Property Lawyer in Spain | WINDOWS



No window can be installed on a property with direct views over a neighbouring property if there are fewer than two metres between the wall containing the window and the boundary of the neighbouring property.
If there is a balcony or another kind of extension, the distance is measured from the edge of the balcony.
Oblique views are also prohibited if there are fewer than sixty centimetres, measuring as before.
An opening can be made to let in light provided that it does not allow views of the neighbouring property. The Civil code states this as the right to open a hole of 30cm x 30cm, directly below the roof, with an iron grill and wire netting. Actually what it means is that no disturbance can be caused to a neighbour. And the neighbour has the right to block any opening by building on his or her own property.

These rules are from the Spanish Civil Code which was published in 1889, so windows existing before that date may not be affected by these measures.

Nowadays, transparent brick is allowed to be used, so it forms a solid wall, and allows light to enter the building while blocking any possible views.

  • Adjoining plots’ owners can agree to the opening of windows by each other with the extension and effects agreed
  • Time does not grant the right to block a window

    .-If a window does not comply with the minimum distance it can always be blocked by the neighbour by building in front of it, because their plot is not affected by any burden in favour of adjoining plots.

    .-The neighbour’s window can also be closed by a court claim, without building in front of it, but some court resolutions state that in this case of a court claim to close the window, the maximum period for doing so is thirty years from the construction of the window.

  • The passing of time sometimes grants the right to maintain the window.

    -If the window is actually occupying the neighbour’s space, for example, if the window opens outwards over the neighbouring property or a balcony overhangs the adjoining property. In those cases, a period of twenty years can gain the right to keep the window.

    .-Also if there is a window for more than twenty years in a shared wall it is deemed to have been opened with the consent of both owners and will gain the right to remain.

    .-If the neighbouring owner forbids by means of a formal complaint to build in front of their windows and the recipient of the complaint takes no action, nor makes a court claim for twenty years, the complainant will gain the right to maintain the window.

  • If the building and the adjoining plot belonged to the same owner who opened the window, and then the adjoining property is sold without stating anything in the deed, the window will retain the right to be open.
  • When a right to build a window is gained ( by agreement between owners, by a period of time in those cases where it is possible, or because it was built by the same owner who subsequently sold the adjacent property), this right means that the neighbour can not build within three metres from the wall containing the window, unless otherwise agreed.
  • And it must be taken into account that any building activity requires planning permission and council rules can establish different measurements. Those distances and measurements can only be disputed by the neighbour objecting to the planning permission, a process which has its own rules and deadlines.


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