A legal property in Mallorca

“A legal” property in Mallorca.

Every week several clients talk to me about “a legal property in Mallorca” and I have to explain to them that this term does not exist. Properties are legal when they have been built with a licence or illegal when there is no licence. There are no ” A legal properties in Mallorca”.

It is difficult to know who invented the term, but its use is spreading like wildfire. It is a way of indicating that it is not legal but nevertheless it is not completely illegal. Incoherent, isn’t it?

Who uses the term a legal?

It is usually used by sellers or their agents who are trying to place an out-of-order (i.e. illegal) property on the market.
Mallorca is full of illegal properties and every day someone buys one without knowing it. The worst consequences is a demolition order.

What are the so-called ” a legal ” properties in Mallorca?

Normally the term a legal refers to properties that are illegal but the illegality has time-barred (statute of limitations )

What does it mean that the has time-barred?

Prescription (state of limitation) means that the property is still illegal but the administration has lost the right to order restitution. However, illegal but prescribed constructions cannot be built on and are therefore destined to disappear over time. If work is done without a licence, the statute of limitations is interrupted.
Furthermore, as of 1 January 2018, the statute of limitations on any type of rural land in Mallorca will no longer apply.

And how to determine if a construction is time-barred
1.- Type of land. If it is protected land it never be time-barred, never prescribes. If it is common rustic land it never prescribes any illegal work done after 1 January 2018.

2.- No infringement. If the administration detected the illegality before the statute of limitations expired and opened a case, the infringement is never time-barred.

Therefore, to know if an infringement is time-barred, you must know the classification of the land and be sure that no proceedings have been opened (and no, it is not enough for the seller to say that they are not aware that there are any proceedings).

Since this is difficult to determine and the consequences are difficult to foresee, marketers have invented the term “a legal”. Sounds better than illegal, isn’t it?

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