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New land law to simplify legalisation of unregistered buildings on rural land

November 26, 2013

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This new legislation will help owners to clarify the legal status of rural properties that are not fully legally registered.

Earlier this month, the Balearic Government adopted a new land law with the objective of simplifying and rationalising the existing urban planning regulations.

The new law, titled Ley de Ordenación y Uso del Suelo (LOUS), is in part focused on the 30,000 or properties which, in one respect or another, fall outside of the current planning regulations. Most often this is the case because a part of the building was originally constructed or has been added without the correct planning permission.

In practice this has proven not to be an issue for the many of these properties. The unregistered element is small and unobtrusive and has never attracted attention. Furthermore, after a building on rural land has been in place for eight years, the current laws state that they cannot be demolished.

Despite this however, the new measure will be an opportunity to regularise the status of these properties. This should be welcome by home owners and buyers alike, in particular buyers from overseas who can understandably be unsure of purchasing a property that is not fully legally registered regardless of whether it is, in practice, likely to be an issue or not.

However, the new regulation is not completely straight forward and owners will have to go through a process to regularise the property. This will involve some costs, including having to pay a “penalty” based on the value of the property. But they should also bear in mind that the penalties for non compliance with the planning regulations are also to be strengthened. So ignoring the new measures may not be the best course of action.

There will be much written and said about this within the property fraternity in Mallorca, but I would strongly advise home owners and prospective purchasers of properties that might be affected to seek the advice of a qualified property lawyer in order to assess the implications of the new law for the particular property in question.

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