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.
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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.
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.
It is important mainly for four reasons:
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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Article also published at Spanish Property Inisght: Licence of First Occupation
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