More on Consumer Rights When Buying a Property

Published on 7/24/2007 in Buying Process

The first article in this series can be found at:


Together with the requirements established in provision 4 of Royal Decree (515/1989 of 21st in April, 1989)  regarding information to be provided to consumers when selling property, provision 5 states the information that needs to be available to the public or the authorities, when a company is developing houses:

Town- Planning Licenses

Provision 5 of that Royal Decree, first paragraph  mentions that it will be available to the public and to the authorities, a copy of the authorisations that are legaly required for the construction of the house and also a copy of the planning certificates, with specific reference to the meeting of compensatory or dividing operations, as of the first habitation licence, not just for the property but also for communal areas and accesory services.

Regarding this, it is to be known that it is an implicit right of the buyer, not just the mere building but also the corresponding urbanisation as a requirement of the adequate habitability which is the expected goal of the purchase.

Rules of the Community of Owners

Statutes and running rules of the Community of Owners, if this last exists, together with the information of the supplies services of the community, need to be available to the public and authorities as per provision 5.2 of the  Royal Decree. If the Community of owners is already running, a summary of the accounting and liabilities of the house on sale will be provided.


Provision 5.3 RD mentions the obligation to provide information regarding the payment of every sort of tax on the property or for use of the house.

Legally Required Stipulations of the Contract

Provision 5.4 establishes that the draft of the contract must be provided beforehand, containing general and special conditions, and especially stating the following points:

  1. Consumer will not pay any expense related to the titling of the house which legally corresponds to the seller.
    This comes just from common sense : those who build need to FACE the financial expenses of the building, without traspassing the burden to pay those expenses to the buyers of the house. This does not mean that the builder needs to pay any other kind of expenses related to the sale, which  actually can be  a subject of negotiation between the contract parties. 
  2. Those legal requirements which are contained in articles 1280.1, and which state that those acts and contracts which create, transmit, modify  or extinguish  real estate rights must be performed by public document and article 1279 CC which establishes that the contract parties can legally require each other to submit the agreement in  public document form. 
  3. The right to choose the  Notary by the consumer, who needs to be related to the territory where either the asset  or the persons involved in the business are located.
    Provision 10 RD  refers to special rules about clarity and simplicity of the wording of contracts.

Completion Deadline

Provision 5.5 RD declares that when the house or the communal areas or the accesory elements are not fully built, the object of the contract has not been met.  The completion deadline and the building status at every stage will be clearly mentioned in the contract.
Court Decissions by the Spanish Supreme Court affirm that the completion deadline can be brought forward.

The completion deadline statments in the contract are never tentative dates, with no commitment to the Developer involved.  Rather in the contrary, they are part of the obligations of the Developer and must be met accorging to agreement: just when it is specified in the contract and any of the force majeure events  happen, the Developer can be expempt of that obligation, provided he fully comunicates and justifies that event to the consumer and  he agrees on this justification.

Of course, they canot be considered as force majeure, those events as strikes or meteorological bad conditions, which are predictable, avoidable and within the ambit of the commercial management of a building company .

Building Company Data

When it is a first transmisión (from builder to consumer) the name, address and commercial name of the building company and the architect must be specified. 

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

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