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Spanish Off-Plan Property - Bank Guarantees - LEY 57/68

This blog is for all those Off-Plan property purchasers in Spain who have not received Bank Guarantees for their deposit funds as required by Spanish Law, in particular LEY 57/68 Article 1.1 and 1.2 and are now at risk of losing their money. In addition many purchasers who did receive Bank Guarantees are now finding that the Spanish Banks are refusing to honour them without legal action being taken by the purchaser.

Saturday, July 3, 2010 @ 1:36 AM

LEY 57/1968 is a short but very important Law which was implemented in the Public Interest on 27 July 1968 specifically to safeguard purchasers deposits paid in good faith to developers for off-plan properties.

The preamble of the Law explains clearly the reasons for its implementation.

The preamble states that there was justified public alarm at the fact that repeated abuses had been taking place with regards to off-plan deposits.  It says the abuses which were obvious criminal acts had a serious disruption of social life, constituted a serious alteration of the social coexistence and caused irreparable damage to trust and good faith.  It says LEY 57/68 was being introduced in the Public Interest to create general preventative standards to ensure the real and effective protection of funds paid in advance by purchasers and to ensure they received a refund in the event that the house building did not take effect.

It appears that 40 years after LEY 57/68 was implemented we are experiencing the same 'repeated abuses' and 'obvious criminal acts'  We now have the exact same situation of a 'serious disruption of social life' which unfortunately for many innocent purchasers has again caused 'irreparable damage to trust and good faith'.

This is a serious public order matter that the Spanish Authorities must tackle immediately.

LEY 57/68 is very clear and provides absolute protection for the purchaser.

It is not LEY 57/68 that has failed.

The failure is that of the authorities whose duty it was to uphold the rule of Law.  Shame on them. 

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Sierra Golf said:
Saturday, July 3, 2010 @ 1:19 PM

When people talk about 'off plan', is the definition - putting a deposit down when only plans are available. The reason for asking this is that we are in the same position as most people, no guarantee etc, but our house was actually complete when we put our deposit on and only needed the garden wall and gate. Is there a legal definition of 'off plan'?

Keith said:
Monday, July 5, 2010 @ 12:33 PM

LEY 57/68 covers any amounts paid in advance for a property prior to the property being legally completed and being issued with the Licence of First Occupation / Habitation Certificate.

Had the Habitation Certificate (LFO) been issued by the Town Hall for your property before you paid your deposit? Has it been issued since you paid your deposit?

To which Bank or Savings Bank did you pay your deposit?

Why were you unable to complete the purchase? Is the developer still trading?

Sierra Golf said:
Tuesday, July 6, 2010 @ 12:48 AM

Deposit paid 2006, no habitation certificate yet. Deposit paid to Estate Agent, house completed with walls, roads, gates, tree lined roads, road markings and crossings in 2007, but still no habitation certificate. Developer is still trading.

Keith said:
Tuesday, July 6, 2010 @ 11:34 AM

Sierra Golf - you need to contact the Estate Agent and ask them for documentary proof as to which Bank or Savings Bank they forwarded your deposit to. It is vital that you find out the name of the Bank who accepted the deposit and get a copy of the transfer document between the Estate Agent and Bank. Action needs to be taken against the Bank who accepted the deposit under LEY 57/68 Article 1.2

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