IN today’s article we are going to talk about whether it is possible to claim, after the purchase of a property, when there is a surface difference. In other words, the surface reflected in the contract, does not match with the actual surface.
The possible legal consequences, if the property handed over has a larger or smaller size or surface; than the agreed, are foreseen in the Spanish Civil Code (Cc). Specifically in articles 1469 and following.
Thus, we can distinguish between two assumptions.
- Purchase and Sale in which the price is set by area or square metres
According to article 1469 Cc. If the purchase and sale, it is done with indication of the surface, and at the rate of a price per square metre. Then, the vendor must deliver the area agreed in the contract. And if it is not possible, the buyer may request a proportional discount. Or where appropriate, the termination of the contract, if the difference exceeds 10%.
If the surface is bigger, the excess could be claimed by the seller.
- Sales by lump sum price.
When the sale is made for a lump sum, for example, a price per square metre is not set. In this case, there will be no right to an increase or decrease in the price, if the area or surface is different. That is, if a greater or lesser property is handed over. All this according to article 1471 Cc.
It is what is known as an AS IS. That is, a property is bought and sold, not based on a specific area, and a price per m2. Therefore, it is bought what has been seen, the surface that is between the boundaries.
Legal period to claim for the difference in surfaces
According to article 1472 Cc, for the requirement of a discount in the price, increase or, where appropriate, the termination of the contract. The term will be six months for this type of legal action.
Practical examples of possible claims
In practice, when buying real estate in Spain, it is normal to be done AS IS. That is, normally the purchases are not done at the rate of € x per m2 of plot or construction. And the surface data of the cadastre or registry is usually used in contracts.
Therefore, if the construction (house) or the plot has a smaller surface, as buyers, you may not be able to claim. Or as sellers, claim more price, if the real surface is greater, than that indicated in the contract.
A different case are the purchases of properties off-plan. In this case, if the developer gives us a smaller property at the end of the contract. We understand that it could be claimed. Maybe not so much, based on these articles; as the property did not exist when signing the contract.
But base, on the contractual breach, as the developer is not delivering what was agreed.
If you have bought or sold a property, if there is a surfaces difference, if you want to know if you can claim or not, contact us at www.white-baos.com and we will help you.
The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, it merely conveys information related to legal issues.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer) – White&Baos
Tel: +34 966 426 185 [email protected]
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