We all know that permission is required to construct or alter your property here in Spain. That even includes building or extending a wall.
Pam and I wanted to replace our wooden shed with a brick built one but we could not get permission for it to be in the same place. Local regulations say that any permanent enclosed construction must be at least 1.5m from the boundaries of your property. Thankfully, wooden sheds are not classed as permanent.
You regularly read about Brits who have had storage built or porches enclosed being made to demolish them. I even recall reading about one couple who had to demolish a pool because they did not have the proper licences in place. Remember, the responsibility lies with the owner to obtain permission - not the builder.
Now we want the house painting outside to cover up the render that has stained with the rain. Our near neighbour does all sorts or repairs and constructions so we asked him.
Yesterday, he came with the man who will be doing the painting to measure up which I thought was strange. It turns out though that you need permission from the town hall to paint your house and you have to pay a fee based on the quantity of paint and other materials used.Without permission, we could face the possibility of a fine being imposed.
You may ask, "how do they know that alterations have been made?"
Of course, a neighbour or the police may well inform the town hall if they see the work being done but it is even clever than that. Town halls use aerial photos from Google and Cadastral to compare your property with the state it should be in.
So that outbuilding at the rear of your property that you thought was out of sight will show up and could be discovered years even after it was built. It used to be the case that, if five years had passed since the construction, then you were exempt. Valencian law was changed and that period is now 15 years.
PS If you want to see what is on record go to https://www1.sedecatastro.gob.es/OVCFrames.aspx?TIPO=CONSULTA
Select Localizacion and type in your details: province, town street and number to find details of your property including a photo of it from the road and an aerial photo (which in our case is not at all clear).