DAFO: about irregular and illegal constructions in Andalucía.

In this article, we will try to explain the term DAFO without going into technicalities or legal terms for the reader’s better understanding. It is not meant to cover the complete problem. It is more to be considered as an introduction to this problem of irregular and illegal homes in Andalucía and the rest of Spain.

DAFO is the acronym for Declaration Out of Order. Other acronyms are also used such as SAFO (Assimilated Situation Out of Order) or simply AFO (Assimilated Out of Order). Out of Order refers to a construction that is incompatible with the Planning. For example: you cannot authorize industrial activity in a residential area nor build a residential area in an industrial area.

It refers mainly to residential properties on Non-Urban Land (Undeveloped Land, countryside) that were built without the necessary permits but whose term for completion of the works exceeds the statute of limitations (6 years). That is, the Administration can no longer demand the demolition of what has been built (except for buildings on Protected Land) but it can demand the regularization of this house through a procedure called DAFO.

So why do many of those affected reject the figure of the DAFO?

In order to answer this question, we have to go back to the years 1995-2007. Many municipalities (not to say all) authorized and signed Building Licenses and 1st Occupation Licenses against their own planning and against the current Urban Planning Law. The owners of these houses, with their Notary Deed, registered in the Register of the Property, having paid all the fees and taxes and having obtained mortgages for the purchase, they were convinced that they had acted within the strictest legality.

The Decree 2/2012 and later Decree 3/2019 were aimed at regularizing homes that had been built without any legal support.
What the administration now intends is to declare void the hundreds of thousands of permits that had been authorized (and paid for) previously and force the owners of these homes to regularize their situation through the DAFO procedure (and of course paying the municipal tax again). The municipalities that had illegally and unfairly authorized the permits came out of it. In this article, I will not address the corruption associated with these illegal licenses, otherwise this article would end up as a book!!

This injustice was of course unacceptable and as a consequence of this situation, associations were created in defense of the rights of those affected. One of the most important associations, not because of its number of affiliates but because of the results achieved, is undoubtedly SOHA (Save Our Homes Axarquía) of which I have been a spokesperson since 2006.
Through our work we have achieved several legislative changes and we are very hopeful that we will soon reach the end of our ordeal. Feel free to send me your questions, doubts or comments.