Tag Archives: town hall

Building permits

Building permits

Building licences

A licencia (building permit) must be obtained before the construction of any building can begin, regardless of whether the structure is to be used as a dwelling, or whether or not it has foundations. This same permit is compulsory for any work carried out on an existing building where this work would; change the usage, exterior appearance, modify the volume, or where extra storeys would be created. (Note: you also need a building permit for a prefabricated wooden house.)

There are two types of building permits:

– Permit for minor works: walls, terraces, and barbecues.
– Permit for major works: new buildings, alterations, and demolitions.

To obtain a building permit for minor works, you need simply request a licencia de obra menor at your Town Hall. Normally this should include a small description of the work to be undertaken and an estimation of the costs. This so that taxes can be calculated. The tax is paid at the end of the job and is normally calculated at around 4 to 6% of the construction cost.

To obtain a building permit for major works you will need:

– Technical dossier (proyecto) created by an architect registered in the Spanish architecture college
– A technical architect (aparejador), normally chosen by the architect. The technical architect is the site manager in
official control of the building site
– A builder  ( optional )

All three of these professionals have to sign the application.

Submitting the soliciud de licencia

The application is submitted either in person or by registered letter to the local alcalde, where a receipt (recibo) will be issued; the application is usually processed within two months of receiving the registered letter.

A letter of notification will be sent following the submission with the application number. After an examination confirming that the correct information has been presented, details of the request will be posted in the Town Hall. The application will be verified for compliance with the building rules. A tacit approval may be assumed two months from the date of submission and the permiso de construir (building permit) will normally be delivered within that time.

Note: If the building authority does not give you a notification within two months, you will automatically obtain the license, assuming that the correct information was submitted and it complies with building regulations.


The building act LOE of 5th November 1999 (Ley de Ordenación de la Edificacion), considers all parties involved in the construction of the building to carry some responsibility.
Without prejudice to their contractual responsibilities, the individuals or legal entities who assist in the building process are liable to the owners and third party buyers of the building or any parts thereof, should the building be divided.

The following property damages affecting the building within a specified time, starting on the date of the commencement of the works without reservation or starting on the date of the correction of such reservations:

Responsibility is assigned for faults in the building in the time frames specified as follows.

For a ten year period, any structural damage caused to the building due to faults or defects affecting the foundations, supports, beams, framework, load-bearing walls, or other structural elements which directly jeopardise the building’s mechanical resistance and stability.
For a period of three years, damages caused to the building by faults or defects in the constructive elements or services which result in the building failing to meet habitability requirements.
The builder will likewise be liable for damages due to construction faults or defects affecting elements of the finish work for a period of one year.

Each agent is individually liable for their own acts or omission and for those of the persons for whom they are legally responsible according to law.

Local taxes

Local taxes

Local Taxes and when to pay them

Automobile tax
from 15-03 to 22-05

Real estate tax
from 03-07 to 11-09

Dustbin collection tax
from 07-01 to 20-12

Tax on economic activities
from 18-10 to 20-11

All payments automatically deducted from your bank account will be charged around the 15th of july.

More Information:

Townhall of Benahavis

Spanish Residence

Spanish Residence

Spanish Residency

Without a Residencia you are not legally entitled to stay in Spain more than 90 days without returning to the UK or home country or applying for a Temporary Residence Permit. (This seems to be largely ignored but it is the law and applies even if you have bought a property and moved in.) Here for over six months and the law says you must apply for a full Residential permit. It is initially for two years then in 5 year periods.


Benefit or not? Only you can decide if it is good for you. Personally I think so.
Applying for Residencia does not lose you any of your rights as a British Passport holder. It does mean that if you have your Residencia you don’t pay Capital Gains Tax if you sell your property. Likewise if you sell your property it is easier to take your money out of the country if returning to the UK or other home country. If you are stopped for a traffic offence without a residencia, the car can be impounded until you pay. Pensioners holding a confirmed Residencia who join the Pensionista Club are also entitled to the same benefits as Spanish Nationals, reduced rail and bus fares, reduced cost holidays in good hotels etc.

Residencia Application

Go to the Comisaria de Policia Nacional in Marbella and say you wish to apply for Residencia

You will need :
Certifica de Empadronamiento. This is a card sent to you by the local Town Hall which proves that you are on the Electoral Register
Passport and one photocopy
Four passport size photographs.

Each individual must apply personally with all the relevant documents. Once applied for, it can take several months to process. In our case it has taken nine months. We received a letter with a further form to fill in and take back to the main Police station with a fee of €6.75 we were then advised our Residencia would be available to collect within 4 weeks and we collected it on the given date. Once it is issued it is good practice to carry it with you.

Who doesn’t need to apply for a residence card?

UK nationals who are Employees, Self-employed, Students.
Dependants of an EU or Spanish national.
Pensioners who receive their pension from the Spanish Social Security system.

Who must obtain a residence card?

