As I understand it, the law doesn’t protect you if you don’t want to complete because of snagging problems (if you are lucky enough to get in BEFORE completion). You can only fill in ONE form, once. So anything that comes to light through use isn’t covered. Supposedly the developer has to fix in 30 days but if they don’t you have to chase them through the courts (see our experience below). Developers cannot be shamed through media exposure.
You think you have 3, 5 and 10 year guarantees as back up, But the 10 year ones are only for major structural (falling down) problems and no one is sure if it is the developer’s responsibility to arrange the 10 year insurance or your solicitor.
This is what our solicitor recently told us
Don’t rely on guarantees! Fingers crossed we won’t have to call on our 10-year stuctural guarantee because we have no idea who the insurance company is. We thought there was also protection from the developer undertaking snagging, plus three and five year guarantees. We had no response to our request for snagging defects to be fixed in 2006 and have taken developers to court. We also thought that we were covered by the 3 and 5 year guarantees we’d read about.
This is what our lawyer has just told us.
“I confirm that the ten year insurance does not cover the reparations that you need. The one and three year insurance is not yet an obligation for the developers even if it is stated in law their responsibility during this periods for damages.”
“Regarding the lawsuit (presented a year ago), at this stage I am sorry to inform you that there is no progress what so ever. The number of the process in the court number 1 of Estepona is XXXXXXX but we have not received any communication. As you know, Estepona is unfortunately the worst town to litigate but we could not choose.”
No we didn’t know.
Remember Dickens’ Jardine and Jardine…
MY advice 1. Steer clear of Estepona. 2. It’s probably not worth suing for anything less than €12,000 of defects. 3. Buy a second-hand house you have had fully surveyed.