10 Apr 2013 15:56:
As with most things in Spain, there are different rules for different areas.
In this area a Habitation Certificate lasts for 5 years and after that a new one should be obtained if the house changes hands, as the utility companies can ask for an up to date certificate before changing over the supply to the new name.
However, sometimes the utility companies allow the original certificate up to 10 years. Sometimes they don´t even ask! Some buyers get around it by just leaving the utilities in the old name and changing bank details for the direct debits.
You can apply for a certificate of 2nd habitation, and in some areas they ask for an architect to certify there are no changes to the property, and in others they don´t bother. Some areas charge for the certificate and others don´t and an architect can cost around 400€.
There is no need for a new owner to have a new certificate - it will only be needed, if at all, when the property changes hands.
What is really important is that a new property should have a certificate before it is sold for the first time, as this states that the council have accepted that the property has been completed, including the infrastructure.
I am sure others will have different experiences, but this is what happens in this area and I hope it is helpful.
Thread: Habitation certificate