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Change of Property Use

Who is this Service for?

Enterprising property investors seek to purchase property that is currently used for another purpose – typically as an office or industrial unit – and then change its use to that of residential.

Such changes of use are possible though they are heavily regulated and you will need the assistance of a local architect to navigate the applicable planning laws before making an investment of this type. Investment without seeking such guidance would be extremely dangerous and could easily see an investor lose a great deal of money.

Upon a successful application, the architect may be instructed to draw-up plans for any required modifications and the appointment of local builders and tradesmen to complete the work.

What does this service consist of?

  • Technical advice prior to any change of use application
  • Review of local planning regulations
  • Visit to site with assessment
  • Analysis and professional opinion
  • Formal application undertaken on behalf of client
  • Planning department’s decision obtained and explained

Energy Certificate

Who is this Service for?

Anyone who wishes to sell or rent out a property in Spain must have a valid Energy Certificate. The Certificate contains information about the orientation, structure, energy and lighting systems of the property and to what extent it conforms to current energy ratings, with an energy classification of A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) The Certificate has a validity of 10 years, though if any material changes are made to a property, the Certificate should be updated. This might include changing the windows or the heating system. Failure to possess a valid certificate when selling or renting a property will incur a fine of between 300€ - 600€.

 What does this service consist of?

  • Initial contact with a technical architect to arrange an appointment for a technical visit to the property
  • The technical architect will visit the property and then feed the details of the visit into a state technical database
  • The Certificate is issued with an overall Energy rating and recommendations for improvements



Engineers Report (Commercial Property)

Before proceeding with the acquisition of premises for business or commercial purposes, it is vital to ensure that they are suitable for the activity that you propose, and a legal requirement to obtain a ‘Commercial Activity License’.

Local zoning laws and health and safety regulations regulate what types of commercial activity may take place in particular zones of towns and cities and also any adjustments or renovations that need to take place before the premises are suitable for the activity proposed.

Once you begin to undertake the commercial activity you may be inspected at any time and be required to produce a valid licence certificate.

The process for obtaining the commercial activity licence begins with a Technical Project Report carried-out by a suitably qualified architect or technical architect or engineer. The method of drafting the report will vary according to the commercial activity proposed and the premises in which they take place, but broadly speaking, it involves:


  • Discussion with the architect about the business project envisaged by the business owner

  • Architect visits the premises

  • Architect compiles the report as follows:

  • Description of the activity that will take place

  • Description of the premises including m

New Build Projects

Who is this Service for?

Sometimes we find the ideal place to live. The only problem is that there's no property that suits or that is available! In which case, the only option apart from waiting for a suitable property to become available is to build a new home from scratch. This is ideal for those who have a clear idea of what they want, yet are unable to find it among second-hand properties in the area they want to live

What does this service consist of?

  • Initial consultation with an experienced English-speaking Architect to discuss plans and including expert advice on design, use of space, materials and compliance with planning regulations
  • Visit to site with assessment
  • Drawing-up formal plans
  • Visit to site with assessment
  • Making formal submission to obtain planning-permission
  • Management and co-ordination of the building works including employment of local builders and tradesmen
  • Project Certification

Planning Application/Consultation

Who is this Service for?

Regardless of the size of your project - be it a simple extension or a multi-property urbanisations, you will need to obtain the requisite planning permission from the local authority. Our lawyers and architects have a wealth of experience in making such applications and are available to assist English-speakers from the beginning through to the successful conclusion of any size project.

What does this service consist of?

  • Initial consultation to discuss plans and including expert advice on use of space, materials and compliance with planning regulations
  • Visit to site with assessment
  • Drawing-up formal plans
  • Making formal application for planning-permission where required

Property Survey

Who is this Service for?

Anyone purchasing a property of any size is strongly advised to obtain a technical survey on the property. Often those buying property abroad are cash buyers and, as a result, are not required to obtain a survey of the property before purchase. Many don’t bother. We feel that this is a major error, since a survey could save you a huge amount of money in expensive repairs later on, and potentially allow you to renegotiate the property purchase.

Even if buying with a mortgage, any survey required by the bank will only include a valuation as well as any obvious and serious defects that would affect said valuation. Arranging a private survey provides much more information and will provide you with the information you need to be confident about the investment you are making in a foreign country. Quite simply one of the most important investments you can make regarding property!

What does this service consist of?

  • Initial consultation to discuss different surveys available: condition report, building survey or structural survey
  • Visit to property and compilation of report
  • Delivery of report in your language
  • Follow-up discussion as required to answer any additional questions you may have

Refurbishments & Extensions

Who is this Service for?

Current homeowners and those planning to invest in a second-hand property may wish to extend or upgrade the property. Indeed it is often the case that buyers acquire a property on the basis that they will be able to extend or refurbish the property to make it suitable for their purposes.

Property extensions will in most cases require planning approval and the assistance of a local architect to whom you can convey your plans and obtain expert advice on the viability of those plans.

What does this service consist of?

  • Initial consultation to discuss plans and including expert advice on use of space, materials and compliance with planning regulations
  • Visit to site with assessment
  • Drawing-up formal plans
  • Making formal application for planning-permission where required
  • Management of project, engagement of builders and other tradesmen
  • Post-project Certification

Regularisation of Property

Who is this Service for?

Often a property is acquired only to discover that one or a number of elements of the property are legally 'deficient'. Typical examples might be an extension to the property added by a previous owner a or swimming-pool for which appropriate planning permission was never sought.

Normally any such irregularities would be discovered upon legal due-diligence by a conveyancing solicitor. Other types of deficiency range from procedural to technical and may be simple to rectify or rather more complex, depending on the specific problem at hand. 

What does this service consist of?

  • Initial consultation with an experienced English-speaking architect to determine the gravity of the problem and the best solution
  • Depending on the recommended solution, the architect will make submissions on your behalf to the relevant local authority board or tribunal or may engage a solicitor if required
  • Representation throught the regularisation process, with the new title registered with the appropriate registry

Retail Design Architecture

Retail Design

Beyond just creating a good-looking store with aesthetically pleasing displays, we design stores according to well-thought-out strategies in order to optimize space and sales. The way a store is set up can help establish your brand identity.

Also, if your brand doesn´t have a defined brand image or needs a change, we can help you to create it and reflect it into the design of your store.


Architectural Services

We develop complete projects taking into account the local regulations and technical installations needed to finish an appealing but also functional store.

We take all factors and details into account to help you to create a specific appeal (store layout, store front, window displays, furnishings, lighting, flooring, music,) but also practical and functional aspects such as technical installations, security and fire safety.


Project Management

Acting on your behalf, we are your point of contact and local voice to ensure that operations run smoothly.

Our Project Management service includes dealing with strategic as well as day-to-day operational matters including Tender Supervision, Permits & Licence Applications, Site Operations Supervision, Contractor-Vendor communication, Shopping Centre- Vendor communication, Commissioning and Cost Control.


Visual Merchandising

We don´t only design the displays, but also carry-out an analysis on how to display your product in the most appealing way and increase sales. Starting from the layout proposals to the design of the smallest prop adapted to your particular product, we bear in mind that we are helping your business to grow.


Corporate & Office Design

Corporate identity is expressed through work space design not only as appearance but also as a way to work. We help you to create the work environment that adapts best to your business model, develop full detailed projects and manage the construction operations.




Other Services in English from the Advocate Abroad Network

Insurance Services

Architectural Services

Mortgage Services


Visas & Residency Matters: EU Citizens

Financial Consultancy Services

Translation Services

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