The new rules for issuing occupancy certificates (BOIB [Balearic Islands Official Gazette] no. 143 of November 15). The municipal first occupancy license as a prerequisite

The BOIB from last November 15 published the resolution of the Plenary Session of the Mallorca Island Council definitely approving an amendment to the General Regulations of Law 2/2014 of March 25, on planning and land use for the island of Mallorca.

Of the different modifications to the aforementioned regulatory standard, it is worth pointing out, due to its importance, the amendment to Additional Provision Three with regard to the procedure for issuing occupancy certificates contained in Autonomous Regional Decree 145/1997 of November 21, which regulates the conditions of size, hygiene, and facilities for the design and habitability of homes.

The original wording of Autonomous Regional Decree 2 of the Regulation implementing the Law on Planning and Land Use (LOUS) (BOIB of April 30, 2015) eliminated the requirement of getting a municipal certificate of completion of construction (CFO) in order to obtain first occupancy licenses for businesses and residential buildings.

Now, the reform implemented by the resolution of the Plenary Session of the Mallorca Island Council once again requires First Municipal Occupancy Licenses (colloquially known as end of municipal construction or LPO) to be obtained as a prerequisite before obtaining an Occupancy Certificate.

With things put this way, we cannot avoid critically analyzing this regulatory reform. The conclusion we reach must be negative.

We do not know the reason behind modifying the legal framework of the Regulation of April 16, 2015, since the Council’s Resolution does not offer any explanatory statement about why a positive measure such as the waiver of the first occupancy license (LPO) in order to obtain the Occupancy Certificate was repealed, which in turn allows utilities like electricity, gas, and water to be turned on with the utility companies and may be significantly relevant in the understanding that various obligations of a private contractual nature have been complied with, including tax obligations that are linked to the handover of a home with an Occupancy Certificate.

What we can argue is that eliminating the requirement of the municipal LPO as a procedure prior to the Occupancy Certificate was a huge success because it dispensed with bureaucratic red tape that slowed down obtaining a document of such importance to the real estate trade as is the Occupancy Certificate.

It is striking that the pre-existing regulation didn’t last three years and it is discouraging to see that the new framework will slow down obtaining the countless administrative permits that are required for selling real estate developments even more.

As we can see, the cancer of bureaucratic red tape is far from being healed and continues to spread.