Mallorca’s Island Council is again tightening up the requirements for the issue of the certificate of first occupancy. The cédula de habitabilidad is not only difficult to pronounce, but also difficult to get – at least building owners on Mallorca have to exercise a little more patience again to get the certificate of habitation for the first occupancy. Because after a resolution of the island council the cédula is issued only if before the responsible municipality has officially and finally accepted the construction work. “This is bad news”, Gabriel Buades of the law firm of the same name (bufetebuades.com) judges and reminds of the Europe-wide efforts to reduce bureaucracy. On the other hand, the previous regulation, which came into force in 2015, was a good experience. The certificate of habitability is intended to guarantee that the urban planning has been carried out correctly.
Only those who have the cédula in their hands can officially apply for water, electricity or gas. However, since the municipalities often fail to meet the deadline of one month, a purchase or relocation is in danger of being delayed by several months, says Buades. The new regulations on holiday rentals also will require the cédula. However, the procedure at the Island Council has not been changed without reason, as Joan Morey, General Director for Construction, argues. “There have been problems”. In some cases, it turned out afterwards that the construction did not correspond to the building permit issued. And in other cases, the owners had “forgotten” to apply for acceptance by the municipality. Last but not least, the decision was a response to demands from the city of Palma and the energy supplier Endesa.
First of all, the architect in charge must certify that the works have been carried out correctly (certificado final de obra). The same name then colloquially bears the confirmation of the municipality, but officially it is called certificación municipal de finalización de obra (CFO). If this is not forthcoming, Morey recommends contacting the Island Council, which then asks the Town Hall for the reasons for the delay. The follow-up by the higher authority usually does not fail to have the desired effect. In case of doubt, the cèdula can be issued in advance. “We are fast’, promises Morey, ‘we only need a good week’.