The New Amnesty Law – Legalisation of constructions in rural land

The Balearic Government has introduced Decree Law 3/2024, which became effective on May 24, 2024. This law addresses the legalisation of buildings, constructions, installations, and land uses on rural land that were established without proper planning permission or compliance and are now time-barred, meaning no administrative action can be taken against them.

Whether you are a property owner in the Balearics, or looking to purchase, this new law could benefit you.

Here’s a detailed look at the key points and implications of this new legislation:

Illegal constructions on rural land have been a persistent issue in the Balearic Islands. Previous attempts to address these irregularities have met with limited success, often leaving property owners in legal limbo. The new decree represents a significant step forward by providing a structured and clear pathway for legalisation, building on past efforts and lessons learned.

Scope and Objectives

The decree targets buildings on rural land that are over eight years old from the date the law comes into effect. This includes primary structures as well as extensions, swimming pools, and porches added without authorisation. The objective is to bring legal clarity to numerous properties that were previously in a grey area due to various infractions.

Legalisation Process

Property owners have a three-year window to regularise their properties. They must apply for legalisation and pay the associated fees and taxes as if constructing new buildings.

It’s important to know that there is a penalty on the value of the work to be legalised, structured as follows:

10% of the value if legalised in the first year.
12.5% of the value if legalised in the second year.
15% of the value if legalised in the third year.

To ease the financial burden, there are bonuses for lower incomes: a 50% reduction for incomes below €33,000 per year and a 25% reduction for incomes up to €52,800 per year.

Detailed Steps for Legalisation

Consultation: Begin by consulting with a legal expert to understand the specific requirements and steps for your property.

Documentation: Prepare all necessary documents, including proof of property age and any previous planning permissions.

Application: Submit an application for legalisation to the relevant local authorities.

Fees and penalties: Pay the required fees and penalties based on the timeline of your application.

Compliance: Ensure your property meets all technical and environmental standards, such as adopting energy-efficient measures.

Restrictions and Exclusions

Properties legalised under this decree will never be eligible for a tourist rental license, ensuring that the process does not encourage an influx of tourist accommodations in rural areas. Excluded from this legalisation are agrotourism establishments, rural hotels with illegal constructions, and constructions in areas designated for public use or those subject to expropriation. Buildings on protected rural land (ANEI) can only be legalised if they were built before the relevant land management laws came into force.

For Example…

If you owned a rural property with an unauthorised swimming pool and extension, under the new law, you could apply for legalisation within the three-year window, pay the associated fees and penalties, and ensure the property complies with environmental standards. This process brings the property into legal standing, making it more attractive to potential buyers.

The new law is expected to positively impact the property market by increasing the value and marketability of fully legalised properties. Buyers will have more confidence in properties with clear legal status, potentially driving demand and prices higher in the rural property market.

Our Advice for Property Owners

Consult with legal experts. Seek advice from legal professionals specialising in urban planning to navigate the legalisation process effectively.

Prepare financially. Understand the costs involved and prepare for the financial implications of legalisation.

Act promptly. Take advantage of the three-year window to avoid missing the opportunity for legalisation.

The long-term impact of this law includes a more regulated and orderly rural landscape in the Balearic Islands. It sets a precedent for other regions facing similar issues and contributes to sustainable rural development by enforcing environmental and technical standards.

How Villa Contact can help

We can assist property owners through the legalisation process.

Our consultation service can help you assess the feasibility of legalisation of your property, and we can help prepare and submit the necessary documents and applications. We are happy to connect you with legal help, to ensure your property meets all technical and environmental requirements, as well as advising on the potential increase in property value post-legalisation and assisting with the sales of your property if desired.

By partnering with us, you can navigate the complexities of the new law with confidence and ensure your property is brought into legal compliance effectively.

Contact us today to find out more.