A major precedent in case law has been established by the Spanish Supreme court radically changing the prospects of recovering any payment on account or deposit paid for the purchase of a dwelling in Spain when, finally, the property is not built, its completion is late or the Occupancy Permit (Licencia de Ocupación) is not obtained for the dwelling
An important ruling of the Spanish Supreme Court on 21 December 2015 establishes that the financial institutions are directly liable and shall be answerable to the buyers, refunding all the sums paid in the purchase process, plus the interest that these may have generated.
This modification to case law effectively establishes the right to recover the deposits paid, according to the following specific requirements:
- You must file a legal claim directly against the financial institutions.
- The financial institution is directly liable. Consequently, it is irrelevant that the financial institution did not provide guarantees or sureties for the amounts received or that the developer is solvent or insolvent.
- You are no longer required to firstly claim against the developer or builder (many of the latter are in a situation of insolvency or liquidation or no longer exist at all).
- It is irrelevant for the viability of the claim that the developer did not provide surety for the buyer or did not deposit the money received in a special account. The financial institution is also answerable.
- In the event that a guarantee was provided for the money received (we have already explained that, as of now, such a guarantee is no longer needed to claim a refund), not only can you be sure that the money for which a guarantee was issued will be refunded but also any other amount paid by the buyer, even without a guarantee.
Therefore, such a claim is both viable and sound, and has a very good chance of success if the following requirements are taken into account:
The time limit for filing the claim is 15 years as of the date on which the deposit was made, consequently the date of expiry of the right to claim must be taken into account.
There must be a contact of sale or a reservation document signed with the developer. Such a contract must state that the persons who will sign as buyers will pay the deposit directly to the developer. (Consequently, to make the claim you will need the original or a copy of the sales contract and a copy of the payment documents – transfers, cash receipts and or, cheques).
A claim for this reason may only be filed once. Consequently it should be made through a local law firm, an expert in PROPERTY LAW.
If you find yourself in the situation that we have described and paid sums of money for the purchase of a dwelling that was not built, was completed late or was not issued with the necessary administrative authorisations for occupancy, do not hesitate to contact MSG LEGAL for an initial non-binding free consultation when, after examining your case, we will inform you on the likelihood of success of your claim for the refund of the money you paid, plus the interest that it has generated.
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.