The Andalusian autonomous community has recently simplified a major administrative procedure that certifies whether a construction is fit to be used as a dwelling.
The declaración responsable (responsibility declaration) is now in use as a fast-track way to show that a construction fully complies with all planning and building regulations. It has replaced the licencia urbanística (urban planning licence) in a series of regulations that were amended in the 2/2020 Decree of 9 March 2020, with the aim of improving regulation and simplifying the issuing of mandatory reports in the different phases of urban planning.
In general terms, a declaración responsable is a document signed by the interested party in which they declare that they meet a series of requirements according to specific regulations.
In the case of first occupation and use of new buildings, the individual submitting the responsibility declaration must demonstrate, among other criteria, that:
- The building has been completed.
- Its use corresponds with its designation.
- The building has been granted a municipal building permit.
In Andalucía, however, the documentation necessary to prove that a construction meets these criteria is left up to each individual town hall to decide.
If the aforementioned criteria are met, presenting this declaración responsable to the relevant town hall permits:
- Occupying the new building in accordance with its corresponding use, provided that it has been built in accordance with the terms of the mandatory municipal building permit (art. 7.d Decree 60/2010).
- Contracting utilities and council services for the new building (art. 26.2 Decree 60/2010).
- Declaring a new construction before a notary for its subsequent registration on the Land Registry (art. 27.1.a Decree 60/2010).
The responsibility declaration is legally effective from the moment it is presented, provided that it is accompanied by the documentation required in each case.
However, unlike with the licencia urbanística that it replaced, the responsibility declaration is subject to verification, control and subsequent inspection on behalf of the relevant body and can be later withdrawn.
On the one hand, this means that new builds can be occupied soon after completion without having to wait for up to several years for inspections to take place, but on the other hand the local council could later order the cessation of occupation in the event that the requirements are not met.
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