24 May 2021

Spain’s ITE and why it’s important for buyers

Published in Real estate

The ITE (Inspección Técnica de Edificios) is a mandatory report for older buildings, and can pose serious problems when buying a house in Spain.

As the name suggests, Spain’s Technical Inspection of Buildings (ITE) is an official report that is mandatory for properties over a certain age.

Homeowners or resident associations’ in an urbanisation are required to voluntarily contract an architect or technician to undertake an ITE.

Not carrying out an ITE can lead to fines over €6,000.

However, town halls differ in Spain on exactly when an ITE is mandatory. In Barcelona, for example, the ITE is compulsory for building more than 50 years old.
Most town halls will have their own ITE template and each year publish a list of properties who have one due.

Citizens Advice Bureau Spain recommends that you check your local town hall’s Urbanismo department online to find more information.

What does an ITE look for?

Just as cars have a periodic ITV test in Spain, the ITE assesses whether a building is adequately safe, accessible and habitable, both for the inhabitants of the building and for visitors coming in.

An ITE can identify deficiencies in a building, which are classed as ‘serious’, ‘important’ or ‘minor’.

The responsibility then falls on the property owner or community to finance the necessary renovations. Renovations must be made generally within three months with increasing penalties for non compliance.

The cost of the ITE is not regulated by the State nor the City Council, and will therefore depend on the contracted company.

If the inspection is ‘favourable’ and the building is in good condition, the ITE will be approved.

Why buyers should always ask for the ITE when buying a house in Spain

If you want to sell a property and you don’t have an ITE, there is the possibility of a mortgage being denied and the sale not being able to go ahead.

In addition, if you’ve missed the stipulated deadlines for an inspection, you may be fined up to €6,000 depending on your municipality.

If a buyer has not made mandatory renovations, a town hall can often carry out necessary works and embargo a property until all costs, fines and interests are paid.

Any unpaid fines attached to the property will become the responsibility of the new owner.

According to Spanish property portal Idealista, sometimes you can continue with a house purchase and be exonerated of existing ITE-related fines – but it doesn’t mean a mortgage provider will grant you a loan.

This is why it’s vital to ask your estate agent for a home’s ITE and CEE (energy certificate) before you arrive at the notary’s office and get a surprise.

Bear in mind that ITE’s are not as thorough as other kinds of home inspection offered by service providers in Spain, which can often include a valuation or market research to help you make an offer.

Lasose Properties & Investments is a leading real estate agency listing exclusive homes for sale in Barcelona. Our estate agents will always carry out necessary checks before guiding a client on the journey towards buying a house in Spain.

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