In today’s article, we would like to discuss construction and building problems and defects (also known in Spanish “ vicios de construccion”); which affect many property owners in Spain.
A few weeks ago we obtained a court judgment granted by the courts of Denia in favor of our clients. In connection with a claim filed on behalf of clients with a property in the village of Orba, Marina Alta in the province of Alicante.
This property in question had a foundation problem that worsened after a period of heavy rains that occurred a few years ago; which accelerated the structural problems of the construction.
The architects and developers who built the villa, said the cracks which appeared were due to a settlement, which had since ceased.
Unfortunately, the reality was that it was a progressive problem, which affected the foundation and vertical structure of the property; evident when the cracks repaired reopened again, proving that the cause was alive and active.
Architect and insurer liability.
In the court proceedings we were able to demonstrate:
1.-The negligence and liability of the principal architect and his insurer, that means the designer of the property and responsible for the project, who designed the wrong foundation, as it was not sufficiently deep and large, with inappropriate dimensions and without regard to the composition of the soil, and without avoiding the access by rainwater to the foundations, etc.
2.-The negligence and liability for technical architect or “aparejador”, and its insurer, because he executed and built a house with a structure much weaker than that designed, and built some walls less stable and consistent than the projected ones.
3.- Liability of ALCOYANA the insurer responsible for the Ten Year Insurance Policy “ seguro decenal”, as we proved that the construction problems affected the structure and stability of the building.
Thus, the defendants accepted their responsibility, and in the court process they agreed to pay the amount necessary to carry out the repairs necessary to secure and stabilize the structure of the villa.
At this point, we remind our readers that when a problem of this kind appears in a property, even if it is a minor one, we must notify in a duly reliable way all agents or people who have been involved in the construction process, and who may be responsible, such as the developer, builder, architect, technical architect, Insurance company responsible of the Ten Year Insurance Policy, etc, Frequently cases fail because the property owners have not notified those possible respondents within the limitation period foreseen in the law.
Therefore, at the first sign of a potential construction problem and before anything else, we need to notify by registered fax, telegram or similar way all the possible future respondents, about the emergence of the problem and their possible liability. If you are in this situation if you have query about construction and building problems and defects, please contact us.
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)
Spanish Law firm.
White & Baos 2014 – All rights reserved