As explained above in the section "Who are we" Mrs Katja Range has successfully qualified as Expert in Town Planning and Development of Real Estate Projects ("Experto en Urbanismo y Desarrollos Inmobiliarios") in the business school "IPE=Instituto de Práctica Empresarial" of Málaga in 2001-2002, constantly keeping up to date through further courses and seminars about changes and improvements in the corresponding laws. (Direct link to the certificate: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?5wo8qvbobduw228 Therefore in addition to finding the right property for you, we are able to include in our service the advice whether or not any suitable property may or not be affected by regulations of the corresponding General Plan of the Town (PGOU) or the new Infrastructure Plan for the Western Costa del Sol (POTA).

In which way could a property be affected by Town Planning issues?

PGOU = The General Plan of a town (“Plan General de Ordenación Urbanística)

This plan stipulates, amongst many other details, for which type of building the different plots of land are qualified. It establishes how many storeys or maximum height it can have, the maximum amount of allowed total built m2 for the same ("edificabilidad"), the maximum m2 of the plot allowed to be occupied by the ground floor of the property, any other outbuildings, terraces and the pool ("ocupación"), the minimum amount of m2 to maintain to public and private borders and many more details.

It also shows which plots are qualified for residential use, public or private green areas, equipment areas for the Town Hall (educational, sportive, social services), commercial areas, new roads, etc.

When we show you a property we are therefore able to inform you for example in the case of villas, whether or not they could still legally be extended or whether they may already be "overbuilt" and how we can double check that this fact does not affect you in any negative way, making sure that the overbuilt size has either already been legalized or that it will be during your possible purchase process, so that you would never have any problem with such issues in the future.

We are also able to correctly inform you about whether or not for example a plot in front of it is really an open public green area, where nothing can be built, or whether it is a residential plot and what could be built on. We do not just only "guess or say" something to you, we will prove it to you with an extract copy of the correspondent General Plan. This way we make sure that you will know in detail what could happen "around" the property that you may be interested in.

In the case of apartment or town house developments, as well as for villas, it is also very important to find out whether they have a First Occupation License or not. This is a license granted by the Town Hall after completion of any building, having inspected the property to be constructed according to the project and license that was granted, that it has been constructed in a secure and safe way to be able to live in it and that any infrastructure work requested around it has been carried out correctly.

Although this license has been established in Spanish Law in 1937 (first called "cédula de habitabilidad", later changed into "licencia de primera ocupación") still many even relatively new built properties do not have this license. This can be a problem when re-selling or if you would like to finance the property, for example, as nearly all banks will ask immediately for this license as part of the documentation they require to give you finance.

We will make sure that you will be correctly informed about the full legal situation of the property you would like to purchase. In case there may be any legality to be sorted out we will inform you and your lawyer accordingly and help you to solve the situation. Often a certain amount of the purchase price is withheld at the Notary and not passed over to the seller in order to be able to pay with this money for the process needed to obtain any missing documentation.

Example of an extract of the General Plan (PGOU) of Benahavís:

Special case of Marbella

As you may have heard over the past years, in Marbella many properties were built on plots of land that in the last, from the Andalusia Government as legal accepted, General Plan of 1986 were not qualified for that sort of use, mainly increasing the occupation and m2 built, often having built apartments or townhouse developments where before only low density villa use was foreseen.

The new General Plan (PGOU) of Marbella finally approved in 2010 foresees for approximately 18.000 properties (mainly apartment or townhouse developments) that they have to COMPENSATE the Town Hall for having built more m2 than the allowed ones in order to be able to "normalise" their situation and also obtain a First Occupation License.

Every case has its own technical details sheet of how to solve the situation of the development, which is normally carried out by compensation payments directly to the Town Hall, but also by having to purchase plots of land somewhere else in the Town and grant them for free to the Town Hall, that will use them as public green areas, equipment plots (educational, sportive, social services) or for new roads.

