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Author: Sarah Last updated: Mon 08 Feb 03:20
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Renovating a house... Do I need a license?

  • Renovating a house, do I need a license?

If you are planning on building your new home, then the first step that you will need to take is to get yourself a building licence. Nothing in life is ever easy, however, and so there are other licenses that you will need at various stages as you progress, such as proof build or end of works to achieve the coveted "licence of first occupation".

This final license will ensure that you can have all of the services connected and, of course, that your house is legal. As well as licences several insurances will need to be taken care of. To make certain that your home build is correctly carried out, and legally, be sure to make use of a good architect who follows the laws and regulations of your local town hall, and the college of architects.

  • Architect licenses

Also, do use a license for an architect, even if the work being carried out is inside the home such as replacing a bathroom or kitchen. Licences are going to be required for the majority of building work, even for something as relatively simple as erecting a shed in the garden. If you carry such work, without a licence, you could find yourself being heavily fined.

  • Townhall licences

Licences from your local town hall are also needed, for most work within the building. These will either be minor (Obra menor) or major (Obra mayor). Businesses that are carrying out the work, or the architect if the work is Obra mayor, will need to inform the local community and get permission.

It should be noted however that it is the owners of the contractors themselves that are responsible for obtaining the required licenses before any work starts so you need to make sure they are legally able to carry out any work, especially if you work with freelancers.

You will also need a licence if there is going to be a skip placed on a public road.

  • Hiring and paying workers

If you are hiring workers yourself, rather than using a contractor business, it is your responsibility to check their legality (registered as being self-employed – Autonomo). Ask for a quote in writing, not verbal, with IVA, and their full details including NIE/NIF or CIF number.

You should also make arrangements for payments to be made in instalments, relating to stages of work completed, by bank transfer. If you do not the Tax Office will not be able to accept them if you want them to be tax-deductible. 

Ask the people carrying out the work if they liability insurance and if they are fit to carry out the work and they are not on sick leave (or, de Baja). You need to check this because hiring somebody that is receiving sickness benefits is a serious offence – so be sure to check.

It is also worth making a note of the fact that workmen should be carrying a card with them that says they have been on a safety at work course (prevención de riesgos laborales). And yes, ask for that too and make sure that it is in date.

It should go without saying that you should avoid any workmen or contractors that are not willing to share any of the above with you.

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