New Regulations Protecting Spanish Property Buyers

Published on 15/11/2006 in Buying Process

The New Regulations (Royal Decree 218/2005) on Information to the Consumer in purchases and rents of real estate in Andalucia is applied to Commercial and Professional activity to offer, promote and advertise the selling and renting of real estate, including the brokering activities. It excludes sales in public auctions, both judicial and administrative ones.

This recently passed Andalucian Royal Decree regulates:

- The information to be provided to the consumer: Both for first, second and subsequent transmissions and for the renting of real estate.

- The documents that need to be given before the signing of the contract: Licenses, community of owners´ statutes, insurances and guarantees, book of the building, instructions for the evacuation of the building, certification of IBI payments, etc…

- The obligation to make available to the buyers the named “Brief Informative Document” ( Documento Informativo Abreviado- DIA) with the most important basic data: Identification of developer and agent, building firm and works director, identification of the house, plans of the house, description of the building, specification and features, full price, method of payment, advanced paid amounts…

(I will tell you more extensively about this document in my next article)

- For rental purposes this DIA is also required for: Description of the house, identification of the renter, inventory of belongings and furniture, description of the building, rent, expenses, deposits, charges and/or encumbrances…

- The DIA must be free

- It must also be specified: An explanatory note about price and method of payment.

- The obligation to have a poster telling about the availability of a Brief Informative Document that will have to be placed next to the poster which tells about the existence of complaint forms.

The Royal Decree provides detailed information about all the documents that need to be available to the consumers, both in the Articles and in the attached documents.

The attached documents regulate:

- The Content of the DIA

- Justification for the delivery of the Explanatory Note about the price and method of payment.

- Specification card (Ficha) for second and subsequent transmissions.

In the opinion of many of my colleagues, and in my own opinion too, this new Royal Decree will greatly contribute to have a healthier environment in the Real Estate Market. That is something that we all want (including Lawyers) despite the behaviour of a few of us that play games by protecting both the developer’s and the consumer´s interests at the same time. That generally leads to a professional lack of consistence.

It is also important to note that the FACUA Andalucía (Federation of Consumers Associations in Andalucía) has already reported 163 cases of Real Estate Agencies on infringement of the Decrees on Information to the Consumer and Complaints forms. That may seem like a breath of fresh air to many of you, I am sure.

My recent success with a developer in my area at recovering all the amounts (plus interests, plus legal expenses, plus travelling expenses) that my client have delivered in an off plan purchase, in a case where there was no bank guarantee and a delayed works licence, had been based on Consumers Regulations. I would think, and this is just my personal opinion, that this public Law regulations are more imperative that some private Law- more easy to avoid - rules. I would encourage you all to extensively know your rights as Consumers. It may be the content of my coming letters.

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 at mldecastro@costaluzlawyers.es




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Comments:

rapp said:
08 January 2008 @ 16:21

When we paid over the initial holding deposit of E3000 the specification included a washing machine and a communial swiming pool. When we came to sign the Contact, the washing machine was not then on the specification and the swiming pool had moved to phase2. We obtained an E-Mail from the Developer stating we would get the washing machine, and copies of the signed off planns etc were attached to the contact. However during the build we have lost 2 windows a fitted wardrobe and a bidet.

When we asked if we could pay for some extras during the build, we were told that as the planns had been passed by the Town Hall no changes could be made. Yet the developer has made these changes without reference to us and we feel cheeted. According to the Contract he cannot make the changes except as required by the Town Hall for technical reasons. What should we do?



rapp said:
08 January 2008 @ 16:19

When we paid over the initial holding deposit of E3000 the specification included a washing machine and a communial swiming pool. When we came to sign the Contact, the washing machine was not then on the specification and the swiming pool had moved to phase2. We obtained an E-Mail from the Developer stating we would get the washing machine, and copies of the signed off planns etc were attached to the contact. However during the build we have lost 2 windows a fitted wardrobe and a bidet.

When we asked if we could pay for some extras during the build, we were told that as the planns had been passed by the Town Hall no changes could be made. Yet the developer has made these changes without reference to us and we feel cheeted. According to the Contract he cannot make the changes except as required by the Town Hall for technical reasons. What should we do?


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