Byplanlægningsmæssige ulovligheder på Mallorca har udløst en krig mellem sælgere, inspektører og købere. Midt i dette kaos føler jeg mig som en detektiv på trods af, at jeg er advokat, når jeg forsøger at sikre, at ejendommen, min klient vil købe, er lovlig.

The days of illegal construction being allowed in Mallorca ARE OVER.

UPDATE: September 2018: Illegal home demolitions (in Mallorca) grow by 800%. (Read it in local news) 

(…) «The Consell (Gov. of Mallorca), through the Agència de Defensa del Territori, has launched the hunt for offenders in a determined way and without concessions. And it has gone all the way. So far in the legislature 168 demolition executions have already been carried out, something never seen before on the island.

In the previous legislature there were 19. This is an exponential growth approaching 800 percent. Of these 168 demolitions, all but one have been carried out by the owners, since in 2016 the figure of coercive fines has been set in motion. A maximum of twelve can be imposed on the owner if he does not knock himself down, which is what almost everyone has ended up doing.»

A few years ago, when a purchaser asked about the legal status of a property before buying it, the answer was always the same “Don’t worry. Mallorca has plenty of properties with illegal parts, but nobody cares”.
And maybe that WAS true in the past, but NOT ANY MORE.

.-The Consell de Mallorca (Mallorca’s regional government) is taking this matter very seriously. It’s making a big effort to track down illegal properties and then act accordingly. In fact, this legislation has doubled the staff at the Agency responsible for combating illegal construction on the island.

War in Mallorca to illegal urbanism based on fines and demolitions
Demolition announced in twitter

.- Only at the session of February 24th 2017 did the Territory Defence Agency of Mallorca (“Agencia de defensa del territorio de Mallorca”) order the demolition of seven constructions built without a license.
They also regularly announce on Twitter and facebook any buildings or parts of buildings that were knocked down on their orders.

.-In the first 6 months of 2016 the number of files on violations of construction plans grew by 250 % if you compare them with the whole of 2015.

So. Buy or not? 

Buy, of course. Be sure to hire a specialized lawyer to avoid buying illegal property.

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-Am I responsible for any illegal building done by a former owner?

If you buy a property and any part of it is illegal, the penalty will be incurred by the one who carried out the building works without a license. So the penalty will be incurred by the former owner, not you.
But if the right of the administration to order the demolition has not expired, or if the proeperty is in a protected area where the right of order the demolition will never expire then YOU MAY have to knock it down/demolish it and also pay for the costs.
But also, if the right of the administration to order the demolition has expired, then if in the future you ask for any building permits for your property, the administration may ask you to demolish any illegal parts as a previous condition of your being granted a permit. Although the administration may not be able to ask you to knock down the illegal parts of your property, but you will never be able to make any improvements or carry out any building works on it.

-The vendor told me 100% of the property had been registered with the Property Registry. I read the entry and the description matches reality.

Be careful. Just because your property is registered with the Property Registry and with the Cadaster does not mean that it is 100% legal. Only by checking the original building license at the Town Hall and aerial pictures (of very old properties) is it possible to be sure about the legality of a property.

-The vendor gave me a Town Hall certificate stating that there are NO FILES CONCERNING INFRINGEMENTS OF URBAN PLANNING. So, is my property 100% legal?

NO. When the owner asks for this certificate, the Town Hall simply checks whether there are any files in their computer records referring to that property. This means they never notice any illegalities, although of course there may be some. Also, if they discover any illegalities in the future they will open a file.
That is why it is strongly recommended not to buy any property without hiring an expert Real Estate Solicitor.

-Infractions are only in rural areas?

NO. Infractions are also found in urban areas.

So, before you buy a property, make sure it’s 100% legal.

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