Types of property in Spain
At the property market in Spain is possible to find different types of properties. It is important to know their features due to they do not have the same rights, obligations and opportunities of enjoyment.
- Urban and Rural properties
- Independent property Vs Property in a Community of Owners
- Full ownership property Vs Undivided property
- Classification of the property according to the use to which it is intended. Special attention to tourist apartments
- Time sharing
- Government-Subsidized Housing (Vivienda de Protección Oficial)
Urban and Rural properties
The urban or rustic character of the property depends on the legal nature of the land where is located.
The urban land is appointed by the public administration that, in the exercise of its powers, designs and develops the urban planning establishing guidelines and legal requirements for its execution.
The land of urban nature that has complied with all legal requirements of urban planning becomes a building plot. A plot meets minimum conditions. These conditions relate primarily to the supply of water and electricity, drainage or sewage treatment, and road access.
The construction volume, height and other characteristics of the building are ruled by local urban regulations.
The land of rustic nature by not complying with the legal requirements of urban land, in theory, can not be built, except for small farming tools sheds. However, it is not rare to find the biggest house built in a rural land, where, in legal terms, should be a small hut. It is advisable to be extremely careful with this type of property, because although many of them have become legal by the passing of time, many others are illegal and could be susceptible to be demolished by the administration.
Common problems with these types of properties are: building in all its extension does not appear at the Land Registry and, the inability to get a mortgage in Spain due to the rustic nature of the property.
Independent property Vs Property in a Community of Owners
While independent properties have the right to use and enjoyment of the property thoroughly, without further limitation that respect the local town planning regulations and the rights of neighboring properties, the propery in Spain belonging to a Community of Owners is a special type of estate regulated in the Spanish Condominium Act (Ley de Propiedad Horizontal), which is characterized by the coexistence of two different property rights:
- A unique and exclusive right of ownership over a, sufficiently defined and susceptible of independent use, space and
- Joint ownership with other owners of flats or premises of the remaining elements, belongings and common services.
Full ownership property Vs Undivided property
The most common form of property in Spain is full ownership, either as an individual or within a community of owners.
But there's another very usual way to enjoy ownership of a property that occurs especially in garages and storage rooms. Is the modality of property under the legal form of Undivided property (proindiviso). Owning a percentage of a property that gives the exclusive right to use and enjoy a space delimited (the numbered garage or storage room).
The use of the common areas for the better enjoyment of the individual elements is regulated, normally, in the title deeds.
Classification of the property according to the use to which it is intended. Special attention to tourist apartments
Depending on the purpose for which a property is intended, The Urban property in Spain are classified as industrial, commercial, community services, and the ones destined for housing.
It is important to know it because each property needs an specific license to be used. therefore, an industrial building requires a licence given by the town hall permitting the activity that is going to be developed there. The same occurs with the rest of the types, all requires a licence to be used with the purpose it was made for.
In the case of dwellings, this license is known as first occupation license (Licencia de Primera Ocupación), when it comes to new homes, or Certificate of habitability (Cedula de Habitabilidad), for other dwellings built time ago (required only in some Autonomous Comunities).
The First occupation license, or the Certificate of habitabillity, is the recognition that a property can be used for residential purpose. This recognition has very important practical implications in the way that, for example, without it can not contract the house supplies such as electricity or water supply.
The category of tourist apartments deserve special attention. In the last years the autonomic governments in Spain have developed rules designed to boost the tourism sector. These rules, among other things, refers to the urban planning and, in addition to hotel facilities, have created a new urban category of property whose use is intended to be tourist.
These properties have become a hidden risk in the property market due to have the appearance of private apartments, but have limitations on the enjoyment of property such as is mandatory be offered on lease a minimum period per year, and have to support the maintenance of the resort where they belong in the form of staff costs or bussines promotion. Be careful with this kind of properties, they probably are cheaper than the rest of the properties with similar qualities and location, but it is due a very good reason.
The time-sharing system is the one where a person acquires, through various modalities, the right to use, enjoy and dispose, in perpetuity or for a temporality, of a housing unit for a certain period of time each year.
Basically, what you buy is the right to use a property for a specific time each year, within a list of properties that form the timeshare company portfolio.
Government-Subsidized Housing (Vivienda de Protección Oficial)
This kind of dwelling has a limited price and, almost always, is partially subsidized by the government.
The aim of the VPO (Vivienda de protección Oficial) is to help citizens with lower incomes to acquire or lease dignified and appropriate houses at affordable prices.
For a home to qualify as VPO, public administration sets out legal requirements for both housing (size and maximum price) and the buyer (maximum income, have no other housing, etc..). therefore, not everyone is in the right to a VPO, and its transmission is subject to permission by the public administration.
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