be smaller than 35 square metres and must include, as a minimum, a living room, bedroom, kitchen and an independent bathroom. None of the rooms can be in a basement, the toilet must not be passed to reach the other rooms, and all the rooms, with the exception of the bathroom, must have natural light. No home can be legislated lower than 2.40 m high.

Those are the characteristics placed by the local council in Conil, but each local council can impose what they wish. For example in Andújar (Jaén) the height must be over 1.90 m, the space no less than 30 square metres and also a complete bathroom.