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Administrative procedures

What You Should Know About The Cédula de Habitabilidad in Barcelona

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Written by Daniella

If you own an apartment in Barcelona you should be familiar with the document we will be talking about in today’s article: the cédula de habitabilidad, or certificate of habitability.

Without having one, you cannot sell or rent out an apartment in Barcelona. You also need this certificate to register for utilities, such as gas, water and electricity. So as you see, it is pretty important knowing how to obtain this cédula de habitabilidad. You should also know it can expire and how to renew it.

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What is a cédula de habitabilidad?

The cédula de habitabilidad is also known as the licencia de ocupación (or occupancy license), and this documents certifies that a property meets the habitability requirements in order for people to be able to live in it. It assures, in other words, that it is legal to live in that property.

The requirements are of a technical and sanitary nature, and they are necessary to get connected to basic utilities, such as water, gas and electricity.

Related article: Getting a Mains Water Connection in Barcelona: How to And Costs

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As we have already mentioned, this document is obligatory for any property owner who wants to live in the property himself, or who wants to put the property up for rent.

Types of cédula de habitabilidad

There are two types of cédula de habitabilidad (certificate of habitability) you must be aware of before starting the procedure:

  • Cédula de habitabilidad de primera ocupación (certificate for first occupancy): This certificate concerns newly built homes or those that have undergone major renovation works. The certificate is generally issued by the City Council to the person who executes the build or does the renovation works.
  • Cédula de habitabilidad de segunda ocupación (certificate for second or existing occupancy): This certificate is for used or pre-existing homes.

How to obtain the cédula de habitabilidad

The body that is responsible for the application process in the city is Barcelona’s Housing Consortium. You need to make an appointment with them to carry out the procedure in person. 

You need to do the following to apply for the certificate of habitability:

  1. Make an appointment. You can do this via the website of Barcelona’s City Council and the Housing Consortium.
  2. The document needs to be processed and paid for. The City Council will send you information on how to pay for the application.

Once you have paid the fee, you will receive the certificate of habitability, and someone from the council will let you know how you will receive it. 

application form

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What documents do you need to present?

You need to present the following documents when applying for the certificate:

General documents that you need with every type of application A printed and completed application form
Property owner’s DNI or NIE 
Tenant’s DNI or NIE 
Legal representative’s DNI or NIE
Documents for newly built homes Building permit
Original certificate of the finish of the building and its habitability, signed by the person in charge of the technical elements and signed by the corresponding association
Original certificate of quality control (issued by the technical expert or the building surveyor)
Municipal notification of first occupancy or the application for it
Documents when changing the purpose of a building to a residential purpose Original certificate of the finish of the building and its habitability, issued by the technical architect or the building surveyor. Document van architect dat einde werkzaamheden aantoont (of van technisch bouwkundige of uitvoerder)
The City Council’s building permit, authorizing the change of purpose
Municipal notification of first occupancy
Documents when splitting up an existing home into more homes If the home has a kitchen and access door, the application process is the same as the one for existing homes 
If the home doesn’t have a kitchen and access door, the application process is the same as the one for newly built homes (or substantial renovation works)
Documents for existing houses Certificate issued by a technical expert (architect or building surveyor) that the home meets the required housing standards. This certificate includes the standard application form.

Generally speaking the certificate of habitability takes 30 working days to be issued.

Who can apply for the certificate of habitability?

It doesn’t matter what type of situation it concerns, the certificate must always be requested by the property owner or his legal representative.

If a copy of the certificate of habitability is needed, this can be done by the property owner, the tenant, or either of their legal represenatatives. 

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Costs of the cédula de habitabilidad

The price you pay for the cédula de habitabilidad depends on the type of certificate you need.

  • Cédula de habitabilidad de primera ocupación (certificate for first occupancy)
    • 1 newly-built home: 42,60€
    • between 2 and 5 newly-built homes: 26,25€ per home
    • 6 or more newly-built homes: 19,65€ per home
  • Cédula de habitabilidad de segunda ocupación (certificate for existing occupancy)
    • for every existing home: 19,65€
  • Copys of any type of certificate of habitability are free of charge
📌 Always remember that paying for services online will save you 30% on the standard price.
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Expiration date for the certificate of habitability

The certificate is only valid for a specific amount of time, and depending on the type of certificate, this period can be shorter or a bit longer. 

  • Certificate for first habitability: 25 years
  • Certificate for first habitability after major renovation works: 15 years
  • Certificate for second habitability (existing homes): 15 years

Once the document expires, you need to follow the steps mentioned earlier in this article to renew the certificate. 

Where can you apply for the certificate of habitability in Barcelona?

You can complete the application process at any of the Housing offices, and you will find the one nearest to you on the map below:

We hope you found this article useful, but if you still have questions on the certificate of habitability in Barcelona, please write them down in the comment section. 


About the author


Daniella enjoys everything the city of Barcelona has to offer. She writes, translates and loves discovering Catalonia and its beautiful nature.

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