Inspections to keep homes safe and sound

Photo of Teresa Ribera at the Cepsa plant in Tenerife. Credit: [email protected]

MORE and more councils around Spain are insisting that older buildings must be inspected for safety reasons.

And the cost of that will fall on the shoulders of property owners.

By national law buildings over 50 years old in towns with a population over 25,000 must undergo periodic Building Technical Inspections (ITE).

But regional governments, and even local town halls, can come up with their own regulations.

Mijas, Malaga, for example has recently declared that all buildings over 25 years old must pass the ITE tests.

 “We do not want to generate the type of news coming from other places, where a corner falls off a building killing a passer-by,” Manuel Navarro, Urban Planning Councillor for the town said.  He added that 10,200 local buildings will be inspected throughout 2013.

In Mijas, buildings over 25 years old will need to be inspected every seven years. Those over 50 years old will need to be inspected every four years.

The regulations vary throughout Spain, but normally the local town hall will notify property owners when an inspection is due.

These inspections are carried out for two reasons.

1. To assess that a building complies with building regulations.

2. To check for structural soundness and list any repairs needed.

When notified of an ITE, the property owner must hire a qualified inspector – an architect or technical architect – to write a report.

“It usually takes no longer than a week, unless difficulties arise when inspecting the building or getting the title deeds proving ownership and age,” architect Daniel Trujillano said. 

The inspector usually takes pictures of the building and writes a description of any damage found.  The owner must take care of any repairs and apply for a works licence.  If emergency safety repairs are needed work can be performed before getting a licence.

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