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In Andalucia, as well as in many other regions in Spain, there are plenty of constructions built with the proper building license. These constructions can be subjected to fines, penalizations, or even orders to demolish them by the administration.

In 2012, the Regional Government established a procedure of legalization of properties called “DECLARACION DE SITUACION ASIMILADA A FUERA DE ORDENACIÓN”  – DAFO.

Basically, the administration of Andalucia allows those constructions being built without the proper building license (even sometimes built in protected areas)  to avoid being demolished, in the case that they are old properties and that the property was not subject to a demolition expedient.

Usually, the time requested from the construction to be part of this legalization process is 6 years from its construction.

So, for example, constructions built more than 6 years from now, which have not been subjected to a demolition order, then can take part of this process of legalization.

For this, what the owner has to do is presenting a project to the administration to try to have the house legally “consolidated”. If approved, then the Spanish authorities consider the construction with the DAFO, which, as results  it obtains the consideration of “House which can be used to live, and without possibilities of being demolished by the administration”.

In the event that the owner obtains a positive result, the owner obtains the consideration of “Fuera de ordenación” or “out-normative“. This type of consideration applies to constructions that “legally consolidated by their age” , so, consecquenly, not subjected to eventual demolition orders from the administration.

For these types of properties, although the administration confirms with the DAFO that they will never be demolished,  and due to the fact that they were built without a building permit, the town hall allows interior reforms only for security or sanitary reasons, but not structural reforms, or other construction extensions , nor any other constructions as garages, swimming pools, etc.

As these are quite old buildings, the town hall takes into account that these properties have been legalized with the time. In other words, since they are considered as “old buildings”, these constructions are legally consolidated at the time, even without meeting the construction normative.

Thus, from a legal point of view, if case these properties have no any “recent” fines for its construction currently affecting the property, there will be no action that the town hall can take against this property because of its age, for example, future fines or demolition orders for the existing constructions.

Which are the consequences derived from DAFO?

So, with the DAFO all these properties are perfectly legalized?

No. The property with DAFO will continue to be “out of normative,”, and for this, the town hall will never approve a license to reform essential structural elements of the building such as foundations, roof, etc. The town hall will admit limited “reforms” for security or sanitary reasons,  and to “repair” the existing structure, but neither to “remove” the old parts of the house, nor to build new ones, nor even re-built the construction.

For example, in the event of an accident or natural disasters (floods, etc.) that may affect the house on its structure, the town hall cannot give the right to “rebuild” the property. So, in conclusion, the town hall allows internal reforms to maintain construction, but not structural reforms such as property, foundations, change of roof, etc.

Therefore, we recommend that you ask the insurance company that natural and other disasters that could affect existing buildings are covered by the compulsory home insurance that must be taken out when buying the house. 

CONSEQUENCES OF HOMES CONSIDERED “OUT OF NORMATIVE”:

The existing constructions are respected in their size, but it is not possible to build a new construction element or even to enlarge the existing ones.

– Also, therefore, the Town Hall respects the existing constructions, but they cannot be enlarged. Thus, new constructions in the property cannot be built.

– The City Council allows internal reforms on these types of properties. But, due to the fact that the property is non-normative, the town hall will not approve a license to reform the “essential structural parts” of the building like the foundation, the roof, etc. The town hall will admit to “reforming” the existing house, and “repairing” the existing structure, but not “removing” old rooms to install new ones. For example, in the event that there is a “fire”, or a flood that could affect the house on its structure, the town hall may not give the right to “rebuild” the property. Thus, as a conclusion, the town hall authorizes internal reforms to maintain the construction, but not structural reforms from bines, foundations, change of roof, etc.

– One of the conditions for obtaining the “non-normative” consideration is to prove that the property has not been penalized during the 15 years following construction.

Its DAFO the same as a CERTIFICATE OF HABITATION?

The Certificate of Habitation is a document issued by the town hall of the area where they confirm that the property meets the housing requirements.

This document is also required to connect water and electricity to the property and to make changes to water and electricity contracts in your name.

DAFO properties will NEVER obtain the “Certificat d’Habitation” (CH). But, as explained above, DAFO provides the official authorization to use and live in the property with the same effects as a “Certificate of Habitation.