Mess from non-compliant construction

The administrator of co-ownership comments that recently several houses neighbouring the building under his charge were demolished to start some works. However, he does not know what type of work is going to be carried out, since there is no fence that indicates this information. For this reason, he asks: “What authority can one go to in order to establish whether the construction to be developed has a license? What standards must be respected during the execution of the work? Are there measures to protect the joint ownership of eventual damage? ”.

Answer. The National Police Code determines as behaviour contrary to urban integrity to parcel, urbanize, demolish, intervene or build without having the corresponding urban planning license or be carrying out the work when the license has expired. The rule also establishes several corrective measures against these behaviours, such as the suspension of construction or demolition and the imposition of fines.

After having tried an approach with the builder or person in charge of the work without obtaining results, I suggest going to the corresponding mayor’s office to report on the start of this work. Thus, this entity in exercise of the urban control that by law corresponds to it, may initiate the actions and take the measures it deems appropriate.

On the other hand, in the construction, the fence must be located with the pertinent information to the type of work that is being carried out, the license and the authority that issued it, the destination that will be given to the property and its characteristics. The neighbouring residents must receive communication from the urban curator or other competent entity and – if the case warrants it – they may notify each other and file appeals against the corresponding act.

Regarding the rules that the owner or the builder must comply with and respect during the execution of the work, in addition to being subject to those of urban planning and what is authorized in the respective license, the conditions determined in the National Police Code will have to be met. And in the district and municipal Police codes.

Among these, the following stand out: allocating a place inside the building to store materials, machinery, rubble or waste and not occupying with them – not even temporarily – the platform, roads or surrounding public spaces.

In addition, it is necessary to install protections or special elements on the fronts and sides of the work, and locate signage, traffic lights or night lights for the safety of those who move around the place; thus, accidents or discomfort will be avoided.

The Code also says that the tracks of the tires of the vehicles that leave the place must be cleaned so that mud or cement is not thrown in the public space. Likewise, material, cement and debris should be cleaned immediately when they fall into the space.

Another recommendation is to provide temporary sanitary units for workers and visitors and adopt the measures required to keep them clean.