The certificate of habitability
Also called “Cédula de habitabilidad” in Mallorca
Everyone has heard this document, whether from the authorities, an architect or acquaintances who have bought a house in Mallorca. The Certificate of Habitability (in Spanish “Cédula de habitabilidad”) is a document that a property meets the minimum requirements to live in it. There are several conditions that must be met, and these have become more stringent over the years.
Why is the certificate of habitability so important?
The document is important, because without the certificate you can have problems to get a water connection, electricity connection or gas connection. Many people see this document also as a security in a real estate purchase, so it is also advantageous if you want to sell your property and get a good price (so probably sell faster on average).
Is the property legal with a certificate of habitability?
No, not necessarily (although in most cases it is). A legal property also usually has a cédula/habitability certificate, but the document in itself does not assure 100% legality of the property. There are several other factors that are important and need to be reviewed, so we always recommend having a professional and reputable realtor, attorney or architect on your side to review these factors.
How do I get a certificate of habitability?
Necessary documents and requirement
Generally, one needs plans/project of the property, a description from an architect/aparejador and the energy certificate all of which is submitted to the authority. After that, in some cases, the property is checked if everything fits by an expert from the authority (usually architect or structural engineer from the city hall).
It is best to consult a trusted architect or “aparajedor”/statistician.
Is the document time limited?
YES! Every 10 years the certificate of habitability must be renewed (for this it is usually enough to register it, and usually there is not even a check, because the authority assumes that everything fits). You must not miss this date, because if something like this happens, a completely new one must be requested.
Pay special attention to this in old properties!
Pay special attention to this in old properties. Previously, these documents were issued without much verification, so it may happen that old properties have the certificate but do not fully comply with the conditions.
This means, of course, that as long as you extend the certificate of habitability, you will not have any problems. However, if it expires and you request a new one, but the inspection finds problems, there can be real problems.
Conclusion about the certificate of habitability
It is definitely a document that in most cases gives you a good security when you buy a property. Nevertheless, best to discuss with their real estate experts!