Illegal building in Spain, why you need an excellent lawyer!

Once again, I feel that I have to write a Post about illegal building in Spain and the importance of having a competent, independent lawyer in Spain.  This time, I am prompted by the ‘incompetence’ of a local government within my local area, which has seriously damaged the interests of the public – instead of protecting them.

I just found out that the Supreme Court in Madrid has given its judgment confirming that the license used to build an urbanization granted by the Town Hall in Tavernes de la Valldigna is null and void! This judgment has an enormous impact and relates to the El Vergeret urbanization in Tavernes de La Valldigna.

The judgment of the Superme Court in Madrid has ordered that all the constructions built without the authorization of the “Conferencia Hidrografica del Jucar” (Jucar Water Confederation) are illegal.

Shockingly, The Supreme Court believes that some 500 properties were built within an area of high flood risk!

Now, what is appalling is that back in 2003 the “Conferencia Hidrografica del Jucar” (Jucar Water Confederation) did not grant authorization to build the El Vergeret urbanization.  Notwithstanding this – the Town Hall in Tavernes de la Valldigna granted a license to build the urbanization and allowed construction to go ahead.

This shows once again that the information supplied by Town Halls to potential buyers is not always correct and that you need to hire other professionals in order to purchase a property in Spain.  Indeed, given the amount of illegal building in Spain, you cannot be too careful when buying property here.  You can buy property safely – but only if all the correct investigations are undertaken.

On my part, I think that you cannot be too careful and, amongst other matters, I always hire the services of a specialist forestry engineer (even if the property concerned is a flat!).  This is because the information they can supply is vital – and, in the case of the example of the properties in Tavernes, would have shown that the buildings on the El Vergeret urbanization were illegal.

Some of my legal colleagues think I am too cautious when carrying legal searches.  However, I believe that a lawyer is paid to be cautious and to make every possible effort to establish the legality of a client’s potential property.

Indeed, I think you should be extremely wary of any lawyer who appears not to be undertaking extensive searches.  They are critical for you – because, unless ‘no stone is left unturned’ by your lawyer then you may find that you have bought an illegal building in Spain!  That is not necessary and is something that an experienced and effective conveyancing lawyer can prevent.

Carolina Just

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