CASE LAB OF THE WEEK:
REAL ENQUIRY: “Hi I have just bought an old apartment in Alicante city which needs intensive internal renovation works. Can I just do it on my own without hiring an architect or a Solicitor?”
RESPONSE: I would personally not recommend you to work without an architect or a lawyer.
In the first place, the refurbishing works in Spain require a license. If works are done without it the local authorities would impose severe sanctions for it. They have in fact, many ways of finding out; such as the local police seeing materials being entered in the building or the demolishing debris materials being taken out, or perhaps by any neighbours complaining; because the noise disturbs them, which is very frequent because, as you know, these works are very noisy. Once this happens, the first thing the local police is going to do is enter the site and request for all the permits.
PLANNING PERMISSION REGULATIONS
Second, doing the works without a license is considered a severe or a very severe infringement; (probably the latter as if you do the works without an architect you will not have the health and safety project and permits either). In Alicante the sanctions are the following:
– Severe infringement: fines from 6,001€ to 60,000€.
– Very severe infringement: fines from 60,001€ to 300,000€.
In addition, they will request you to present a project signed by an architect for the works done to legalize them; if the works comply with regulations, or undo them and do them according to these regulations with a project and license.
As you can see, in both cases; the cost will be much higher than the professional’s fees and you will still have to hire an architect and a Solicitor, in case of being sanctioned.
Third, moreover, not having an architect to control the works done by the contractor; may allow him to do the works without the accurate precision required or even badly done to obtain higher benefits. Or even tell you about false unexpected issues that have appeared which were not included and increase considerably the budget. These are only some examples of situations where contractors try to obtain benefits from the lack of technical supervision from your side.
DRAFTING THE PROPER CONTRACT WITH THE BUILDING COMPANY
Fourth, on the other hand, it is of the utmost importance that a qualified lawyer carefully reviews the contract as well as the stage payment before any money is actually paid to the company.
Otherwise, in the event of a breach of contract by the builder; either by late termination or at the event of hidden defects, you will not be able to claim compensation in Court.
In short, remember that in legal and technical matters, it is essential to be safe than sorry; because, at the end of a dispute either with the local authorities or with the builder; you could face severe legal consequences in terms of financial loss; fines, and time-consuming stress and worry. Therefore, just for a reasonable fee, you will have complete peace of mind that your investment dream project does not turn into a nightmare.
HOW TO CONTACT US FOR FURTHER SPECIFIC ADVICE OR INFORMATION?
Remember this is not intended to be specific legal advice. Subsequently, if you might wish to discuss about your specific case regarding planning permission; we are a law firm specializing in complex conveyancing property and contract’s litigation cases.
Therefore, as a preliminary step, do not hesitate to get in touch with us, either by:
1. Calling us or sending us a WhatsApp now to (0034) 687 88 88 73.
2. You can also use our e-mail form at the top of the sidebar of your screen, or alternatively, you can send us an e-mail to email@example.com or through our contact section
We have online legal consulting services, and our commitment, we’ll respond to your e-mail inquiry in less than 24 hours.
Finally, thank you very much for your attention, and in case you might have any questions or doubts at all about planning permission; please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be glad to clarify immediately.
We look forward to helping you and the benefit of our “know-how”.
Mr Oscar Ricor
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor