Structural soundness certificate for old buildings

In Catalonia, owners of over 45 year-old buildings must obtain a structural soundness certificate from the Catalan Agency of Housing to show that the building meets all the legal requirements for building safety, health and aesthetics.

This obligation affects both owners of single-family detached houses and units in a commonhold building (in this case, it is the responsibility of the commonhold association). To obtain the certificate, the owners must get a specialist to draft a report on the state of maintenance and conservation of the building, the improvement in its sustainability and eco-efficiency, and the assessment of basic accessibility conditions. The report must state how often these actions are performed.

This certificate is not required in only two cases: 1) detached houses where the main building is at least 1.5 metres from any roadway, public-use area and neighbouring property, 2) detached houses that have a certificate of habitability that was in force when the building reached 45 years of age (until the certificate of habitability expires). The term of 45 years starts from the date of construction or any comprehensive refurbishment of the building.

The owners of the building pay for the technical inspection. However, there is currently no fee for applying for the structural soundness certificate. If you as an owner do not have this certificate when you should, you may be fined.

If the certificate states that the building is structurally unsound, the owners must agree to a refurbishment plan within one year, six months if the defects are serious. This plan must be overseen by qualified specialists. If no serious defects are found, the structural soundness certificate is valid for 10 years. After this period, it must be renewed.

Carlos Prieto Cid – Your legal adviser in Spain

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