What should I check if I am buying property in Spain from a developer?
- Ensure that there is either a building licence, a first occupation licence or ten year inherent defects insurance (seguro decenal).
- Check that the developer owns the property and that there are no charges or encumbrances against the property.
- Check descriptions of the plans with the land registry office and the local council.
- Check that the certificates from the utility companies are provided.
What are my rights in the private contract?
- There is a legal requirement for builders to be covered by an insurance policy or bankers’ guarantee, protecting the buyer’s payments against the risk of the builder going bankrupt.
- There must be a full contract containing all the clauses of the purchase with building specification, planning consent, plans etc.
- It is a legal requirement, set out in specific regulations, for the buyer of a property to be given clear information about the purchase process and building specifications of dwellings bought in Andalusia.
- The regulations specify the required information to be given to the purchasers or lessees of a property in Andalusia. The regulations are applicable to developers and any intermediaries relating to any kind of publicity made by a company or individual towards the sale or lease of dwellings.
- The regulations demand that accredited estate agents, developers or any other intermediary, make available to the purchaser a document with clear and sufficient information about the characteristics of the house and economic condition of the offer. For infringement of the law fines range from €5000 up to €400,000, depending on the case.
It is hoped that the regulations will increase confidence in the real estate sector. The Andalusian government wishes to enforce the new law by improving purchaser information, in addition to carrying out inspections of estate agents and developers in Andalusia. It is the first time the second hand housing market has been regulated in this way.
- Anyone interested in buying an off plan house will receive an AID (Abbreviated Information Document).
- If you are buying a second hand house, you must receive a document called the Information File.
Both documents specify the physical and legal characteristics of the dwelling as well as its price and method of payment. The new law clearly forbids the agents, developer and intermediaries to keep silent about the AID or the Information File or to give false information to the buyer. Finally, all estate agents offices (including virtual ones) should display a sign saying “the buyer has the right to receive a copy of the corresponding Abbreviated Information Document for the property”.