A licence to drill

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PLANNING PERMISSION: The licence is simply essential in Spain. Credit: Shutterstock

SHOULD you be thinking about building your dream home from scratch or making major changes to your existing house, it should be noted that a First Occupancy Licence will be needed.

This is the document that is issued when the local council is satisfied that the construction project or adaptation work meets all technical standards and regulations, including health and safety.

There are three types of First Occupancy Licences: for new builds; for those that have been substantially modified (e.g. an extension), and those premises that have changed their purpose.

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The licence is also necessary when securing contracts to make the house habitable, such as water, electricity and gas.

It acts as a guarantee for third parties that may purchase the property in the future, proving to them that all the paperwork is above board.

Moreover, any sale of properties that do not have the licence can be declared null and void in a court of law, which would be a very costly mistake and the buyer may even be entitled to compensation.

The licence is also essential for the opening of industrial and commercial establishments in Spain.

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