The Junta de Andalucía recently introduced a new law requiring sellers of property situated on rustic land (any land that is not within the urban boundary) to obtain a certificate from their local town hall known as a Asimilado a Fuera de Ordenación (AFO).
The AFO certificate clarifies the situation or status of the property and confirms that there are no problems relating to the house or the land.
All property sales of houses on rustic land, properties where a certificate of first occupation cannot be obtained and properties requiring updates of Escritura (title deeds) descriptions will need this certificate. If an offer is agreed on such a property, the AFO will be required prior to completion.
As the AFO can take some time to obtain it is advisable to start the application process before the house is offered for sale. Sellers need to apply for the certificate at their local town hall either in person or through a lawyer or architect.
For houses already on the market, the application process should be started as soon as possible. Alternatively, the process can be started once a buyer has been found however this may delay completion of the sale quite significantly and the speed with which certificates are issued depends on the area in which the property is located.
The first step involves employing an architect to visit the property to:
- Produce comprehensive plans of the property.
- Confirm that the property is habitable with a functioning bathroom and kitchen.
- Confirm that the property has legal electricity and water connections.
- Confirm that the property has proper waste disposal for sewage - a septic tank not a ‘pozo negro’.
This information is then submitted to the town hall along with documents including a copy of the Escritura, Catastro plans, latest IBI bill (paid) and NIE certificates.
In order to issue the AFO certificate the town hall will check its records to ensure that:
- Proper planning permission has been granted for everything in situ.
- There are no sanctions against the property or files open investigating issues relating to the property.
This law also applies to description updates so if anything has been added to the property such as a pool, bedroom, dining room, bathroom, storage room or garage then the AFO certificate may also be required.
With regard to cost, each town hall has its own scale of charges which can vary considerably so the cost of the certificate will be determined by where the property is located. Every property is different and as such it is difficult to estimate the total cost of obtaining the AFO certificate as it will depend on the circumstances and location of the property.
While we are happy to discuss the AFO requirements with our vendors we are not qualified to ascertain whether or not your property will need this document, therefore we strongly recommend that you contact your lawyer to gain more information on this.