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BUYING PROPERTIES IN CATRAL, DOLORES, CREVILLENTE AND REDOVAN

This is a small guide about the type of properties in VEGA BAJA. An area whcih covers properties placed in Ciudad Quesada, Algorfa, Benijofar, Catral, Almoradí, Benferri, Rojales, Benejuzar,  La Marina, Ciudad Quesada, Guardamar, Orihuela Redován, Callosa, Crevillente, considering the main legal aspects for conveyance, made by our lawyers.

If you are interested to buy or to sell a property placed in Vega Baja,  TLACORP will help you to take a final purchase or sale decision.

The area of Costa Blanca South is covered by our offices in Torrevieja-Ciudad Quesada, perfectly connected by Highway. Visit our offices in Torrevieja will not take too long from Rojales, Ciudad Quesada or Algorfa, and, if arranged, one of our lawyers can visit the same property and meeting you there, avoiding you to move to our office.

This area covers a wide range of properties, which passes from rustic, to apartments, bungalows, urbanizations,  etc. Let us detail the main legal aspects of each of these properties:

This area covers a wide range of properties, which passes from rustic, to apartments, bungalow, urbanizations, Golf Courses, etc. Let us detail the main legal aspects of each of these properties:

This area covers a wide range of properties, which passes from rustic, to apartments, bungalows, urbanizations,  etc. Let us detail the main legal aspects of each of these properties:

– Old urbanizations and traditional holiday homes buildings: This is the area covering  Ciudad Quesada (the old part) , Rojales, Montesinos, La Marina, Algorfa, etc.

The type of constructions and properties there use to be second residences, or holiday homes, and residency properties.

A) The traditional type of residence areas are initially owned by Spanish, mainly coming from Elche, Alicante, Madrid, and Northern Spain, and foreigners coming from enter-North Europe. Overall in areas like Ciudad Quesada, La Marina, Algorfa, Benijofa, Benejuzar,  and Rojales. These types of properties use to be bungalows, and apartments, near the beach, and built usually before the «Spanish boom» (before 2000).

In a conveyance, with a decision to buy, and out of the normal legal searches to be done in these kind of properties, below there are important points to check:

– Legal and administrative study the history of the construction. To know how the property was built, and how it was developed. It is essential to discover if the property was extended, or if the terrace was covered, or if the porch is now a kitchen, or if the underneath is now a room . This will help to know if the previous owners have made all those works with he proper licenses, or, in instance, if there is any fine or penalty ending on these properties caused for a default of the proper permit.

Also, to know if there is any modification of the initial structure, will help to indentify if the deeds are properly updated with the current situation of the building.

In addition to this, if the property has a penalty for construction, the Town Hall can refuse to renew the Certificate of Habitation, and the new owners can have future problems to renew utility contracts.

– Water and electric contracts: As these are old properties, the supplying companies can ask the buyers to update the installation to change the contracts after completion. This may cause expenses like electrician, or plumber fees, to inspect the property, and others like re-wiring, which, if known before completion, could form part of the commercial agreement of price with the vendor.

– Plusvalia: If the property is old, and is owned by the same owners for a long time, then this tax will be high. This municipality tax must be paid by the vendors, but, knowing this from the beginning will help to take the necessary guaranties to be paid by the vendor.

– Community of owners: It will be very important to know, not only if the vendor is up-to-date in the payments of the community, but to big or important partial payments in the reform or maintenance of the community areas (terraces, façades, parkings, etc), which not always appear in the certifications made from the community of owners.

B) New areas from Algorfa, Ciudad Quesada New, La Marquesa, and other new urbanized areas: This area is considering new urbanizations created with the Spanish boom, sometimes in big urbanizations, like the one from La Marquesa in Rojales.

The important legal aspects to consider at time to buy these kind of properties are the following:

– The property must be perfectly inscribed in the land registry, as «completed house». It means that the property has been registered, and the builder supplied the Final Works License, the  Ten Years Insurance (Insurance which covers during 10 years the structural defects of the building), and the Certificate of Habitation.

