New law for the regularisation of properties on rural land in the Balearic Islands.

Which properties are affected by the new regulations?

The decree-law foresees that all constructions located on rural land and built without complying with the urban planning regulations, which have been built a maximum of 8 years before the entry into force of the new regulation, can benefit from this extraordinary legalisation regime.

However, there are some special cases:

- If the constructions are located on protected rural land, those built before the entry into force of the Land Use and Planning Act of 29 May 2014 will be eligible for this measure.
- In the case of buildings located on land included in the scope of Law 1/1991, of 30 January, on natural spaces and the urban regime of the areas of special protection of the Balearic Islands, those built before 10 March 1991 will be eligible for this measure.

Which buildings are excluded?

The extraordinary regularisation procedure provided for in the Decree Law cannot be applied to the following buildings and constructions:

- Those subject to expropriation, compulsory and free transfer or demolition, in accordance with current planning.
- Those located on public land, in road protection zones or in the easements provided for in coastal legislation.
- Those which, as in the case of rural hotels or agrotourism, involve the exercise of an activity that requires the acquisition of places, quotas or other limited public rights.
- Those in which activities are carried out subject to the prior declaration of general interest contemplated in Law 6/1997, of 8 July, on rural land in the Balearic Islands, if the activity in question is not declared to be of general interest according to the aforementioned law.
How much is the penalty for out-of-order dwellings?

The amount of the penalty varies depending on when the situation is regularised:

- If the dwelling is legalised during the first year of the validity of the measure, the sanction will consist of 10 % of the value of the building.
- If it is done during the second year, 12,5 % will be applied.
- If it is carried out during the third year, 15 % will be applied.

There is a reduction of 50 % of the amount provided for in the case of owners whose total taxable income for the last four tax years, for personal income tax purposes, does not exceed on average EUR 33,000 or EUR 52,800, depending on whether they are taxed individually or jointly, respectively.
The reduction will be 25% if the taxable income does not exceed 52,800 euros or 84,480 euros in the case of individual or joint taxation, respectively.
Obligations imposed on the owners?

In addition to the payment of the financial penalty, the owners of out-of-order buildings located on rural land must present a technical project for the adaptation of the construction to the environmental sustainability criteria currently in force, in which the adoption of measures is foreseen that entail:

- The reduction of light pollution.
- Increasing the energy or water efficiency of the building, through the use of new materials, techniques and construction systems, or the modification of installations, the generation of renewable energy, the installation of water tanks or other systems to reduce energy or water consumption, or the installation of water purification systems that comply with the provisions of the Hydrological Plan of the Balearic Islands.

How long does the decree law allow for extraordinary legalisation?

The procedure for regularising the situation of buildings that are out of order on rural land must be initiated within a maximum period of 3 years from the entry into force of the Decree-Law.
As mentioned above, the applicable penalty rate will depend on the year in which the legalisation is carried out.

Where does the extraordinary legalisation procedure have to be carried out?

The procedures for the extraordinary legalisation of the building or construction must be carried out at the town hall of the municipality where the property is located.

Is this some kind of amnesty for offenders?

No, the measures envisaged in the decree law can in no way be considered an amnesty for urban planning infringements, but rather a way of regularising a situation for which there was no legal solution.
Thus, by means of the extraordinary procedure established, the dwellings will become legal, and their owners will have the same rights and obligations as the rest of the owners of newly constructed buildings.
In addition, the amount of the sanction equalises the urban development charges to be borne by the different owners, and also ensures the legal use of the building and its contribution to the conservation of natural resources.