Ripoll Abogados



The law gives the owners different deadlines to claim for constructive defects when you buy a new property.

Most people think that there is a 10 years deadline to claim for all sort of damages, but this is not the case. The guarantee period provided by the law will depend on the origin of the damages; one, three or only in the case of major damages, ten years. The responsibility of the different professional agents that intervene on the construction process will also depend on the origin and cause for the damages.

The vendor will be always responsible whatever it is the damages. The problem is that in some cases, the vendor is a limited company established only for the purpose of developing/building that particular project and, the company has no more activity or assets when the apartments/projects are sold.

Therefore, the claim should be not only against the vendor but also, to the other professionals, such as the building company, or the architects and technicians. These latter ones are always covered by an insurance policy that will cover them in case the damage is due to their negligence in the project, or during the execution of the works done.

The most difficult part is to determine who is responsible for the damages. Whether they arise from the quality of the materials, the lack of measures not considered by the technical project or bad execution.

First of all, it is essential to have a report prepared by technical specialists who prove what the damages are, their causes, solutions and repair costs. If your property is within a condo, it will be the President or the “Administrador” who have the obligation of taking the necessary steps to avoid that the warranty period elapses. It is also possible that any of the owners ask to the President to include this issue in the next General meeting or, in case he refuses, the owners who represent more than 25% of the shares in the condo, can call to an extraordinary meeting to approve the steps to take.

It is necessary to communicate in a reliable manner, through a Notary Public requirement or a “Burofax” to the promoter, builder, director of the work and director of execution, the technical report with the damages. This formal extra Court claim is very important in order to stop the deadline for the warranty period coverage. Otherwise, they may use the time occurred to avoid responsibilities.