Deposit Contract

Published on 11/15/2006 in Buying Process

Know Your Rights!

There is a very important principle of contractual law in the Spanish Civil Code that states: ”The contracting parties can establish all the agreements, clauses and conditions that they may find necessary, provided they are not against the Law, the morals or the Public Order” .  It is called the “Autonomy of the will Principle”.

Taking that into account can help us to understand what the truth is in that “an agreement is a Law between parties”. For the peace of mind of consumers (purchasers of properties) , Spanish Law regarding abusive clauses is very clear and these abusive clauses are a very important limit to the autonomy of the will as they are considered against the Law.(Please see a list of Null and Void Clauses). Anyhow, play your part in the negotiation (with the assistance of a good lawyer) in order to use this freedom for the protection of your rights and a smooth purchase process.  For example when signing a deposit contract.

The deposit contract is a contract by which one party (the buyer) is obliged to pay to the other party (the seller) an amount of money as a deposit or guarantee for the fulfilment of a sales contract, and this party (the seller) is committed to sell the house to that person within a determined deadline and according to the conditions agreed thereby. The conditions agreed regarding the return of monies paid, cancellation… need to be balanced and equivalent between parties in order to be respectful with the standards of the protection of the Consumers´ rights.  Any abusive clause is coinsidered null and void and not enforceable.

The above mentioned contract must gather, in detail, the main aspects of the agreement that has been reached, such as the full identification of seller and buyer, plus enough, official and clear identification of the property (Nota simple required, click here for more information), definition of the contract which is being signed, agreed price, method of payment (expressing if any amount is delivered as a deposit or on account of the price); who will pay the expenses and taxes, time within the public deed needs to be signed, etc… The more in detail and tight, the more peaceful your purchase process will be. It is also important to bear in mind that there is very recent legislation on Information requirements when selling houses in Andalucia (please see: and )

The return of amounts handed as a deposit will depend on the fulfilment of the conditions agreed in the deposit contract. It is very advisable to have a compensation clause that will avoid further discussions on this important matter. There is big room for negotiation here. Remember the aforementioned principle on “Autonomy of the will” in Contractual Law.

On the other hand, if it is the seller who is not complying with the agreed deadline, or decides not to sell without a justified reason or to sell the house to a third party, he will have to compensate you according to what is stated in the deposit contract.

In the case that the sale is finalised within the agreed deadline, the deposit will be considered an advanced amount on account.

It is needed to pay a lot of attention to this contract as it is as important as the sales contract itself and you can be committing yourself to conditions that will determine the purchase at a very high level.

Written by: Maria de Castro

About the author:

Maria de Castro is a Spanish Lawyer and the Director of the Law Firm

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

Right arrow icon Send to friends   Right arrow icon Printer friendly version    Right arrow icon Submit your own article


Only registered users can comment on this article. Please Sign In or Register now.

Comment Using Facebook:

Related articles in this category

"Ever Thought of Retiring to Spain?", She Asked

10 Year New Build Property Insurance - Seguro Decenal

2007 – The Outlook for Spanish Property….

4 Ways To Help Your Kids Enjoy Their Spanish Holiday

A Quick Guide to Spain's Autonomous Communities

A Room With A View

Agent Property Sharing Systems Cost You Money

Aparthotels - Touristic Apartment Legal Requirements

Bank Guarantees for Spanish Off Plan Developments

Being a Film Set Extra in Alicante

Bored In Spain? Not The Spanish

Breach of Contract - Off Plan Success Story

Building Defects in New Properties

Bullfighting in Spain - On its Last Legs?

Buy Property Safely In Spain...NOT!

Buying a Property in Spain - 10 Points to Consider

Buying a Property in Spain - The Private Contract

Buying A Property in Spain Just Got Safer - And Much More Affordable!

Cave Houses in Spain - ADSL Included!

Completing a new property purchase

Consumer Law - Abusive Clauses In Your Contract

Costa Brava Holiday Ideas

Currency Exchange from Sterling to Euros

Deadly Secrets And Those Books About Spain

Decreto 218 - What It Is And How It Affects Buying Property In Andalucia

Deposit Contract

Dispelling The Myths Of What Is And Isn’t A Snagging Defect And Some Amusing Responses From Builders

DIY snagging - Some pointers on how to ‘Do-It-Yourself’

Do Not Move to Spain if…..

Documento Informativo Abreviado. Brief Informative Document (DIA)

Don't Blame Spain

Don't Criticise the Junta's Actions, Only the Delay in Implementing Them

Eco-Friendly Holidays

Financial And Currency Overview - 2012

Furnishing your Off-Plan

Getting Planning Permission in Spain

Getting The Best Euro Exchange Rate

Help! I'm Busy But Poor!

How to Choose an Architect in Spain

How To Spot The Timeshare Fraudsters

In Times Of Recession Some Imagination Is Needed - Option To Buy

Is Anyone Still Moving To Spain?

Is Disney Coming to Spain? That'll be No.

Is it Dangerous to Buy Property in Spain?

Is Spanish Residential Construction Showing Signs of Recovery?

Is There More To Spanish Wines Than Just Rioja?

It Is Possible Not To Pay Enough For A Property - According To The Tax Man!

It's a Buyer's Market

It's A Good Time To Start Selling Property in Spain

Licence of First Occupation and Completion

Mallorca Property - The Cost Of Buying Explained

More on Consumer Rights When Buying a Property

Most Commonly Asked Questions on Completions and Snagging Inspections

Must Have Common Spanish Phrases To Spice Up Your Spanish

New Regulations Protecting Spanish Property Buyers

No Money? No Problem!

Off Plan Consumer Rights - Sample Purchase Contract

Paramount Theme Park In Murcia - What You Need To Know

Prices Soften As Mortgage Approvals Fall In Lanzarote

Private Purchase Contract - Resale Property

Problems Found by Residential Surveyors in Spain

Property Management - Who Needs It?

Publicity - Part Of The Contract

Real Problems Buying Property in Spain

Result Of Building Standards Survey

Snagging Horror Stories

Snagging Trends & Analysis

So, you want to sell your off plan?

Spain Top Choice for Second Home Abroad

Spain, a Gone Conclusion

Spanish Property Market Stalls On Exchange Rate Strength

Spanish Property Valuations - Confused?

Stimulating The Spanish Property Market – Please Take Note Mr. Zapatero

Taking Better Pictures of Your Property

Taking The Developer To Court - Jan's Story

The art of a successful Snag

The Beginner's Guide to Snagging

The Death Of The Spanish Estate Agent

The Do's And Don'ts Of Buying A Mobile Home In Spain

The Euro - Looking Back and Looking Forward

The Licensing Process For Off Plan Properties In Spain

The Mystery of Spanish Property Online

The Other Side of the Coin

The Right Groups’ – The Costs of Buying in Spain

The Rights Group’s Guide to Buying a Property in Spain

The Spanish Property Crash – Was This What Was Really Happening?

Time to Complete

Time to Complete? - Part 2

Top 10 Reasons To Buy In Spain

Top 3 Budget Restaurants In Central Madrid

Try Before You Buy

Try Before You Buy - A Change In The Property Market

What to do Before and After You Complete on Your New Property

What You Need To Do If Your Spanish Developer Goes Bust?

What's In Store For Spanish Property In 2011?

Where Are All The Property Bargains In Spain?

Who Is REALLY Looking After Your Interest In Spain?

Why Buy On A Golf Resort?

Why Buy Property On A Resort

Why Choose Interest Only For Your Spanish Mortgage

Why You Need a Website To Market Your Rental Property

Click here for a list of all the articles from our magazine 

Spain insurance services

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More information here. x