The purchaser of new-build properties in Spain, is protected by a range of regulations. Particularly by the Consumer and User Protection Legislation, which establishes that the Property Developer is obliged to duly inform the consumer (purchaser), when promoting sales, regarding the features and nature of the property that will be acquired.
Supposing that a property is purchased directly from the Property Developer, and where publicity exists, the handover of a property with features that differ from those initially agreed, constitutes that the Property Developer or selling party is liable for non-compliance.
Therefore, the information provided by the Property Developer to the customer, must be relevant, accurate, and easy to understand. Among other obligations, the sale publicity shall indicate the following:
- Definition of the building´s features, in terms of its distribution and quality standards. This shall be presented in the form of a scaled plan, in which the property, the layout and the facilities are defined
- Location or site of the property development
- Total constructed area and the inside area or effective surface. In the case that there are annexes (Garages, Storage rooms …), the surface area shall be stated on a differentiated basis
- Detailed building specifications and quality standards
- Identificación of the Property Developer (Commercial name, official company name, address…)
- Registry number and expiry date of planning permission
- The total price of the property including taxes and duties
- Method of payment
- Reference to the existence of a legal guarantee, according to which, the downpayment instalments paid by the purchasing party, shall be insured or covered by the Property Developer in case of non-compliance with the contract. In effect, the Property Developer is required to finalise the works with the same features, legal obligations and quality standards that were stated in the advertising campaign used to promote the project. That is to say, the public offer, although the aforementioned conditions were not expressly stated in the private purchase contract
Therefore, when selling off-plan properties, or those under construction, any modification to the so called technical specifications (features and quality standards) offered in promotional leaflets provided to clients with the aim of selling the property in question, shall be considered as non-compliance with the contract.
In the standard process of purchasing a new-build property, during the initial phase in which publicity is available, it is of vital importance to keep all of the documentation provided, in case of any future requirement to make a claim due to non-compliance by the selling party regarding differences in the initial offer and what is finally delivered.
If the information provided by the Property Developer only makes reference to the surface area, without specifying whether that surface area corresponds to the total constructed area, or the inside effective surface area, it shall be interpreted that the surface area in question refers to the inside effective area, given that it is a legal requirement to provide this data.
At MSG LEGAL, as experts in the field of Property Law and Conveyencing, we can advise you regarding your consumer rights as the purchasing party of new-build properties, and assist you throughout the purchasing process. Whether from the initial phase, or at a later stage facing the possible need to make a claim due to non-compliance by the selling party or Property Develoer.
Please note the information provided in this article is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice.