Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a Marbella-based independent law firm specialized in property conveyancing, taxation, litigation, probate and succession. Expert native English-speaking lawyers and economists blend legal and practical advice providing tailored assistance on your matter. Our range of services cover the greater Marbella area, Sotogrande and Costa del Sol.


The firm focuses advising foreign investors on acquiring residential property in Spain both from a legal and fiscal point of view. Our no-nonsense approach to business coupled with our commitment to clients ensures easy-going transactions. We pride ourselves in putting our clients’ interests at the forefront of everything we do.


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Last Article:

Licence of First Occupation

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, September, 3. 2018

Marbella-based lawyer Raymundo Larraín revisits a First Occupancy Licence and gives us a brief rundown on what it is and its relevance to a property buyer.

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers, over 16 years’ conveyancing experience at your service.

Article copyrighted © 2.005, 2.010, and 2.018. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

 

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
8th of September 2018

The Licence of First Occupancy (LFO, for short) is a crucial document on buying off-plan property in Spain that draws a line between what is legal and what is not, in general terms. A LFO does not (usually) apply to resale properties.

This article is just a stub, a short summary. If you fancy an in-depth take on this topic, you can read our 2005/2009 breakdown: Licence of First Occupation.

Definition

A Licence of First Occupation is a certificate issued by a town hall which confirms that a newly-built property (off-plan) fully complies with all planning and building regulations and is fit to be used as a dwelling. It assures compliance with Health, Access, Safety, Planning and Construction laws, and that the property has been fully completed, with no outstanding works.

The LFO allows off-plan purchasers to dwell in a property legally. A LFO is also known as Habitation Licence or Certificate of Habitation and in Spanish, Licencia de Primera Ocupación or Cédula de Habitabilidad.

LFO importance

It is important mainly for four reasons:

  • It provides a check on the planning legality. A LFO means the developer has built the dwelling in accordance with the original town hall’s Building Licence as well as with all Planning laws. The inspection to grant this licence is carried out by town hall’s chartered technicians who certify that the dwelling is deemed apt for human habitation.
  • It is required by utility companies to have access to official supplies: water, electricity and gas. Spanish law requires the granting of the LFO to hook up the dwelling to the supply grid.
  • Lenders will ask for it if you require finance. Banks will also be asking you for a LFO. Even on reselling the property, your buyer may request a copy for his own lender.
  • Holiday lettings. If you are looking to buy as an investment (buy-to-let), a LFO is required by Regional Tourist Authorities to rent out your place on a short-term. If your property hasn’t attained a first occupancy licence, you will not be able to legally rent out your house and may be landed with humongous fines if caught red-handed. The fines for non-compliance are six-figures in some regions of Spain.

 

Conclusion

Be wary of anyone downplaying the importance of a LFO on off-plan property claiming it is unnecessary.

In general, I advise you not to complete without a Licence of First Occupation.

 

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Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in conveyancing, inheritance, taxation and litigation. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on (+34) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form.

 

La perfection est atteinte, non pas lorsqu'il n'y a plus rien à ajouter, mais lorsqu'il n'y a plus rien à retirer.”  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Maj. Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint-Exupéry (1900 – 1944 KIA). French writer, poet, aristocrat, journalist, and expert aviator. He became a laureate of several of France's highest literary awards and also won the U.S. National Book Award. During his U.S. hiatus, he wrote the three books that would earn him literary immortality whilst strongly lobbying for the U.S. to join the war effort against the cruel Nazi tyranny. He is best remembered for his novella The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince), based on his real life Libyan desert crash, and for his lyrical aviation writings, including Wind, Sand and Stars and Night Flight. He vanished without a trace during WWII over the Mediterranean Sea on a reconnaissance mission behind German lines whilst piloting his Lockheed P-38 Lightning. His tragic disappearance marks the start of his literary legend which continues to grow every year, as new generations of young readers become imbued with his exquisite work (in over 350 languages!)

Article also published at Spanish Property Inisght: Licence of First Occupation

 

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Off-plan-related articles

 

Please note the information provided in this blog post is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.

2.005, 2.010 and 2.018 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

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Last Blog Entry:

Brexit and Spanish residency

Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt, September, 21. 2018

Blog post copyrighted © 2018. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                   Image credit: CC / FlickrTheophilos Papadopoulos

By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Director of Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers
21st of Septermber 2018

 

I had already analysed the financial consequences of Brexit for expats, both resident and non-resident, from a Spanish perspective in a previous blog post from last February.

In today´s post, I want to focus on the movement of people crossboarders, between Spain and the United Kingdom in a post-Brexit world.

Unless the European Union and the United Kingdom reach a last minute understanding, British nationals are going to see their movements restricted on coming over to Spain.

Concretely, on breaking away from the EU, British nationals may no longer stay in Spanish territory indefinitely unlike until now. They will be treated much like other nationals outwith the EU. Meaning British may only stay in Spain for a period not exceeding 90 days. If you are caught residing in Spain without permission, you will be detained and deported back to your country of origin.

In order to avoid you and your family unpleasant scenarios, I strongly advise the British community residing in Spain to pre-empt this by applying for Spanish residency now. Currently, Spanish are welcoming with open arms all British applications to reside within their territory. The requirements after the 29th of March may change, so it is advised you act now.

I write this because I know for a fact, after 16 years of practice serving the expat community, that very few British actually bother to register in Spain for a myriad of reasons (chiefly taxation issues). I had already written an article early on this year trying to dispel the false notion that becoming (tax) resident in Spain was all bad news from a fiscal point of view: Tax advantages on becoming resident in Spain. On the contrary, becoming tax resident in Spain offers multiple tax breaks and incentives as highlighted in my tax article. Seek tax advice from us on your own personal situation.

Bottom line, when you walk away from this blog post it must be clear to you that if you plan to be resident in Spain as from April 2019, or you already are, you must apply for Spanish residency before the Spanish Authorities. You will no longer be able to fly under the radar ducking your head in the hope of not getting caught – won’t happen. For your own sake, be practical and apply for Spanish residency now.

Our law firm can assist you attain a Spanish residency permit, ask our friendly staff.

Politics: the art of creating new problems where none existed.”

 

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers, small on fees, big on service.

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in inheritance, conveyancing, taxation and litigation. We will be very pleased to discuss your matter with you. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by telephone on (+34) 952 19 22 88 or by completing our contact form.

 

Legal services Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers can offer you

 

Conveyancing-related articles

 

Please note the information provided in this blog post is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. No delusional politician was harmed on writing this blog post. VOV.

2.018 © Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt. All rights reserved.

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Last Press Entry:

Eight Tips on Buying Off-Plan in Spain

Costa del Home Magazine, September, 21. 2018

Costa del Home Magazine is the single largest property advertising publication on the Costa del Sol packed with properties for sale and rent, real estate news, features and analysis. CHM kindly published our article on Eight Tips on Buying Off-Plan in Spain in its July 2018 issue.

Full article can be found on page 63. Link to our article: Eight Tips on Buying Off-Plan in Spain

Original article can be found published in our website: Eight Tips on Buying Off-Plan in Spain

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers' conveyancing service: Conveyancing – Buying

 

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