– Community areas: The community areas like Golf Courses, commercial areas, pool, gardens, etc, must be completed, or in process to be.

Also, is very important to «read» the community rules to see, for example, if your neighbor can run a business which can disturb you, or if dogs are allowed, etc.

– Community charges: These kind of properties can have high expenses of maintenance. It is very important to know them in the initial steps of conveyance.

– Limitations and rights of use: These areas use to have big infrastructure of electric, water, sewage, rubbish collection, which can affect your property.

Other essential points to consider when buying in the area:

  • Urbanization charges and works: There are some areas, overall  in which the property may have pending urbanization costs and/or urbanization works to be finished, and on the account of the owner!. So, please, take duly care with this.
  • Certificate of Habitation: Even being properties built with the proper building license, there are some complications at time to obtain the NEW certificate of habitation.

As explained above, in URBAN areas from Costa Blanca South,  it is very important to check that the urbanisation where the property is located has all the urbanisation infrastructure completed, such as: roads, pavement, asphalt, connection to mains sewage system, water, electric. The urbanisation infrastructure of these areas was developped time ago, and sometimes it does not fulfill with the modern standards. So, it is quite common to find properties where the owners have to «give» some part of their plots to have bigger roads, or to «pay» some urbanisation infrastrcutures like connection to sewage, pedestrian areas, etc.  You are kindly invited to know more about this point in our specialised section: Semi-consolidated urbanisations.

Properties in Rustic areas and countryside: Special considerations must be made in areas from Catral, Dolores, Redován, Callosa del Segura, Crevillente, etc.

The area of Vega Baja is an area which some risk of flooding. In fact, in recent years, there have been some floodings due to the impact of hard rain in the Segura and Vinolopó River. So, it is very important that the construction is elevated from the land in at least 1,5 m high. Installing a fence which can avoid eventual water entries could also reduce the impact of flooding in the area.

Also, Catral, Dolores, Redovan and Crevillente area is an area where there were hundrends of properties built with no license. In rustic land areas is very common finding properties with no license, as owners of the area, were building their houses in the countryside as a «second home» or a «vacational house» for the weekends. So, they were not paying attention to fulfill the Spanish laws. Some of these houses can be legalized if they were built with determinate time and following determinate procedure. They can even obtain a certificate of habitation, if some essential conditions are fullfiled.

But, there are other constructions which were built in the years 2002-2006, mainly in the Catral area, but also in the area of Crevillente, Redovan, Orihuela, and Callosa del Segura, which have some problems to be legalized, due to the fact that they were fined, even with orders of demolition, from the part of the Regional Government.

These properties have been created using what we call: HORIZONTAL DIVISION. This is a way to create «urbanisations» in an area in which an urbanisation is not possible. In these kind of «small urbanisations», owners  have the 100 % of the constructions, but the areas destined to garden, pool, etc, is «shared»  with the rest of the neighbours, because is considered as «communal area». For more information about this issue visit our specialized section Horizontal Division in rustic land areas

There have been several trials from the local Town Halls to legalize these kind of properties in this situation (between 1.500 – 2.000 properties in the area), but by the moment, there is not any formal plan ready to legalize them (Information from March 2020).

By the moment, although there are administrative orders of demolitions issued on these properties, the Town Hall respects the existing constructions, but the edification cannot be extended. So, new constructions on the property cannot be built. It is allowed inside reforms on these kind of properties, but not extensions, constructions of other buildings like garages, pools, etc.

But, because these properties are out of normative, the Town Hall will not approve a license to reform essential structural parts from the building like foundations, roof, etc. The Town Hall will admit to “reform” the existing house, and “repairing” the existing structure, but not “remove” from the old parts to install new ones. For example, in the case there is a natural disaster, or inundation which may affect the house on its structure, the Town Hall may not give rights to “rebuild” the property.  So, as conclusion, the Town Hall allows internal reforms to maintain the construction, but not structural reforms from bines, foundations, change of roof, etc. Due to this fact, we recommend you instruct your insurance company that natural disasters and others affecting the existing constructions has to be covered by the obligatory insurance to contract to the house on completion.

