What happens if, having just purchased a property , damage of such magnitude appears that if we had known about it we would not have bought the property or we would have ostensibly reduced the purchase price? These are the so-called hidden defects.

We are dealing with relevant damages and not with the so-called finishing defects.

It is not uncommon that in the of homesales and purchases between private individuals appear during the 6-month period. constructive damages of greater or lesser importance, being a case that occurs more frequently than it is thought, well our Civil Code provides that in these cases and provided that certain circumstances are given, may the buyer claim to the seller as long as such damage occurs within 6 months and the claim is filed within that period.

Without being exhaustive, we could identify the following as the most common hidden defects in buildings;

Dampness and leaks due to defects in roofing, flooring, etc.; major cracks; defects in flooring, paint, finishes; detachment of bricks or cladding material, etc.; and other more serious defects, such as those affecting the structure of the building. and foundations, and which are serious and pose a risk to people.

hidden defects in the purchase and sale of housing

As you can see, the range of damage or damage is extensive, ranging from the least serious to the most serious, hence when the buyer of a property is faced with a case of this type, regardless of the appearance of such If there is anydamage, it is always advisable to consult a technician.

From the delivery of possession of the property, the so-called expiration period is 6 months. We warn you of the care you should take in these cases because if there is something that interrupts it immediately, the term continues counting the days prior to the interrupting cause.

For example, if an injunction is filed during this time, this does not stop the period of time and it starts to run again, since it does not suspend the previously elapsed period of time.

If the buyer finds himself in a case of hidden defects as an injured party, he may take any of the following actions against the seller within a period of 6 months;

– You may choose between withdrawing from the contract and being reimbursed for the expenses you paid, or

– To reduce a proportional amount of the price, in the opinion of experts.

There are many cases that Carlos Baño León Abogados, has handled and only for illustrative purposes we refer you to two trials won by this law firm where you can see the application in the Courts of this legal claim in favor of the buyer.

In the case of sale of new housing, the action to be brought will not be this one but those derived from the Law on Construction Management, which establishes the ten-year, fortnightly and annual liability assumptions.

This obligation of the seller to respond during the period of 6 months is contractual in nature.

Now, does this mean that if the damage of magnitude appears after the aforementioned 6 months of the sale of the property, the buyer of the property purchased from a private individual would not be protected? Well no, it is clear that the buyer would still have his rights, but the regulation is different.

The remedying of hidden defects operates as the objective possibility that we have said, but it will not go further because the Law considers the responsibility of the buyer to make sure about the state of the property he buys and the seller must have a responsibility that should never go beyond, since he was not the builder of the house and against the Promoter/Builder this is the buyer should direct his claim.

The seller shall never be liable for the remedy for hidden defects in the following cases:

  1. If the damage was obvious, to the naked eye.
  2. If the buyer is an expert who, by reason of his trade or profession, should easily know them.
  3. If the buyer and seller expressly agree that they will not liability of the seller, however, this case would only operate if the seller has acted in a way that is good faith, because if the seller knows about the hidden damages of the property, even if he agrees his exemption from liability, it will not be operative and the seller will not be liable for the damage. buyer will be able to claim it.
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