Property bubbles are rarely a good time to buy a home, not least because prices rise and standards fall as building gets frantic and even the least attractive properties sell fast. So it should come as no surprise that 25 per cent of homes built during the Spanish property boom years have defects or construction faults, according to the Professional Association of Madrid Community Administrators (CAFMadrid in Spanish).
60 per cent of claims received by this organisation are for defects affecting living conditions, mainly damp in garages, Next comes shoddy finishes to interiors, most commonly bathroom and kitchen tiling, with 30 per cent of claims, and serious building defects – such as cracks in façades – making up the remaining 10 per cent.
According to Spain’s Building Law (LOE in Spanish), new-home buyers have a period of ten years to claim for material damage caused by defects that affect foundations, supports, beams, floors, load-bearing walls and other structural elements (see Tales Of Horror With Structural Building Problems In Spain).
Claims against more superficial defects that affect living conditions such as interior installations are covered by a 3-year period of warranty. Snagging issues, on the other hand, are only covered by a one-year period in which buyers can expect the builder to sort them out.