I searched for ‘Survey’ and found your article – https://www.terrameridiana.com/19416-surveys-good-buyers-good-sellers.html. One thing you mention for which I don’t have any other reference is, ‘Another issue are defects of greater severity that jeopardise the property’s stability, such as structural defects, or urban irregularities, for which the period of claim is five years.’ I’d appreciate knowing where I can find more info on that.
Campbell D Ferguson
30th May 2021 at 11:40 am
Thanks for your enquiry Joe. I too was surprised to know of this. According to the lawyer who informed me, it arises from the 1964 Civil Code. I copy his reply to my query –
5 years is the statutes of limitation period applicable to actions derived from contractual relationship like a purchase and sale contract as per article 1964 Civil Code. The sale of a house suffering a severe problem affecting the stability or habitability of the house constitutes a serious breach of contract, which entitles the buyer to seek for its repairing and/or a compensation.
It appears to bring consumer law into the property field and is something that would be used after the first 6 months, which is covered by ‘Vicios Ocultos’. However, it’s one thing to have the right, but quite another to be able to exercise that effectively – finding the seller; do they have the wealth to compensate you; getting all the proof; funding that and the Court case and probable appeals; and all the grief and tears from not enjoying the property as expected. Much better to reduce the chances of that, by getting a pre-acquisition building condition survey by an experienced, conscientious surveyor.
Adolfo Martos Gross / TM Expert
30th May 2021 at 12:14 pm
I would like to point out that the 5 years statutes of limitaion period starts from the date the action against the vendor can be exercised, which means, it will not start while the damage has not shown up. Besides, the 5 years period can be interrupted by addressing a claim letter to the vendor, in which case the 5 years period would again start at that point. The longer the damage appears the more difficult it will be to prove that it existed at the purchase time.
The fact that you buy an old property does not justify that you must bear damages that are not compatible with a liveable house if that was the purpose of your investment.
These damages must meet all the following requisites in order to be claimable:
• Not accepted or not known to the buyer before the closing.
• Not visible or understandable by a normal person.
• They prevent the buyer from using the property in a normal way.
The situation is different when the buyer purchased the property to make big reforms.
The above is a very brief introduction to matter.
30th May 2021 at 12:32 pm
Thank you both very much, much to think about. I would always get a survey