FAQ’s

1) Is my house legal?
If your house was newly built outside the town centre from 1975 onwards? Then it is almost certainly illegal because it was probably built on rural land (suelo rustica). It is illegal to have a new build property on rural land for any purpose other than farming**.

Owning rural land is quite acceptable and legal. It is common to have a Land Escritura. However the problems start when a house is built on that land. It is the HOUSE which is illegal, NOT the land!.

You should also have certain documents (though having these documents still does not necessarily guarantee legality.

SOHA recommends that you ALWAYS consult with the Town hall architect before applying to see if it is actually legal.

You should also have these documents (though having them still does not necessarily guarantee legality) :

a) A copy of the building licence, (licencia de obra) from your Town Hall. Otherwise your property is at risk of possible demolition especially if the building has been built without planning permission (and even with planning permission but not on urban land!) or the building work has not been finalized for 6 years.
b) A copy of the architect’s project. This describes what has been built and in accordance with particular criteria and elements.
c) An end of works certificate from the architect (Certificado Final de la Direccion de la Obra), stating that the property was finished and when.
d) A License of First Occupation. This is issued by the Town Hall after checking that the property has been built in accordance with the planning permission and the architect’s project. This is necessary to properly contract electricity and water.
e) Installation Documents for electricity and water. These are needed to show that the electricity and water installations are in order, and for you to have proper contracts with the electricity and water companies.
f) A Title Deed (Escritura) in the names of the purchasers for the house and land. The deed should have been registered at the Spanish Land Registry (Hacienda). A private contract does not provide adequate protection – the property is at risk if such a title deed has not been registered.

NOTE
Having mains supply of water or electricity does NOT indicate legality.

Having mains sewerage is a better indication of legality, but it must be MAINS, and not a large (community sized) Pozo.

Having roads, street lighting and pavements do NOT indicate legality.

Some houses, in or too near main roads, public rights of way, or green belt areas, will NEVER be legal, and indeed a few MAY need to be demolished.
** Reformed Cortijos or houses built within the footings of older dwellings are still considered as an illegal house.

Full members can send their Catastral reference to the Membership secretary of SOHA to check the legal status of your house. This is especially recommended before you purchase a house.

2) Is my Land legal?
Land is always legal. A key indicator of legality is the designation of the land on which your property was or is to be constructed. You can only construct new build property on consolidated urban land (suelo urbano consolidado).

This webpage contains general information only. Always take qualified legal advice. However we recommend that you do NOT use a lawyer recommended by any other party to the transaction and if in doubt use a lawyer based at a reasonable distance from the location of your property.

Recent Posts

2017 AGM report

Save Our Homes in Axarquia held its Annual General Meeting on Saturday 26th January at La Vinuela.  More than 100 members attended, mostly ex-patriate residents of Axarquia.
The President, Phil Smalley said that this year’s principal achievement had been to bring about the amendment to Article 185.2 of the LOUA (Andalusia’s Planning Law).  This change now permits home owners on parcelled land to apply for the designation of AFO (Asimilado Fuera de Ordinación), to avoid  the threat of demolition of their home.
He informed the meeting that SOHA will write directly to Jose Fiscal, Planning Officer to seek an urgent meeting to decide how the Junta is going to solve the problem of licences legally granted by local authorities, but later annulled by tribunals.
The Mayor of Alcaucin, and SOHA’s Spokesman Mario Blancke welcomed the support and confidence of the members at the AGM.  He explained the details of the amendment to the LOUA, calling it “a triumph for everyone”.  He went on to say that there was still a lot to be done, but that SOHA now commands respect in the Andalusian Parliament and the National Congress.
The meeting was attended by Irene Rivera, Malaga’s Deputy in the National Congress.
Irene emphasised that SOHA’s efforts were “for justice”, not only for ex-patriates, but also for a large number of Spanish who are facing the same problems.
SOHA was founded in 2008.  SOHA is a non-profit making association of mostly foreign residents, whose aim is to uphold the rights of residents of Axarquia, according to Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights, and to help those who bought their homes in good faith to protect their homes through legal action, and keep their legal title to their homes.
Images from the evening here.
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Salvemos Nuestras Casas Axarquía (SOHA) celebra su Asamblea General con asistencia de más de 100 socios
La Asamblea contó con la presencia de la Diputada por Málaga de Ciudadanos en el Congreso de los Diputados, Irene Rivera, que elogió la labor que está llevando a cabo la Asociación y destacó que esta lucha es “un tema de justicia”, no sólo de los extranjeros, sino de muchos españoles que están en su misma situación.
La Viñuela, 26 de enero de 2017. La Asociación SOHA (Save Our Homes Axarquía) celebró su Asamblea General con la presencia de más de 100 socios, la mayoría extranjeros residentes en la comarca de la Axarquía.
Su presidente, Philip Smalley, destacó el principal logro de 2016 que fue ver aprobada la enmienda al artículo 185.2 de la Ley de Ordenación Urbanística de Andalucía (LOUA) por el Parlamento de Andalucía. Esta enmienda permite a los propietarios de casas construidas sobre terrenos no urbanizables que habían sido parcelados para fines de construcción, pudieran solicitar el estado de Asimilado como Fuera de Ordenación (AFO) y así se elimina la amenaza de demolición.
Smalley avanzó que escribirán directamente al Consejero responsable de la planificación, José Fiscal, para que busque una reunión urgente para discutir cómo la Junta va a resolver el problema de las licencias legalmente otorgadas por las autoridades locales, pero posteriormente anuladas por los tribunales.
Por su parte Mario Blancke, portavoz de la Junta Directiva y alcalde Alcaucín, agradeció el apoyo de todos los socios y la confianza depositada, e indicó que “este triunfo es un triunfo de todos”. Blancke explicó a los presentes los pormenores de la enmienda aprobada, así como las demandas que todavía quedan pendientes, para lo que, añadió, están manteniendo diferentes reuniones tanto a nivel nacional, en el Congreso de los Diputados, como a nivel autonómico, con los representantes en el Parlamento Andaluz.
La Asamblea contó con la presencia de Irene Rivera, Diputada por Málaga de Ciudadanos en el Congreso, que elogió la labor que está llevando a cabo la Asociación y el tesón que están demostrando tanto su Junta Directiva como sus asociados, y destacó que esta lucha es “un tema de justicia”, no sólo de los extranjeros, sino de muchos españoles que están en su misma situación.

SOHA es una asociación sin ánimo de lucro formada por residentes, principalmente extranjeros, cuya misión es promover la protección de los derechos de los residentes en la Axarquía de acuerdo al artículo 8 de la Convención Europea de Derechos Humanos, ayudar a otros residentes a proteger sus casas por medio de acción legal u otras acciones, y realizar campañas activas para promover la amnistía a las casas de los propietarios de casas de la Axarquía.
SOHA se estableció en 2008 con el único propósito de salvar sus casas a través de medios pacíficos.