A few months ago we provided some information on a new law introduced by the Junta de Andalucía which requires sellers of property situated on rustic land to obtain a certificate from their local Town Hall known as a Declaración de Asimilado a Fuera de Ordenación (DAFO). The DAFO certificate clarifies the situation of the property and confirms that there are no problems relating to the house or the land. All sales of houses on rustic land and updates of Escritura descriptions need this certificate and for sales it is needed prior to completion. The process involves an architect producing comprehensive plans of the property, confirming that the property is habitable with a functioning bathroom and kitchen, that it has legal electricity and water connections and that it has a septic tank not a 'black hole' or 'pozo negro'. The Town Hall check their records to ensure that proper planning permission has been granted for everything in situ and there are no sanctions against the property or files open investigating issues relating to the property. The Town Hall Architect then visits the property to ensure that all of these requirements have been met before issuing the certificate. Following the issuing of a number of these certificates by Town Halls for sales over the past months, we now have more experience of what is involved. For instance if a first occupation licence was produced for a house at the time of the original purchase and you have not built anything new since, then the DAFO is not required for the sale of that property. But if you have added anything new to the building then the DAFO will be needed. Problems have been encountered when it becomes apparent that a property has been built on land declared as protected in the Plan General 2006. In these cases the DAFO cannot be issued unless the property was completed more than four years prior to the date the land was declared as protected. So if the property was built prior to the land being designated as protected then the DAFO can still be applied for. However this does not apply to houses built on land forever protected such as the national park. Before applying for the DAFO, property owners must be 100% certain that everything that has been built on their land has been in situ for more than six years – this even includes pergolas. The Town Hall will check on the overhead plans produced by the Junta de Andalucia to make sure this is the case and if something has not been in place for the requisite six years then the Town Hall may require it to be removed. This does vary from Town Hall to Town Hall so each property owner needs to check with their particular Town Hall. This information has been produced by Sunset Properties Spain in consultation with Asesoría Axarquía. We suggest that you consult your lawyer or asesoría for further a

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