Since the establishment of our business in 2005 we have focused on ‘building and renovations’. Since we both have a background in the building sector (Patricia as an architect and Geert as an all-round renovation specialist and decorator) this was an obvious choice for us.

Unfortunately, the Spanish law threw a spanner in the works when the Junta de Andalucía (Provincial authority) announced a ban on building in the campo in 2003. The campo is what we call the countryside, locally this is called ‘terreno rústico’ and this refers to areas outside the urban town and city centres, in the mountains!

For years, people built villas to their heart’s content. Municipal authorities issued their own building permits and did not inform the Junta de Andalucía for approval. This resulted in a lot of illegal dwellings. Nowadays, more and more properties are acquiring legal status but there are still a lot of illegal properties due to a lack of political will and courage.

In a nutshell: new developments are no longer allowed in the ‘campo’, nor are extensions and additions such as swimming pools in concrete. Therefore, it is important to buy a property which is big enough and already has a swimming pool. What is still possible, although limited, is building/renovating a property in urban areas.