Local or office to housing

Carlos E. Vallejo.

The pandemic has turned housing into an office, but the reverse movement has also occurred: the space that many offices occupy up to now could end up being converted for residential use, given the drop in demand.

If the growing interest in reusing buildings for new uses is added to the existence of commercial premises, the result may be that the conversion of offices or premises into homes becomes a more common practice.

If we talk about the possibility of converting a commercial premises into a home in Mallorca.

The first thing you should do is make sure that there are no impediments to making a modification that, for example, will allow you to transform a local into a beautiful loft in Mallorca.

The data in Palma show a sample of the greatest current interest in transforming a premises into a home. So far this year, Cort has given the go-ahead to around twenty spaces, so far with a different destination. To make it a reality, it has been necessary to obtain the license to change the use of premises to housing, linked to regulatory parameters and habitability requirements, which range from the minimum meters required to security and accessibility issues(see Decree 145 /1997, of November 21, which regulates the conditions of measurement, hygiene and facilities for the design and habitability of housing).

The application for the change of use to home requires different steps:

Major work license to the City Council. A change of use from premises to housing implies an increase in residences and, therefore, a change in the density of the property. All information in this regard must be previously consulted at the urban information office. In addition, even if the space is prepared, the opinion of the rest of the owners must also be taken into account, if the premises are integrated into a community.

Property Registry: Before starting the works, the Property Registry must be consulted, as well as the statutes of the community of owners. It is a matter of verifying whether the possibility of converting a farm premises into a home is established or, conversely, prohibited. If this is not the case, the Supreme Court grants the freedom to the owner to change housing.

New deed: With the adaptation works carried out, the new deeds must be formalized before a notary and taken to the Property Registry. It will entail paying a series of fees.

Certificate of occupancy: This procedure is carried out before the Island Council and certifies that the property meets minimum hygiene requirements as well as adequate facilities for its function. It is a mandatory document to request certain services (water and electricity).

Variation of the cadastral value: This step is carried out before the Cadastre in order for the IBI receipt to be modified due to the new use.

Therefore, not all spaces have the capacity to become a home, since not all premises are prepared for residential use. It goes without saying that it is not possible to proceed with the modification by the mere fact of deciding to live inside. The change requires a series of steps subject to legality, with special attention if the premises are located in a community of neighbors.

How much does it cost to change the use of a premises?

Assuming an 80 m2 premises for a two-bedroom house, the total would be around 50,000 euros. Here are some approximate values:

Price of the work: €500/m2= €40,000

Change of use project: €1,990

Construction management: €1500

School visa: €200

License approx: €300

Construction and works tax: €4,900

From office to home.

To find out if an office can be transformed into a home, you have to see its urban feasibility and also its geometric feasibility. We explain ourselves:

Urban viability: we must see what the General Plan of the Municipality says about the area where the property is located. Within the permitted uses must be the residential without restrictions of the plant in which it is located. “That is, we can have a residential use in the building but not allowed on the ground floor. In these cases it would not be possible ”, he argues.

 Geometric viability: it is necessary to comply with what is established by the norms on habitability. Important: these vary according to the municipality.

Here are some examples of general minimum conditions:

1º- All single-family dwellings will consist of at least a kitchen, dining room, a bedroom with two beds and a toilet, taking into account the relationship between the capacity of the dwelling and the number and sex of its inhabitants.

2º- The rooms will be independent from each other, so that no one uses a bedroom as a passage, nor serves as a passage to the toilet.

3º- Every habitable room during the day or at night will have direct ventilation to the outside through a hole with a surface not less than 1/10 of the plant surface.

When the room includes a bedroom and a study, one of them can be used as a bedroom and the hole will reach double the surface area provided in the previous case. When the piece is ventilated through a gallery, it may not serve as a bedroom and the total surface area of its openings may not be less than half of its façade. In addition, the ventilation between galleries and the room will be at least double that set in the previous case.

4º- Extraction of kitchen hoods by roof.

5º- The patios that provide light and ventilation to kitchens and toilets will always be open, without covering at any height, with an impermeable floor and adequate drainage, with rainwater collection, drains and insulating siphon.

6º- The minimum dimensions of the different rooms will be the following:

– Dorms with a single bed: 6 m2 and 15 m3 in volume.

– Bedrooms with two beds: 10 m2 and 25 m3.

– Living room: 10 m2.

– Kitchen: 5 m2.

– Toilet: 1.5 m2.

– If the kitchen and living room constitute a single room: 14 m2.

– The width of the corridor will be 0.80 m., except in the part corresponding to the entrance to the floor, whose width will rise to 1 meter.

– The height of all the rooms, measured from the floor to the ceiling, will not be less than 2.50 meters in urban areas, and may drop to 2.20 m. in isolated houses in rural areas.

If all this is fulfilled, it is possible to live in an office because it is no longer one, but if it is not possible to comply, then it will not be, or it will be done illegally, with all its consequences (quite large fines, directed mainly at property).

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