Working with Real Estate Agents in Spain
To protect the interest of property purchasers the Andalucían Government introduced a law “Decree 218/05”, which in summary obligates real estate agents to make all the relevant information each property listed available on a “Property Data Sheet”. For each property marketed, they must provide the following information (article 10):
Address of the property.
General description of property and that of the building or development.
Price of the property.
Owner (this is a sticky point), land registry charges or encumbrances, possible rights of way, usable and constructed size. This must all be supported by a recent (not older than 3 months) land registry extract “Nota Simple”.
Date of construction, if available.
Percentage of the communal elements allocated to the property.
Whether the property has electricity, water, telephone or gas supplies.
Whether, on visiting the property, there is a period of time during which the buyer will be able to process the required paperwork for completion.
Declaration as to whether the seller can, or cannot, provide the following documentation: copy of by-laws of the community of owners, certification of freedom of community debts, available insurances and guarantees, the property book (only provided by developers)
Certificate proving Council tax is paid up to date.
Date, place and signature.
Additional clauses offer further clarification of buyers’ rights. Article 12 outlines an obligation to the real estate agent to provide the consumer with a copy of the Property Data Sheet, in Spanish.
Article 14 and 15 deal with the Consumer Protection inspection service and fines imposed on agents who don’t comply, ranging from 200€ to 5000€ (pursuant to articles 71.4 LEY 13/2003, de 17 de diciembre, de defensa y proteccion de los consumidores y usuarios de Andalucía.
An infraction could be considered as “serious” and could result in a higher between 5,000€ and 30,000€ if the agent has deliberately or negligently ignored his obligations, repeats the infraction or his actions affect a large part of the market. Developers who do not guarantee down payments are liable for a fine ranging from 5,001€ to 30,000€, depending on the size and seriousness of the infraction.
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