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What are the ITE and IEE? How do they differ?

What is ITE (Technical Building Inspection)?

If you are planning to buy a new or old house, you need to ask the owner for the ITE. The Technical Building Inspection (ITE) is a report certifying that the building is safe, both internally, for residents, and externally, for passers-by. This house purchase document is really a check that ensures that the property is in good condition and well maintained. Properties that are more than 45 years old must have an ITE every ten years (every five years for residential buildings for collective housing), under Law 8/2013, of 26 June.

What does the ITE process involve?

First, the owners of the property have to launch the ITE procedure and engage a qualified specialist (architect, surveyor or engineer) to perform it. This specialist performs a visual and photographic assessment to analyse any defects in the structure of facades and roofs, security, watertightness, plumbing and sewage networks, and accessibility. In principle, they do not need to enter the building, unless they deem this necessary.

They then draw up a technical report known as the IEE (Building Evaluation Report), evaluating parameters such as the structure, construction and community facilities, accessibility at the entrance and use of the building, and its energy efficiency certification, certifying that the building is generally in good condition and compliant with the regulations. In this case, the ITE would be favourable, although the specialist has to process the documents and deliver this report to the appropriate body to issue the relevant certificate for this to be recognised officially.

The building's owners must make the necessary repairs if the property has minor problems. If the problems are serious or structural, the owners must engage an architect to oversee the repair work, and then order another report, repeating this process until the building is certified.

What is the difference between an ITE and an IEE?

These are both important documents when buying a house, as they guarantee the state and safety of the property. The ITE (technical building inspection) also assesses accessibility and energy ratings, which is information we need to know when buying or renting a house. The ITE and the energy certificate may be added to the IEE (building assessment report), providing they were performed in accordance with Law 8/2013, which regulates the IEE. This means we do not need to carry out an IEE if our building has just been reviewed and we already have an energy certificate.

Can we refuse the ITE process?

One of the owners might resist, although this will only create problems and won't stop the inspection from being carried out: this would result in fines for missing the deadlines, and the ITE would still be carried out by judicial order, the costs of which would be borne by the owners of the building.

What happens if a building fails the ITE?

The danger of not arranging the ITE is not a surprise inspection by an official body. The real danger is an accident occurring, with the owners being fined between €1,000 and €6,000. This might also cause indirect problems, such as a mortgage being denied or a sale being paralysed.

Can we find out the result of the ITE before we receive the decision?

This depends on each autonomous community and each specific official body. Many municipalities offer an option to consult the inspection decision online, from their website or by phone.


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