Utilisation Licence

This document defines the type of use allowed for a given building or fraction: housing, or non-housing purposes (commerce, services, industry, exercise of liberal professions, parking, or warehouse).

In addition, this legal document certifies that a particular property or fraction:

  • It fulfills all legal requirements (security against fire risks, healthiness, habitability, for example), to be used, both for housing purposes and for other purposes, linked to any branch of activity.
  • The legal or regulatory requirements or standards for which they are intended (safety, health, technical standards);
  • The conformity of the construction work with the architecture project and specialty projects approved in the licensing area by the competent entities (namely the City Council);
  • Suitability for intended uses.

In what situations is a Utilisation Licence required?

This document is mandatory in several situations, including:

  • Acquisition of real estate or independent fractions, namely in the execution of purchase and sale deeds;
  • Credit contraction;
  • Realization of lease agreements;
  • Installation of trade and services activities, among others.

Where to apply for a Utilisation Licence?

The use license is a document whose issuance depends on the City Council of the area where the property is located. If you want to open an establishment, for example, or simply regularize the situation of your property, you must follow the following steps.

  • Go to the licensing entity (the City Council) of the area in question;
  • Check if the building or fraction has a license to use compatible with the activity for which it is intended;
  • If not, initiate a process to change the use license, and it is advisable to hire technicians specialized in the area (architects for the development of the architectural project, and engineers for the execution of specialty projects).

In what situations can the Utilisation Licence be waived?

There are situations in which it is possible to waive the presentation of a Utilisation Licence, namely:

  • Buildings or fractions built before 7 August 1951 are exempt from this requirement. This was the date on which the General Regulation for Urban Buildings (RGEU) came into force. As defined by the regulation, this exemption is only valid if the building has not undergone any expansion works or has been rebuilt. However, in the case of a Lease Agreement, you should consult the New Urban Lease Regime (RNAU), as there are specificities that may void this exemption;
  • In the case of non-habitable or usable spaces for commerce, industry or services, namely for displaying advertising or other limited purpose.

However, I warn you that this is a technical matter that should be consulted by a solicitor or lawyer, or the services of the City Council, if you have doubts about its use or exemption.

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