Declaration of responsibility replaces first occupation license in Andalusia

Due to the paralysis caused by COVID-19, a new section has been added to Article 169 of the Andalusian Urban Planning Act (LOUA), replacing the first occupation licence with a “Declaration of Responsibility”, which frees the seller of new buildings from the obligation to obtain the first occupation license.

This simplifies the process of taking over new construction, as it allows residential use from the moment when the building is technically completed and where the declaration of responsibility has been submitted to the municipality.

The Spanish government has, however, brought an action against the regional government, the Junta de Andalucía, regarding possible breaches of the constitution, but so far the new provision applies in relation to the declaration of responsibility / first occupation license.

According to the case law of the Constitutional Court, a future judgment will not apply retroactively, and thus it can be expected that declarations of responsibility submitted to the municipality instead of awaiting the issuance of a first occupation license will be valid and will not be annulled if the Constitutional Court later may conclude that there is a constitutional violation.