UK Pensioners who have retired to Spain.
Non Pensionable Persons of independent means residing in Spain.

Registering as a citizen

Empadronamiento – Census

Registration in the Benahavis Census ( Empadronamiento )
Spanish Residence

The Empadronamiento is the process of registering with the town hall as a resident of Benahavís. The process is straightforward and does not require you to become a resident in Spain. There is no charge, the information is confidential and there are no tax implications involved. Through registering, you will have (if you are a citizen of the European Union), among other advantages, the right to vote in local and European elections.
It is also important for everyone to register in order that Benahavís receives the correct amount of funds to run, maintain and improve the infrastructure, as the funding increase and government help are directly related to the number of registered voters. It is in the community’s best interest that central government funding is at a level which reflects the growing population of Benahavís, as these increased resources will be available to improve medical, postal, sports and other facilities.
In addition, being a registered citizen of Benahavís, you can enjoy all the facilities offered by our town hall, such as special rates for practising sports, sponsored trips for kids and adults, free text books, etc.

An easy procedure

Where – Print out the forms below and drop it of at the Town Hall or go to the Ayuntamiento (town hall), Plaza Castillo in Benahavís.
When – 9am till 2pm Monday to Friday
Please bring – do not forget to bring the following documents:
1.- The original document (to be copied) identifying the applicants such as NIE, passport or residents card.
2.- The original document (to be copied) identifying the property such as the Escritura (title deeds) or a utility bill (water, electricity or telephone)

In addition for a rented property – the rental agreement (to be copied)
For non-EU citizens, you’ll have to renew every TWO years.

Application form to request the registration in the Municipal Roll of Inhabitants of Benahavis. You can just print this out and take it to the townhall.

Printable Documents (in Spanish):

Registration form

    Rules and instructions

Handy translations for filling in the form

Apellido : surname
Nombre : first name
Fecha de nacimiento : date of birth
Municipio o pais de nacimiento : country where you were born
Who can request it?

Any citizen who resides within Benahavis’s municipal term. If throughout the year that person also resides within any other municipality, he shall be registered wherever he resides for a longer period of time during that year.

– Registration form, filled in and signed.
– Document acknowledging the identity of people who are registering:

a) For Spanish nationals or citizens coming from the European Union, they must enclose one of the following documents:
–  DNI or National Document of Identification from the country of origin.
–  Passport in force.
–  Foreigner card in force.
–  Driver’s License.
–  Family book if under 15 years old.

b) For the rest of citizens coming from abroad (including minors):
– Valid Passport
– Valid Foreigner Card

If there is already somebody registered in that housing, it is enough with the signature on the registration leaf of a person of age who is already registered in it, as well as a photocopy of his identity card; otherwise, please enclose any of the following documents that acknowledge the occupation of the housing:

a) If the housing is owned by any of the people who are registering they must enclose any of the following documents:
– Title deed of the house or Property Tax receipt addressed to one of the persons who are registering.
– A contract with a supply company (Endesa, Emasa, Gas natural, Telefónica o Aunacable) in which that person figures as the owner and the house that is object of the registration as the address object of the supply services. If the contract is not up to date, then you must present a recent bill.

b) If the house is rented:
– Tenancy agreement.
– Photocopy of landlord’s DNI (National Document of Identity) if he is a natural person or CIF (Fiscal Identification Code) if the landlord is a corporate body.
– If the landlord is not one of the persons who are going to register, it must also be enclosed a declaration where the landlord authorizes the register, as well as a photocopy of his IdentityCard.

c) Otherwise:
– A declaration of the owner of the house authorizing the residence and the registration of the people who are about to register.
– Photocopy of the owner’s Identity Card.
– Any documents marked in paragraph “a”, acknowledging the ownership of the house.

d) Receipts from Banks, mobiles, Digital TV or similar are not valid.

Under aged registration

– Declaration of the two parents authorizing the registration of the under aged person.
– Photocopy of the parent’s identification card.
– In case of separation or divorce, document that acknowledges the protection and custody in favour of one of the spouses.

In case of rectification or documents update, a document acknowledgement of the right information.

Together with the form you must also attach photocopies of the required documents.

Procedure :

At any time, at the townhall, groundfloor.
Once the documentation has been verified the information will be introduced into the Municipal Roll of Inhabitants.
The presentation of the completed document at your Town Hall implies your consent to update the Electoral Census according to the information provided.

Town Hall

Town Hall

The new Benahavis town hall is 500 meter from the village centre on the Avenida de Andalucia, the road leading into the village. Usage of English is seriously limited, even with over half of the inhabitants being foreigners, so it is a wise move to take a translator if your Spanish is not as good as you want it to be.

Opening hours : 08.30-14.00
Tel : 952 855 525

Benahavis Town Hall
Benahavis Town Hall

Please ensure that all your Ayuntamiento bills such as IBI, water and waste tax are paid up to date. This can be checked in the office on the ground floor of the Ayuntamiento.