Declaracion de Obra Nueva: Meaning and When Needed

Declaracion de Obra Nueva

Whenever a new building is constructed in Spain, a series of administrative procedures and requirements must be followed, which are crucial to ensure the property is considered legal. The Declaration of a New Construction or the Declaracion de Obra Nueva is one of these key procedures. Our property lawyers can guide you through the whole procedure, below are the most important aspects.

What is the Declaracion de Obra Nueva?

The declaration of new construction is a legal document that contains all of the changes that have been carried out in a property, like the construction of a new building. This information is necessary to be documented in the Spanish property registry.

The deed can be written up before the construction has even finished, which tends to be the case for many development projects where investors want access to important information and plans before financing the project.

There are three main forms of this declaration, all of which need to be signed by a notary:

  1. Obra Nueva Antigua
    This particular form of “declaración de obra nueva” declares an edification, for instance a building, that was made years prior, with or without a license.
  2. Obra Nueva de Rehabilitación
    When updating a building that has already been built but that over the years has become obsolete or unusable.
  3. Obra Nueva in a proper sense
    There are two types, both of which will be the main focus of this blog. This will declare a new recent building or one which is being executed at the moment:

    1. Obra Nueva Terminada
      This is for when the building construction has already been completed.
    2. Obra Nueva en Construcción
      This version is for ongoing construction; however, the owner will need to submit a certificate from the architect to a notary once the construction is finalized.

What documents are needed?

In order to get a notary to sign this deed,a few different documents are required. Take into consideration that this is a global overview of the requirements, and that the documents listed below may not be needed for every form of Declaración de Obra Nueva (it is mainly focused on the Declaración de Obra Nueva Terminada).

  1. Building License from the Town Hall
    This license authorizes the work to be completed based on the building project prepared by your architect. In situations where the owner wants to legalize an old construction, it will also be necessary to establish the age through any of the following documentation: a certificate from the Town Hall, a certificate from a qualified technician/architect, or a notary declaration of the property.
  2. Ten-year Warranty Insurance (Seguro Decenal)
    It’s required for all new residential buildings to obtain this insurance to primarily cover any potential structural damages. However, exceptions can be made if the owner of the property intends on living there themselves.
  3. License of First Occupation (Licencia de Primera Ocupación)
    This is a license issued by the Town Hall, confirming that the construction has been built in accordance with the initial building project presented.
  4. Certificate of Energy Efficiency
    This certificate outlines the key information regarding the energy efficiency of the building. A qualified technician is required to issue this, and it’ll be considered valid for ten years.
  5. Final Works License (Licencia o Certificado Final de Obra)
    This certificate needs to be issued by a qualified technician or architect and essentially confirms that the construction has been completed in accordance with the initial building project. In some instances where the work is ongoing and this license is not yet applicable, the technician or architect needs to issue a certificate describing the works compared to the building project.
  6. The ‘Book’ of the building
    If you intend to sell your property upon completion, you’ll also be required to deposit the Building Book into the Property Registry. This is a detailed description of the entire building and all its functionalities.
  7. Identification of the occupied land portion through its geographic referencing coordinates

What’s the procedure?

Once you’ve obtained all of these documents and completed all the requirements, the next step is to bring them to a notary who will prepare the declaration and sign it in the form of a public deed. This is the official process of the Declaración de Obra Nueva.

The document will essentially declare that there is a residential construction to be built over a pre-existing plot. Once this signature is complete, you’ll then need to take these documents to the Land Registry to finalize a few other land and property details and ensure everything is officially legal.

When is the Declaracion de Obra Nueva needed?

A declaration of new construction is required in the following instances:

  • To declare a new construction is being built over an existing plot/land.
  • To declare an old construction that was previously built over a pre-existing plot/land. This is for houses or structures which were never recorded before.
  • To declare a new extension of a construction over a pre-existing plot/land. This is for homes constructing an additional room or a new floor.
  • To declare a previously built extension of a pre-existing plot/land.
  • To declare both old and new constructions, such as a garage, porch, pool, barbecue area, parking space/covering, etc.

What are the fees?

There are several fees and taxes associated with the process of obtaining the Declaracion de Obra Nueva. Some of the main ones include:

  • The notary fees to prepare the deeds.
  • Land registry fees to inscribe the Declaracion de Obra Nueva in the legal inscription of the land.
  • The Stamp Duty: This is 1’5% of the evaluation of the property.
  • Architect/technician fees and form submission taxes, amongst others, should be considered when budgeting for this process.
  • Additional costs related to legal advice from your lawyer/legal team that will make the optimal and easiest process for you.

It’s important to note that this entire process must be completed prior to applying for a mortgage. This is purely because the bank will be unable to value the property until it legally exists and they have an understanding of the size and other essential details.

Assistance with the Declaracion de Obra Nueva

If you need legal guidance or assistance through the complicated process of obtaining a Declaration of a New Construction deed, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our team of qualified real estate lawyers at SpainDesk have a wealth of experience handling the documentation associated with this procedure. Contact us today for a consultation.