Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Buildings over 40 will have to undergo inspection

Old building in Algeciras
(Illustration only)
ALGECIRAS In a piece of legislation that might be expected in other towns and cities in response to regional or national law (Royal Law Decree 8/2011 of July 1), Algeciras is about to order that buildings of 40 years or more must undergo technical inspections to ensure that conditions of safety, sanitation, accessibility and ornamentation are adequate. This applies to all kinds of buildings, from blocks of flats to townhouses and single-family homes. Initial approval of the municipal regulation has been done, and it is now in the public allegation stage until May 22, after which it and the obligation of owners will be in effect.>>>
The above Law-Decree establishes that the technical inspections must ensure that the building is in 'good state' and 'properly maintained'. Inspections must therefore establish whether the 'buildings are in line with current legal condition'. It must also 'determine the conservation and maintenance work required to put the building into a legally required state and the time such work should take'.

The national law stipulates that it is buildings over 50 years that must be subjected to these inspections, unless the regional government establishes this differently, as Andalucía has done.

Diego González de la Torre, Algeciras Councillor for Town Planning, adds that further inspections will be held after 20 years from the last rehabilitation.

Proprietors' obligations
The owner of the building will be obliged to contract the inspection from a properly qualified professional such as a surveyor (arquitecto técnico). This person is then obliged to make a report to the technical office of the Town Hall (Gerencia Municipal de Urbanismo). When work to be done is determined, this same professional must make a new report when it is finished.

"If the owner knows that a building is 40 years old, or more, he must present the documentation that says so. In the same way as a car must go through an inspections to use the roads, buildings are the same," says González de la Torre. "The owner has a responsibility."

An important point made by the Councillor is that grant5s can be applied for, according to Royal Decree 233/2013. "It is very recent and covers the stae plan aimed at development of rental properties, in which is included urban rehabilitation and regeneration. It contains a programme of rehabilitation including types of grants, as well as the cost of the work involved and the fees charged by the technitians."

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