Building defects

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28 Apr 2010 00:00 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 8150 forum posts Send private message

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Building Defects In New Properties

Published on 11/15/2006 2:59:43 PM in Buying Process

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New regulations Spain

Know Your Rights!

You’ve completed on your property and now you begin to wonder if the construction has been carried out properly and whether you have legal basis for claims against building deffects in the future. The Answer is yes, and its legal basis is in the following provision of the General Building Act (Ley 38/1999, de 5 de noviembre, de Ordenación de la Edificación ) Click here to view this law in Spanish

Ask your lawyer to claim for a good finish of your property, good power supply connections and for any major deffects you can rely on having up to ten years of legal guarantee.

The article in the General Building Act which specifies the legal action for different sorts of building defects is:

Article 17: Civil liability of the agents that intervene in the building process.

1. Despite their contractual liabilities, the individuals or companies that intervene in the building process will answer to owners and third purchasers for the entire building or for part of them, in case they have been divided, of the following material damages happened in the building within the established deadlines, counted from the reception date without reservation or from the rectifying moment:

a) For 10 years, of material damages caused in the building due to defects or vices that affect the foundations, supports, beams, floor structure, charging wall or another structural elements, that directly compromise the mechanic ressistance and the stability of the building.

b) For 3 years, of material damages caused in the building by defects or vices of the building elements or the installations that produce the breach of the habitability requirements of the provision 3,1,c.

The builder will also answer for the material damages by vices or execution defects that affect the elements of finishing of the works within a year deadline.

The habitability requirements set by this Act in artilce 3.1.c are as follow:

Article 3. Basic requirements of building.

In order to guarantee the safety of people, the welfare of society and the protection of the enviroment, buildings must be designed, built, maintained and conserved in such a way that will fulfill these basic following requirements:

The article lists a series of requirments under three different categories. We will cover those regarding habitability, as mentioned in article 17, but I can answer your questions if you want to know more on the other ones:

(a: regarding functionality)

(b: regarding safety)

(c: regarding habitability)

c.1) Higiene, health and protection of enviroment so that acceptable conditions of healthiness and comfort in the internal environment of the building and so that this won´t damage the close enviroment, guaranteeing a proper management of all kind of refuse.

c.2) Protection against noise, so that the perceived noise won´t put people´s helath at risk and will enable them to carry on their activities properly.

c.3) Saving of energy and thermal insulation, so that a rational use is made of the necessary energy for the adequate use of the building.

c.4) Any other functional aspects of the building elements or the installations that will enable a satisfying use of the building.
 

 

Written by: Maria de Castro

About the author:

Maria de Castro is a Spanish Lawyer and the Director of the Law Firm www.costaluzlawyers.es.

Costa Luz Lawyers are contract and consumer real estate law specialists covering all parts of Spain. You can contact Maria atmldecastro@costaluzlawyers.es

 

Legal tip 88. Ten years insurance to cover your building deffects 
19 May 2009 @ 08:04 

According to the LOE (General Building Act) the ten years insurance plan for building companies guarantees for ten years all damages caused by faults or defects in construction which directly affect the resistance of the building.


The developer is the policyholder and is obliged by law to sign a ten years insurance plan. The developer is also the assured party, and following the sale of the home, buyers become the beneficiaries of the insurance.

 

Individuals and companies involved in the construction process are accountable to the owners of the material damage caused to the building, provided they claim in time. Time limits for filing a claim vary depending on the importance of  the fault.

 

a) For 10 years, of material damages caused in the building due to defects or vices that affect the foundations, supports, beams, floor structure, charging wall or another structural elements, that directly compromise the mechanic resistance and the stability of the building.

 

b) For 3 years, of material damages caused in the building by defects or vices of the building elements or the installations that produce the breach of the habitability requirements.

 

c) For 1 year, of the material damages by vices or execution defects that affect the elements of finishing of the works .

 

 


The deficiencies that may appear within these timeframes need to be fixed by the appropriate operators at no cost to the user.

 

It is very important to have written record of how the damage had occurred within the time set. Most advisable to do it through certified letter or burofax so that the sender can have acknowledgment of reception and date of reception of writing by the addressee.



Liability is individual for every different building agent (developer, builder, architect…), however, when it is not possible to tell who was the responsible, accountability is asked in a jointly way.  

 

The period of limitation of actions to ask for these liabilities is of two years from the time such damages occur.

 

Damages covered:

 

• Material damages that endanger the stability of the building (foundations, floor supports, beams, design errors).

 

• Material damages to secondary works, installations and equipment of the building (resulting from a major damage in the main building).

 

• Costs of repairs to eliminate the threat of subsidence.

 

• Cost of demolition and  removal of debris (as a result of damages covered by the policy).

 

Optional Coverage:

 

• Secondary work



• Waterproofing of decks.



• Waterproofing of facades.

 

• Waterproofing and sealing of basements.



• Waiver of appeal against the builder.



• Waiver of appeal against the contractor and / or subcontractor.



• Waiver of appeal against the technical direction.



• Damage to pre-existing goods.



• Revaluation of insured sum and franchises.

 

Not covered damages:

 

• Body injuries or economic damage other than those protected by the General Building Act.

 

• Damages caused to properties contiguous or adjacent to the building.

 

• Damages caused to movables goods which are located within the building.

 

• Damages produced by works performed after the receipt of the building, except those made to fix construction defects

 

• Damages caused by misuse or lack of proper maintenance of the building.

 

• Those that have their origin in a fire or explosion, except those caused by defects in the facilities themselves.

 



_______________________

Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA

Lawyer

Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria


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