What is the Certificate of Occupancy?

Today we would like to talk about the Certificate of Occupancy, the administrative document that proves that a home meets the minimum conditions of occupancy provided by current regulations and qualifies it as suitable to be used as a residence for letting.  We spoke with the architect Daniel Osete who explained everything we needed to know and, above all, the problems that can arise without this certificate. It is worth noting that the processing of this document can take up to a minimum of two months and must be obtained when we buy or sell a property if we wish to rent it out. The document is also required even for registering the basic supplies of water, light and gas.

We will begin by explaining the three most typical reasons for obtaining it.  The first is when we have built or carried out major works on a house.  Once the Certificate of Work Completion is issued by the architect and the house has been inspected by the City Council and they have issued a First Occupancy Certificate, we can then go to the Insular Council of Menorca where we will be given the Certificate of Occupancy.

The second reason is to do with renewal as the occupancy certificate expires after ten years. If no changes have been made to the conditions of occupancy of the house (modification of rooms, extensions etc.) we will have to ask a technician to certify the parameters of the property haven’t changed and we can then ask the Council to renew it for a further ten years.

The third reason deals with properties built prior to 1987 and would not have required a certificate.  We must go to the town hall to obtain a Certificate of “Lack” and then to the Insular Council to obtain the Certificate of Occupancy.

It may seem that there aren’t too many complications, but the real headaches will start if we have lost the document or it was not given to us by the previous owner.  The other problem will be if the house has had changes made that have not been notified, for example an extension, a garage etc.  These must be legalized before the entire process can be started.

Anyway, the best thing that we can do is consult a trusted technician to help us with the relevant paperwork.

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