Construction defects with property in Spain
Spanish legislation has made a great progress in this direction and, after buying a house, we will not be vulnerable. On the contrary there are a number of rules that protect us against the construction defects that may arise.
The construction defects in newly built properties are regulated by the Spanish Ley de Ordenación de la Edificación (LOE) according which to make complaints and request the repair of the shortcomings, the buyer has the following deadlines:
1 year for defects affecting the finish of the work (painting, ... etc..)
3 years for defects affecting the habitability (Dampness, isolation,...)
10 years for defects affecting the building structure.
Is mandatory that the developer hire a ten years insurance policy to cover the defects affecting the building structure.
If we buy a used house, if it is not older than 10 years, we will retain all rights that had the previous owner until the expiration of that period.
If, by contrast, has more than 10 years, we will have 6 months from the date of purchase to claim the seller to repair the hidden defects.
The LOE assigns the liability of the different actors involved in construction in case of defects.
However, the Developer is always responsible in solidarity being the guarantor of the building.
The Constructor is liable for malpractice, negligence or breach of the site manager or every staff member; Likewise liable for the execution of parts or subcontracted works and deficiencies in materials purchased by him.
The Designer architect is liable for the failure or inaccuracy in its calculations studies or expert opinions, or for the incorporation of inappropriate materials into the project.
The Architect construction manager is responsible and liable for damage or defects caused by poor construction management or use inappropriate materials and also by omissions, deficiencies or imperfections, also for the failures of the project developed . If there are several, are all liable in solidarity.
In all cases, only will be exemptions from liability, by accident, proven force majeure events, damages caused by a third party or by the injured himself .
Other than the warranties stated above listed in the LOE, other liability actions can be taken, being derived from the contract itself.
So, the exclusive obligation of the Developer or Construction Company to finish the work and meets with what was offered to the buyers in the adverts and agreements. In this sense, articles 1096, 1101, 1256 and 1257 of the Civil Code and art. 8 of the General Law for the Defence of Consumers and Users.
This obligation is not limited to characteristics of the dwelling included in the contract but also extends to everything that had been included in the deal, promotion and advertising through brochures or other similar documents relating to the property. So as a buyer you can, based on what was in the offer, promotion and publicity, enforce the developer to comply it, together with the payment of a compensation for damages, and, whether the discrepancy between what was promised in the advertising and what is finally made is of such magnitude that frustrates the contractual expectations of the buyer, may require the termination of the contract with compensation for damages.
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