License of First or Second Occupation

In spanish, cedula de habitabilidad or licencia de primera o segunda ocupación

Entry by: Francisco Joaquín Jiménez – Updated at 15/07/2020

Image for License of First or Second Occupation in Spain. Image representing an habitability report

In this post we will try to explain the most important details about the licenses of first and second occupation in Spain (or in Spanish, cedula de habitabilidad o licencia de primera o segunda ocupacion), what is needed to obtain it, when and the different cases that can happen. 

In LeuKos Architecture we write and transact this kind of license and others before the administration for you free of charge, so you do not have to worry about anything. Ask us about any doubt you may have and we solve it for you without any commitment.

Here we go!

Contact us and we will give you a quote without commitment

What is the License of Occupation? (or cédula de habitabilidad)

It is an administrative document whose function is to prove that a home meets the minimum habitability conditions provided by current regulations.

This means that, depending on the location, the surface of the house, the distribution of the rooms and spaces and the maximum occupied area are met, among other requirements. To certify this, an architect has to determine whether or not your property is suitable for be inhabited.

This is the traditional name, since after different legal changes made both at the state and regional level, it has acquired the name of the responsible declaration of both first and second occupations (in spanish, declaracion responsable de primera o segunda ocupacion). This is good news, since these changes, the procedure for obtaining it is reduced to a minimum, obtaining the license as soon as all the documentation required is delivered before the Town hall.

Is the same a license of first occupancy as a license of second ocuppancy? (licencia de primera o segunda ocupación)

This doubt is very common. It is common because the procedures and legislation is not clear, so many people has usually doubts, even spaniards, and we understand the language! In fact there are three types of license depending on the situation:

  • The license for second ocuppation or, in spanish, licencia de segunda ocupacion, is valid in properties with certain age, used or pre-existing, but already legalised. In these cases this license is required to prove that it still has a good condition to be inhabited. This is the license most common and easy to obtain.
  • Secondly, the license of first occupation or, in spanish, licencia de primera ocupacion refers to those new homes. In this case it is sought to certify that everything necessary is met so that this new construction can be inhabited. Sometimes this license is required when the property was built some years ago but not totally legalised. These cases are special and have a long process to be managed.
  • Finally we find the license of first occupation with rehabilitation. In this case we speak of a valid document for those homes that have undergone major changes in their general structure due, generally, to rehabilitation works.

When is the certificate of occupancy necessary?

The certificate of habitability is necessary when we are going to sell or rent the property as well as to carry out certain procedures, such as obtaining the supply of electricity, water or gas.

There are exceptions such as, for example, when the property is sold and a comprehensive rehabilitation of the house is going to be done.

How long does it take to obtain the certificate of occupancy?

In the cases of being a license of second occupation, it is obtained at the same time of its presentation before the municipality. The only counterpart of this is that, if any required documentation is missing, the validity of the license is postponed until all the required documents are delivered.

If the case is that of a license of first occupation, there are more requirements to met and the documentation and authorization can last approximately one month.

Depending on whether it is a first or second occupancy license the documentation will be different, although, in the case of the license of second occupation the procedure is considerably simple.

In LeuKos Architecture we manage the entire process, presenting every documentation for you for free before the Town Hall and gathering all the necessary documentation to give you the license of second occupation 2 working days after the inspection of the property.

What documentation do I need?

If you need the license of occupation because you do not have it or because it has expired, you need different of documents to obtain it.

To obtain the license of second occupation you need a series of documentation, generally not complicated to obtain. First, you will need the IBI receipt to prove the catastral reference. It is always advisable to have the deed or simple note of the property registry.

In addition, you will need that an architect certify the good conditions of the house. This is summed in a certificate of habitability. This certificate will contain the floor plans of the house as well as all the dimensions and location of the windows. In addition, the state of the house will be detailed, for example the condition of electricity installation.

If you need a license of first occupation, the process is more difficult to be met and it is very variable depending on the property, its location, the date of construction and others  characteristics. We recommend to ask an architect to get a detailed study regarding the first occupation license.

Customers reviews on this proccess

We sold our house and discovered at the last moment that the licencia de primera de ocupación had experid. Within a few days Francisco handled, expertly and professionally, all the things and procedure who where needed for us. A very positive experience, excellent communication and very decisive!

Maria and Wout SmouldersCommissioned an license of second occupation in Cartagena

“Very professional, polite and punctual”

Ana JaraCommissioned an certificate of energy efficiency in Los Alcazares


In this article we wanted to collect the most frequent doubts of our clients about the license of first and second occupation or cedula de habitabilidad. The most important thing is to remember that it is an important and mandatory procedure in most cases.

If you have questions about this procedure or need the certificate of habitability for your home, contact us and let’s talk about your needs.

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We offer certificate of occupation and licenses of first and second occupation in Murcia and Alicante…

And in all these municipalities too…

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