'Ley de Costas' (Coastal Law) boundaries can now be
For the first time you can now easily check online the
boundary between public and private land on the coast, at least
in some areas. This is a small step in the right direction if
it makes buying near the coast a little less risky.
There are several booby-traps awaiting house-hunters in
Spain, one of which is the treacherous Ley de Costas (Coastal
Law) of 1988 which nationalised the coastline, creating a
boundary between public and private land known as the Deslinde
del Dominio Público Marítimo Terrestre (DDPMT).
Buy on the wrong side of this line by mistake, as a bunch of
Britons do each year, and you find you don’t actually own
anything, other than a concession of use (if you are lucky). So
if you plan to buy anywhere near the seafront it’s vital to
know where the boundary lies, assuming there is a boundary (the
law may have been passed in ’88, but large parts of the coast
still haven’t been done). Don’t even think about buying near
the beach in places that don’t yet have a boundary.
Fortunately, you can now check the boundary online, at least
for some popular destinations like The Balearics and
Andalucia’s Granada province (Costa Tropical). Not much of the
coast is covered, but it’s a start. You will find a link to the
The maps are published by the Environmental Ministry’s
office for coastal sustainability (Dirección General de
Sotenibilidad de la Costa y del Mar) with plans to extend the
areas covered over time.
The lurid green line you will see shows the DDPMT, and the
yellow line further inland shows the zone of special protection
where you can own property, but with serious restrictions. In
the image above you can clearly see properties in Formentera
that are on the wrong side of the green line. To be on the safe
side don’t even buy inside the yellow line.
Mark has written several articles here and in the
Sunday Times about this law and its dismal failure to protect
the environment whilst pinching the private property of
thousands, if not tens of thousands of individuals, many of
them British, all without compensation.
Article reproduced with kind permission
from Mark Stucklin of the www.spanishpropertyinsight.com