DGR & Mrs C,
LOE (Ley de Ordenación de la Edificación) or Spanish general building law warranties are to be taken with care…
I’ve described them briefly in other posts:
1 year for minor defects (finishing details) only against the builder
3 year for general defects, and
10 years for mayor defects (only those affecting the building structure or stability)
This is the legal liability every professional has in the building process (only the builder in minor defects) but, as I also said in an other post, many times you will be forced to go to court to have your rights granted.
The Law also states that those warranties have to be enforced by an insurance policy but today this is something only compulsory in the third case (defects affecting the structure and stability of the building) as the way the other two cases are to be insured is something our government has yet to develop with a new law. So it’s good if you have the 5% retention clause in your contract.
I can tell you that this 5% clause is usual in contracts between promoter/developer and builder… But in your case it’s not clear to me if you are promoting your own house or simply buying it from a promoter
Things can vary a lot depending on your particular case… Are you buying an unfinished property?? are you promoting one?? It’s officially finished (with a Certificado Final de Obra) but there are defects?? or are you buying a re-sale?? and in that last case, how old is the property???