In the same way as explained above regarding the First Occupation License, due to our experience and knowledge in terms of Town Planning Regulations we are able to explain you in detail in which way a development may be affected by compensation issues and what we can do to prevent you from being affected in the future for any part of compensation payment. The developers of those properties should carry out those compensation payments, but often they have either disappeared or are in bankruptcy, which is why at the end of the day the compensation payment could be knocked down to each single property owner.

Again in such cases we will be able to advise you what amount of money the property you may be interested in could be liable for. As explained above this money could be retained from the purchase price at the Notary and put on reserve for any payment that may arise until the paperwork problem has been sorted completely. Only the balance would be paid to the seller, once the full process of "normalisation" and "compensation" has been carried out.

Example for an extract of the General Plan (PGOU) of Marbella:

Example for a technical sheet explaining how to solve a compensation issue:

POTA = PLAN DE ORDENACIÓN DEL TERRITORIO ANDALUZ (New Infrastructure Plan for the Western Costa del Sol)

This plan has been developed by the Andalusia Government. In hierarchy it is situated higher in law than the General Plans (PGOU) of the towns, which have to submit themselves to this plan.

We often wish this plan would have been issued already in the 70’s, as it restricts new building activity on the coast very much and shows how many areas are now environmentally protected areas (no residential developments could be built there). It also defines the areas that are already urban land and where construction could still take place, but with such low parameters for the 8 years the plan is valid for, that it reduces the amount of possible new developments heavily.

In addition this plan is very important for us, as we can show our clients the new infrastructure works foreseen in this plan, like new vertical and horizontal roads for better communications, the new railway line to be built between Fuengirola and Estepona, new industrial areas, etc.

Unfortunately we often have to see that our clients have been offered so called "bargains" without being told that in the future they may be badly affected by those new infrastructure measures, for example:

etc., etc., etc. There are REASONS for many of the so called "bargains", but unfortunately you are not told so.

In Spain still nobody is legally responsible to inform you about neither any affection by the above explained General Plan of a town (PGOU), neither by any affection in relationship with the new infrastructure plan POTA. This is not part of the "due diligence" you may know from other countries like Great Britain, for example. Neither the lawyer nor the Notary will look into these details. They limit their work to make sure the property is sold without any debts on community fees, local rates, rubbish collection fee, water, electricity, pending mortgages, etc.

Please do not understand us wrongly: to double check the exemption of the property is very important, and we will also always help to do so, but WE understand that it is at least, if not even more important to also double check whether or not you are going to be affected by a future railway, industrial estate or possible expropriation due to new roads or infrastructure being requested by the Andalusia Government.

Extract of the POTA for the Western Costa del Sol:

All the above mentioned you cannot see on nice pictures on the internet or in nicely prepared property descriptions. Even if you are at the property and everything around it looks nice and safe, built up and fine, you CANNOT KNOW whether or not it is affected by any compensation issue, like in Marbella for example, or any of the new infrastructure plans of the Andalusia Government. Lawyers and Notaries will in 90 % of the cases not even know where your property is located; neither do they ever go out to view it. They are also in the vast majority not trained in "Urbanismo"= Town Planning Regulations.

For all these reasons and having qualified as Expert in "Urbanismo" = Town Planning Regulations, Mrs Katja Range will always include in the services of REAL TIME REALTY the additional advise and necessary checks on all the above mentioned issues for you.

Hassle-free property purchase and peace of mind of our clients is of utmost importance to us!

REAL TIME REALTY does not only show you the properties in REAL TIME, all the information we give you about the property will be REAL.

We include this service for free for our clients purchasing or selling their property through us.

In case you may not be a purchasing or selling client, but nevertheless would like us to give you advice or a report regarding a certain property or questions you may have in this field, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Katja Range for an estimate.

HERE WE ARE ON SKYPE for you: realtimerealty

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(Saturdays: time to be agreed upon request)