IN today’s article, we want to inform our readers and clients about some legal issues, tips and practical advice, to be born in mind when buying a property off plan (i.e. a property that has not been built).
The fact is that there is a clear indication that the real estate market in Spain is recovering and a number of developments re beginning to be built. During the worst years of the real estate market crisis in Spain the construction of new properties was very rare and at that time, the few transaction which took place, were mainly concerned with second-hand properties or new properties that had already been built.
Through this article, we want to share some legal advice that is fundamental to consider when buying a property off plan or to be built.
Off plan purchase guarantees: with the recent change of the regulations, law 20/2015 that modifies the First Additional Provision of the LOE (law 28/1999), it is necessary to emphasise, that although the developers continue being forced to guarantee the deposit and amounts paid on account, this new regulation is less protective for the buyers, especially with regards to the deadline to claim. It is therefore essential when buying off plan that:
- The developer and bank certify details of the guarantee (bank guarantee or insurance policy) that the developer has in place, to guarantee the amounts paid on account.
- Certified details of the special account in to which payments must be made should be made available.
- Payments must be made directly to the appropriate account, by bank transfer or similar. It is essential to be able to prove that the payment has been made, confirming that it was a partial payment of price as well as who made it.
Other essential documents: Purchasers must also request and check the basic documentation of the complex: ownership of the land, building and construction licenses, cadastral situation, etc.
Essential clauses to be included in the contract: In the purchase contracts, the inclusion of certain clauses is imperative in order to ensure the protection of the rights of the buyers, such as:
- Confirmation that the delivery of the property and the last payment will be made with the delivery of the occupancy licence by the developer.
- Need for the delivery by the developer of the necessary documentation for contracting of water and electricity supplies, etc.
- Information about the above mentioned guarantees.
- The completion, last payments and handing over of the keys, must be conditioned also to the finalisation of the common elements, etc.
We would conclude by saying that the purchase of properties off plan in Spain, if it is done correctly, checking the relevant documentation, the guarantees stated in the law, etc.is extremely safe, but if not done correctly, it can be very risky and it should be remembered in the last years, thousands of expatriates and residents in Spain, have lost all their savings, buying this type of property.
Therefore, if you want to receive expert advice regarding the purchase of properties off plan or to be built, buy with guarantees, etc., contact us and we will help you.
The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
White & Baos
Tel:+34 966 426 185
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