Trying to start a new life in Menorca

Questions relating to buying or owning a property. Moving to Menorca Sub-forum: moving to, or living and working on Menorca
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derekjosef
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Trying to start a new life in Menorca

Post by derekjosef » February 28th, 2020, 12:40 pm

Hi everyone

I have just signed up to this forum and this is my first post/query

My family and I have just bought a small house in the Es Castells area. It is a run down ex bar and so we need to do a refurbishment on it. Unfortunately we were missed the house saying it was wholly registered as a house and not as a bar, and even the age who showed us around confirmed this.

Obviously that was a bit of a slap in the face and we were told we would need an architect to draw up plans etc for the conversion back to a house and then submit it to the local council for approval.

In the meantime we were told we could start work on the upstairs of the house as it is recorded as a residential area.

So we have contracted builders to come in and they have just begun work upstairs, basic painting and decorating etc but today someone from the council has turned up and stopped the works and want to fine us!

Has anyone else had problems like this?

I know local councils in the UK have a negative reputation, is this the case here in Menorca too? As far as I know we have done nothing wrong..

There are many old, run down, derelict buildings in Menorca and many people selling off their properties.....surely the local councils should be encouraging newcomers to the island wanting to update and improve one of their properties in order to slowly improve the environment and encourage more visitors to the island thus generating income for the economy....It seems a basic principle on a quiet island or am I missing something here?

Sorry for the long post but we are a little frustrated and just wanting to get going on a new life.....If anyone has had similar experiences or advice please let us know.....Thanks

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SusieH
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Re: Trying to start a new life in Menorca

Post by SusieH » February 28th, 2020, 5:43 pm

Hi Derek and welcome to the site :grin:

I've moved your post into this forum - it's purely for those buying, living etc on the lovely island. I'm not sure if this question has been tackled before but our members, especially those who live or have property over there are a mine of information and i'm sure will be able to give you the advice you need.

Oh and don't worry about the lengthy post - that's what we're here for - to answer any questions anybody has :grin:
I'll stop moaning, when you give me a pay rise this :arms: big


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Shuggie
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Re: Trying to start a new life in Menorca

Post by Shuggie » February 28th, 2020, 7:24 pm

Unfortunately your story sounds all to familiar.

It sounds like you should have obtained a ‘small works licence’ prior to starting any work. This can be obtained from Es Castell town hall. To me these licenses seem like a bit of a stealth tax but are essential, as you have now found out. If you have already spoken to an architect they should have advised you of this. Any trades man who knows there stuff would have known this as well.

As you are about to find out Menorca is nightmare for bureaucracy and having the correct piece of paper, they love their paperwork, “jobs for the boys” springs to mind.

What ever you do going forward; don’t cut corners, and don’t try and do things on the cheap (with cheap trades people) it will cost more in the long run.

Let me give you an example of the bureaucracy here, not related to your situation but it will give you an idea what you are up against.

We had to apply for permission to keep horses on our own land. We needed every possible piece of paperwork to do this, NIE,s, passports, horse passport, deeds of the house, proof of ownership of the horses. It took 5 visits to the agricultural office to get the licence. Then my wife had to go through the same process to obtain a licence to transport the horses in her horse box around the island. Then she had to get a licence to be able to ride her horse on public roads, and if she is stopped and doesn’t have these licences on her, she’s fined.

Good luck with your project and if you need any advice ask away.....but most of all keep smiling :grin: :grin:
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well kept body, but to be in God's waiting room, beer in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!"

beachstroller
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Re: Trying to start a new life in Menorca

Post by beachstroller » February 29th, 2020, 5:01 pm

As per Shuggie Paper is King . You 'have not been picked on' you need these works permits ( with budgets ) for stupid little stuff. If I was being positive you can say it's how they can detect if works are being done for cash.

As said the folks you got involved should have told you this / applied for one on your behalf :-(



Was the house the 'old Bar Palermo' bar ?

Boycie
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Re: Trying to start a new life in Menorca

Post by Boycie » March 2nd, 2020, 6:44 pm

Just dont understand why you need a permit to do internal work on a house or apartment for things like putting a new kitchen or bathroom in. Its madness and just a way to make money as far as I can see.
Always on my way to Menorca

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Slartibartfast
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Re: Trying to start a new life in Menorca

Post by Slartibartfast » March 2nd, 2020, 7:58 pm

It is a local tax, it's the way it works, like it or not. If you want to own property or live in Spain you have to get used to it.

Getting permission is easy just ask in your local town hall for a small works permit, you get a form to fill out, provide a copy of your estimate and pay the lady, it's not difficult.
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derekjosef
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Re: Trying to start a new life in Menorca

Post by derekjosef » March 6th, 2020, 6:18 am

Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply to my post. It's all very useful information, I'm just on my way over again this morning to go and hopefully sort things out with the local council and see what the issues are as I believed I had a small works license in place but apparently they deemed some of the internal work as major, even though we're not knocking any structural walls down......but if I have any further questions or info to share I'll pass it on here.
Thanks again everyone and hopefully I'll be enjoying the Menorcan life sooner rather than later!

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