AFO Certificate

What is an A F O Certificate ?

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The passing of Decree 2/2012 by the Junta de Andalucía, which is intended to regularize and recognize the situation of the properties located on land designated as rustic land (suelo no urbanizable), by means of an administrative certificate stating the legal situation of the property. We need to clarify that this certificate was only applicable to properties situated on rustic land. Though this seems to be changing.

Further to the passing of the above Decree, all the different town halls have drawn up their own regulations for the issuing of this certificate and the tax to pay to obtain the certificate. However, the drawing up of the regulations has taken longer than they thought. At the moment, most town halls are in a position to deal with the requests received for this kind of certificates. The tax to pay to obtain this certificate varies depending on the town halls in question, and the difference can be important depending on the municipality where the property is located.  The taxes range from 2.5% to 6% of the cost of the build.

To request this certificate to the town hall, you have to present a certificate issued by a qualified technician, after he has visited the property, measured it, and obtained confirmation about certain technical issues related to the property. To summarize, the content of this certificate implies the following:

– Confirmation that there is no administrative files on the part of the town hall against that construction (or any sanctions or demolition requests for that matter)
– Confirmation that any possible town planning irregularities that may have been incurred have already prescribed.
– Confirmation that the construction complies with the minimum requirements established as far as habitability and health conditions are concerned.
– Confirmation on the kind of works that can be carried out at the property: only renovation works.
In no case extension or structural works.

Actually, this AFO Certificate does not change the legal situation of the property, or add any extra rights to the existing ones.
That is to say, the construction which complies with the above and is duly registered, does not become “more legal” by obtaining this document.

However, this document will be from now on the written confirmation by the town hall in relation to the situation of properties on rustic land.
Furthermore, utility companies (water and electricity) are requesting this document when receiving applications for connections and similar procedures.
Likewise, should a license to carry out renovation works on an existing property be applied, town halls are also requesting to see the AFO certificate before they can issue the requested license.

All in all, although this certificate does not change the legal situation of the property, it is becoming a common practice to obtain this certificate as part of the purchase transactions. Hence, it is advisable to obtain this certificate for future procedures.

We can find the case of properties which are fully registered and have been legal for many years, and the possible purchaser may request this new certificate to complete the purchase.

It is difficult to say how long the town hall will take to issue this new certificate, and it may vary from one town hall to another. This may cause a delay on some real estate transactions.

I trust the above information was useful to you and helped you understand what this type of certificate involves, and which is talked about a lot within the rustic real estate section (houses in the countryside).