Also, remember that the area is in a «medium-high» risk of flooding, so the importance to have an insurance to cover this risk is essential.

Consequences of houses considered “out of normative”:

  • If the constructions have not been penalised in 15 years, it is not possible to be penalised later, or demolished by the Spanish system. It is legally consolidated by the time.
  • Existing constructions are respected in their size, but it is not possible to build a new construction element or even to extend the existing ones.
  • Also, due this fact, the Town Hall respects the existing constructions, but cannot be extended. So, new constructions in the property cannot be built.
  • The Town Hall allows inside reforms on these kind of properties. But, due to the fact that the property is out of normative, the Town Hall will not approve a license to reform “essential structural parts” from the building like foundations, roof, etc. The Town Hall will admit to “reform” the existing house, and “repairing” the existing structure, but not “remove” from the old parts to install new ones. For example, in the case that there is a “fire”, or inundation which may affect the house on its structure, the Town Hall may not give rights to “rebuild” the property. So, as conclusion, the Town Hall allows internal reforms to maintain the construction, but not structural reforms from bines, foundations, change of roof, etc.
  • The property receives the consideration of “out of normative” when it has not been penalised during the 15 years after construction. For this, a certificate from the Town Hall is needed to verify this point. It is called “Certificate of non-Infraction”, and we have already applied for this certificate, but the Town Hall may take 4-8 weeks average to produce that document.
  • The property has not “Certificate of Habitation”. For your information, this is a document issued by the Town Hall where they confirm that the property fulfils with the habitation requirements. This document is also needed to connect water and electricity on the property and to make the changes of the water and electric contracts in your name. This is explained below.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO LEGALIZE THESE PROPERTIES?

Said this, there is a REGIONAL CONSTRUCTION LAW approved in 2019, which «opens» the possibility to Town Halls in the area to legalize these properties. This law is issued in Valencia Regional Government, and gives the chance to the local Town Halls in the area to develop «Plans of Urbanisations» in the area in order to «convert» these non-recognized-urbanisations in perfect and completed urbanisations.

Following recent normative, this kind of “group of houses” must be improved in urbanized infrastructure in order to give owners a better and more comfortable use of their properties. So, there are high possibilities that in the near future the Town Hall may request the owners to make/pay some works to improve the infrastructure pavement, public lights, infrastructure for potable water, connection to public sewage and so forth.

Just to point out that the most expensive cost of urbanisation is the connection to mains sewage system from the Town. As these properties are quite far away from the Town, in other areas where these kind of urbanisation has been approved,  by the moment is accepted that, instead of connecting with the main sewage system, to allow owners to install septic tank to deal with  wasted water.

Usually, septica tanks in the area are not officially installed ones with EC (European Community) Certification. So, we think that in the future the Town Hall could ask to install a modern septic tank adapted to new regulations.

Please note that the Spanish system requires vendors to provide the certificate of habitation only to the sales of new properties. So, in the case of a builder who sells a new property to a particular, the notary will require the builder to provide the certificate of habitation to complete the purchase. But, this obligation is not required to the seller in case of resales, as this case.

As these property are now “out of normative”, then, there is no certification of habitation issued on these properties. In order to obtain this document, it will be necessary to complete the urbanisation works for the whole urbanisation, and legalising the existing houses.

But, if the houses in the area are improved with the urbanisation works required by future normative, they will have the following benefits:

  •  The house will be considered a “totally legal” house, so it will not be anymore considered as “out of normative”, so, it will be allowed existing constructions to be rebuilt, structural reforms, etc.
  • The property will have the Certificate of Habitation

It will be necessary to see what kind of works the Town Hall will  project to ask to the owners, and who will pay for it. In this moment, this is not confirmed yet.

For more information regarding conveyance, visit our Property Law section.

TLACORP is at your entire disposal, in our office in CIUDAD QUESADA-TORREVIEJA, with special fees, for properties placed in this area.

Just contact us for quotation